One of the ways that many entrepreneurs get their start is in a coworking environment. When you're starting out, money is tight, and office space is hard to come by — especially if you feel that you need to get out of the house (and avoid its distractions) in order to truly accomplish what you need to as you work to start up your business.
Coworking has its benefits, and in order to choose the best situation for you, it's important that you consider the possible environments and choose one that is most likely to complement your needs.
Open Coworking Environments
Many coworking environments are open. You might have a separate desk or table, but all of the workstations are located in an open room. In some cases, the workstations consist of shared tables.
These open coworking environments are ideal for those who are interested in going somewhere to work, and perhaps occasionally interact. You can talk to others in this environment, and brainstorm ideas, but it's not an environment in which you can be particularly loud.
For the most part, these setups are ideal for those who just want to go and work on their ideas without many distractions. You should be fairly quiet in these situations, avoiding long and loud conversations over the phone, or serious strategy sessions. You don't want to disturb others in this environment.
Semi-Private Coworking Environments
There are some coworking environments that feature semi-privacy. There might be some workstations partitioned off, similar to cubicles. This gives you the ability to work with some degree of privacy, and even to hold conversations with others within the partition. However, it's still important to avoid having loud conversations, since you don't want to disturb your fellow coworkers.
A semi-private coworking environment can provide you with a place to spread out a little bit more, and is ideal for someone who wants to designate a work area. Many of these coworking environments allow you to pay a little extra to have a workstation associated with you. While I'd be wary of leaving personal effects in any coworking environment, this arrangement can be ideal if you want to be able to come in at any time and be assured of a preferred spot.
Private Coworking Environments
It's also possible to find private arrangements when it comes to coworking. There are coworking environments that offer private, walled off conference rooms and offices. In many cases, having the use of these facilities is cheaper than renting more traditional office space. A startup that might need to hold meetings, or have loud strategy sessions or make a number of phone calls and presentations can benefit from these types of coworking environments.
You can rent a private space on a monthly basis, or you can arrange to have a specific room only when you need it, working in the open the rest of the time.
What works for you depends on the need of your startup. With a little looking around, it's possible to find a coworking environment that fits your needs and personality.
What do you prefer in terms of coworking?