14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space

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For the past two years I’ve heard loud and clear (direct from Conjunctured members) why coworking is the way to go for them. We’ve been open for a little more than two years now and I’ve spoken with just about everyone that has walked in the front door. Members, visitors, and I have discussed all kinds of things. Specific to coworking, we’ve talked about what they’re looking for in an office, complaints about their previous setup, their experience working from home, the positives of being in a coworking environment, the negatives of being in a normal office, etc.

I decided I would share some of these things I’ve learned in a top list of sorts for coworking. I tried to make it general and not super specific to how Conjunctured does coworking. Every coworking space does things a little bit different, so I tried to focus on the commonalities. This list will be good for those of you out there that are considering coworking, but you’re just not sure if it’s really the right solution for you. Or perhaps you’re trying to convince a friend (or spouse!) of yours they need to get the heck outta the house! Feel free to send them this list to nudge them along and direct them to the nearest coworking space in their city or neighborhood. There’s coworking locations all over the globe, with a coworking space in pretty much every major USA city (see graphic below). No excuses!

Screen shot 2010 10 17 at 11.25.19 PM 14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space

So, without further adieu…14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space

  1. No lease! Coworking is month-to-month.

    Most commercial office spaces require you to sign at least a one year lease and many times even longer. Commitment issues? Flexibility is the name of the game in the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship.

  2. Working alone sucks: the need for social interaction.

    In your own private office, yes, you can shut the door and concentrate. But the lack of human interaction for some is very difficult. After all, human beings are naturally social creatures. Simply being in a coworking spaces will give you that social element without you even having to try.

  3. Office spaces are expensive! Coworking grants you low startup costs and low overhead

    As much as people join coworking spaces for social reasons, it is hard to deny the logical reasoning. Moving into your own private office costs money. Furniture, equipment, monthly utilities, internet access, fridge (and everything to stock it with) —- all of it costs money! Wouldn’t you rather spend the money investing in your company and simply borrow all the office stuff? Coworking gives you that option.

  4. A unique place to meet clients.

    Yes, a private office gives you the opportunity to do this too. Many times, though, coworkers enjoy bringing clients by and sharing what an innovative workspace they work in. Choosing to headquarter your company in a coworking space shows your client you’re on the edge of innovation and apart of the small business community in your local city.

  5. Make professional contacts.

    There’s something about coworking spaces that attract specialists in their industries. As a result, working in a coworking space rather than a private office space allows you to weed through the mediocre professionals and jump straight to the best. It’s very common for people to hire each other as contractors, establish mutually beneficial partnerships between member companies in related fields, and even to start up companies together. It happens more often than you think.

  6. Make friends.

    There’s something about being around the same people every day that allows you to slowly get to know one another. Friendship is pretty hard to guarantee, but it’s pretty easy to make a friend or ten when you work in a coworking space. It’s very common for people to go to lunch together, grab drinks after, do weekend trip together, etc.

  7. Receive pro-bono consulting.

    Need an opinion on your company’s new logo? How about you lean over to the graphic designer next to you and get his quick opinion. Need feedback on your new headline for your soon-to-be-submitted advertisement? Ask the copywriter down the hall to give it a quick read. The scenarios are endless. Certainly, you don’t want to bug someone and get free advice all the time. The law of reciprocation definitely holds true in a coworking space. With a spirit of giving, often you get much more in return.

  8. Learn about and become a part of the local entrepreneur, social media, tech community.

    Many coworking spaces host events for local meetups and get togethers. And if they don’t, many times the members are attending them, so all you have to do is keep your ears open and you’ll naturally learn the inside scoop on the important events to attend.

  9. Share important contacts

    Coworking is a perfect example of the “six degrees of separation” philosophy. Example: At Conjunctured, we share media contacts we have good relationships with so that when one member needs to get some press attention it’s just a matter of an introduction.

  10. Build yours and your company’s brand and reputation.

    Often times coworking spaces will promote their members to the local community. Conjunctured has a specialists page where we promote freelancers, a members directory, and also have a weekly featured member that is spotlighted on the main page.

  11. Have a cool place to host company events, workshops, parties

    Often times if you were to get a private office, it wouldn’t be as spacious as a coworking space. Most coworking spaces allow their members to utilize the space however they want as if it were their own. At Conjunctured we’ve hosted company launch parties, a book release party, organization meetings, workshops and more. Members have a free for all and genuinely feel like it is their office.

  12. Be more productive.

    It seems counterintuitive that being around other people would cause you to be more productive, doesn’t it? There’s this interesting phenomenon coworking seems to have discover: social pressure. There’s something to be said for being surrounded by others who are working hard, staying focused, and making big things happen. There’s something about overhearing your coworking neighbor close a big deal on the phone that’ll get you motivated to make big things happen too! It’s hard to daydream and stare off into space too much when you’re around others.

  13. Experience a pet-friendly work environment

    Many coworking spaces allow pets. Animals bring a new dynamic to the workplace. There’s something about having pets around that keeps things fresh and fun. See our blog post: Coworking’s Best Friend.

  14. Learning little things you wouldn’t expect.

    Many coworkers at Conjunctured have learned to make a barista quality latte on our commercial quality espresso machine. It’s a fun talent that many enjoy sharing with others. No doubt there have been a few that have brushed up on their chess skills and their guitar skills at Conjunctured, as they’re both just there, waiting to be played. We even had one member start trying the crossfit workout program after another member spoke so highly of it. And we have shared library where members bring in books that were integral to their professional and personal growth. With a spirit of sharing and community, learning comes naturally.

I hope this list was helpful to you! If you can think of more ideas I forgot on why joining a coworking space rocks, then by all means comment below!

22 Comments

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  • Reply

    AltamontCowork

    7 months ago

    One thing I tell folks out here in Tracy, CA is that if they travel, they can work at a coworking location in the city they travel to, most likely, for free. Ask a local office space provider if they can offer that ! :-) One of our members gives seminars, and has visited a few locations already.

    • Reply

      David H Walker

      7 months ago

      You’re exactly right. Most coworking spaces participate in the Coworking Visa program, so that is a big benefit for sure! Hello to you in sunny california

  • Reply

    Thilo

    7 months ago

    Good and true post, but I just read 13. bullets. Well done anyway, also like the new page design. Cheers from Berlin.

    • Reply

      David H Walker

      7 months ago

      thanks for chiming in Thilo! Glad you like the new redesign. As for the 13 bullets…there are 14…unless i’m going crazy.

      • Reply

        Thilo

        7 months ago

        hmm the list here ends at number 13.

  • Reply

    Rebecca Brian

    7 months ago

    David, this is excellent, and the exact benefits we see at NextSpace (except we aren’t allowed to have pets. The broker told us we could, bizarrely enough, have up to 100 pounds of pet, but the building owner nixed it in our contract). Anyway, keep up the good work, and please come visit if you are ever in San Francisco.

    • Reply

      David H Walker

      7 months ago

      Thanks!! Great to hear from you, Rebecca! FYI I’ve heard excellent things about NextSpace—you all have a very positive reputation. Will def drop by next time I’m in SF. Same goes to you for your next Austin visit.

  • Reply

    Jenn

    7 months ago

    Great article, but I’m so distressed that Saint Louis Coworking isn’t a pin on your screenshot! Looks like you pulled that straight from Google, may I ask what search terms you used? I know we can fill that map in a LOT more!

  • Reply

    Pascale

    7 months ago

    thank you David ! You know, the experience of american coworking space inspire us in France ;-)
    We are in late but France need too coworking space !!!
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pour-la-creation-dun-espace-Co-Working-a-Lyon/155020411196070

    • Reply

      David H Walker

      6 months ago

      niiiice! so happy to know coworking is kick’n it French style too :)

  • Reply

    Ex

    6 months ago

    I love this article. I’m starting a co working space in Canada, and would love to be able to share some of these ideas with my community to help them understand why coworking is about the people, not the space.

    • Reply

      David H Walker

      6 months ago

      awesome! good luck with your space and spreading the good word!

    • Reply

      David H Walker

      6 months ago

      Awesome! Good luck, please spread the good word of coworking!

  • Reply

    Ute Piazza

    6 months ago

    Hey there, I am curious about if I can use this article in one of my blogs if I link back to you? Thanks!

  • Reply

    John

    20 weeks ago

    “It seems counterintuitive that being around other people would cause you to be more productive, doesn’t it?”

    It doesn’t sound counterintuitive, but it does sound counter to all the studies that I’ve read on the subject.

    “It’s hard to daydream and stare off into space too much when you’re around others.”

    On the contrary, it’s *easier* to daydream when around others. When there’s noise and interruptions, I know I’m not going to be able to tackle any really big problems, so I don’t even try.

  • Reply

    Moneeb Ahmed

    7 weeks ago

    I have started Co-working space in Pakistan. It is a new trend here in Pakistan and I am proud that, I have set this trend up. The results are astonishing and we are working well. This article helps me a lot to spread awareness about co working space among free lancers, start-ups and small businesses.

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