Coworking spaces are becoming the new future of the urban centres across the UK. Cash strapped startups flock into them to work on their new idea. Personally, I am a huge fan of the institution, as I can see it solving a lot of problems. It is not everybody’s cup of tea (or coffee) though. In order to clarify things in my brain, more than anything else, I thought I should write down the advantages and the disadvantages of co-working spaces.

Starting with the disadvantages…

  1. Such spaces are not as quiet as private offices. Working on keyboards, flicking through books, opening the door could all be very annoying. Of course, if you are determined to make it work, you could always get a pair of good ear plucks.
  2. Every day you will be forced to wear your clothes, put your shoes on and get out of the house. For those of you who like to work semi-nude, I would advise strongly not to enter a coworking space in your habitual attire.
  3. Interruptions are always going to happen. People tend to cluster and talk about non-work-related issues to the annoyance of the diligent worker. If you hate human beings, on top of everything else, the place will not provide a happy experience.
  4. There is a cost attached to the service. Whether it is a monthly fee or a transportation ticket, you will need to pay something to enjoy the advantages of co-working.

Continuing with the advantages…

  1. As I mentioned, I am great fan of the institution, mainly because it allows impoverished startups to have a work-place of their own (even if that is a desk). Without proper income coming in on a monthly basis, renting an office is not a possibility a startup could afford.
  2. It gives the opportunity to meet interesting people, potential partners, future collaborators and technical experts who can make life easier and a job faster. I have met excellent people and received valuable tips in such spaces.
  3. Having a desk somewhere forces you to get up earlier in the morning, dress up and get out of the bedroom, where startups normally reside.
  4. Coworking spaces make people more human and increase their emotional intelligence. Just by working together, even on separate projects, startups learn the significance of respect for the other.
  5. To my experience, there is always a business expert consultant lurking around the premises. Take the opportunity to ask for advice, if you are stuck on something.
  6. In some cases, coworking spaces also work as accelerators. Consequently, they host exciting startups who are on their way to success at a much faster rate. Taking the opportunity to pick their brains and learning from their experience is a must!

If you decide that the advantages overtake the disadvantages, THE co-working space in the Midlands is Incubate Leicester, the seat of Startdom Accelerator. Take a pick at the space here and at the accelerator here