In the age of remote companies and freelancers, coworking spaces and shared offices are popping up on every single corner. I tried a lot of them in several cities in the world but I just don’t like them. Here’s why.
Coworkings are a good solution to meet new people. But to work, as the name suggests, they suck. In my opinion there are too many distractions and the infrastructure tends to be mediocre.
People want to have a chat or a coffee all the time. Or another hipster brings his barking dog to the office. The wifi is usually not very stable and most of them have crappy IKEA chairs. It makes me experience a certain anxiety from time to time.
I prefer to work at home. In silence, to be able to focus. And I like to alternate my daily routine between working, reading, going to the gym and cooking. That’s better for focus and it’s more healthy to change posture from time to time, too.
Besides that, I think coworking spaces have a business model problem.
They need to have reliable and fast wifi, even when 100+ people are using it simultaneously. That’s expensive. They need to be in convenient locations. So rent is expensive. They need to have decent office chairs and desks because people care about their posture and health. That’s expensive. They need employees to manage everything. That’s expensive.
On the other hand, prices shouldn’t be too high. Because then people aren’t coming to work there. If you have to pay more than €5 per day for a shared office, it becomes quite interesting to work at home. So that’s a €100 a month subscription, max.
This makes it nearly impossible to make a solid business out of a coworking.
Who cares? Well, what happens is that coworkings tend to cut costs on infrastructure. Bad wifi, bad chairs and no aircon or heating are very common. So then again, even more, it doesn’t make sense to go there to get work done.
I tend to work from home for peace, alternation and posture purposes. From time to time, I’ll go to a coworking for a couple of hours to meet new people or catch up with old friends. Especially when I’m in a new city.
For me, the real work isn’t getting done in coworkings.