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Is WeWork a Good Option for Your Small Business?


Weslie Oeftering
Is WeWork a Good Option for Your Small...

If you are alive and working in a large city in 2019, then odds are that you have at the very least heard of WeWork. If you are unfamiliar, WeWork is a company that leases office buildings in cities around the country and rents out those spaces to individuals, small businesses and even large companies.

Don’t be confused, though. WeWork spaces are not just empty offices with random people milling around. They are trusted by some of the biggest names in the business (IBM, Facebook, etc.), in part because they offer tons of amenities to their customers:

  • Stylish lounges
  • Kitchens stocked with fresh-fruit, coffee and tea
  • Soundproof phone booths
  • Business-class printers
  • High-speed internet (of course)

Another reason they are trusted by such big companies is that WeWorks are the perfect satellite offices. When these companies need a presence in a certain city but do not need their own building, WeWork is often a great alternative to leasing office for a long period of time.

Why? WeWork’s are fully-functioning office spaces that come without the worry of having to hire an office manager or receptionist to keep the place up and running. This escape from the more tedious side of operating a business, however, comes at a price.

Average WeWork Pricing

Although Austin is a relatively small city with only 1 million people, its thriving tech startup scene has earned it four WeWork locations. That’s a lot considering that similarly sized cities like Denver and Seattle only have two and three, respectively. San Francisco, on the other hand, has 15 WeWorks, and New York has 44.

Leasing a “hot desk” at an Austin WeWork costs anywhere between $350 and $375 a month. What is a hot desk, you ask? Essentially, it gives you the right to sit at a pool of desks in a common area. The availability of desks depends on a number of things, including how early you get there, and how busy it is that day.

A dedicated desk, which relieves you from the worry of whether or not your favorite spot will be taken, will run you between $450 and $500 a month.

If you’re looking for something with more privacy, however, then a single private office will cost you between $700 and $1050 a month.

Garages vs. Glamour

While all that may sound cool – and fairly priced – I’m not writing this post just to sing the praises of WeWork. The truth is, WeWork is not for everyone or every company. Remember that some of the largest companies in the world began in garages, apartments, and even coffee shops  – not communal offices with hip and trendy common areas featuring cold brew and snacks.

If you don’t have access to a garage, lots of small businesses do just fine working as virtual teams, only meeting up when necessary. Some just meet up in coffee shops every day for basically the cost of a few cups of joe instead of paying rent to anyone. Some coffee shops, like the Capital One Cafes featuring Peet’s coffee, don’t mind if you spend all day working there. Yes, you’ll probably spend money on coffee but at least you won’t have to spend it on rent for you and the rest of your team.

Money is probably the most important consideration when deciding if WeWork is for you, especially if your startup is still in its early stages. Do you have $350 – $1,050 to shell out on a co-working space? If the answer is yes, then ask yourself if that money better spent on another part of your business, like PR or advertising?

As much as we love how exciting it feels to hang out at WeWork, renting there is a decision that must be made against other considerations equally important to a business.

About Weslie Oeftering: Weslie is a student at The University of Texas at Austin and Swyft’s resident PR and marketing intern. She supports clients with social media, blogging, and tech PR activities. Swyft is a top PR agency in Austin with offices in Denver, Houston and Antwerp that provides PR global PR services and trade show PR support for tech companies around the world. Some of their services include media relations, content and inbound marketing, CPC campaigns, and marketing automation consulting.

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