Shared Office Space vs. Coworking Space: Which One Is Right for You?

Employees in an open shared office space
September 1, 2022

In today’s digital economy and the modern working world, traditional 9-5 offices are becoming less relied upon by companies of all shapes and sizes. As alternatives, many professionals are turning to shared office space and coworking space to get tasks done and connect with like-minded colleagues. Yet there is still some confusion as to what the difference is between these two alternatives and why one might be better for certain jobs and work styles.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at what shared office space and coworking space options have to offer and the advantages and disadvantages of each one. With a better understanding of what you’ll be getting into with both of these work space options, you can make the right decisions for your career and future!

What Is Shared Office Space?

Shared office spaces are great for many types of businesses because they keep commercial real estate costs down and eliminate the need for expenses like space build-outs and extra staffing. Many spared office spaces come with their own receptionists to answer phone calls and have their own technology teams to handle tech setup and troubleshooting. You may encounter other workers and companies renting out space in this environment, but shared office spaces allow for a great deal of privacy as well.

What is Coworking Space?

Coworking spaces are sometimes referred to as a “no frills” version of shared office spaces and have been gaining a lot of popularity among millennial workers. According to coworking space statistics, there are at least 15,500 coworking spaces in operation around the world, accommodating approximately 1.27 million people who use them. These types of work spaces are often lively and energized, but that also means that they can be noisy and distracting when you need to hunker down and get work done. Here you’ll typically find many people sharing an open collaborative space with a few private rooms and offices available for use for an extra fee.

Benefits of Shared Office Space

The benefits of shared office space are plentiful and extend far beyond the financial savings. Shared office spaces can offer all of the amenities and services of a traditional office to meet your needs and the expectations of your clients. These are great places to be if you need access to reliable high-speed Wi-Fi, fax machines, copy machines, and high-tech audio-visual equipment. They also have a very polished and professional appearance, thanks to top-of-the-line office furniture and décor that will impress anyone who walks through your door.

What’s also great about shared office space is that you won’t have to hire your own secretary or technical advisor to handle common and time-consuming tasks for you. You won’t be locking yourself into a traditional lease that keeps you on the hook for a year or longer, and you can plan for your financial future by knowing what your rent will be from month to month.

Disadvantages of Shared Office Space

However, some workers don’t thrive in a shared office space because they are in a stage of their business that requires more social networking and collaboration. Although shared office space is offered on flexible terms, you still need to make a commitment for about three months or more to make the most of it.

There is also a cost involved in renting shared office space that you wouldn’t have if you simply worked from home, but the benefits of shared office space usually outweigh this concern.

Benefits of Coworking Space

Coworking spaces are ideal for brainstorming meetings, networking encounters, and collaborative projects. They are work spaces that are full of life and energy, which could be just what you need to launch a new idea or find a new client or partner.

Coworking spaces are social places with community break rooms, long conference tables, and a community of entrepreneurial peers. These places can help you get your name “out there” if you’re trying to grow your business and if you make the right social connections. They also typically offer access to office equipment, high-speed Wi-Fi, technical support services, and other business services. Some coworking spaces allow you to pay by the hour, which is nice if you only need access to space on a very occasional basis.

Disadvantages of Coworking Space

While coworking spaces are great for some reasons, they fall short for many others. It can be very difficult to get work done or maintain a steady level of concentration in a coworking space environment. Most coworking spaces require some form of membership, and that cost can be prohibitive for new start-up companies and freelancers. Oftentimes, the internet at coworking spaces isn’t as fast as advertised because of the number of people using it at the same time, and you could be paying for a wide range of services that you never even take advantage of here.

Deciding on an Office Space: Making the Right Choice for Your Work Style

Both shared office space and coworking spaces are great alternatives to costly real estate leases and long-term commitments that you simply aren’t ready to make yet. They are also both good alternatives to working at home, where distractions are numerous and a sense of professionalism is lacking. So ultimately, the decision between a shared office space and a coworking space is a highly personal one that depends upon the industry you’re in, the type of work you do, and your own personality as it relates to productivity.

Early-stage start-ups and extroverted networking enthusiasts may gravitate towards coworking spaces because of the hype this rebranded industry has created around itself. But in actuality, shared office spaces offer many of those same advantages too with an added dose of professionalism, service, and flexibility. At NYC Office Suites, we offer ready-to-use Manhattan offices that are fully-furnished, expertly equipped, and that comes with contract terms of as little as three months.

It’s a common misconception that coworking spaces are the only social way to work in a nontraditional environment, but we offer business community events, coworking areas within shared offices, multi-person offices, and team/project offices for all of your collative group endeavors. We even offer health club memberships to help you stay fit and healthy while you work in one of our spaces.

And when confidentiality is required and private space is preferred, shared office design configurations can offer executive offices and private meeting rooms to accommodate clients, interviews, and internal reviews. This is ideal if you’re trying to establish a professional appearance and attract new business with your unique skillset. With key features like plug-and-play telecommunication systems, a client portal and app, high-speed internet, and hassle-free management, you’ll enjoy more time to pursue your passion when you secure a temporary office space with NYC Office Suites.

If all of this sounds like exactly what you need to do your job well and take your business to the next level, contact us today at 800-346-3968 or send us a message to learn more about the various shared office space configurations we offer and pricing details based upon your specific needs.


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