We have a four-person startup and are looking into coworking spaces in Canada. Right now our set-up isn’t very “inspiring” and involves more remote work than anything. I’d like to get everyone under one roof and add some professionalism to the business. It seems that coworking spaces are the cheapest way of accomplishing this (though they’re really not that inexpensive). That’s why I’m wondering whether coworking spaces are really worth thousands of dollars a month? I’ve seen the studies that say their carefully designed environments and “cultures” help people thrive, but I’m wondering what your first-hand experiences have been. Did they really push your businesses and teamwork forward in a way that couldn’t be accomplished elsewhere?
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The answer really depends on what you want to get out of it. The value in coworking spaces should be less about the space itself, and more about the people, programs, and access that the coworking space can provide. Additionally it should be about promoting your team's productivity, however you define that. Unfortunately many spaces end up creating beautiful spaces, charge a premium for it, and don't necessarily deliver on the productivity, community or network.
A very simple test to do is to see about getting a free pass for a day (many of them offer that) for you and maybe another person on your team (pick someone with different working habits/style), and then observe how welcoming the space is (e.g.: does anyone other than the space manager welcome you?). You can also see the types of events that they have and see whether it works for you. Finally you can ask them about the types of companies that they have. They should be open about it (at least if they believe that it's part of creating a rich experience).
The final decision of whether it's worth it will come down to wether you believe you can take advantage of what's offered, and whether it plays in how your team works.
Hi Konstantin, I’m a solo shop but have been a member of two high functioning coworking spaces. Both are very popular with start-ups and for good reasons, a few of which are:
The coworking spaces in my area run $1-1.5k or so a month for a 4-person team - the value is up to you. As far as coworking space culture, I’ve seen having great “curators” of membership mix and private phone spaces to be more important than the number of member breakfasts or ping pong sessions.
In addition to co-working space, you may want to consider co-habitating with a compatible startup/company that shares similar thoughts on culture, working hours, team, etc.
Often times, as people grow they have to rent ahead of the curve and acquire more space than what they need. I often find that renting space from these companies can be more economical than a co-working space.
Obviously its worthy.
Its a initial part of startup, Generally people don't have Space-Good People(resource)-Work.
If you have good people in your team and work(projects) no matter costs, then you must start with co-working space. It give a professional physical address.
All headache of Coffee, Internet, Meeting rooms, systems, Electricity, Water and all will be gone. when you start enough that you can bear own office space then you can search for that but in the meantime, its far worthy.
Interesting, I've been looking at that same situation and having the same questions. Having looked at most of the local (Sydney Australia) question their suitability for my particular requirements (hardware/software/mechanical) so think its important that the final choice meets not only your short term requirements but also your growth.
One of the factors that has impressed me at some of the locations is the culture of 'fun' as opposed to development (encouragement) so you have to see if you will 'fit-in'. Cheers
Quick answer... no more than a "private" space, but that can still be substantial. In short, co-working spaces are a good way to "almost" get a private space, but without the startup costs, which can be significant. Getting folks in a room live can be very valuable, in terms of inspiration and productivity. I've worked in several co-working spaces, and toured many others, and the "extra" benefits to me really only apply to folks who are working solo and want a more professional environment. The parties, snacks, meet ups are nice additions, but not super meaningful once you have critical mass. If you have four people, your team will spend most of its time with your team. So, in that light, see a co-working space as an efficient way to try a private space, with less hassle, but not a ton more.