Office spaces on a budget.
Freelancing, an entrepreneur, self-employed, fun-employed or running a start-up?
Wherever you’re at, your own desk, WiFi connection, coffee and an office is a necessity.
We all know too well the distractions that come with working from home and the difficulty in finding a quiet coffee shop with reliable connection.
The unstable payment schedule of being a free agent raises questions of feasibility for those needing to rent out an office space. The solution to this entrepreneurial dilemma has emerged in the creation of co-working spaces.
According to Bizcommunity, “there are currently over 100 co-working spaces located in South Africa with that number set to double in 2022”.
The idea of you or your team being able to walk into a space, work and leave, is one of the most convenient ideas today
“a creative space for collaboration, work and freelancers that want a space to work, come together, share ideas and build a community,” says Paul Keursten, CEO and co-founder of Workshop 17. “In this insecure economy where people do not want to commit, they have a choice.”
Founder of Mashstartup Mashudu Modau describes it as, “more than just WiFi and a desk”, having run most of his work and events from there.
“Sometimes I even just need a space to work for a day and it’s my saving grace… Costs are often an entrepreneur’s biggest issue, so it is great if you need an office space and the cost of putting one together falling onto someone else.”
Although co-working spaces are said to be the future, they may not be for everyone. Below we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages of co-working:
- Affordable access to WiFi, a desk, and office space for yourself and workers.
- Affordable space to host events and meetings.
- Short term contract, including daily ‘walk in, walk out.’
- Costs of setting up an office space fall onto someone else.
- A space for collaboration, finding incubation and clientele.
- Opportunity to build a community, as freelancing can be an isolating experience.
- Multiple found in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, great for remote working.
- Amenities such as meeting rooms and free coffee — “there are so many emerging, each co-working space is trying their hardest to get our attention, so the amenities are great,” Keursten says.
- Opportunity for incubation and funding in spaces like J&B Hive and Tshimologong Precinct.
- Open plan, so privacy is limited.
- High security issues (Something Keursten is working on for Workshop 17).
- Mostly found in economic hubs like Johannesburg, Cape Town and limited in Durban and Port Elizabeth.
- Long-term rental might not be feasible for a company looking to grow.