What’s All the Fuss About Co-Working Spaces?

Co-working spaces seem to have all the things you liked most about working with others without any of the annoying drawbacks. It’s no surprise that collaborative work spaces keep sprouting up in urban cities across America�South Florida among them!

Co-Working spaces or “incubators” are increasingly more common because of the many benefits associated with sharing an office environment — the biggest of course being the money you save. Communal work spaces are simply more affordable than traditional office spaces. Aside from the cost benefit, co-working spaces have also been shown to increase creativity, networking and collaboration with others. While the benefits of communal work spaces are many, there are a few drawbacks as well.

Here’s a look at the PROS AND CONS of office sharing and what to consider before you make your decision.

 

THE PROS:

Collaboration: Businesses in co-working spaces are incredibly diverse, ranging from the startup, freelancer, and artist to the small business and large multinational. They typically all have this in common: they want to learn from other entrepreneurs, and grow their business. Collaboration is a natural by product when you so much entrepreneurial spirit in one space. It’s the perfect environment for new partnerships, acquisitions, built in beta testers and other collaborative efforts to occur. 

Affordability: The most obvious advantage to co-working spaces is the cost. Office sharing generally costs substantially less than renting a traditional office space and makes more economic sense if you are a start-up with a small budget, or a freelancer just starting out. Aside from the money you’ll save, you won’t be forced to sign a long lease — which provides you with more freedom and flexibility.

Amenities: Co-working spaces give you access to amenities that you may not otherwise be able to afford if you are leasing a private office. While Wi-Fi and access to conference rooms are fairly typical, other more luxurious amenities like gyms and gourmet cafeterias are benefits afforded to you by sharing a work space with others.

Educational programming: Educational programming is another great benefit offered by some co-working spaces. Many co-working spaces provide educational seminars and lectures that appeal to their members or customers. Depending on the particular industry or niche, a workspace may host seminars for entrepreneurs or lectures featuring local business leaders. Offering these types of services helps foster innovation, creativity and social interaction within the work space and beyond to the broader community.

Networking: This one is a no-brainer. We all know that the best way to increase your business opportunities and revenue is by interacting with others and forming strong relationships. Networking is not only a built-in feature of this set up but also a huge benefit. Communal work environments naturally lend themselves to more interaction and socialization which in turn leads to effortless networking.

THE CONS:

Distractions: A co-working space should increase your productivity not slow you down but distractions are a real problem for some sharing a work environment. The socializing aspect of co-working spaces can work for or against you depending on your personality and the manner in which you work. If you are the type that is easily distracted, a co-working space may not be for you. If background noise or the sound of people moving about will divert you from getting your work done, it may be best to return to the home office.

Conflicts and Competition: It is human nature and thus possible that when a cluster of people start sharing a communal work space, conflicts will break out. Ideally, your co-working environment should generate a lot of positivity and productivity but that is not always the case. Disputes break out in all kinds of environments for all sorts of reasons and co-working spaces are no exception. For instance, if you find yourself in direct competition with those in close proximity to you – a conflict could arise. Staying calm and remaining courteous to those around you can usually resolve any dispute. Still, co-working spaces can be tricky for some and your success within them is a hard thing to predict. The only way to know for sure is to give it a shot.

Cost: Although co-working spaces are generally more affordable than private spaces, some co-working spaces can still be pretty steep. The range is generally between $300-$600/month but sometimes they can run as high as $900/month. For some, the cost is beyond their budget– especially for entrepreneurs just starting out. Make sure to inquire about all the monthly costs and expenses before signing up for a spot.

A communal work environment – at its most optimal – is a place where personal creativity and group collaboration can soar to great heights. Sharing a work space with other likeminded individuals can add tremendous value to you and your growing business. However, a busy, high energy work environment is not ideal for everyone. Considering the various pros and cons before taking the leap is important�as is finding the right co-working environment that will gel with your personal work style.

Here in South Florida, there are a wide variety of spaces available. Here are a few:

“LAB Miami – An incubator by LAB Miami and the Knight Foundation – https://thelabmiami.com/
“Pipeline” A high-design shared workplace in Miami – https://www.pipelinebrickell.com/
“Venture Hive – An incubator in Miami – www.venturehive.com
WeWork – Coming soon to Lincoln Rd with locations in other metro cities throughout the US – https://www.wework.com/locations/miami/lincoln-road
Axis Space – A co-working space on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale – https://axisspace.com
Startup Delray – Supporting entrepreneurship in Delray Beach with coworking space and 3D printing capability – www.twitter.com/StartupDelray – See more at: https://twitter.com/StartupDelray
“FAU Tech Runway – FAU Tech Runway is a South Florida public-private partnership fostering technology start-ups – https://techrunway.fau.edu/
“Miami Entrepreneurship Center – Miami – https://mec261.com/
“Miami Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (MICE) – Incubator, Coworking Space, Education – https://www.261miami.com/

If you know about other great co-working space sin South Florida, please share the link and your comments!

2ton
josh@2ton.com
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