Pros and Cons of Co-working spaces vs. dedicated office space?


What are some pros and cons for starting your company out of a co-working space vs. a dedicated (but small) office space.

Smaller office spaces aren't that different in costs when compared to some co-working spaces! Curious to learn why go with co-working in that case.

Incubators Office Space Co Working

asked Mar 26 '14 at 16:13
Amanda Bush
15 points

2 Answers


Even if rent seems close to having your own small office, there are many other factors and expenses to consider on top of rent:

1. Commitment - you are likely to have a time commitment on your own lease, or possibly fees (security deposit, termination, etc.) that you wouldn't have at a co-working space. This is the biggest reason to avoid an office lease for startups.

2. Location - you will not be able to rent at convenient locations that co-working spaces offer without spending more money. Many co-working spaces have multiple locations that you can use as well (a lounge with wi-fi and kitchen is a convenience in a large city like NY, SF, Bostom, or Chicago).

3. On-demand scaling - you are likely to have access to conference rooms in a co-working space, which might not be an option when you rent your own small office. And of course you can grow the number of days you use the office or the office size with a co-working space.

4. Expenses beside rent - cable/internet, phone, furniture, insurance, kitchen supplies (as basic as water and coffee and maybe a small fridge).

5. Networking opportunities - you could meet potential clients in a co-working space and promote your business through various community events.

Now, some questions for you to think about:

Do you really need a FT office space? If it's just you and a co-founder, can you work from home? If you have a team, can your team work remotely and meet once a week instead? Do you need to meet with clients and if you do how often? Does it warrant the need for an office space?

It seems more and more companies use distributed teams these days. It seems more common and acceptable as an option these days, especially for startups.

answered Mar 26 '14 at 18:21
2,835 points
  • +1 for no commitment being a big appeal for co-working. Being able to cancel after a month if you don't like that space is great. – Nishank Khanna 7 years ago


Another alternative to Co-working is "desks for rent" at startups that you can find synergy with.

ShareDesk is a good place to search for these.

While co-working is often a mixed bag of different companies, with "desks for rent" you can find a company that has a culture that you want to emulate or learn from. Much better relationship are made in such spaces in my opinion (as opposed to a generic co-working).

answered Mar 27 '14 at 14:04
Rocco Schmidt
308 points

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