How much does coworking cost?
Want a better understanding of how much coworking will cost? We explore the average prices and explain how different factors will impact your bill
More expensive than working from home but far cheaper than leasing your own office, coworking can generally be considered an affordable workspace option for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses.
Typically, a coworking space will charge you a monthly fee – but what this fee actually is can vary massively depending on a number of factors.
Because of this, it’s impossible for us to say exactly how much coworking is going to cost for you. But what we can do is give you a clearer idea of what it could cost you, by shedding light on the average costs of coworking – plus the factors that’ll influence your bill.
This article will cover:
The average cost of coworking across the UK
A 2018 study by MoneySupermarket analysed the average cost of coworking in 18 UK cities.
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive city for coworking was found to be London, with an average monthly cost of £613 per desk. London was followed by Brighton, which showed an average cost of £432 per desk, per month.
The cheapest city for coworking was found to be Sheffield, with an average of £199 per desk per month, followed by Nottingham at £218.
The average monthly cost of coworking in the following popular start-up cities was found to be:
|City||Average cost of coworking|
These results provide a stark illustration of how prices can vary across the country.
But it’s important to understand that these figures, as averages, aren’t representative of every coworking space in each town.
Office desk costs will still vary greatly within your city depending on a number of factors. So, no matter where you’re based, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find a coworking plan that suits your budget.
In fact, even in the capital, it’s possible to find coworking desks for less than £100 per month. You can read about five such workplaces in our guide to the cheapest coworking spaces in London.
The factors that will impact your office desk cost
If you understand the factors that will influence how much coworking costs for you, you can get a better idea of what your payments are going to look like. Read on to find out what these factors are…
Your desk requirements
Coworking spaces tend to offer different packages depending on how you want to work there, and how much space your business will need.
In this respect, coworking spaces tend to offer three options:
1. Hot desking
The cheapest way to cowork, coworkers who hot desk do not have any seats reserved for them – rather they set up and get to work at whatever desk happens to be available that day.
Usually, hot desking means working at a different desk every day. But don’t worry about availability; many spaces guarantee that there’ll always be desks available for their hot desking members.
If you’re a freelancer, a solopreneur or a team of two founders, hot desking could work well for you – especially if you’re on a budget.
2. Dedicated desks
If you opt to pay for a fixed desk, your coworking provider will reserve a particular desk for you and you’ll be able to work at it every day.
While this is usually more expensive than hot desking, it can give you more peace of mind – after all, you’ll be 100% certain that you’ll have somewhere suitable to get your head down each day.
Plus, you might be given more freedom to leave personal items on your desk overnight.
If you’re part of a founding team or have a few employees, paying for a series of dedicated desks that are close to one another will likely be much more conducive to your team’s productivity than hot desking.
3. Private office compartments
This is typically the most expensive option, with some spaces charing upwards of £1,000 per month. However, it will give you a private space in which your team can work together.
Needless to say, you should only really consider this option if you have a large enough team, making paying more for privacy, quiet and your space in which to develop a company culture and leave personal items worthwhile.
How often you plan to use the space
It goes without saying that if you want to use the space for eight hours every day, you’ll need to pay for full-time membership.
But if you don’t actually need to cowork that often, you might choose to seek out a more flexible package that enables you to pay a reduced cost for reduced access to the space.
Lots of spaces will offer packages like this on the basis of hours – for example, a certain plan might only enable you to use the space for 40 hours each month.
And the good news is that many of these limited access plans can cost as little as £10 to £50 per month.
Such an option could be perfect for you if:
- You’re working on your business as a part-time ‘side hustle’
- You work from home or in a free public workspace (such as a library or cafe) most of the time, but would like somewhere professional to meet clients or investors
- You work from home or in a public workspace most of the time, but could simply do with a change of scenery every now and again
The space’s staff and services
Coworking spaces that provide specialist services and on-premises staff will generally be more expensive than those that don’t.
Such services might include:
- Receptionists who can direct guests to your business or take calls on your behalf
- Cleaning staff who’ll keep the space (and your desk) spotless
- IT support staff who’ll be on hand to quickly respond to tech problems
- On-site cafes and/or cafeterias where you can buy food and drinks
It’s worth considering whether such services would benefit your business, and whether they’re worth an additional cost to you.
What’s included in your membership
Some coworking spaces will charge a low base rate, but claim additional ad-hoc fees for certain extras, such as your use of the space’s amenities.
By contrast, memberships that include free use of the space’s facilities will cost more – but might save you cash in the long run.
For example, some spaces will charge you extra to:
- Use a printer, scanner or photocopier
- Use a meeting or conference room
- Store items in a locker
- Park in the building’s carpark
So if you think you’ll need to use a printer or a meeting room regularly, for example, it may well be worth finding a package that includes the use of these facilities within your monthly charge. This way, you can avoid having to make additional payments frequently.
On the flipside, if you won’t need to use such facilities often, you’ll likely save yourself money by opting for a cheaper package that doesn’t include free use of the amenities – and simply paying extra for parking or a locker once in a blue moon.
The location of the space
Coworking spaces that are near key stations or in thriving business hubs, shopping districts or cultural centres are likely to cost more than those in the quieter corners of a town.
There’s a balance to be struck here. For example, a cheap coworking space that’s far from the city centre will likely be cheaper than a more central space, but it could mean higher transport expenses for you.
You should also think about the public amenities you’d like access to – would you like to be near a range of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants? Would being near them be worth an additional cost to you?
If you plan to hire team members to your business soon, it’s worth remembering that being based in a desirable, buzzing part of town can act as a big draw to potential employees. Plus, eateries, bars and pubs can be great places to foster a fun company culture.
How long you’ll need the space for
It goes without saying that if you only use the space for a few months, you won’t pay as much overall as someone who coworks for longer.
However, it’s worth knowing that in many cases, the longer you can commit to staying, the smaller your pro-rata cost will become.