Uber, Instagram, Spotify, and other megawatt businesses got their start at coworking spaces, and countless others have leveraged the benefits to further their company’s future. In 2017, approximately 542,000 people used these spaces to work, develop, innovate, and connect. By 2022, that has increased to over one million. Strong continued growth is projected. There must be a reason why! Despite the growing popularity and proven track record, however, there remain several myths related to coworking spaces. The sad fact is that this can keep businesses and individuals from taking a step that could propel them to greater success. Even to unimaginable success, as we’ve seen happen.
Information and education are the antidotes.
Busted: Five Myths Related to Coworking Spaces
Let’s look at some of the most common myths related to coworking spaces:
#1. Myth: Coworking Space Is a Glorified Coffee Shop
Busted: This one has a few layers:
- Coworking spaces must be loud, a bit chaotic, and very distracting. Some people picture an open space full of people shouting across the room, using their “outdoor voices,” bugging others with their phone calls, and filling you in on the latest gossip – whether you are part of the conversation or a few desks away.
A coworking space is most assuredly nothing like a coffee shop. They are designed to create an environment conducive to work. In fact, over half (54%) of users say they are more productive in a coworking space than in a traditional office. Yes, there will be some “noise” as people walk, conduct quiet conversations, say hi to their peers, etc..
But no one’s shouting that the barista got their triple whatever latte order wrong or shushing their crying children. If we had to compare it to anything, it’d be like a great library. It’s serene with some gentle ambient sounds. For many people, though, this is just enough to break the sense of isolation that can come from working from home. It can be nice to know people are around, even if you are working independently and silently!
- Coffee shops may have WiFi, but do they have copiers, printers, phones, comfortable furniture, optional private offices, conference rooms, shared receptionist, or available audio/visual equipment…? No, they do not. Access fully equipped professional spaces instead, and skip the line for your daily latte.
A coworking space is like a cafe only in that… They have coffee! Other than that, no comparison.
#2. Myth: Coworking Space Is WAY Beyond My Budget
Busted: Buying or leasing office space, especially in sought-after locations, is often nothing short of cost-prohibitive for many businesses, startups, solopreneurs, freelancers, and independent contractors. Not only do you have the monthly payment, but you also have to consider the cost of maintenance, insurance, taxes, management fees, upgrades, utilities, equipment, furniture, and more. With coworking space, all you are responsible for is the space you occupy. That’s it. Everything else – all that overhead – disappears.
Flexible space is inclusive, and all benefits and amenities are included in your total cost. You can more easily budget because you know exactly what you’re getting.
We also need to mention that parting ways with an owned or leased office space can be very difficult and very expensive. A lease, for example, will most likely be multi-year. What if you have to relocate? Expand? Contract? What if the space no longer meets your business and budget needs? You’re stuck. Not so with coworking spaces. They flex to meet you where you are now – and where you’ll be next month or next year.
#3. Myth: I’m Not a Freelancer, Solopreneur, or Startup: This Is Not for Me
Busted: Coworking space is, of course, ideal for those who find themselves in these categories, and we already mentioned companies that started in coworking spaces with little more than an innovative idea and perhaps a bit of seed money. But that said, some of the world’s biggest companies leverage these spaces. We’re talking McDonald’s, Samsung, and Microsoft here.
The reasons why large companies and even global corporations use coworking spaces are similar to those of individuals and startups. Their employees find the atmosphere conducive to work (and a lot cooler than toiling in the office!); they are more engaged, productive, and creative. This also allows big companies to accommodate remote and hybrid teams while maintaining a sense of cohesion.
Coworking spaces suit big, small, and startup companies; as well as freelancers and everything else along the spectrum.
#4. Myth: My Business’s Growth Will Be Limited
One of the biggest coworking myths is that they are great for individuals who are starting out – launching the next Facebook or Google – but once they hit it big, they outgrow these spaces.
This can be the case, of course. And more power to them! But many companies find that as they grow, their coworking “homes” grow right along with them. An individual may progress from needing a hot desk to requiring a private office. Or they may grow from a one-person operation into a small team into a big team into many smaller teams… Whatever the case, you have the flexibility to secure the space you need. As mentioned, even companies like Samsung and Microsoft haven’t outgrown coworking spaces. We’re confident that as meteoric as your success will be, you won’t either.
#5. Myth: Clients and Other Stakeholders Won’t Take Me Seriously
Busted: By now, we’d hope that the track record of coworking spaces would speak for itself. Mostly, it does. Make no mistake: these are highly professional (and most often beautiful and modern) spaces. If you were to buy or lease comparable space… well, it would cost a fortune or two.
When clients walk in, they do not think, “Ugh, this person/company can’t even afford a proper office,” or, “I’m not going to do business with someone who isn’t in a real office.” They really don’t. They’re thinking, “Wow, this is a great space,” or, “Wow… I wonder if I can get my team in here.” Or even, “Well… clearly they know how to manage their money to get the best results. I’m definitely going with them.”
Clients, customers, potential partners and employees, team members, and others will take you seriously. You have the know-how, the expertise, the product, the service, the solution they need – and you create and innovate in a welcoming, vibrant space. What could be better?
Don’t let myths related to coworking spaces hold you back. Learn more at Office Evolution.