Coworking: Report outlines pros and cons compared to traditional workspaces

Business leaders focused on 'flexible yet well-equipped spaces,' says expert

Coworking: Report outlines pros and cons compared to traditional workspaces

Despite the rise in coworking spaces, this may not be the best approach, according to workers.

Currently, more companies are working in private offices (54%) compared with those in co-working spaces (46%), reports Capterra.

“With flexible yet well-equipped spaces being a new priority, business leaders may be reconsidering the value and effectiveness of their workspaces,” says Tessa Anaya, content analyst at Capterra

“Whether currently working in traditional offices or coworking spaces, it’s important to evaluate aspects such as the convenience of location, availability of amenities and the management of the facility itself (such as managing room bookings to scheduling maintenance), to name a few.”

Why choose a coworking space?

Asked why their companies choose to work in coworking spaces, access to shared amenities (31%) is the top answer, based on Capeterra’s survey of over 1,000 workers in August 2023 made up of 467 coworking employees and 554 private office workers.

However, just about the same number of workers also cite cost reduction and the flexibility of opening hours and available space (both 30%) as their employers’ reason for the choice.

In fact, nearly a third (32%) of coworking employees said their company worked out of a private office before moving to a coworking space.

And working in the shared space has its benefits, including the following, according to workers:
 

  • collaborative atmosphere and networking opportunities (44%)
  • possibility to meet with coworkers (40%)
  • The office being in a convenient location (37%)
  • access to shared amenities (35%)
  • interactions with professionals from various industries (28%)

Coworking proved to be popular as the pandemic subsided, according to a previous report.

Being in a coworking space, however, also has its disadvantages, according to Capterra, including: 

  • distractions and noise levels (55%)
  • having limited privacy (45%)
  • having limited control over environment (26%)
  • possible disruptions caused by events (22%)
  • competition for resources during peak hours (19%)

A deeper look into the data, however, reveals that younger employers are more likely to seek out shared spaces compared with more seasoned companies.

Percentage of those who work in a private office

Age of company

Percentage of those who work in co-working spaces

39%

Less than 2 years old

60%

44%

2-3 years old

56%

45%

3-4 years old

55%

57%

More than 4 years old

44%

What are the benefits of a private office?

On the other hand, working in a private office also has its positives and negatives. Doing so brings workers:

  • a consistent work routine (49%)
  • enhanced privacy and reduced distractions (46%)
  • all facilities are dedicated to one company’s employees (40%)
  • having collaboration opportunities with colleagues (36%)
  • It’s safer in terms of IT security (33%)
  • possibility to personalize workspace (33%)

The disadvantages, meanwhile, include:

  • distractions and noise level complaints (35%)
  • the lack of workspace flexibility (30%)
  • space constraints (30%)
  • management can be overbearing (27%)
  • limited exposure to different work styles (25%)

The office environment can contribute to workers’ stress, according to a previous report from Cisco.

When asked about their preference in the type of workplace, however, the private office comes up on top, according to Capterra.

About two in three (65%) of coworking employees would want to work in a private office. Only 27% of private office workers would prefer to be in a coworking environment.

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