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Start-Ups

Alternative Office Options for Service Professionals, Independent Workers, and Small Businesses: Coworking Space

By Wilson Tandiono   |    May 21, 2014   |    3:40 PM

A coworking space provides a much more social experience than working from home, so it can be attractive to the entrepreneur who likes a highly interactive, energetic environment. A desk may be rented on a full-time or shared basis. Amenities typically include a kitchen and basic office equipment.

The main draw of coworking spaces is meeting and working alongside like-minded people. It is particularly popular with the tech community. You can exchange and brainstorm ideas with others, and share the camaraderie of being in the same situation – typically trading off a high paying job to start a business with lots of uncertainty about whether you will see a single cent of revenue in the next 6 months. Coworking spaces may also host social events like Friday happy hours and have fun games like a foosball table.

Some coworking spaces are modeled after accelerator and incubator programs where you have access to mentorship, venture capital, attorneys, professional service firms, and other resources if you qualify for the program. They may even subsidize rent for an equity stake.

There are disadvantages of using a coworking space. The noise and bustle can be distracting to those who prefer a quiet work environment. If your business is not related to the community, you may also feel out of place. It is less professional with minimal reception services and meeting facilities, so depending on your industry, you may not want to host important meetings there. If using a shared desk, there is no guarantee that there will be a desk available for you to work.

Check out our previous introduction, home office, and virtual office blogs, and stay tuned for future blogs on executive office suites, subleasing, traditional office, costs of the various office options.