Collaboration or Distraction: Pros and Cons of Coworking

Collaboration or Distraction: Pros and Cons of Coworking

Coworking has become a true buzzword over the past few years since the term was coined in 2005 by Brad Neuberg, the originator of the co-working space. Coworking can be defined as any office or work environment that is shared by various employees. Since its inception in 2005, studies show that there are now more than 18,000 coworking spaces worldwide.

In the U.S., California tops the charts with the most coworking spaces in the nation. So, what is it about coworking spaces that make them popular with so many? If the concept is so great, why are many still looking for traditional office space?

It’s helpful to weigh the pros and cons of coworking when deciding on your own office space. Let’s take a look.


The Pros

Move-In Ready

Who’s the internet provider? Do we need to spray for termites? When do we need to get the power switched over? These questions are all taken care of with a coworking space. No printers to set up and no furniture to move. Some locations even handle mail or provide a receptionist. This allows you to focus on the reason you’re there-getting to work!


Expand Your Network
Coworking allows you to meet new people from many walks of life. Though most tenants will be freelancers or entrepreneurs, they can be from various industries. This provides an opportunity to create invaluable connections and expand both your business and personal network.



Depending on your profession, a variety of amenities may assist you in completing daily tasks. Things such as included utilities, fax machines, copiers, Wi-Fi, and coffee machines are normally included in a coworking space. Not having to purchase these items for your home or private office allows for immediate cost savings. Additionally, amenities such as conference or meeting rooms are also normally available for use which can give a professional feel for that next big client meeting.


Productive Environment

Let’s be honest-not everyone can “work from home” and actually get work done. The temptation of snacks, tv, aimlessly scrolling social media, staying in bed, or doing literally anything else can be huge roadblocks to productivity. Deep cleaning your bathroom becomes a much more appealing proposition when faced with a mountain of work. Being in a coworking space around other productive individuals can help you stay focused (and you also don’t have to clean the bathrooms!).


The Cons


Although usually less than renting traditional office space, coworking spaces average at about $387 per month for a dedicated desk and $195 for a hot desk (not assigned seating). Prices fluctuate depending on location, but it is still a monthly expense to account for.


Less Privacy

This is an obvious drawback, but most coworking spaces have open layouts. Enclosed office options do exist, but you’re still dealing with decreased privacy. Additionally, not everyone out there has the same definition of personal space and appropriate noise levels. We’ve all been held captive by the individual on the phone negotiating dinner plans at decibel levels equal to a leaf blower.



Sure, being around others can increase productivity, networking options, and a sense of community, but it can also be a source of distraction. The guy debating Chinese or Italian for dinner? You guessed it-still hasn’t decided. If you’re normally distracted by nearby activity, coworking may not be the best option for you.



Unless you are lucky enough to have a coworking option across the street from your house, you will likely have to commute daily. This can add extra transportation expenses which may not be tax-deductible, not to mention wear and tear on your vehicle.


The Result

As you can see, there are several factors to evaluate when deciding if a coworking space is right for you. Feeling stuck or overwhelmed with options? You can always turn to a real estate professional like us at Elifin Realty to get objective, knowledgeable insight on whether coworking is right for you.


Oh, and if you’ve made it this far then you’re dying to know. He’s settled on pizza for dinner and is calling to order it now.



George Bonvillain, Office Specialist
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