Challenges of Working in a Coworking Space

Challenges of Working in a Coworking Space

Coworking spaces have become an irrefutable part of our lives in the last few years. In fact, when asked office workers which type of work environment they prefer to have, the majority chose coworking spaces, and only a small portion opted for traditional offices. 

With this in mind, a large number of coworking spaces have appeared all over the world. These spaces come in different sizes and with various facilities and can answer the needs of remote workers and freelancers. Working in these spaces comes with many benefits. They can increase your productivity and concentration to a considerable degree. On the other hand, working long hours in proximity to complete strangers can come with its own set of unique challenges. In this article, we take a look at these challenges and come up with some solutions to overcome them. 

Irrelevant noises

If you are a person who needs to work in absolute quiet, the noises of other people working might bother you. In a shared working space, you cannot expect everybody to be absolutely still and quiet. There are other people working, speaking and listening to music all around you. Of course, these noises exist in traditional offices and all the other working environments. 

Solution 

Most people are able to focus on work even in noisy spaces. However, if you are not one of those people, you need to adapt to coworking spaces by taking a set of simple steps. First using noise cancelling headphones can help you get rid of surrounding noises, so you should definitely invest in a pair. 

Additionally, most coworking spaces have the option of private offices you can use. You can opt to sit in a private office on your own and work in peace and quiet. But do not forget to get out on your breaks and socialize with the other members of the coworking space. Making connections is one of the largest advantages of these environments. 

Lack of privacy

Using a shared internet connection comes with the risk of reduced security and the chance of getting hacked. Of course, coworking spaces invest a lot of time and money on internet security so that they can assure their clients that their information would be safe. But with this many people floating in and out all the time, it’s a little risky to entirely trust the system. 

Solution 

Fortunately, there is one simple solution to this issue. Arm yourself with a strong internet security system on your laptop and other devices. Update the software regularly and make sure that you pay close attention to the warnings and notifications it gives you. 

As for physical privacy, you just need to be careful nobody is looking over your shoulder as you are entering passwords, turn off your computer every time you step away from your desk to have a break and take your papers with you when you leave the coworking space. 

Space management

You can never expect to have everything you have at home in your coworking space as well. The amount of space you are allocated depends on the size of the facility and the money you are wiling to pay. However, you can manage to keep the essentials only and the essentials tend to become less and less as more companies migrate to the Cloud. 

Solution 

These days, employees do not need physical archives, log books and files to do their jobs. The only things you need to take to the coworking space are your laptop, an internet connection, and a few creature comforts. Shared working facilities most often come with a cafeteria and restaurant so you do not need to take much food with you. Fresh coffee is also available so do not worry about drinks either. 

Costs

If your company does not help you cover the costs of coworking spaces, it might be a little overwhelming to have to pay the monthly or annual cost by yourself. The cost of different facilities varies according to the perks you get. These perks might include a simple cafeteria and coffee machine, or it might be a little more comfortable and have a swimming pool, exercise facilities, a quiet room, a smokers’ area, a game room and a lot more.

Solution 

The cost of paying for a coworking facility is only justified if you think about the productivity you can have in a place where everybody is working. Imagine staying at home to work and having to domestic distractions every minute. How hard can it become to focus on tedious projects where all the other members of the family are watching TV or playing games. Therefore, it can be aid that any cost that a coworking space might impose on you can be completely worth it. 

Personalization

One of the pleasures of working at a traditional office is that you can have pictures of your family on your desk, your favorite mug in the kitchen, your books and artifacts on the shelves and a poster or two on the walls. This might prove completely impossible in a coworking space. The thought of having to move an entire office in your backpack every day might be daunting at times. What could also bother employees is to work at a bare desk every day.

Solution 

However, this does not have to be so. These days, the most important desk we have is our desktop and the largest space we share is our Skype or Zoom room. We can apply all the personalization we want on those spaces without invoking the unwanted curiosity of the coworkers. 

Shared gadgets

Coworking spaces usually come with a shared printer, scanner, coffee machine and other gadgets any office might need. There is what causes a problem: sometimes the traffic with using these gadgets gets too heavy and you find yourself waiting for something to get printed for a long time. Specially if the gadgets are even slightly outdated and don’t work as fast. 

Solution 

There is no way that you can bring your personal printer to the coworking space every day. So, there are two things you can do. First, you can do all your printing at home and simply bring the papers with you. And second, you can time your printing job carefully and do it while everybody else is having lunch or haven’t arrived yet. 

Cloud management

Moving information between the main office and the coworking space where you are based could be a nightmare without using cloud services. If you have decided to work remotely and pick a coworking space, then your company should definitely have the infrastructures for that. Having all the data you need on cloud can make your job much easier. You won’t need to ask for information or deal with transferring data from the main office while at work. 

Solution 

One simple solution to this challenge is to check with your main office and see how comfortable they are with sharing the information you need with you on cloud. You can’t be a burden on the team members who are staying in the main office. So, you need to have an automated process in which the information is forwarded to you without any delays. 

Final thoughts

Working in any work place can come with its own set of unique challenges. From annoying coworkers to the long commute to the office every day. It all can make you think you should invest in a coworking space. 

Of course, working in a coworking space is not all rainbows and butterflies. This arrangement also comes with some issues that can be fixed with some simple steps. Working in these spaces can become a dream come true if you are willing to bend your personal rules a little and adapt to the work atmosphere. 

Having a good relationship with your coworkers and enjoying the flexibility and facilities of coworking spaces are some of the factors that can make your experience at coworking spaces an unforgettable one. 

Working in coworking spaces for long hours in proximity to complete strangers can come with its own set of unique challenges.
Written by theHUB

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