coworkers in an office

When you’re choosing a physical location for your business, you can either go with a coworking spaces or a traditional office. Each has its pros and cons, but the right choice depends on the type of business you have, the goal for production and how you want your business to be perceived by clients.

If you’re trying to decide between a coworking space and a traditional office space for your business, here’s what you need to know.

Coworking space

Coworking spaces often have an open-concept layout and are shared with anyone who is a member of the space. In order to maintain an environment of collaboration and communication, the spaces are typically filled with comfortable furniture, shared technology like printers and Wi-Fi, and even free coffee.

Pros of coworking spaces:

  • Varied workspace. Coworking spaces allow individuals to move around within the area.
  • Collaboration and networking opportunities. There are many opportunities to meet individuals who you may not have met otherwise.
  • No miscellaneous expenses. Costs like utilities, renovations and furniture are all included in your fee. There are no high up-front costs or long-term commitments. You can pay month-to-month, or choose a different plan depending on the space you choose.
  • Built-in management. You don’t need to worry about office management.

Cons of coworking spaces:

  • There are less expensive options. While coworking spaces tend to be more affordable than traditional offices, they are still more expensive than working at home or a coffee shop.
  • Crowded areas. There are tons of people around, which could be distracting.
  • Lack of personal branding. The space might not be the best place to hold a meeting with clients if you want to present a professional branded image.
  • Unavailable shared spaces. You are sharing resources and meeting rooms with other co-working members, so you might not have those assets available whenever you need them.

[Read more: How to Choose a Coworking Space]

If your business is fairly small, or you are working alone, you may find coworking spaces to be more beneficial.

Traditional office space

Built for productivity and focus, traditional office spaces are a private headquarters for your company. The layout may be open like a coworking space, but you also have the option to divide it up into cubicles or offices for individuals. There are designated conference rooms for group meetings, and you have complete control over your technology and other resources.

Pros of traditional offices:

  • Privacy. Office spaces and meeting rooms offer quiet, professional environments with fewer distractions and scheduling conflicts.
  • Individual production. Rather than the collaboration and networking that happens in coworking spaces, traditional offices encourage individual work.
  • Professional client-facing environment. Confidentiality and privacy are maintained for clients.
  • Personal branding. The entire office space encapsulates your brand.

Cons of traditional offices:

  • Less networking opportunities. There are fewer opportunities to network with individuals outside your industry.
  • Separation. Cubicles/individual offices create barriers between employees, essentially discouraging collaboration and communication between them.
  • Office management tasks. Running and managing an office may take away focus from projects.
  • Long-term commitment. Traditional offices often come with long-term leases.

[Read more: Tips for Finding a New Office Space]

Which is best for you?

If your business is fairly small, or you are working alone, you may find coworking spaces to be more beneficial. These spaces are a great way to save money and increase productivity. If you would like to foster a collaborative, creative team, coworking spaces are the best choice. There are tons of opportunities for networking, collaborating across industries and communicating between teams.

A business that has a larger team or that meets with clients quite frequently may view a private office space as the most optimal decision. Traditional office spaces are less distracting, create a sense of privacy and emphasize individual productivity. Office spaces are great for businesses that require individuals to work on different tasks at different times. The office will provide the spaces they need to complete work and then come together to share what they’ve been working on.

Whether you are interested in renting a coworking space or buying/leasing an office, there are several things to consider before making a decision. You should think about how you want to present your business to prospective clients, how your employees will work best and be most productive, and which option will be most affordable.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published November 18, 2019