If you’re outgrowing your home office or finding it a less-than-ideal work environment, consider joining the growing ranks of Americans who share office space. “Coworking” is among the hottest trends in business, favored for the cost-effectiveness, convenience, and networking opportunities it provides. There are nearly 2,500 coworking spaces around the globe today.
Sharable spaces run the gamut from large rooms lined with desks available for $20 to $35 a day to private offices with doors for $275 to $375 a month, depending on location. Beyond basics like high-speed Internet, many coworking facilities include access to printers, copiers, and conference rooms.
PMZ Realty Capital chose to share Manhattan office space with LW Hospitality Advisors to contain costs, but “the greatest advantage has been the synergy,” says Peter Berk, president of the three-member PMZ team. “We’re in similar fields but not competitors, so we have more people to exchange ideas with and frequent cross-referrals.”
Compatibility is essential when you share space, agrees Vadim Belobrovka, co-founder of the tech company CompStak. Belobrovka and Michael Mandel launched their firm in an apartment but after two years outgrew the space. They now rent desks in a loft with an open floor plan, shared with Symphony Publishing. “We love the people with whom we share the space,” Belobrovka says. “If you don’t, work will become unbearable.”
A number of websites and free apps specialize in matching those who need space with those who rent it. Among them: Desktime, OpenDesks, and LiquidSpace. Start your search by assessing your needs, your budget, and whether you prefer a workplace that facilitates contact-building and collaboration – or one that emphasizes quiet, distraction-free work time. With solopreneurs, freelancers, and independent contractors expected to comprise a large part of the workforce by 2020, you’ll find more and more options from which to choose.