Professionals have many choices in how they work these days. The workplace environment is constantly changing, and hybrid work has become increasingly popular. Employees don’t only have to choose between working at a traditional office or working from home. Coworking spaces – neutral spaces designed to accommodate people from different companies to work side-by-side – are also available.
Given the options of a coworking space or the traditional office, which suits you better?
It’s easy to jump to conclusions solely based on emotions when making your choice. But it’s worth first looking at things logically. What kind of worker are you? What type of environment do you need? What professional traits do you have that lend themselves to one work environment over the other? Look at the pros and cons of each situation before making a choice.
What are the pros and cons of a coworking space versus a traditional office? It comes down to greater autonomy and a person’s ability to adapt to that freedom. Coworking spaces attract workers with good time management and organization. They must set and keep their schedules productive outside of being directly managed. Coworking spaces also mean getting out of your comfort zone and routine, so it’s not for the skittish or those who prefer rigid structure.
Check out some of the top pros and cons of coworking to understand why it works for some but not others.
Benefits of Coworking Spaces
- The freedom to work where and when you want
- Change of scenery can be good for mental stimulation
- Ability to book different types of workspaces for different lengths of time
- Choice of many different types of coworking spaces and themes
- Opportunities for socialization with other professionals
Cons of Coworking Spaces
- Open office environment makes it hard to find privacy
- Can be louder or more distracting than a traditional workplace
- No face-to-face, in-person access to peers and coworkers
- Not guaranteed a seat or any seating consistency
- May not include perks like parking or a break room
If you’re not willing to create your own framework for productivity, a coworking space might not be for you. If you prefer predictability and do better with a clearly defined path, there’s no shame in choosing a traditional office workplace.
In deciding between a coworking space or a traditional office, many people gravitate toward the idea of “more freedom” with coworking. But there’s a catch: less predictability. That difference in perspective is why many people are keen on the traditional office.
If you like having a clear, specific roadmap for the day and values routine, look to a traditional office. A structured workplace also gives you access to peers and amenities in ways remote working can’t offer. For many, choosing a traditional office is a prime example of the adage, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
Here’s why traditional offices appeal to some and why others choose to embrace coworking spaces:
Benefits of the Traditional Office
- Familiar working structure and expectations
- Direct, in-person access to peers and managers
- Inclusive amenities, including parking, IT help, etc.
- Comfort from a routine, including commute
- Feeling of inclusion and not “missing out” on workplace happenings
Cons of the Traditional Office
- More rigid oversight and management
- Susceptible to monotony or “brain drain” from the same routine
- Much higher leasing and facilities upkeep costs
- Can be harder to adapt to changes in real-time
- Feeling of isolation that comes with a 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. schedule
New Normal in Workplace: It’s up to you
Given the choice between a coworking space and a traditional office environment, neither is the “right” option. The best choice depends on you and your working style.
Coworking spaces are likely appealing if you’re a driven, independent worker with excellent time management and a mastery of digital communication. If you like structure and order and feel more confident when collaborating with your peers face-to-face, a traditional office may better suit you. If you’re somewhere in between, take the opportunity to work fluidly between the two.
The great thing about the workplace is that the new normal is up to you and what working environment suits you best.