One of the biggest advantages of independent business ownership today is all the technology at our disposal. Shared offices, new on-line platforms, tools and hacks have made it more straightforward to access information and contact customers. We can see, talk, and engage with colleagues, clients and candidates across geographic barriers better than ever before. A logical and often practical growth decision for some is to move out of the home office into a shared workspace. So, if you’ve ever considered working in a shared office, here are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider before moving in.
Building new relationships
Your office may be located next to people who can either use and/or complement your services. For example, there may be other independent recruiters doing the same as you. On enquiring, it may be worth asking about the types of individuals and companies that are already occupying the space. This natural pairing can be hugely beneficial as it leads to new ideas, knowledge sharing, possible new revenue streams, split deals and so on.
No desert island syndrome
Working from home for long periods of time can make you feel lonely and isolated. Even the most introvert need social interaction beyond a Skype call or Facebook group conversation!
At the very least, having a shared work space can bridge the emotional gap between the nostalgic corporate collective culture and a self-sufficient, autonomous and shackle-free independent recruiter. You could walk the ‘corridors of power’ with others in a similar position as you!
Shared office perks
There’s something alluring about office technology, décor and facilities. In a coworking space, you can tap into some unique amenities that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you in your home office.
Freshly brewed coffee and herbal tea, fruit infused water, rooftop lounges and devices to make your work life more productive is not only enticing on a functional level, but also on a personal interest level. It’s not only professional but also fun to try these things out. After all, if your business is at a justifiable growth stage then you deserve it!
If you need to maintain flexibility in your schedule, working in a space that’s open 24 hours a day is a must. Having around-the-clock access allows you to work when you’re most productive, without forcing you to work during hours when you’re not.
If a competitor is based in the same office, it could turn awkward! You might get distracted by what they’re doing. This may hamper creativity, focus and productivity. Before signing a lease, find out if there’s a policy about competing businesses working in the same space.
Conflicts of personality
Although it’s nice to have people working close by, you can’t choose who will surround you in a shared office space. You might have personality clashes with people who think and act differently than you. If that happens, you might be able to change offices, but that’s not always feasible. Check the contract before you sign it!
Is it right for you?
A shared working space offers great benefits, but it also comes with its drawbacks. If you’re not sure whether it’s right for you, check the detail and perhaps get a legal eye to read over it before signing a contract.