The trend of coworking spaces is growing every year, and many solopreneurs and small startups are happy to finally have a space to call their own without paying for their own commercial space. Coworking spaces offer multiple benefits, but they have a few drawbacks too. Let’s compare the pros and cons.
Coworking Isn’t Free
Even though you’ll save money by coworking vs. renting out a whole building, coworking still isn’t free. The biggest perk to a home office is that you are already paying for the space, so working from home is essentially free (and you can even deduct some of it on your taxes!)
Coworking prices can vary based on location, but you still have to decide if it is worth the price. Are you bringing enough income in to rent a desk or office? Do you need the room to grow? Do you have a team?
All of these questions will determine whether coworking is a better option for you. From a money (and money saving) perspective, a home office could win hands down, but that’s only if you need a completely free option. If you’re looking for a great option in Silicon Valley, try Bootup. It’s where our office is located and we love it.
A Home Office Allows For Distractions
While a coworking space may set you back a little money each month, they are designed to make you more productive. A coworking space environment allows entrepreneurs the freedom to move around, but it also gives them the opportunity to have control over their work.
In a home office, many entrepreneurs get sidetracked by housework, kids, their pets, or a multitude of other distractions. While you may be thinking that you could always close the door to your home office, it’s a lot easier said than done. With a coworking space, you are there to work, and there are a lot less distractions to make sure you stay on track.
People who work from home normally list no commute as one of their favorite perks. You don’t have to wake up early, sit in traffic, deal with crazy drivers, or take detours if you hit construction. When you have a coworking space, you’ll need to get up and get out of the house, possibly during peak traffic times.
The good thing is that there are ways around commuting when choosing a coworking space. You can leave earlier or later to keep from being stuck in traffic, and you could always cut your trip short if you need to. You could also find a coworking space closer to you (if possible) and walk or bike there instead of drive. While commuting may not be a con for you, it’s still worth mentioning.
Networking Is Easier When Coworking
Are you an extrovert? Do you run a service based business? If you answered yes to either of those questions, a coworking space may be a better option for you. Working from home certainly has its perks, but networking isn’t one of them. In fact, many experts say that working from home increases feelings of isolation and loneliness.
With coworking, you can attend events for entrepreneurs, work near people who understand you, and reach out and network if you are feeling a little lonely. With coworking, you can still work alone but not be alone. There’s always someone around to connect with.
Networking is great, but every entrepreneur needs the time and privacy to collect their thoughts and catch up on work. In a home office, this is fairly easy. You can shut the door, throw in some headphones, and just work. But in a coworking space, you may be interrupted by other entrepreneurs walking in front or behind you or people wanting to use your space because they like the seating.
While you may not need CIA level privacy, it’s still important! You could bypass this con by renting a private office, but this is typically a costlier option.
If you have a business that requires you to meet regularly with clients, you could save yourself some headache and hassle and rent a coworking space. While coffee shops are nice for meetings, they can get crowded and loud, and you may not want to invite people into your home to conduct business.
A coworking space gives you the space to meet with clients, a conference or meeting room if you need it, and may offer you free coffee for you and your guests. Not only will this help you look more professional, but you won’t even have to worry about cleaning up the place before your clients arrive!
Another perk to having a coworking space for meetings is that you’ll most likely have more tools at your disposal. Most coworking spaces offer whiteboards, projectors, and even printing services.
The Final Verdict
To be honest, there is no right answer. I personally use both. I just started renting my first office space, but I also have a home office that I use when I want to make a phone call or am feeling like I really need a quiet space to concentrate.
I like my coworking space because it’s nice to speak to other people like I used to in a traditional job, except it’s much better because I don’t have to sit in meetings with them. I also like my home office because it’s my own cozy space with my family photos, all my files, and more.
So, if you are okay with distractions, a comfy space, and the freedom to walk around in your pjs, a home office may be better for you. If you like the option of networking and having meeting spaces, plus the ability to grow, a co-working space is the perfect option for you. In reality, there is no one size fits all when deciding how to work as an entrepreneur.
The greatest thing about being an entrepreneur is that you can choose what you do and how you do it. You could always try both working from home and co-working and see what option fits you best. And if you need to change some things around? That’s always an option too.
Do you prefer a coworking space or a home office?