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Co-Working Myths Debunked

by | July 2024

Co-working Myth #1

Co-working spaces are only until your business grows (up) into a solo office space

This was never true but even more so post-pandemic. Actually, the trend is the opposite. A realisation that you don’t actually need bricks and mortar of your own and a hybrid/flexible approach saves money, saves time (none of the compliance, maintenance etc) and being in a shared environment with lots of other interesting people. fosters more productivity and creativity

We have lots of companies working out of Collabor8te who have taken this approach. Their teams work from home, and near to home. The businesses don’t need their people to commute to the head office every day or even every week and they realise that this means a better work/life balance.

%

of SMEs worldwide use a co-shared workspace

Source: Teamstage

Co-working Myth #2

‘Proper’ Businesses don’t work from co-working spaces

When I started my first business around 15 years ago, there was a feeling that unless you were trading from your own premises, you weren’t really a ‘proper’ business.

Now, it’s a point of pride for many companies who work out of co-working spaces and for good reason!

They’re saving a lot of money on an unnecessary (and often half-empty) resource, so there’s more for the bottom line

Co-working spaces are cool and a great place for teams to work, with lots of extra benefits and events. We often hear our members’ visitors saying what a great place it is, how nice etc…

They’re playing their part in a more sustainable world, using only what they need, when they need it and no more

Rather than just one choice of space, as you usually have in your own office, at Collabor8te, there’s lots of options of places to work and meet, from phone booths for your calls, to large meeting rooms to impress your clients so more for their money, not less

If you’re curious about co-working but have never tried it, get in touch for a tour or free day trial, we’d love to show you around!

%

of people in the UK want to work flexibly

%

of co-workers said that, their networks have expanded significantly

%

60% of co-workers claim they are more relaxed when they get home

Source: Gov.uk and Teamstage

people at a board

Co-working Myth #3

Co-working spaces are noisy and distracting

-A concern that many people have about working in a co-working space is that it will be noisy.  There will be too many distractions and therefore hard to get work done.  

I get it. When you’ve been working from home for a long time (which can have its own distractions like children, pets, domestic tasks and the fridge), suddenly sharing your spaces with a bunch of strangers, whose behaviour you can’t control, could feel daunting. 

One of the top concern when thinking about using a co-working space is fear of distractions and noise. Other concerns are a lack of privacy, insufficient equipment for work-related tasks and an inability to personalise your own workspace as you might do at home. 

Of course I can’t speak for all co-working spaces, only our own and other independent ones I have visited, such as The Residence Coworking, Dragon Coworking and FreedomWorks. Here’s what we all have in common:

Policies on noise and calls

At Collabor8te, we have a ‘call etiquette’, where we ask that anyone having a long Zoom call, presenting or a batch of back-to-back calls to make, they book a phone booth. Short calls and video meetings where you’re not talking at the time, are absolutely fine. We don’t want a library after all! It is important though that the background chat you might get in a co-working space is actually that…background. 

Disruptive People

It’s a common misconception that co-working spaces will be full of people ready to distract you from your work and encroach on your space. 

%

of co-workers say they are more motivated when working in a co-working space

Source: Ones

In my experience, the opposite is true. Most members in a co-working space are respectful and very mindful of doing that.  

And if you come to a shared space, particularly one like ours where it’s only open workspaces and meeting rooms but don’t want to share your space, you’re in the wrong place :-)

One of the huge benefits of being at a co-working space is the chance to be social, at the coffee machine, get involved in events etc. Yes, it might take a little adapting from having all control by yourself in your own home, but worth it to NOT be by yourself, in your own home, far too much.

Phone Booths

Having spaces specifically designed for calls, and being able to book them for scheduled meetings, is more important now than it has ever been. With the increase in remote working, many of our members have colleagues across the globe, so they can book the timeslot and know they have the privacy of that space when needed. 

 

%

of co-workers find their productivity increased after joining a co-working space

%

of co-workers claim that working in a co-working environment greatly improves their ability to concentrate

Source: Ones and Teamstage

A lot of co-working spaces including Collabor8te offers a free trial day. So if you’d like to see for yourself, book one. You’ll only know if it’s for you (or not), by giving it a try.

people at a desk

Co-working Myth #4

Co-working is more expensive than a regular office

If you’re shopping around for an office, the ‘per square foot’ can definitely make the traditional office lease model seem like the better option at first glance. But there’s a lot more to consider than that before making your decision between your own office and co-working. 

Empty versus Fully Equipped

A traditional office lease usually consists of the rental and that’s it. Everything else is extra spend. Think insurance, business rates (there is some business rates relief for smaller and cheaper offices), water, utilities, furniture, cleaning and that’s before you start adding 

maintenance and compliance requirements such as fire safety, pat testing and health and safety. 

Co-working spaces on the other hand, wrap all of these costs into a monthly membership fee so you don’t have to worry about any of it and because you’re buying into a shared office space, you’re effectively paying only part of the overheads, not all of them!

Long term Commitment versus No commitment 

When signing up for an office lease, the usual terms start from 5 years with a 3 year break so while your monthly rent might seem fine for your circumstances at the start, it could prove very expensive if you outgrow the space before the end of the term and you need to also lease a bigger space or you find that the space isn’t used as much as expected and it empty a lot of the time. 

Choosing to have your team work out of a co-working space means no or low commitment,with most operating on a monthly rolling basis and you can pay for exactly what you need, when you need it. Buy more access for busier times of the year, less when it’s quieter and add or subtract memberships as your team size changes.

Central Location versus Out of Town Location 

There’s no doubt that a city centre office offers advantages when it comes to the commute. Public transport is easier, there are more choices of places for lunch, gyms and stuff to do after work. This also means a bigger price tag on commercial leases, meaning many companies opt for office space on the outskirts of town instead. 

Median office rate per person (£)

Median co-working desk rate (£)

Co-working spaces are often based in very desirable central locations, and as it’s usual nowadays to have your people spread far and wide, this makes for a very convenient meeting point for teams to come together to work, but not with the overheads because you’re not paying them. 

Hosted versus Go it alone

A new word has been introduced to the co-working world recently, ‘hotelification’ and I feel like that’s quite appropriate. Hospitality is a core element of what you get when you join a co-working space, from having a front-of-house-team to meet and greet your guests to a range of different meeting spaces to suit all occasions, constantly being prepared for new arrivals. 

Perhaps it’s not-so-obvious a difference between having your own office space and co-working perhaps but still an important one.  A member of staff you don’t need to pay for, and a great impression for your customers when they come to visit. Plus in some spaces, like Collabor8te, you don’t even have to make the coffee or to do the washing up!

woman surprised

Bonus Myth #5

Co-working vs Coworking

ingThis one is our ever-favourite! It is always only coworking. Read why it is so here.

So why did we put co-working everywhere in the article and why other coworking spaces are using hyphens? SEO. Eventought it is breaking our heart, everytime we put the extra character in, until people start search for coworking spaces instead of co-working, we need to use the hyphen or we might be sitting in our great coworking space by ourselves.

Do you have any questions about co-working? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

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