These days almost everybody is talking about the 9-5 as being a hellish way to work. Youngsters, especially, tell, that an office with strict rules and without gaming consoles and other entertainment is a fucking nightmare and the person is not able to be productive in this kind of place. Well, Jeff, Bill, and Elon is probably ashamed of this kind of sissiness, since they all started their billion-dollar empires in much harsher conditions. But enough, let’s find out what is the winner: serviced office, coworking spaces or remote work?
Let’s analyze three options: traditional office, coworking spaces or working at home. Well, none of these are perfect and all three have their own pros and cons. But let’s think from early-stage startup or young talent perspective. Firstly, talking about the cost, the traditional office is the least attractive option, because it often comes with long-term leases, while co-working space only require you to pay month-to-month, or choose a different plan depending on the space you choose. No expenses for buying furniture, utilities or renovation costs. And last but not least- your home. Well, there are no more expenses than monthly internet fee and depending on if you consume caffeine- your coffee of choice.
Now- professional networking. Since you work at a traditional office you do not get a lot of opportunities to face other individuals because you are ‘isolated’ in a place where you are surrounded by people from your enterprise and is kind of hard to represent yourself to potential investors or professionals, who would be interested to contribute to your idea, while at coworking spaces the environment for networking is just perfect. There you are surrounded by a lot of proactive and talented freelancers or entrepreneurs, who could be interested in working on some ideas together. The professional networking situation while working from home is kind of sad: the only one you can network with is your pet, who probably is more interested in getting some treats and not about your business idea.
Well, the collaboration between professionals is hard in traditional offices. Usually, this space is divided by cubicles which create barriers between employees, essentially discouraging collaboration and communication between them. Yes, I know, there are meeting rooms, but we all know the struggle of booking it on your preferred time. In coworking spaces and while working from home the situation is basically the same if you are working on your project not alone. Both spaces are more open and informal which encourages you to have more brainstorm sessions and you can have more discussions since you are not divided by some physical barriers.
Almost forgot to mention the productivity aspect. Well, a traditional office, in my opinion, is disappointing. 9-5 obliges you to sit on your desk and work on this time range. But what to do if you are more productive in the evening? Well, that is your problem. Office rules are office rules and there is nothing you can do with it. Coworking spaces are more flexible. But recently we have seen one which has the same working hours as traditional offices, so in this case, you win nothing when choosing it over the traditional office. And the biggest problem with working from home is the challenge for your work ethics. You are in your cozy and comfortable zone and the temptation to have a Netflix marathon instead of doing your daily tasks.
The last thing to discuss is relaxing between your tasks. Most of the modern corporations have incorporated relax zones to their office spaces. Gaming consoles and a refrigerator full of snacks and drinks is no more wonder in the corporate world. Employers focus on a better environment for their workers and invest in relax zones too. Ok, there are a lot of tiers of coworking spaces so probably there are ones which offer some entertainment. But in general most that we have seen are just individual tables in some big, open space and some meeting rooms inside. We can presume that the best option to relax is to have a stroll outside. Your home offers the largest variety of entertainment, but again, we have met here to work first, not to play!
So, what is the perfect choice?
And now the hardest part- the final decision. No one decision fits all so we will divide it into three parts.
- Working from home. It is a perfect choice while creating your business model or MVP. You have the desire to create the concept of your idea so there is no way that somebody could stop you, you just need a laptop and a place to have a seat and in this case, your own home can offer it.
- Coworking spaces. After making MVP you need more troops for scaling it. In this case, we see this environment perfect for it since it has fewer expenses than traditional office ant there you can meet potential co-founders or partners which would like to have this journey with you.
- Traditional office. Since you have developed a stable version of your project, got some investments and employees you need to focus on going forward. The days of playing around are gone and work has to be well-organized. In my opinion, the place which is dedicated to scaling to your startup is a must and in this phase, there is no better way than the traditional office.
So, here are my $0.02 for choosing a place for your work. Every case individual so you need to make a decision by yourself, but this guide would definitely help you to get some insights from the perspective of an early-stage startup.