You might live in a rental apartment or occasionally rent a tux or a car, but what is it like when you rent the place where you work?
Coworking is a trend that’s been gaining momentum all around the world, especially among freelancers and entrepreneurs. What it basically means is that you pay the coworking hub a membership fee for a desk or office area, while also getting access to the hub’s common areas and amenities. This system isn’t all too different from renting a place to live, but there are some things to keep in mind when deciding to join a coworking hub.
How Coworking is Similar to Renting an Apartment
Coworking hubs are similar to apartment buildings through the networking aspect that they imply. Common areas are a great place to socialize and meet new people, and coworking hubs have the added benefit of connecting you to people who might share your ideas or work in a similar field. In this way, coworking hubs can help your business by introducing you to valuable contacts.
However, interaction doesn’t have to happen only between hub members. A good landlord will see his tenants as more than just sources of income and try to connect with them on a personal level. Similarly, the administration and staff of a coworking hub will probably try to interact with members and build friendships. This process is made much easier by coworking software like Yardi Kube, which helps coworking hubs keep in touch with their customers while also assisting with things like billing and invoices.
The Economic Side
You might prefer to rent an apartment because it offers more flexibility than securing a mortgage. Moreover, rentals offer much more freedom if you have to move into a place of a different size; the situation is similar in the case of coworking hubs.
Coworking is especially popular with solopreneurs and startups simply because they allow you to rent anything from a single desk to a decently sized, private office. This gives a lot of leeway to companies at the start of their journey, offering freedom for gradual and efficient expansion, while also being much more affordable than a full office.
Additionally, many coworking hubs offer month-to-month memberships, while traditional office lease agreements are generally signed for several years and include upfront costs that are generally much steeper than those for flexible office spaces.
How Coworking Might Differ from Your Usual Rental Experience
Many coworking hubs are quirky and homely—to a much greater extent than a traditional office. Still, even though you’ll be renting a desk for a relatively long period of time, you might not necessarily be able to express yourself by decorating your desk space as much as you can with your rented room back home. Some potted plants and bobbleheads could make your rented workspace feel more like you, but make sure you know the hub’s cleanup rules and keep in mind that you might not be the only one using the desk.
Your apartment block might have an on-site laundry, assigned parking spaces, or a common patio. On the other hand, coworking hubs are more oriented toward a business environment when it comes to amenities, often offering conference rooms and kitchenettes stocked with beverages. Sometimes, they may even include attached daycares and regular yoga classes. If you’d like to get the best of both worlds, look into coliving, which is a more recent development of coworking that also offers on-site housing and associated amenities.
So, if you’re all about the community spirit and would like to get out of your home office every now and then, you could start browsing coworking hubs near you and see what it’s like to rent your workspace first-hand.