Co-working has had as long and complicated a history as the modern Internet, yet it’s still considered a fairly new trend for renters because of its explosion in the last five years or so.
At first, it was primarily limited to giant cities like New York and Los Angeles, so it’s no wonder that South Florida is experiencing a co-working revolution right now. According to commercial real estate firm CBRE’s Vice President Grant Killingsworth, “There’s more and more coming on a daily basis. I think our phone rings once a week with a new co-working operator.”
Co-Working Isn’t Just Renting an Office
Small businesses that are trying to get out of their basements or spare bedroom may spend a lot of time looking for an office for rent that’s both flexible and affordable, and often, that search ends in frustration and failure.
This is because they’re either failing to consider co-working spaces or unable to find one with a vacancy. Based on Killingsworth’s estimate, however, South Florida should be ripe with these opportunities soon.
The most important thing to realize about a co-working space is that it’s not the same as just renting an office. What you get in addition to desks and telephones (and sometimes furniture) is a unique environment in which other entrepreneurs from different markets come together and “cross-pollinate” each other’s ideas. Obviously, it’s not a requirement that you even so much as look other occupants in the eye, but the chance to passively collaborate is sort of the point.
For landlords, co-working spaces also make sense. After all, renting out a floor in a building to a co-working space full of entrepreneurs is likely to yield a few that are looking to expand their operations into bigger spaces in the building. Instead of having to hunt far and wide for a big enough space, those co-working businesses need look no further than that recently vacated corner office on the fourth floor. Everybody wins.
Choosing the Right Co-Working Space
South Florida is exploding with opportunities to co-work, but don’t just rent a co-working space because you can’t find an appropriate office for rent.
Ask your future landlord about amenities they offer and even about the other tenants. After all, you’ll be working side-by-side with these people each and every day, it’s important that your company somehow fit in that environment. For example, if you’re a marketing expert, it might not make sense to choose a co-working space occupied exclusively by people in IT.
Co-working is on an upswing as a trend in south Florida, this is the time for small businesses of every sort to make their biggest move. You never know, the company right next door could end up being your future business partner or project collaborator.