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Looking into co-working space and it's remarkably affordable. Even in the heart of Boston, where office rent is astronomical, a co-working space is literally a few hundred bucks a month.

Has anyone here gone the co-working route? Any pros or cons you'd like to share?

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2 hours ago, ShayB said:

Looking into co-working space and it's remarkably affordable. Even in the heart of Boston, where office rent is astronomical, a co-working space is literally a few hundred bucks a month.

Has anyone here gone the co-working route? Any pros or cons you'd like to share?

I'm not sure I could work in an open environment with other businesses there. Seems to me there would be a lot of commotion. I'm trying to figure out what the benefit would be for you to set up like this?  Is there shared equipment that would help you do your work that you don't have, or do you just want a "formal" meeting space for yourself and clients?  

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I get it. It takes you out of the home office and puts you in an environment with other entrepreneurial types, support services, etc.

I'm all for it. I know when I work from home, I lose all perspective on space and time. Getting dressed and going somewhere to work can give one some needed structure.

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I have not done it yet, but I have strongly considered going this route or just straight up renting an office somewhere. The flexibility of working from home is awesome. There are times though where it is great to get out of the home. I often go hit up a Starbucks or something and my productivity soars. If I did it everyday it would not have the same impact. 

The thing that has always stopped me is that almost none of my clients are local, so it would just be me using the space. It wouldn't have any other functionality other than getting me the hell out of the house. ;)

 

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For me it would depend on the structure of the physical space.  I've contracted with businesses who are in the area just to do an event and they often pick up a temp shared space. Some of them are completely open, to the point you have your own counter space and behind, but no wall between you and other businesses. I couldn't do that. I'd need walls, even if just cubicle style. One had little offices with three walls and the front just opened up into a common area.  I could do that.  Just wide open space though - I couldn't, and wouldn't do that. 

 

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These are very popular among tech startups and I see the attraction, although I've never done it personally. I'm in somewhat of a similar situation though, so will share that experience. I've got a couple of offices, which I have to share with others. At university, that's not a big deal as I rarely use it anyways, preferring the classroom instead. 

I have an office at our EFL school, which I primarily use for doing any local business meetings I need to do. I don't keep records there for anything but the school itself (business records are in the cloud). Since that school works evenings (students have public school during the day), I can use it during the day as needed. However, since all of my kids are at their respective schools, I prefer working from home, as does my wife. 

In the evenings, when not in class, I'll commandeer the office and either move the manager to an empty classroom if one is available or share it with her. But it's still distracting - students and parents in and out all evening, teachers, etc., so I can't do anything that requires a lot of focus like programming during those hours. I can do a lot of other paperwork, research, planning, etc., For example, I often do the beta testing for our group project during that time. 

Back in the day, when I lived in the real world and pursued a professional career, having an office was a pain in the ass, with all the accompanying corporate distractions. As I think back on it now after mainly working from home all these years, I'm still amazed I was ever able to get anything done. 

I think it comes down to the kind of person you are - if you're focused and productive working from home AND you don't really need an office, then I wouldn't bother with it. But as Jack mentioned, if you're the kind of person who is more productive with some structure OR you need to meet with local clients, then go for it. 

For me, I get out of the house enough that it's just not a problem. If I really needed and could justify co-working space, I think I would do it though. Especially, if I was in an environment with like-minded people (other developers in my case). 

One other thought before I end this litany - if you don't really need an office, except occasionally, you could always try hitting up friends to borrow their office space or rent one from a hotel. I've done both of these in the past and for the latter, I still do it when holding conferences. It's cheap, they provide food and drinks and I don't have to maintain it. 

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3 hours ago, BIG Mike said:

These are very popular among tech startups and I see the attraction, although I've never done it personally. I'm in somewhat of a similar situation though, so will share that experience. I've got a couple of offices, which I have to share with others. At university, that's not a big deal as I rarely use it anyways, preferring there classroom instead. 

I have an office at our EFL school, which I primarily use for doing any local business meetings I need to do. I don't keep records there for anything but the school itself (business records are in the cloud). Since that school works evenings (students have public school during the day), I can use it during the day as needed. However, since all of my kids are at their respective schools, I prefer working from home, as does my wife. 

In the evenings, when not in class, I'll commandeer the office and either move the manager to an empty classroom if one is available or share it with her. But it's still distracting - students and parents in and out all evening, teachers, etc., so I can't do anything that requires a lot of focus like programming during those hours. I can do a lot of other paperwork, research, planning, etc., For example, I often do the beta testing for our group project during that time. 

Back in the day, when I lived in the real world and pursued a professional career, having an office was a pain in the ass, with all the accompanying corporate distractions. As I think back on it now after mainly working from home all these years, I'm still amazed I was ever able to get anything done. 

I think it comes down to the kind of person you are - if you're focused and productive working from home AND you don't really need an office, then I wouldn't bother with it. But as Jack mentioned, if you're the kind of person who is more productive with some structure OR you need to meet with local clients, then go for it. 

For me, I get out of the house enough that it's just not a problem. If I really needed and could justify co-working space, I think I would do it though. Especially, if I was in an environment with like-minded people (other developers in my case). 

One other thought before I end this litany - if you don't really need an office, except occasionally, you could always try hitting up friends to borrow their office space or rent one from a hotel. I've done both of these in the past and for the latter, I still do it when holding conferences. It's cheap, they provide food and drinks and I don't have to maintain it. 

I guess I'm weird when it comes to distractions when I'm working, lol!

I always get lost in what I'm doing and if someone wants to get my attention, they end up having to call my name several times to bring me out of my brain or actually come up and place their hand on my shoulder. I have always been that way. I can't tell you how many times my dryer buzzer has gone off and I totally missed it only to find cold wrinkled clothes hours later, Grr! :angry:

I find the only time other people around chatting and laughing or loud noises from outside or something like that distracts me is when I'm already annoyed by something completely unrelated to begin with.

Funny how different things work for different people.

 

Terra

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53 minutes ago, Terra said:

I guess I'm weird when it comes to distractions when I'm working, lol!

I always get lost in what I'm doing and if someone wants to get my attention, they end up having to call my name several times to bring me out of my brain or actually come up and place their hand on my shoulder. I have always been that way. I can't tell you how many times my dryer buzzer has gone off and I totally missed it only to find cold wrinkled clothes hours later, Grr! :angry:

I find the only time other people around chatting and laughing or loud noises from outside or something like that distracts me is when I'm already annoyed by something completely unrelated to begin with.

Funny how different things work for different people.

 

Terra

I get lots of distractions at home - those don't bother me so much as the office distractions. For me, it's the kids in the background, the housekeeper, etc., I'm used to that. 

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Distractions don't much bother me, either.  I think most people can work around those. My thoughts on distracting were in respect to having clients in.  It can be hard to talk to clients with a lot going on around you.  That's why the physical space would be a large consideration for me.  If there are a few private rooms available to block off time to use for meetings with clients, or your space is at least cubicled,  then your problem is solved on that one even if the rest of the floorplan on shared space is open.  

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48 minutes ago, BIG Mike said:

I get lots of distractions at home - those don't bother me so much as the office distractions. For me, it's the kids in the background, the housekeeper, etc., I'm used to that. 

I was the same way when I was a medical secretary. I guess the best way to describe it is sort of like a little kid daydreaming in the clasroom while gazing out the window, haha!

Thank goodness I didn't do that while tending patients though! :lol:

Terra

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Shay, I have a lot of Brokers, RE agents that can and do work from home.  They also utilize their office space.  One of my Broker clients has use of the provided office space, but has her own office, too! 

If I didn't live so danged far away from stuff, I would look into having an office space.  I actually was offered one, for free, but I'd have to help out with his computer store, no biggy for me, except it's in Idaho and about an hour away.  :(  I'd love to go there.  I could save on my internet, but the cost of gas with our truck, would outdo the savings. 

I miss the interaction with people, so if it was much closer, I'd be all in!

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I can work from home, and have done so for many years, but even after 21+ years of parenting, I find the background noise of kiddos can be distracting. (Especially when I'm writing.)

The office spaces I've looked into have "quiet" areas along with common areas. They also have soundproofed phone rooms if you need to make/take a call. Also having conference rooms (along with big screens for Powerpoint), large dry erase boards for brainstorming, etc.

While I wouldn't be there 40 hours a week, it would be worth it to me, I think, to have a quiet place to go if I needed to get a project done. :) 

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1 hour ago, ShayB said:

I can work from home, and have done so for many years, but even after 21+ years of parenting, I find the background noise of kiddos can be distracting. (Especially when I'm writing.)

The office spaces I've looked into have "quiet" areas along with common areas. They also have soundproofed phone rooms if you need to make/take a call. Also having conference rooms (along with big screens for Powerpoint), large dry erase boards for brainstorming, etc.

While I wouldn't be there 40 hours a week, it would be worth it to me, I think, to have a quiet place to go if I needed to get a project done. :) 

You won't know until you try it, so take the plunge :)

Forgot to ask, is this month-to-month? Or is there a lease involved? If no lease, you might want to try it on for size and see if it's a goof fit :)

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25 minutes ago, BIG Mike said:

You won't know until you try it, so take the plunge :)

Forgot to ask, is this month-to-month? Or is there a lease involved? If no lease, you might want to try it on for size and see if it's a goof fit :)

It's month-to-month, and I can even buy a day pass to test things out. :) 

Edited to add: They offer a free day pass option, and I took them up on it. Got more work done in one day than I could do in a week at home. LOL 

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1 hour ago, ShayB said:

It's month-to-month, and I can even buy a day pass to test things out. :) 

Edited to add: They offer a free day pass option, and I took them up on it. Got more work done in one day than I could do in a week at home. LOL 

That is awesome news, Shay!

I'm excited for you. I know you've been working hard on top of dealing with your life changes and your move to a new place so to find somewhere you can be that productive is worth it's weight in gold.

Sounds like you've found a good thing! :)

 

Terra

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8 hours ago, ShayB said:

It's month-to-month, and I can even buy a day pass to test things out. :) 

Edited to add: They offer a free day pass option, and I took them up on it. Got more work done in one day than I could do in a week at home. LOL 

Sounds like you might have a good solution on your hands here.  Month-to-month is good, too, in case you change your mind.  Sounds like their availability of "quiet and private" space addresses the issues that had presented themselves in my mind. 

Hope you have a great experience with it. 

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