Co-Working Spaces – how do they stack up?

24th September 2018
Office with people working on laptops, computers and tablets

What is co-working and would it work for you?

More and more businesses are moving away from owning their own premises and into the subscription style model of co-working offices. This isn’t a surprise to us, because this model fits with leasing cars, and of course our own business of leasing computers, but does co-working stack up? What are the positives and negatives, who uses them and do they work for everyone? We thought we’d do some research and share our findings with you here.

Who are Co-Working spaces aimed at?

An estimated 6% of the UK workforce are freelancers, that’s around 1.91 million people, and according to recent studies, this is set to escalate to approximately 50% by 2020. But it’s not just freelancers who are taking on co-working space, many larger organisations such as British Airways and KPMG are recognising the benefits of sharing working space with other businesses. Lloyd’s Bank allows 30% of its workforce to work flexibly to allow them a richer work/life balance, but this also reduces its overheads and the need for them to own large business premises.

What’s great about Co-Working?

Co-working spaces allow freelancers and start-up entrepreneurs to work in a professional office environment without the worry of huge overheads, as mentioned before, but the benefits go beyond just financial savings, a desk and broadband. Many of them offer an unlimited supply of refreshments, on-site showers and free towels, sports classes and even educational programmes. There are also private conferencing facilities for meetings and calls. One of the biggest advantages though is being in close proximity to a multitude of businesses and professionals that you can tap into. The benefit of making connections with other professionals in your field, and beyond, is hugely valuable and one of the main reasons many opt for co-working.

Is Co-Working for You?

There are several different co-working companies, such as We Work, Second Home, Mind Space, and The Office Group. They all have numerous sites around the UK as well as internationally, and the number is growing fast. Around 10 years ago co-working meant finding a space in one of the chain coffee shops and hooking into their free wifi, but it now is a space where users have access to courses that help them grow their careers, as well as health and wellbeing classes. These co-working spaces are now not only offering a place for you to do your job, but they are also providing people with the means to enhance their lives as a whole. The simple truth is, if you’re looking for a co-working space there’s sure to be one out there that suits your business needs as well as your personal preferences. According to the Global Coworking Survey in 2016 78% of profitable co-working companies in the UK plan to expand with memberships of co-working clubs having increased by almost 50% in two years.

4 Things to Consider When Choosing your Co-Working Space:

1. Location – think about where it is, is it easily accessible by road/rail/public transport? Are there good amenities nearby? Is it in the right area for your business type?

2. Is it a functional and versatile space? Will it work for you if you need a quiet meeting space, or to make lots of calls? Is there a kitchen area, rec room, or gym? What’s important to you?

3. Community – take the time to find out about the community in the space you like, does the mix of businesses and talents fit well with your business area?

4. Does it fit with your budget? You may have fallen in love with it, but can you afford it!

As we said at the start, co-working fits perfectly with the subscription style model that HardSoft Computer Leasing has followed for more than 30 years. If you’d like to find out more about computer leasing from Hardsoft, get in touch with our fantastic team on 020 7111 1643 or