The number of co-working spaces has skyrocket to more than 7,000 players all around the globe over the last three years. Now, co-workers have a great choice whether they want to join a creative common of designers, writers or artists, a diverse member-based crowd in tech or a female-only co-working space. The options cater for every taste; from small, quirky and independent neighborhood co-working spaces, futuristic hippiedoms for creative nomads to large co-working communities for growing companies.

Looking at the different offerings, each entrepreneur or business owner has to carefully choose which collaborative vibe suits the business and team best. Is it a global chain like WeWork with a range of workplace options, or a shared space in a quirky neighbourhood like Shoreditch Platform, or rather a creative hub like SecondHome with roaming zones and hanging gardens?

Here are 3 Thoughts to Consider when choosing a Collaborative Work Space:

Costs vs. Benefits

The cost of renting a desk at a co-working space can be tremendously lower than signing a long-term office lease, depending on the size of your team and location. However, for some startups that are bootstrapping their business or just developing the MVP, paying between £200 – £500 per desk a month is a huge expense.

Before committing to one place, compare the general services and see if a hot desk area is suitable, or you are better off getting a small office or even sign a regular office lease outside of a co-working space. Also, at most collaborative work-spaces, your team gets free coffee, drinks, ping pong tables as well as some food that enhances the overall experience. Saving £2.80 every morning on a Cappuccino from the corner coffee shop – great!

The Community Spirit

It’s hard to find a more diverse place than a co-working space. The common areas and numerous community events make it easy to mingle and collaborate with other ‘co-workers’. Whether you are stuck, tired or need a person to bounce ideas off, you are likely to find a like-minded person to talk to.

Do you have problems with product design, looking to hire an intern or need a plan to grow your Instagram followers? The chance that your desk or office neighbour is a UX designer, part of a recruitment firm or social media marketer is very high. The extensive network, both physical and through the digital network, can accelerate your growth exponentially compared to when you are in a closed office.

Brand Promotion

Being co-located with other businesses, can help you to get your brand out and make people aware of your product/services. While growing your business, you can never make too many connections. Therefore, co-working spaces offer the best networking opportunities to access marketing or distribution partners, investors and customers. It depends on what you make of it! Plus, most of the collaborative work-spaces such as Google Campus or WeWork offer free event hosting possibilities for its members, which naturally comes with an interested network of members to join the events.

While co-working has a lot of advantages and is a fun-experience, it can also create some drawbacks such as distractions through chatting, coffee breaks or attending events that use up a lot of valuable time. Furthermore, your business could face direct competition or the co-working space might prove to be more expensive; particularly for growing teams, getting your own office could be more beneficial than renting one in a creative co-working space.

If you are a startup and want to find out more about Mentoring Britain’s Startup Programmes and events near you, don’t hesitate! Get in touch with us at startup@mentoringbritain.com or call us today on 0203 865 0317.