It wasn’t that long ago that working from home was reserved for writers, seamstresses, carpenters — anyone who didn’t require a lot of equipment or wasn’t required to participate in a lot of meetings or interoffice communication.
High-speed internet has totally changed the work world and, with more and more people working remotely, home offices and coworking spaces have become increasingly popular and necessary. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are using coworking spaces too, so there is an opportunity for everyone. But which should you choose? Since there are pros and cons to both, we’ll explore the reasons you might choose a coworking space versus set up a home office.
To co-work or not to co-work…
Pro: Fully set up with high-speed internet, desks, meeting rooms, and all the infrastructure you need.
Instead of worrying about remodeling the spare bedroom, you can walk into a ready-made office. Most coworking spaces offer a range of setups from common space rooms with open-air tables to private offices and conference rooms. Every workspace is set up with high-speed internet, so no more glitchy video calls when your internet gets spotty. Desks, office chairs, you don’t have to worry about buying any of them.
Setting up a home office to be conducive to productivity can be quite an endeavor. Buying printers or copiers, setting up stable internet, finding a blank wall for video conferencing, even remodeling or painting your spare room — it all takes time, planning, and money.
Con: Renting space can get costly.
Now keep in mind all the money you aren’t dishing out to lease an office space solely for your business… but let’s be honest, you’re still paying your rental fee. Memberships are usually based on how many days per month you want access to space, whether you want a dedicated desk or office, and what amenities you want to access. A seat at the community table in Seattle will run you somewhere around $175, while a dedicated office will be $700 and up. Some coworking spaces offer single day passes or will rent the conference rooms for meetings — it just depends on your local space.
If you’re just starting up and running on a tight budget, the price tag might be enough to make a home office a better option. You can set up your laptop and go minimalist, at least for a little while.
Pro: Schedule meetings with prospective clients or colleagues in a professional space outside your home.
Sometimes it’s sweet to have your clients meet your dogs and come to your home office. But sometimes it’s just plain not an option – especially if you share your home office with your spouse. When you have space at a coworking collaborative, you can book a small meeting room for the time of your meeting to have privacy, access to a projector for making presentations, and often even complimentary coffee and tea. When you need to impress someone with your professionalism, a coworking space takes the cake.
Con: You can’t spread your papers or projects all over the place, listen to loud music, or use power tools.
Among other things. If your style of creativity requires pinning up endless idea boards, blasting Aerosmith, or using specialized equipment, co-working spaces — at least those geared towards office-style work — aren’t going to cut it. There are many varieties of community spaces geared towards builders or other creatives though, so check what’s available in your area. But you may be best suited by setting up your very own home studio/office space with speakers, craft tables, and all the tools you need.
Ready to make the transition? Check out our tips for how to pack your home office and get ready to reclaim that spare room. What will you do with all that free space?