Shared Workspace vs Coworking Space: What’s the Difference?

Written By Alla Levin
May 08, 2018
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Shared Workspace vs Coworking Space: What’s the Difference?

Remote work is flourishing, and more accommodations are being created. Because of this, there’s a lot of confusion between a shared workspace and a coworking workspace. Click here and discover the difference.

What’s the difference between a shared workspace and coworking spaces? If you’re an independent worker, you can understand how an office space outside of the home or coffee shop can boost your business.

There are 57.3 million freelance workers in the U.S. alone, and that is expected to balloon to 86 million by 2027. By that time, most workers in the U.S. will be independent.

That will cause the demand for independent office spaces to rise. If you’re considering an office outside of the home or coffee shop, you do have affordable options. The most common arrangements are coworking and shared workspaces. Read on the learn the differences between the two and tell which one is right for your business.

How Do You Know You Need a New Office Space?Shared-Workspace-vs-Coworking-Space-Whats-the-Difference


Let’s look at your current working situation. You’re a freelancer or remote worker, and you work from home. You may venture to the coffee shop for meetings and get out of the house. You may or may not have a separate office in your home to work from.

You have the freedom to set your own hours, you’re much happier, and you are more productive. You have some distractions at home that can pull away from your focus. Having an office away from home also makes it easier to separate work from home. That makes it easier to find time to rest and relax.

The downside to working from home is the lack of social connection. You go out to the coffee shop, and that helps, but the local shops frown on you taking up space all day long.

If you run your own business from home, you may feel safer having a separate address. You may also want a professional look and feel for your business. You want to give clients the impression that you take your work seriously rather than treat it as a hobby. A shared office space and coworking spaces can provide you the social connections you need, give your business an address, and share your clients the right impression.

What’s a Shared Workspace?Shared Workspace vs Coworking Space

A shared workspace is an office space where you have separate offices in a business center. There are other businesses with their own offices, too. You’re sharing resources like the reception area and staff, copiers, faxes, and printers in this situation. They come with broadband WIFI, and they’re fully furnished. Shared workspaces are great if you prefer to be in an office environment with other businesses, but you like to shut the door for privacy.

This way, you can focus on your work and make phone calls without anyone listening in on your conversation. These arrangements tend to be more expensive, but they allow you to grow as your business does. If you hire on staff, you can usually upgrade your office space to a suite if there’s space available.

You’ll also want to read the fine print for shared workspaces. There may be additional costs to book a meeting room (though at a discounted rate). There may also be additional costs to use the fax or printer if you’re over your allotted usage.

A shared workspace is great for more established businesses, but it also presents opportunities for newer businesses. For example, shared workspaces often hold after-hours networking events where you can mix and mingle with larger enterprises. This can often lead to trade for you.

What’s a Coworking Space?Shared Workspace vs Coworking Space


Workspace vs. Coworking Space: a coworking space is different from a shared workspace. In a coworking space, you’re in an ample, open space with desks lined up. Depending on the coworking space, the desks are entirely open or arranged in cubicles.

Coworking spaces are common in start-up and creative communities. That’s because these types of businesses lend themselves to a more open, collaborative environment that coworking spaces provide.

You’ll often see coworking spaces dominated by graphic designers, writers, and marketers who work together on the same project. You’ll also see start-ups working together to refine their investor pitches and build their businesses.

Coworking arrangements tend to be less expensive. There are a couple of different pricing models in coworking spaces. You can get a hot desk, which is an open deck that’s usually available on a first-come-first-serve basis. This is an inexpensive option if you want to get out of the house a few days a week.

There are also memberships, which provide meeting rooms and a permanent desk so you can leave some items behind. While coworking spaces seem like a good option because they’re inexpensive, you need to be aware of the drawbacks. Since you’re going to be in an open environment, you need to be prepared for noise and potential distractions.

You can’t decide who your neighbors are, and you may have one who insists on talking loudly on their phone all of the time. You might get a neighbor who eats at their desk and chews very loudly. If that’s a pet peeve of yours, bring big headphones or opt for a shared office.

Not only that, but if you have to make phone calls and you would like some privacy, you may have nowhere to go to make that call. That can be very distracting if you’re a writer or need to focus on your work. There’s no door to shut for noise and privacy.

The Virtual Office: Workspace vs Coworking Space

There’s another option that’s often overlooked: a virtual office. A virtual office is a good start if you’re looking for a professional feel to your work, but you prefer to work out of your home office.

A virtual office will handle your mail and give you the security and peace of mind of not using your home address for business purposes. You’ll have a professional look and feel because you can use the business address, and you’ll have someone handling your phone calls for you.

Shared Workspace or Co-Working Space?

If you’re ready to give your business a professional look, you have plenty of options. A shared workspace is great for established companies or freelancers who prefer privacy. Coworking spaces provide you with flexibility and the opportunity to collaborate. Check out our business blog today if you want more great business tips.

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