How Do Coworking Spaces Work? Benefits & Costs – CO— by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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Learn about the benefits of shared coworking spaces for businesses looking to grow, be cost-efficient, and find a collaborative environment within budget.
Coworking spaces are growing in popularity as companies shift away from the traditional nine-to-five, in-office work culture in favor of a flexible “work-from-anywhere” arrangement. In these collaborative settings, multiple companies share a dedicated space for their employees to work, making it a more cost-effective way to provide an office environment without investing in a commercial lease.
[Read more: How to Build a Community in Your Coworking Space]
When coworking first began getting recognition in the early 2000s, the spaces were mostly used by freelancers and entrepreneurs. As its popularity has grown over the years, companies looking to move away from traditional work culture have chosen coworking spaces as their everyday office, or even just a designated area for newly remote employees to visit for meetings and collaboration. These dedicated spaces are often characterized by the shared tools, services, and facilities the companies need for everyday work.
Think of a coworking space as a community center: People who choose to come to this type of space might be visiting for different reasons, but they also might share similar goals or skills. Just because someone in the coworking space doesn’t work for the same company doesn’t mean the sense of community is obsolete. The shared space can be a newfound avenue for personal and professional growth, a key contributor to collaboration between like-minded individuals, and the drive to create the “community” feeling that cubicles in a typical office setting often lack.
[Read more: How Coworking Spaces Are Revamping to Meet Pandemic Workplace Needs]
Most coworking spaces offer a daily rate for workers who want to drop in every once in a while or an ongoing monthly membership package for workers who want to come in multiple days per week. The average cost per month of a coworking space is largely determined by where the space is located. For example, a coworking space in New York City will likely cost more than a small space in rural Wisconsin. Costs per desk can be as little as $200 per month and as high as $700, but average costs are around $300-$400 per dedicated desk in an open office floor plan.
The estimated budget for a coworking space can be determined by the overall cost of the space multiplied by three; then that number can then be divided by the number of desks needed (the number of square feet divided by 100). This formula will help determine a good idea of what coworking may cost your company.

The shared space can be a newfound avenue for personal and professional growth, a key contributor to collaboration between like-minded individuals, and the drive to create the “community” feeling that cubicles in a typical office setting often lack.
Small companies may be more inclined to choose coworking for its cost-efficiency. It’s common for coworking spaces to come equipped with built-in services like business mail, printing, Wi-Fi, accessible parking, kitchen services, communal space, and other services that may help your business save money in the long run.
In addition to cost-cutting, this type of space can promote faster growth for a small business. A shared space can harness more networking opportunities and visibility for your brand. For example, people you may not have met in a traditional work setting now have the opportunity to become your clients or provide you with further connections for your business.
An added benefit of coworking — especially for remote workers — is an increased sense of productivity. A dedicated workspace outside of the home may provide fewer distractions and an environment dedicated to work tasks that can boost productivity. This dedicated “work mode” space may also lead to increased creativity and collaboration because of the varying perspectives and ideas of those within the coworking space. Collaboration opportunities can also lead to employees learning new skills they may not have had access to in a previous work setting.
Coworking doesn’t have to be the chosen environment for your business forever. There is great flexibility in coworking spaces which rival leases on office buildings. If you decide the shared space is no longer working for your team, most coworking spaces allow those with monthly memberships to cancel at any time. Not only is the opportunity to try coworking cost-effective, but it also comes with no strings attached.
[Read more: 5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Coworking Space]
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