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What’s it REALLY Like to Work in a Shared Space

Because co-working might not be what you were expecting...

If you’ve spent your professional life working in a traditional office setting, you may be nervous about working in a shared space. While each facility has its own quirks and personality, for the most part, you can expect a few universal experiences across most places. So What's it really like to work in a shared space? Read on to find out.


A row of dedicated desks in a co-working facility, with a large calendar and tidy workspaces with lamps and plants.
Dedicated seating at NWA Workplaces, Bella Vista

Let’s start with Dedicated Space. If you have signed up for Dedicated Space, you can expect your work spot to be the same- day in, day out. You won’t have to fight every day for the Hot Desk that best suits your idea of a good workplace, and in most places, you can leave your monitors and other work supplies at your desk.

You’ll likely have a locking file cabinet, a fob or code to access the space at all hours, as well as the ability to print and scan documents, and of course, nearly everyone offers FREE COFFEE. There’s probably a communal kitchen with a microwave and fridge, so you can eat lunch away from your desk if you like, without having to rely on takeout on work days, unless that’s what you like to do. 

Most Dedicated Spaces are in an open area, so while there’s no door to close, you will likely be in a cubicle, or have other dividers that keep you from accidentally bumping into your neighbor as you move the mouse around your desk. This also means there is more noise than in a closed space, but since everyone else is there to work, in all likelihood, your Dedicated Open Space will be relatively quiet and free from constant noise. 


a cubicle in a co-working desk, with an adjustable standing desk and large computer monitor
Hot Desk with Monitor at NWA Workplaces, Bella Vista

But let’s say you have chosen a drop-in workspace, Hot Desk, or some other open area seating option. This is likely a good deal less expensive than dedicated space, but you will also find yourself subject to a “first come, first served” seating arrangement. While not as chaotic as the coffee shop, you will still be out in the open, and the noise level will likely be equivalent to being in the library. 

Often, in open areas, you will have access to phone booths you can use to make quick phone calls, and it’s usually OK to leave your stuff at your place while you use them, as well as when you step away for the bathroom, a snack, or some fresh air. You’ll also probably have access to the kitchen and free coffee, as these are perks coworking facilities like to offer to attract Members. 


Conference room with blue chairs and abstract art on the walls.
The Franklin Conference Room at 5th St.

If you are using a meeting room in a coworking space, you will have access to the printing, coffee, kitchen, and all the other coworking perks, but you will also have privacy and likely access to technology like webcams and large-screen TVs/monitors, and a dry-erase board. You may also have in-room beverage service, or access to refreshments in the kitchen areas. Just because you are in a private room, though, please consider those in other parts of the facility and don’t create any disruptions or other nuisance, and do your best to leave the room in good condition as there may be another booking coming in after yours and they’d like to have a clean room to use just like you did.  


These are just a few of the coworking options you may encounter when accessing some of the most common services offered. If you’d like to see if coworking is right for you, use the button below to contact us and set up a free day of coworking or to book a tour and see what we have to offer.

In our next post, we’ll discuss the types of Private Offices you may find at a coworking facility. meanwhile, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, and we'll catch you next week.  



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