Coworking, sometimes written as co-working, was first dubbed in 2005 by Brad Neuberg. He created a shared office environment and called it the San Francisco Coworking Space. Today, coworking has become a massive industry, prevalent in major cities across the world. A coworking space is a shared office space that is shared by individuals and/or businesses.
In today’s article, we’ll be going through exactly what a coworking space is. For example, the types of coworking spaces, common additions, average costs, pros and cons. Then, we’ll go through how to determine if a coworking space is right for you. Feel free to use the navigation below to click through to a certain section.
- What types of coworking spaces are there?
- What additions can you find in a coworking space?
- How can you choose a coworking space?
- What are the benefits of coworking?
- Is coworking right for you and your business?
- Quick answers to coworking FAQs
What types of coworking spaces are there?
Coworking spaces have evolved tremendously over the years and now encompasses all types of working situations. The most common forms of coworking are dedicated desks and hot-desking, as well as serviced offices and private offices. Nowadays, you’ll see virtual offices as well as warehousing spaces.
Many coworking spaces will combine multiple types of coworking. This allows for flexibility and allows the space to accommodate more types of people. You’ll find coworking spaces that look more like traditional offices, some that are focused on sustainability, others on design and creativity, and even ones for specific cultures and groups of people.
Coworking hot-desking and dedicated desks
For individuals or businesses with only a few people, hot-desks and dedicated desks might be viable coworking options. A hot-desk generally refers to a desk space that you can book for a certain amount of time, sometimes on a regular basis. Hot-desking is a communal option, meaning you might not get the same desk every day.
On the other hand, a dedicated desk is a space that you own entirely for the duration of time that you pay for it. This means you don’t have to pack up your things every day if you don’t want to. You can also personalise your desk and make it your own. These generally come with additional amenities.
Coworking serviced shared offices and private offices
Within most coworking spaces, you’ll find both shared offices and private offices. Shared offices allow for multiple individuals or businesses to use one office space. On the other hand, a private office space is used for one individual or one business. The better option usually depends on your budget and need for collaboration or privacy.
Coworking virtual offices
A virtual office is a bit different to the other options. Typically, it involves getting a physical address and phone number for your business despite not actually using the physical space. They’re great for those who work from home or travel regularly. Any additional features will depend on the company that you’re signing up for a virtual office with.
At Workit Spaces, our virtual office packages come with a premium Sydney business address, a landline number, mail forwarding, mail scanning, package drop off, and package collection. You also get free access to our coworking desks, meeting rooms and photography studio for a limited amount of time every month.
Coworking showrooms and warehouse storage
Coworking showrooms and warehouse storage spaces are a relatively new addition to the coworking industry. These spaces allow businesses to showcase or store their products. It’s ideal for small eCommerce businesses that need a dedicated space to manage their own inventory and fulfillment.
Workit Spaces offers Sydney’s first range of eCommerce hubs. We have a shipping station where you can drop off your packages. They’re picked up by all major couriers everyday. Plus, you get our discounted shipping rates! Our loading dock comes with a walkie stacker for loading and unloading pallets as well. Contact us to book a tour today!
What additions can you find in a coworking space?
Most coworking spaces come with a bunch of different rooms and additions on top of desks and offices. However, you should be aware that some coworking companies will charge you extra to use these additional spaces (yes, even the kitchen in some cases). Make sure you double check what’s included in your package before signing.
Common additions you’ll find in a coworking space include:
- Kitchens and bathrooms
- Meeting rooms
- Photography studios
- Media/podcast studios
- Lounge/rest/meditation areas
- Fitness areas
- Cafes, restaurants and bars
- Shipping stations
- Loading docks
- Allocated parking spaces
How can you choose a coworking space?
Obviously, everyone’s requirements for a coworking space will be different. When you’re comparing different options, there are a few key features to look at that might help in making a decision. These include the amenities on offer, the location, the culture and community, flexibility in contracts, and of course price.
For many people, location will be incredibly important. Proximity to the CBD will be important if you have a lot of employees or clients that need your business to be accessible. If you run an eCommerce business, you might be better off being a few kilometers out of the CBD in a more industrial setting.
Community and culture is another thing you should look for. Obviously, everyone’s needs will be different and you want to see if you’ll be a right fit for the coworking space. Some communities will be more close-knit and supportive whereas others will be more corporate. Similarly, some coworking spaces will have hundreds of members whereas others will only have dozens.
You’ll find that different coworking spaces will offer different types of contracts. Some will be on a more temporary basis whereas others will be more permanent basis. Unless you’re certain you’ll be staying in one space for an extended period, you’ll want to look for the option to scale up and down and to leave if necessary.
Nowadays, most coworking spaces are great in terms of amenities. Double check that everything you need for productivity is available. For example, high speed WiFi, 24/7 access to the building, reception support, ongoing maintenance, and free coffee and tea. Sometimes, you’ll have to pay extra to get access to amenities.
The cost for your coworking space will vary depending on the included additions as well as on the features we discussed above. Figure out what additions and features are priorities for you then find coworking spaces that can meet your needs. After that, you can compare prices and see where you can get the most bang for your buck.
What are the benefits of coworking?
There are many reasons why people love running their business from a coworking space compared to from home or in a traditional office. For one, you get to be in an ideal location without having to pay as much as you would if you got a space on your own. By sharing infrastructure with other businesses, you make the most of economies of scale.
Furthermore, there’s a major benefit to working with other people. You get the opportunity to network, learn new skills and potentially find new clients. Seeing other people around you working hard can drive productivity significantly. If you’re in a space that’s big on community, you’ll find a lot of support in all aspects of your business.
Running your business from a coworking space requires lower maintenance. You don’t have to worry about setting up the internet, managing plumbing issues or hiring cleaning services. In most cases, everything is included in your package and all you have to do is focus on running your core business.
Finally, coworking spaces offer more flexible options compared to traditional offices. Rather than being locked into a long term contract, you get to choose your plan based on how you want to use the space. At Workit Spaces, we make it easy for you to move into bigger or smaller spaces depending on how your business grows.
Is coworking right for you and your business?
Now for the big question, is coworking right for you and your business? Like with most things, the answer is, it depends. However, you’ll find all sorts of people who use and thrive in coworking spaces. For example, freelancers, SMEs, corporates, enterprises and non-profits can all find a space that works for them.
Different coworking spaces are ideal for different kinds of people. For example, Workit Spaces is best for freelancers, small businesses, and eCommerce businesses. We have multiple locations with unique cultures and we do our best to make sure everyone fits in. The Workit Spaces culture is fun, inclusive and pet-friendly.
If you’re open to sharing facilities with other businesses, a coworking space could definitely be ideal for you. For those that aren’t keen on interacting with too many people, there are private offices that give you peace and quiet, while still giving you cost savings. You can book a free tour with Workit Spaces or any other coworking space to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Quick answers to coworking FAQs
Now for some frequently asked questions about coworking spaces. How much should you be paying? Are there any downsides? How does coworking compare to other options? Here are some quick answers. Feel free to reach out to us any time if you have any further questions or want more detailed answers.
For a dedicated desk in Sydney, you’ll be looking at $400 to $1,000/month, averaging around $650/month. At Workit Spaces, our dedicated desks start at $95/week, working out to be around $410/month. Prices for serviced offices will go up based on size. Workit’s serviced offices start at $155/week or around $670/month. Showrooms and secure storage for eCommerce businesses at Workit Spaces start at $250/week or around $1085/month.
Unfortunately, some coworking spaces come with a bunch of additional fees on top of monthly rent. For example, printing fees, fees to use the kitchen, exit fees, postage collection fees, maintenance fees and much more. At Workit Spaces, everything is included in your costs. We’re open and transparent about our pricing.
Coworking spaces could have some disadvantages depending on your needs. For example, you won’t get privacy in shared spaces and when using shared facilities. Plus, you have less control over your space and have to rely on someone else for maintenance.
A coworking space is ideal if you’re looking to save money, network and have more flexibility in your arrangement. However, if you’re willing to pay more and are in a secure position, it could make more sense to opt for a traditional office space.
Coworking spaces give a proper office environment, allowing you to be more productive, have professional meetings and network. However, if you don’t need these bonuses, you’ll save money and time working from home.
Virtual offices are perfect for people who only need a physical space sometimes, or just need a physical address. Dedicated desks are worthwhile for people who work regularly and enjoy being surrounded by other people. For people or businesses that want their own space, a serviced office is the best option.
For eCommerce businesses with physical goods, having a showroom to present your goods or a small warehouse storage space is ideal. At Workit Spaces, we have a range of sizes ranging from 5m² to 500m². You can set up your desks in these spaces or use our dedicated desks or serviced offices as well.