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The Economic Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Alley Team
Alley Team
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If you are a small business, you know how important it is to be conscious about how money is spent. Any opportunity to save will be welcomed with open arms, and additional fees will always be avoided if possible. It may seem counterintuitive to join a coworking space. After all, wouldn’t the membership fees be better spent in some other way?

When analyzed more closely, however, a coworking membership can be an important investment that helps save money for startups in many ways. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a coworking space over common alternatives.

Coworking vs. Working from Home

Many companies started out as a pile of paperwork and an open laptop on a couch or dining table in a cramped apartment. Yet, as the business starts to gain some steam, working from home starts to inhibit productivity and growth. At home, you are responsible for buying all your own materials, and the expenses can quickly add up! For example, if you do not have a good printer and copier, you may be paying several cents per sheet to print at a local office supply store or library. You also must spend time driving around to pick up the copies or pay more to have them delivered.

On the other hand, a coworking workspace will include:

• Printers

• Copiers

• Fax Machines

• Wi-fi

• Office Supplies

Working from home often seems like an easy way to save money for startups, but it can too easily kill productivity. When you also are responsible for taking care of your workspace, the pile of clutter on the table can quickly become a distraction that takes up the entire afternoon. In addition, you may be tempted to go make yourself a snack or turn on the television or talk to your roommate instead of doing your work. Coworking spaces are separate from your living space, so personal tasks or distracting temptations do not get in the way as much. This is one of the reasons coworking spaces can help increase productivity, saving you time and helping to earn more money for your business.

Many people also want to get a tax deduction for their home office space. This process, however, is very restrictive and requires a lot of measuring and math to calculate. Shared office space membership costs, on the other hand, are almost always tax deductible for small businesses and are easy to submit and calculate. When in doubt about deductions, however, always talk to your accountant to see how the numbers stack up.

Coworking vs. Working in Public

Many people realize that it is more efficient to work outside of the home, so they go out to a public place to work instead. In addition to the increased productivity, the public space is great for meetings with potential clients and business partners since places like cafes are designed to facilitate conversation. Like working from home, however, working in a public space requires you to pay for your own supplies and drive around quite a bit. Unlike working from home, though, the space is not already included in your rent costs.

Usually, a trip to the coffee shop will include a drink and a pastry. After all, the space is usually reserved for customers. These prices add up quickly, though, and the combo could cost your close to $10. After a few hours, you may feel compelled to buy another drink, or you may purchase a drink for a client or partner. Again, the bill starts to climb, and while you may have the potential to use your home office space as a tax deduction, the food that you buy for yourself and the commuting costs to the public space are generally not tax deductible. You also may be limited by the hours of your favorite location. If you do your best work in the evening, the local café or diner may have already closed.

Coworking spaces can help save money for startups because they include unlimited coffee, tea, and snacks in the membership cost, and many offer members access to facilities 24/7. There is no need to make a purchase to stay, and you won’t get kicked out at the end of the day. The space is also designed to facilitate meeting with clients and offers private meeting rooms for members to use. You can even offer some of the complimentary coffee to your clients and save that way too!

Coworking vs. Leasing

When a company gets to be a certain size, many business owners start to consider getting their own space. Leasing, however, this can be expensive and unpredictable. What if your business grows, but the lease is not yet up? What if you overestimate and are paying for far too much space? In addition to these worries, businesses are usually responsible for all of the upfront and maintenance cost of all office appliances, supplies, and facilities of the space. While leasing may lend a certain air of professionalism and legitimacy to your business, there is a strong cost associated with it. Access to a coworking space typically costs less than the total price of leasing and supplies, and it comes with a lot of the same perks. Business owners will still have access to meeting spaces, a business address, and a place to work whenever it suits them.

There are many ways to save money for startups and small businesses, and a coworking membership is a great one! Whether the alternative for your business is working from home, working in public, or leasing, a collaborative workspace offers your company the opportunity to save money and increase productivity for a much lower price.

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