Startup Spaces: Virtual, Coworking & Office

Read about different options for workspaces when you start a business and the pros and cons of each.

Within the last two decades there has been a major change in the world of work and how the average person makes their money. Whereas starting a business was something that seemed reserved for only those with a certain level of finance, luck, or know-how in the past, now, everybody has access to the information needed to give starting a business a go. That doesn't guarantee success of course, as up to 20% of startups still fail within their first year.

However, with business studies being taught in school now, self-made millionaires getting younger and younger on social media, and the resources for being self-made increasing in abundance in various ways, the opportunity is there so much more than it used to be.

In addition, there is also a new culture of remote working. Those employed by companies are more and more likely to work remotely, and starting a business doesn't have to mean you automatically hold some sort of premises. Working as a start-up is even more flexible than it used to be and working spaces come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

If you are thinking about starting a business and you're unsure what your options are in terms of a working space, take a look at our pros and cons of the three most common options to help you get that bit closer to your start-up becoming a reality:

Virtual, Coworking & Office

Virtual, coworking or an office are the three most common options for a start-up workspace to use. All three have pros and cons to consider, and no one option is perfect for everyone. Here are our pros and cons of all three, to help you get a head start:

Virtual Working

Virtual working spaces simply means you work online, which means your office can be anywhere with a good internet connection. Plenty of those who work online want you to believe you can work on a beach or from a camper with a view of a beach but realistically, you're looking at working at home or in Starbucks with everyone else needing caffeine, a seat, and a constant internet connection.


  • Lots of apps and sites to support organisation and working with others
  • Complete autonomy over your schedule
  • Freedom to work wherever you want
  • Cheap – you save on office bills and costs


  • Life can be a little lonely
  • It can be annoying sharing coffee shops and working spaces with other people, especially during the school holidays
  • You spend more on bills at home or bills eating out or buying coffees
  • It’s hard to employ anyone
  • You may have storage issues and need to rent additional storage space.

 A really good tip is to create a working space at home you can depend on where the internet works, there is quiet, and there is privacy. That way you don't depend on coffee shops to be able to work.


Coworking spaces are popping up across the globe, and enable remote workers and entrepreneurs the chance to work in an office-like environment, but with other people and either on a fixed contract or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

These kinds of spaces are increasingly popular as companies understand there are many people who want a professional space to work without the costs of an entire office rental.


  • You meet like-minded people and can network with them
  • You have a dedicated working space
  • Those around you are likely to be more respectful of your working than people in coffee shops out for a loud chat with their friends
  • You can rent a set of tables for you and your employees. Some coworkings will rent you your own separate office space.
  • Cheaper than a complete office rental
  • Ensures work stays at work and doesn't creep home


  • Usually they do not allow for any stock storage
  • Costs can be high in some areas
  • Some may close at the weekend or in the evening

 A coworking office is a scalable option allowing you to rent more desk space as you grow.

Office Space

Hiring a complete office space doesn't make sense for everyone, especially when the startup you are involved with doesn't have any stock and is entirely virtual. However if you have staff or work with other people, or you want somewhere professional to have client meetings, an office space might be the right choice for you.


  • A professional space to have a meeting with clients
  • Somewhere central to work with colleagues or employees
  • Ensures work stays at work and doesn't creep home


  • Fees can be very expensive, which can be dangerous for a new startup
  • Contracts can sometimes be for a long time which reduces flexibility
  • You will be responsible for additional costs such as insurance, internet, light, heating and water.

An office space is definitely a good idea for some startup businesses but it doesn't make sense for every type of business. Because of the costs involved, it is important to think carefully about renting an office space.

With virtual, coworking and office spaces, there will always be pros and cons that are general, and pros and cons relevant to particular types of self-employment and business.

Do think very carefully about how you want to work to ensure you nurture a working environment that gives you the best possible chance of succeeding in your career ambitions.

Flexibility is key. For many startups it will make sense to begin either home working on working in a coworking space, and then as they grow and income increases to make the step to the next rung in the ladder, for example form home office to coworking to renting their own office space.






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