Why Coworking Space is Ideal for Early Startups?
Over the years there have been continual adaptations to the way that we work, the workspaces in which we work, and the types of organizations that we work for. These adaptations are logically based on the advances that we have seen in society when it comes to technology, human behavior….
One example of this is the evolution that has taken place when it comes to the way startup organizations operate. Where in the past successful startups grew from the kitchen tables or garages of their founders, modern day startups are being born out of coworking spaces and serviced offices. With the rapid growth of flexible workspace industry, shared workspace provides more of a professional image than what kitchen table or garage might provide.
So what is it about coworking spaces that make them such an attractive offer to startups? Well for a start, to know what it is about coworking spaces that make them attractive, we first need to know more about what coworking is.
What is coworking?
Coworking is a modern interpretation of the way we work and where we work from, that has become popular over the past few years. Wikipedia defines coworking as:
“Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared workplace, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office, that coworking is usually not employed by the same organization. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, independent scientists or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation.”
What is a coworking space?
A coworking space is a modern interpretation of the traditional office space that allows for frequent and infrequent users of the space, commonly known as coworkers. A coworking space provides all the facilities that a traditional office space provides, such as meeting rooms, pantry areas, internet, etc., however, instead of providing traditional desks and workspaces, they providing communal work areas.
In these communal areas, coworkers work from a seat at a large communal workspace, side by side with other coworkers. Commonly there are no private workspaces to work from, the idea is that everyone works from the same communal space. Seats also are generally not reserved, and general coworking spaces work on a “first in best dressed” philosophy when it comes to seating.
Why is coworking a good thing for startups?
When it comes to working from a coworking space, there are three fantastic reasons why they are good for startups:
When it comes to running a business, the majority of businesses, on average, do not start turning a profit until as late as the third year, so the focus for most startups is to cover costs or just break even during their formative years. Coworking spaces are an attractive option for startups, as they provide access to all the amenities of a traditional office that a company, for a fraction of the cost of setting up their own office.
Most startups would have an idea of how they would like their business to expand or grow, but in the present day, one is never quite sure what the future will hold. The cost and commitment for a startup to open their own office can often be a risk/responsibility too big for the business to support.
Most coworking spaces offer their coworkers very flexible terms when it comes to working in their space.
Generally, the options with the most flexibility, have higher costs associated, encouraging co-workers to sign up for longer terms. However there is always flexibility to work from a spacer on a flexible arrangement, and then sign up for a longer term, when business takes off.
Test the market
It is a widely known fact that more than 50 percent of small business fail in the first four years of operations. The flexibility and affordability of a coworking space, allow for startups to “test the market” of their related industry, with potentially less risk. A coworking space can provide a startup with a greater corporate footprint, by way of the space they are working in, thus resulting in a more credible company to deal with. The lower overheads that come from working in a coworking space, can allow the startup to channel more funds into marketing and growing their business.
Which startups are suited for coworking?
Whilst coworking provides flexibility and affordability, the one thing it cannot provide is privacy, due to the communal workspaces. With other coworkers working in the same workspace as you, but not from your company, items on your computer will be able to be viewed by those walking by.
Startup’s that require privacy, due to the sensitivity of the work they are completing, would not be a good fit for a coworking space. This might include lawyers, accountants and any other business that might not want outside eyes seeing their work product.
Startups that are often working closely with their colleagues, and need to discuss their work product through the day, will be a perfect match for a coworking space. This will include companies that do graphic design, marketing, advertising and anything else that fosters conversation and engagement between their employees.
How can a startup take advantage of a coworking space?
Due to the flexibility of coworking and coworking spaces, most startups can easily move into a space and give it a try. Most coworking spaces will provide you with a tour of the facility, and some might also offer a few free hours in their space to try before you commit.
Written by : Tristan Jasper Escoto