Any success at coworking spaces?

over 4 years ago from , Lead Designer

I’m considering getting a private office at a WeWork, and I was wondering if any other freelance designers think it’s worth the investment.

My main interest is the networking opportunities and the prospect of getting new clients.

What are your experiences with coworking spaces?


  • Alex Curtis, over 4 years ago

    I wouldn't get a WeWork office with the expectation that it will get you business through networking opportunities. Granted, it might... but I wouldn't count on it.

    I would get a coworking office for the environment that it provides you. I enjoy coworking spaces because it allows me to work for myself and continue to have that freedom, plus enjoy a little bit of the social aspect of working in an office, which I somewhat miss from my corporate days.

    I find that going to a workplace helps me better focus and not get distracted, like I often do when I am at home. When I show up at the coworking space I tend to be more productive and get more done than the days I stay at home. This is even though I have a dedicated office in my home too. It is easy to get distracted at home with so many small things. When I am at the coworking office, I focus almost entirely on work, and get a lot done.

    I don't go into the office everyday. But probably 3-4 days a week. Again, I find the office space away from my home helps me stay focused on tasks.

    I think coworking spaces are effective for people that work by themselves (or as a small team of <4 people) to offer a traditional work environment, while still working for yourself. But I just wouldn't get it with the expectation that it will bring you business. You might meet a few people at first, but eventually you are seeing the same people over and over, and most of them tend to be software developers and designers anyway who are also freelancers.

    6 points
  • Gokhun GuneyhanGokhun Guneyhan, over 4 years ago

    I worked at 4 different WeWork locations (London) in a year, I've to say their 'support/management team' is rubbish and it is way overpriced (but yeah they've the best interiors).

    If you'll go for it, make sure you have a decent discount, especially if you're thinking to rent a shared room rather than a hot desk - most of their buildings are actually empty so they just do classic sales techniques with telling you 'there's a special discount this week but it ends tomorrow' and they're too busy and don't have any place for the next 2 months. I got a 30% discount for the first 6 months, and then because they failed to give me a key for 4 months, they offered 6 months free membership when I wanted to leave.

    When it comes to networking, I guess it really depends on you. I'm not really the type of person who attends events just for the sake of meeting new people. But still, I managed to get 3 clients (all found me through the members' network) and made a lot more than what I actually paid. You can access to the network by paying 50$/month, which will also give you free access to any building once a month and you can pay 25$/day if you want any extra days - so you can try it out for the first months if you're not sure about it.

    1 point
    • , over 4 years ago

      Oh interesting, I've been trying to get a good discount but they won't budge. The best they will do is offer me a 5% discount if I sign for 6+ months, but it's still more than my budget. I'm looking at a private office though, so maybe that's why.

      0 points
  • Adam Hayman, over 4 years ago

    Like Alex said, the networking aspect of coworking spaces is pretty minimal. At least in the one I used to work at (Idea Foundry in Columbus, Ohio), everyone basically kept to themselves and was focused on their work. I suppose if you went to after-hours events you could connect with some folks, but during the day there won't be a whole lot of mingling.

    That said, they're great for getting into a setting where you're actually focused on work and not distracted by whatever you have going on at home. The only reason I stopped going was because the Idea Foundry tripled their pricing overnight and it didn't make financial sense anymore.

    1 point