It seems that “coworking” has become one of the biggest buzzwords in the world of work in recent times, and it’s not difficult to see why.
The ups, downs and sheer unpredictability of the COVID-19 crisis helped introduce many of us to more flexible and sometimes ‘on the hoof’ ways of working, and there remains much uncertainty about the UK business environment going forward. Amid factors like the disruption brought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis that businesses are certainly not immune to, how can you be sure what your business will even look like in another six months’ time?
If you are in the position that a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners are in right now, you might be coordinating the growth of your young business, or the recovery of an existing one, and you may be unsure which would make the most financial sense as a setting in which your small firm could base itself – a shared workspace or a private office.
So, let’s take a look at how these two, potentially greatly differing solutions compare.
Remember That You Aren’t Limited to Just Two Options
As this article is – after all – focusing on the affordability of different workspaces, you are probably expecting us to cite some raw numbers. So, we’ll do exactly that.
But first, it is important to appreciate that in today’s dynamic market, there are a lot of possibilities for different working environments out there, with the lines between the typical shared workspace and a ‘traditional’ private office, potentially becoming somewhat blurred.
You only need to browse our website here at CREATE Business Hub, for instance, to see that, yes, we offer “hotdesking” – there’s another buzzword – and private offices, but also the option of a fixed desk within an otherwise open and collaborative environment.
And of course, these different types of workspaces will tend to suit businesses and workers in different circumstances. So, you might be drawn to the hotdesking option, for example, if your business largely is just ‘you’; it’s an unfussy, ‘plugin and play’ option.
But as you gain a few employees, you might ‘graduate’ to a fixed desk as a means of more effectively keeping your staff together in one place. Then, as your business continues its growth, it might become a more important matter for you to cultivate a distinctive company culture of your business’s own, away from the distractions of a shared space. At that point, the private, lockable office arrangement might seem the most suitable one for your business.
So, Which of These Options Actually Is Cheaper?
Now, if you’re wondering why we didn’t just “get straight onto the numbers”, there’s a good reason for that; when you are considering whether to go for a shared workspace or a private office for your premises, you will need to think about much more than just the ‘headline’ price. In short, whatever arrangement you choose needs to be the right one for your business’s present circumstances and needs, which may be liable to change fast in the current uncertain economic environment.
Nonetheless, you will come to look at prices at some point, so let’s take you through some numbers. According to a 2018 MoneySuperMarket survey that looked into the average prices of coworking across the country, London topped the list for expensiveness among UK cities, with an average price of £613 per desk, per month.
Can you save significantly on that per-desk price if you look outside London, but close enough to be able to take advantage of close transport connections to the capital? In a word: yes.
Here at CREATE Business Hub, even our private offices are priced from just £400 per desk, per month. And you could be paying even less if you opt for a fixed desk (£250 per month) or hotdesking (£200 per month). But don’t forget, too, to ask about our highly competitive rates, if you don’t feel that you will be using the space often or predictably enough to justify a per-month outlay.
To answer the question that topped our article, yes, shared workspaces certainly do tend to be cheaper than private offices! However, you will also need to think carefully about a host of factors – including the location of the workspace in question, and the facilities to which you will have access to the money – when you are assessing whether a given arrangement will be a sound financial bet.