There are plenty of decisions that need to be made when your business is getting off the ground. Not the least of these is choosing the optimal location in which to house your operations. In the earliest days, you may have ran the show out of your home, and that may have been perfectly adequate. Sooner or later, however, you are going to need more people on board, and more space will be a requirement. Here are some of the factors to consider as you choose between a co-working space and renting a dedicated office:
Commercial real estate is not cheap, and the Bay Area is not exactly what you’d call the low rent district. With the skyrocketing cost of renting an office, co-working spaces provide a much more affordable option. You can also typically use these spaces without signing a long-term lease. It’s always difficult for a business getting off the ground to make an extended commitment, since it’s difficult or impossible to predict where your company will be in terms of volume of work and size of staff in a year or even a few months. Monthly or even daily rates make a lot more sense at this point in your company’s development than a 5-year lease.
Most co-working spaces will offer a variety of standard amenities as a part of their package. You can expect that these will include high speed internet connectivity, printers, fax machines, and more, including coffee bars. While not all of these carry huge costs, they are certainly capital expenses that you don’t need to invest in when there’s another option available.
Renting an office space is going to come out on top in this category. You won’t necessarily have rooms or even desks that are “your own” in a co-working space. If you absolutely need to keep your work under lock and key, away from any prying eyes, you’ll be better off with renting your own space.
Unlike your own office space, in which you make the rules and policies, a shared co-working space is likely to be a diverse collection of individuals, all “doing their own thing”. That might mean web surfing or telling jokes all day, which may not promote the type of work environment that you’re trying to foster amongst your staff. Of course, this is not exactly a non-issue even in your own space, what with employees having unrestricted internet access at their desks almost everywhere these days.
- Networking opportunities
I’m not saying that it’s your responsibility to provide a social life for your employees. But working in your own dedicated space, especially when there are only a handful of staff members, can sometimes be a pretty isolating experience. That environment may leave little opportunity to interact with other professionals. Contrast this with co-working spaces, in which you’re likely to be surrounded by talented individuals. If questions or issues emerge in the course of your work, or if you need additional talent, there’s a good chance that there’s someone right there who has what you’re looking for.
While using co-working space has its pros and cons when compared to renting office space, there are certainly enough potential benefits to make it worth considering before you sign a multi-year lease on your own office. If we’ve piqued your interest, why not contact us at 580 Executive Center and see if our co-working spaces are right for your business.