So far, in this in-depth series of articles elaborating on everything anyone would ever need to know about coworking spaces, we’ve mostly talked about the various benefits that are on offer by signing up to a coworking space.
However, like every major decision that you, as an entrepreneur, or a senior manager at a business would ever take, signing up to a coworking space comes with its fair share of disadvantages.
In this article not only are we going to talk about the other side of the coin, so to speak, but also exhibit the many ways that the industry has evolved to tackle these problems.
Disadvantages Of Coworking Spaces
As the old saying goes, too much of something is good for nothing. Similarly, too much exposure in the form of external interactions with other coworkers means there’s a chance that you and your team can get distracted from your core operations. If you’re looking for some solitude and solace, it might be a bit hard to come by in some coworking spaces.
On the flip side, many players in the industry have understood the necessity to maintain the delicate balance between community and privacy, to help you lower the risk of “too much exposure”, so to speak.
Adding on to the first point, your employees’ privacy might be put into jeopardy by moving into coworking spaces. All the features will have to be shared, so there is little room for employees to truly make themselves home, and feel like their office spaces could be private.
Again, Coworking spaces have long since recognized these shortcomings, and offer private cabins for both managers and individuals to help ensure that they can truly feel at “home” in their workspaces, and not see them as a threat to their privacy.
However, private office spaces tend to cost more than plug-n-play desks, Plug-and-play are the most common type of seating arrangement that you’ll find in a coworking space.
Ultimately, it is up to you, as the decision-maker, to conduct the cost-benefit analysis, and figure out how beneficial it is, for your business concern, to spend that additional money for the sake of your employee’s privacy.
In a similar vein, all the amenities in the coworking spaces are to be shared with other coworkers. Not only does that mean that some of the shared facilities might not be available for you when you need them, but it also requires a great deal of dedicated planning to ensure that the workplace resources are seamlessly utilized between the different organizations.
Again, players in the coworking industry are well aware of this problem and are beginning to come up with dedicated applications and processes to help ensure the seamless integration of resources between the different organizations sharing the amenities.
This would automate most of the planning process, and help ensure that the amenities that you need will be available for you, when you need them, as much as possible.
However, there is definitely a chance that you might not be able to book a meeting room at the last minute or have access to the teleconferencing facility to take urgent meetings.
Since you share your coworking space with different organizations, there is little to no scope to integrate company culture or branding. In fact, even customization options are limited in a coworking space.
While coworking service providers do try their very best to cater to your organization’s particular needs, it may not be feasible for them to customize the office spaces just the way you need them.
If customizations, corporate identity, branding, etc, are a priority for your business, you might be better off with managed office spaces(add link), or even traditional office spaces. While there are workarounds to other disadvantages in this list, there are very few things that you or your coworking space could do to help you customize, or brand your workspace.
One of the major limitations of being subscribed to a coworking space, is the fact that your fellow coworkers may at any time try to poach your employees. Not only will they try to, but they will have a higher chance of success because of their relationship and chemistry working side-by-side with them in the coworking space that you sign with them.
However, most coworking spaces come with associated services, specifically in the legal sector, that will help you lock up your employees, and ensure that poaching does not happen.
Network security might be a concern when it comes to signing with coworking spaces. Corporate theft is, unfortunately, quite common in this competitive economy, albeit being illegal. We would recommend that you thoroughly ensure that the IT infrastructure of the coworking space that you’re signing up with is state of the art.
Despite the many benefits on offer by coworking spaces, it is undeniable that it comes with its fair share of disadvantages. But, as a somebody who want to make a decision, you already know that evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of any big decision comes with the job, and it is your job to evaluate what is truly best for your business.
Hope this article was informative and does its job in helping you make a truly informed decision on what is really the best for your business. Happy Coworking.