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The Disadvantages of Co-working Spaces

Everything comes with its benefits and drawbacks, but regardless of any flaws in co-working spaces, the concept has grown exceptionally in the last 10 years. From 14 spaces worldwide in 2007, to a predicted 30,000 by 2022. This growth is warranted, as most co-workers claimed that these spaces were improving their creativity, productivity, interaction and job satisfaction. Of course, other larger businesses want to get involved with these co-working spaces!

But is co-working the answer for every business? Does it only deliver positive results? Here are a few disadvantages of co-working.

Dwindling work culture

Yes, working online means you can wear pyjamas and sit on the sofa during any important meeting, but there is no denying that physical work environments make it much easier to interact with fellow employees.

This is made even easier when you are in your own office / building as you know your company’s values, beliefs, history and the behaviour of its leadership. Knowing where you stand in a situation is the most important factor when wanting to communicate confidently.

However, in a shared space with numerous people from multiple different companies, these are less possible to accomplish. A company can’t stamp their mark on an office that partly belongs to them.


You may not be in love with your office, but it’s what you know best. You know where things are, what the rules are, who can and can’t go to certain places. It’s nice to know these things, you can walk around with confidence and with no concern.

Employees need to know these things in order to work effectively. Decision-makers need to communicate with the people who use their workspace each day to maximise employee productivity by meeting their needs and creating ideal workspaces.

With co-working spaces, though, companies have less freedom to create convenient working environments for their employees. If the needs of the staff can’t be met, then their work won’t be the best it can be.

Individual preferences

If you are a social butterfly, then co-working spaces are just for you. Being in a more public environment, discussing and sharing ideas won’t be a problem for you and your work is unlikely to be affected.

However, not everyone is like this. While it is a breath of fresh air for some, it can be overwhelming and difficult for people who dislike being too social and work better in a quiet environment. Doing their work can be difficult when there is too much background noise.

Security and privacy

Security is always a concern for every business, whether it’s physical or cyber. In recent times, cybersecurity has been the main concern of most companies, and they have gone to great lengths to keep their people and information protected. However, working in an unfamiliar environment with foreign technology can leave you open to cybersecurity risks, which is never a good start.

On the flip side, physical privacy is thrown out the window when in a co-working space. When, before, the leadership wanted to give a presentation to their staff, then they would simply take them to a different room and give the presentation.

But the rules change in a co-working space. If you wish to give a private presentation to your employees, you must rent a meeting room, which isn’t always perfectly safe as outsiders may still be able to view or listen in on what is being discussed.

Delivering the perfect working environment for your staff is about appealing to individual needs in order to get the best results. This is why co-working spaces may be good for some businesses, but illogical for others.

Check out our ebook, Work Together Anywhere, for more information about collaborative and distributed workforce solutions: