Coworking is an up and coming office arrangement which allows employees from different companies to share a space and work alongside one another. There are many benefits to choosing a coworking space for your teams, such as saving on overheads, creating ample opportunities for networking and providing your employees with a more flexible workspace. On the other hand, there are also some downsides to coworking, from noisy workspaces to a lack of privacy. Here are 10 disadvantages of coworking to consider when choosing an office space for your business.
What are the Disadvantages of Coworking?
1. Less Value for Money
Many businesses opt for a coworking space over private office alternatives in order to reduce overheads and save money. Although this can be beneficial, especially for smaller businesses and start-ups, most coworking memberships generally offer less value for money since you don't get your own private office, furniture or IT infrastructure; all facilities must be shared with other businesses in the building. Before signing any contracts, we recommend taking a tour or making use of a free test pass to make sure the facilities are worth the price and, most importantly, will provide value to your business.
2. Noise and Distractions
Generally, offices can be noisy environments with phones ringing, keyboard tapping and employees talking. This is only heightened in a coworking office with dozens of companies in a shared space at one time. A noisy office can be a huge distraction for your teams which can make it hard for them to focus on their work. Similarly, a loud office can be disruptive during internal meetings or client calls. In fact, according to a survey by Clutch, 48% of people think that coworking is too noisy and distracting.
3. Reduced Productivity
Coworking may be great for professional networking and collaborative working however, where do you draw the line between business conversations and socialising? When a business chooses a more casual collaboration space in place of a private office, they risk losing valuable hours spent by their employees chatting between themselves and talking to new people, who are not always business connections. As a result, employee productivity can be negatively affected and have a serious impact on long-term business performance.
4. Lack of Privacy
Without your own private office, completing all work within a public space may prove problematic, especially if you are dealing with confidential information or sensitive client data. With a lack of soundproofing and over-use of glass, competitors in the same building can listen in on your team brainstorming sessions or phone calls, and steal your innovative ideas. In some cases, leaking classified data can lead to hefty fines or lawsuits for your business so you will need to be extremely careful when speaking on the phone or reading important documents in communal spaces, or avoid coworking spaces altogether.
5. Lack of Exclusivity
Coworking offices offer memberships with unlimited access to communal workspaces for all types of companies. They are designed for members to come and go, and even bring as many guests as they like, which can lead to overcrowded spaces and limited access to meeting rooms. You also can't guarantee that you'll be working alongside like-minded professionals, whereas with private offices, like minded businesses tend to stay within the same business districts.
6. Lack of Luxury
Coworking offices often provide the basics, such as hot desks, sofas and plug sockets for your devices, and may even offer some perks, like complimentary hot drinks and a cookie jar. However, there are a few essential things missing. When sitting at a desk all day, employees require additional comforts, like ergonomic chairs to avoid back pain or a wide-screen monitor to prevent eye strain - something coworking cannot offer. With a serviced office, you have the option to choose larger desks, natural lighting with floor-to-ceiling windows, barista-style coffee and sophisticated finishes.
7. Poor Customer Service
Unlike a traditional office or serviced office, coworking offices do not offer the same level of customer service or IT support. With so many businesses coming and going, it is almost impossible for coworking office providers to offer a personalised service for its members, be it call or mail handling or technical support. In comparison, with a serviced office provider like Orega, you can benefit from a premium service, with first-rate customer service, including administrative and IT support tailored to your unique business needs.
8. Limited Growth
Coworking spaces can be beneficial for small businesses or freelancers but are less suited to larger corporations that require more structure and space. A large company would likely end up overspilling into communal areas on a regular basis which can be frustrating for other building members. Coworking solutions are often a temporary solution as there will inevitably come a point where businesses will need to relocate and find an appropriate office space to accommodate its growth.
9. Unprofessional Brand Image
Where you choose to base your business will have an impact on the image you reflect to potential clients and talent. Coworking spaces can quickly become chaotic, noisy and messy which may not give off the right impression if you are a corporate organisation or luxury goods company, for instance, especially if you are inviting clients to your premises.
10. Lack of Customisation
Customising your office with brand colours or logos can help bring a sense of community, create an inspiring work environment and boost employee satisfaction. Since coworking involves shared spaces with communal furniture and facilities, there is no option to personalise or brand your space.
A Better Working Solution
If you're looking for a better alternative to coworking, an serviced office space could be the perfect solution for your business. An Orega serviced office provides your business with an unbranded, private office space for you to make your own and get work done without distractions. Complete with state-of-the-art meeting rooms, customer service and technical support, you'll have everything you need for daily operations to run smoothly. Best of all, coworking spaces are available within the building, giving you the best of both worlds with the option to work collaboratively and network or use your private office for more focused work. Most importantly, you'll have a dedicated space to be you.