The Pros and Cons of Co-Working Spaces

02 Jan 2019

Nowadays, Co-working space is more than just a growing trend in today’s business world, it’s become part of the way millions of people choose to work. In the U.S and in Europe, co-working spaces can be found in both major cities and smaller ones, and the popularity of co-working spaces has more recently become firmly established in Asia too.

In the past couple of years, co-working space providers, both local and international, have been popping up all over Bangkok due to the popularity of this new working trend among freelancers, SMEs and startups who prefer to work in this environment than traditional office buildings. The market for co-working space in Thailand increased significantly during the course of 2018, and the total sq. m of co-working space is now at 125,000 sq.m. equivalent of 1-2% of the total office supply in Bangkok, which is currently 8.8 million sq.m.

As for new startups, co-working space obviously has advantages especially in terms of flexibility of contracts, while traditional office space usually requires a long-term fixed rental period. With more of these co-working spaces appearing all over the city of Bangkok, here is the list of pros and cons for businesses to consider whether they should move to a co-working space.

Pros

  • More flexibility

Co working space is more convenient in terms of rent, it’s typically rented by month and some co-working places even offer weekly, hourly, and even pay as you go options. Importantly, there’s no long-term financial commitment, no upfront fees, and sometimes no deposit for co-working space.

  • Amenities and Services

With traditional office space, you need to buy furniture, set up and install WIFI, telephone lines etc. Also, what if your internet is down for a day? Then you need to waste valuable time troubleshooting. For co-working space, you don’t have to worry about buying furniture or installing WIFI or telephone lines because there will be someone (an administrative or an operations team) available to look after these issues for you.

  • Creativity and new ideas are all around you.

Working alongside of fellow startups or entrepreneurs can give you new ideas or lead to advice in different aspects of business that you wouldn’t otherwise realize.  

  • Social aspect and a sense of small community

Joining a co-working space community is a great opportunity to meet other professionals, much more easily than you would find in traditional office buildings. In addition to networking and generating new business and new business ideas with others, meeting other business entrepreneurs in a co-working environment can help get your business be recognized without any marketing costs.

Cons

  • Noise and distraction

Working around other people in a co-working space can be a great motivation to stay productive but without good management, co-working space can turn into a social cafeteria which will make it hard for you to concentrate on what you’re working on. In a co-working environment, you won’t be able to control other companies’ meetings, the volume of talking, or other users’ phone calls with clients as well as other potential distractions. From time to time, there might be some events, life coaches, inspirational speakers or networking events that take the whole space meaning you and your colleagues have to squeeze yourselves to a tiny space, albeit temporarily, but no discount!

  • Expense and budget

Co-working space seems to be cheaper than traditional offices, but on a cost per sq. m basis, co-working space can cost up to 10 times more than traditional office space.

  • Bad for branding image

For some businesses, having an office in co-working space can raise an issue of confidentiality for clients and may not be good for your company’s image.

  • Lack of privacy

Co-working space = shared space which means a low level of privacy. Most co-working spaces use glass instead of solid walls to divide room spaces in order to get natural light as much as possible. Others may be able to overhear telephone calls, meeting conversations with clients, or see some confidential information on computer screens.

Co-working space may not be the best solution for everyone but if you are a freelancer, or start up your own company with few employees, co-working space is certainly an advantageous option for you. However, as your business grows and involves sensitive information, then traditional office space might be a better choice for you.

Now that you know the pros and cons of co-working spaces, you might want to know more about some of the best co-working spaces or office buildings near you. Please contact us at infor@landscopethailand.com for more information about options for both co-working space and traditional office space in Bangkok.

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