Sharing office space – Is this a good or bad thing?

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Co-working communities are happening more and more in South Africa. This is when first-time business owners don’t have the capital to hire their own office building so they join up with other business owners to cut costs and increase access to core facilities.

For many entrepreneurs this presents a great opportunity to get their businesses off the ground with limited capital, however, for other people it might be a frustrating scenario. What are the actual pros and cons of sharing office space? Should you consider it or not? With the information below you will know for sure if this is something for you or not.

The ‘pros’ of sharing office space

There are a few advantages to sharing office space with others. Coworking communities offer some benefits that you will not have when hiring your own private office space. Here are the ‘pros’ that you should know about in coworking communities.

More flexibility

Flexibility is one of the main benefits of co-working or sharing offices. You will have more flexible leasing options which means that you can choose your contract term for the office space you want, and in a way that suits your needs best.

Then there are beneficial costing options. You will not need to have any startup fees required before you start your business. You won’t even need to pay a deposit for the office space you are renting.

You will also be able to switch your private office if needed, without any worries of cancellation fees, or of getting out of a contract that otherwise might end up in court.

Opportunities to network with other coworking business people

By sharing an office with other businessmen you will have the opportunity to network with them. This can make things easier for you to start and to run a new business. There are always strong benefits to networking with other business people, and to have them in your direct vicinity can be a great asset to you and them.

Easier access to partnerships and information

When you are starting a new business, the one thing that you might want is to start a partnership with someone that will assist you in making your business more successful.

Coworking environments might be an easier way to get such partnerships. You will also have direct access to key information that you might need to make your new venture successful. Someone in the office might have the answers that you are looking for. The same goes for others who will be working in the same office space.

Availability to shared amenities and services

There are always core services you need from the office you are renting. This can cost extra money, which you will not have when starting a business. These are amenities and services like:

· Free Wi-Fi
· Printing and scanning services
· Access to beverages
· Mail services
· Meeting rooms and support services

When you are sharing office space the chance that these services and amenities are included in your rent is high, which means that you will have the basics you need to start your business.

Opportunities for further education

At most coworking offices you will have extra opportunity to further your education and knowledge of running a business. This would come in the form of free or low cost workshops, meetings, and courses.

If you want to further your education and knowledge in a private office you will generally need to pay a premium for these things. The result will be that you may not attend these workshops because you don’t have the funds to do so.

The ‘cons’ of sharing office space

Easy distractions

It will be hard to focus in many coworking environments due to the number of varied people, and business focusses, in the office. Getting distracted and losing concentration is something that can happen easily and often.

People may talk and interrupt while you are trying to concentrate. Or they are bothering you and asking you questions while you are working on deadlines. This can become very frustrating.

In office competition

It doesn’t matter if you have different interests and different businesses, there will always be some sort of competition in the office. It can be stressful and frustrating having the stress of making a success out of a business, as well as handling inter office competition as well.

Can’t change the office according to your liking

It is great to have an office with things that you like; the colour of the walls, décor, and office furniture are examples. Sharing an office means you aren’t allowed to change anything in the office. This is because you are sharing and different people have different preferences, which means that office aesthetics are beyond your influence or control

Cultural differences

For many people this may not be a problem, however, cultural differences in the office can mean stressful situations and reasons for conflict. You might think that this won’t be a problem, but at the end of the day, it can have some huge implications on business efficacy.

No Privacy

This is the primary reason that many people find sharing office space a problem. You have no privacy. If you are talking over the phone making deals, discussing sensitive information, everyone else will be able to hear it. Privacy is important to many businesses, and with coworking environments this can become a major problem.

To rent coworking space or to hire a private office space? This is a question that many new businessmen are asking themselves. It is important to make sure that you are aware of all the pros and cons before you make your final decision. It is a great idea for some, and a great way to save start-up costs, but, this isn’t something all people can handle or tolerate.

So make sure that this is the right thing for you before you consider coworking offices.

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