And How to Know What Comes Next
This recent trend in office space provides companies with flexible and cost-efficient options that many start-ups and smaller businesses find attractive for their needs as they are still developing.
In fact, research suggests that by the end of this year (2017), there will be around 1.2 million people occupying co-working office spaces.
However, co-working is no longer a side dish but is soon looking to become a desirable main course, served up to a range of industries across the world. Even catering establishments have taken to renting out their dining spaces during closing times, to freelancers on the hunt for decent, Wi-Fi-equipped workspaces. Meanwhile, co-living is also gaining popularity, as a by-product of co-working, offering a commune-style living situation for like-minded businesspeople.
But when is it time to call it quits on co-working and start the search for your own offices? Does co-working always make more financial sense? How can you be sure that getting your own offices will be a better long-term option for your business? These are the kinds of questions entrepreneurs the world over are asking themselves when looking to the future goals and successes of their business.
If you find yourself in this predicament, here are some key points to consider when evaluating the long-term feasibility of renting a co-working space.
No Longer a Good Fit
One of the primary reasons for companies deciding on giving up their co-working space is quite simply because they grow out of it. Apart from the physical constraints of a limited co-working office, this also applies in the sense that your business could eventually evolve beyond the levels of your co-working peers; and being on unequal footing with everyone else could result in some unwanted hostility from the ways others come to view (and envy) you.
Moreover, anything over 6 employees warrants a space of your own as a co-working office may easily start to feel overcrowded.
As co-working spaces often tend to bring together people from similar industries, the networking opportunities that arise are invaluable to any start-up still finding its feet in the corporate jungle. However, there’s also the not-so-small matter of privacy that should be taken into consideration.
As open office layouts are the norm in coworking spaces, you need to constantly be aware of who might be eavesdropping on a confidential conversation or even have a clear view of your laptop or pc screen, where sensitive information might be displayed. This is an easy way for competitors to get wind of what you might be up to but could be easily avoided in a private office.
The idea of co-working generally elicits an easy-going atmosphere that’s synonymous with start-ups. While this may work in your favour in the early stages of your business, it can get old fast, when you find your company starts to grow and more seriousness sets in.
Establishing your own unique company culture is a must for any organisation that wants to withstand the test of time; while this culture may take elements from co-working beginnings, it’s also good to develop your own practices and image which sets you apart from the rest.
While co-working is usually a more affordable option for younger companies with few employees, there’s a point where you really have to sit down and do the math. At some point, after your business undergoes a significant amount of growth that leaves you miles from where you started, it’s worth evaluating whether a co-working space is still saving you money.
With more employees on staff, renting your own office space might be more feasible in the long-term.
Naturally, renting out your own private space doesn’t come without its challenges. Office rent is generally considered a business’ largest expense after employee wages. Moreover, it also signifies making a commitment to a long-term lease and hoping that your future success will make up for this investment.
However, most modern companies find that renting a commercial property that allows them space to grow and develop in the coming years presents an ideal solution. In this way, you’ll only be renting out the office space you currently require but get dibs on future space should you require it.