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Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and your kitchen table or home office can no longer contain your business’ growth. It’s time to find your company a new home. At this early stage of scaling, small, affordable and flexible are some of the characteristics a business owner or manager may be considering when searching for office space.

Co-working or shared office space has been rising in popularity over the last few years as it’s seen as a more flexible or cheaper option to a traditional office lease. But as a business grows, shared office space may be a major liability to a new business. Below are 15 reasons a conventional office lease can help your business.

1. Reputation

Your business may not be taken seriously by a client if you don’t have a solid address for your company. Knowing you’ve invested the time and equity into having a dedicated office lends credibility to your company.

2. Professional Impression

In a co-working environment, the area around you is not in your control, and therefore you cannot set the tone of the interaction with your clients/potential clients during pitches or meetings. Boisterous members, messy break or conference rooms or a noisy area may not make the right impression.

3. Competition

Shared office space opens the possibility of working side-by-side with your direct and indirect competitors. Meeting face-to-face with your customers opens the possibility of your customers being approached by others with similar offerings.

4. Privacy

Depending on the co-working facilities and your membership agreement, you may not have as much privacy as you think. Businesses working with any type of verbal, print or digital confidential information such as medical history, financial statements, HR records, credit card data or any type of sensitive documents should consider this when searching for space for their business. Shared space, internet and printers will open your business up to customer or client information security concerns.

5. Security

If your short-term lease allows it, and you choose to work late or need to work long hours at a start-up, you may be left in an office with people you don’t know. Having your own private office lease gives you the ability to work in a secure area.

6. Customization

Shared and co-work offices are designed and decorated to the owner’s specifications, not yours. No customization to the space to reflect you or your brand to your clients. Additionally, your short-term lease agreement can mean additional costs for any “extras” including storage space, renting a conference room, administrative assistance, drinks and snacks, etc.

7. Culture

Having your own private office space allows you to set the culture for your clients, potential clients and your employees which is important for them to buy-in. Working out of a co-work space doesn’t allow any control over this. Your company’s culture is its personality – and that’s hard to create when you’re working with a mixed-bag of ever changing “co-workers” in someone else’s space.

8. Expansion

If your company needs to scale quickly in order to meet client demand, co-working space could end up costing you more in the long run as you’re in need of additional space.

9. “As-is” Space

As a result of leasing co-working space, you have to accept your working area in “as is.” condition. Additionally, you may be relocated if a user with a longer lease term need comes along.

10. Stability

Once you begin hiring, providing a stable work environment for your employees in which they can do their best work is important.  Relocating your employees each time you outgrow a coworking space will cause unnecessary disruptions each time you displace them.

11. Productivity and Focus

Co-working spaces invite social interaction and as such can be loud and distracting. People are coming and going at all times on varying schedules, and your “co-workers” in the space may change constantly. In your private office, you are in control and your employees are able to concentrate on the work at hand without distractions.

12. Work Hours

If you’re hoping for private time, you may be looking at some odd work hours to avoid the masses. Additionally, there will typically be 9-5 limitations on any services provided.

13. Adaptability

An additional concern if your business begins to scale is that the space you want to upgrade to may not be available in your co-work office selection. You may be left scrambling to find suitable office space instead of having the option to take your time to select the perfect space for your business. As an example, IMC is the manager of a diverse property portfolio and would work with you to move your business to another space inside our portfolio if your company begins to scale quicker than expected.

14. Google My Business

One of the first things to come up on a Google search of a business name or type is a Google My Business listing – if you have one. Google does not approve of listings for those using any type of virtual offices and has strict guidelines that must be met for any business in a co-work space. If you want to have a Google My Business listing – which is extremely important to your online presence and where you receive customer ratings – you may want to consider a traditional office lease.

15. Branding

Having your own office space gives you the ability to showcase your brand as you see fit. When you rent office space, the entire space belongs to your company. Imagine the immediate free advertising you’ll have by simply hanging your sign or logo on the building, placing decals with your contact information, website or social media channels in the windows and adding your address to Google.

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