How much does coworking cost?

Looking for a better understanding of how much coworking will cost? We explore the average prices and explain how different factors will impact your bill

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Outgrown your living room, but not yet able to afford your own office space?

Coworking is the ideal solution – and a plethora of companies across the UK are offering affordable workspaces for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses.

Typically, a coworking space will charge you a monthly fee – but how much this fee actually amounts to can vary massively depending on a number of factors.

Because of this, we can’t say exactly how much coworking is going to cost 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 – and explaining the factors that will impact your bill.

This article will cover:

The average cost of coworking across the UKA 2018 study by MoneySupermarket analysed the average cost of coworking in 18 UK cities.

The top ten most expensive cities can be found in the chart below.

As you can see, London comfortably led the way, with an average price of £613 per desk, per month.

It was followed by Brighton, which had an average cost of £432 per desk, per month.

Across the full 18, the cheapest three options were all cities in Northern England:

  • Newcastle had an average cost of £223 per desk, per month
  • Nottingham had an average cost of £218 per desk, per month
  • Sheffield offered the best value, with an average cost of £199 per desk, per month

These results provide a stark illustration of how prices can vary across the country.

Always remember these prices are averages, and that most cities listed have a range of options available – not every coworking space in London costs over £600 a month for example.

So, no matter where you’re based, you should be able to find a coworking plan that suits your budget.

Even the capital offers coworking desks for less than £100 per month. Find out more in our guide to the cheapest coworking spaces in London.

Coworking deposits and upfront costs

When considering coworking spaces, remember that some will charge an upfront joining fee, while others will ask for a deposit.

Either of these can match the cost of your monthly bill, so be prepared – you don’t want to have to turn down your perfect coworking space because you can’t afford the initial cost.

If you do find yourself in this position, don’t despair.

There are loads of coworking spaces that don’t charge a deposit or joining fee.

So, if you’d rather not fork out right away, keep your eyes peeled for spaces like these.

The factors that will impact your office desk costCoworking desk

For a good idea of how much your monthly payments are likely to be, you need to know the factors that affect the costs of coworking.

The primary ones include:

Your desk requirements

Coworking spaces offer different packages depending on how you want to work there, and how much space your business will need.

Generally speaking, there are three main options:

  • Hot desking

The cheapest way to cowork, hot desking means that coworkers do not have any seats reserved for them – rather, they set up and work at whichever desk happens to be available that day.

Usually, hot desking means working at a different desk every day.

You also probably won’t be able to leave any items at your coworking space, so you’ll need to travel with everything you need.

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 be ideal – especially if you’re on a tight budget.

  • Dedicated desks

If you pay for a dedicated 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’ve got somewhere suitable to get your head down each day.

Plus, you’ll probably have 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.

  • Private office compartments

This is typically the most expensive option, with some spaces charging upwards of £1,000 per month. However, it will give you a private area in which your team can work together.

Needless to say, you should only really consider this option if you have a large enough team to make it worth paying for privacy, quiet, and a space in which to develop a company culture (and leave personal items).

Remember, not every coworking space offers all three of these options.

For example, some might specialise in hot desking space, while others may only provide dedicated desks.

For a more accurate idea of how much coworking is likely to cost you, fill in the form at the top of this page – you’ll then receive tailored quotes from the coworking spaces that best fit your needs.

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, then look for a more flexible package that allows you to pay less for limited access to the space.

Lots of spaces will offer packages like this based on hours or days – for example, a certain plan might only enable you to use the space for 40 hours per month.

And the good news is that many of these limited access plans can cost as little as £10 to £50 per month.

The One Fox Lane coworking space in Cardiff gives a good real-world illustration of this idea.

The space offers three payment options:

  • A full-time dedicated desk for £170 per month
  • A 10 days per month hot desking package for £90 per month
  • A 5 days per month hot desking package for £50 per month

A part-time coworking plan 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 café) 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

For ultimate flexibility, some spaces will simply allow you to pay per day.

Plenty of coworking spaces offer flexible plans like this, so don’t just assume you’ll need to pay for a full-time membership that you don’t really need.

Be sure to shop around and investigate which spaces offer the best deals for your specific requirements.

The space’s staff and services

Unsurprisingly, coworking spaces that provide specialist services and on-premises staff will generally be more expensive than those that don’t.

These services might include:

  • Receptionists who can direct guests to your business, take calls on your behalf, or take care of mail addressed to your company
  • 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 cafés and/or cafeterias where you can buy food and drinks

While all of these are nice to have, you should consider which services are likely to benefit your business, and which you are prepared to pay a premium for.

What’s included in your membership

Some coworking spaces will charge a low monthly fee, but claim additional ad-hoc fees for certain extras, such as your use of the space’s facilities.

By contrast, memberships that include free use of the coworking space’s facilities will cost more per month, 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 be printing lots of documents or hosting frequent meetings, it might make sense to find a package that includes the use of these services in your monthly fee.

That way, you’ll avoid having to make frequent additional payments, and will also be able to budget more accurately.

On the flipside, if you won’t need to use these sorts of facilities very often, you’ll probably save money by choosing a cheaper package that doesn’t include free use of the amenities.

That way, you can simply pay extra for lockers or parking when you need them, instead of being saddled with the cost of services you rarely use.

The location of the space

Coworking location

At the risk of stating the obvious, coworking spaces that are near key stations or located in thriving business hubs, trendy shopping districts, or buzzing cultural centres are likely to cost more than those in the quieter parts of a town or city.

Make sure you consider your transport options – how much will it cost to get to the coworking spaces you’re looking at?

There is, of course, a balance that needs to be struck here.

For example, a cheap coworking space that’s situated far away from the city centre will most likely have a lower monthly cost than a more central space, but the transport costs incurred in getting there regularly may not make it such good value overall.

You should also think about what you want in the area surrounding your coworking space. Would you like to be near a range of shops, bars, cafés and restaurants? If so, are you prepared to pay more for the privilege?

If your business is planning to hire new team members in the near future, remember that being based in a lively and desirable part of town can act as a big draw to potential employees. Those potential employees will also be weighing up their travel costs, so choosing somewhere with good transport links is really important.

Setting up shop in a buzzing part of town also has another benefit – the bars, pubs, and eateries in the surrounding area are great places to socialise and foster a fun company culture.

How long you’ll need the space for

As common sense would dictate, if you only use the space for a few months, you won’t pay as much in total as someone who coworks for a longer period of time.

However, in many cases, the longer you sign up for, the smaller your monthly cost will be.

Choosing a coworking spaceAs well as the factors discussed above, there’s one more important thing that should influence your choice of coworking space – the feel or ambience.

Coworking spaces can differ greatly from one another – some are almost monastic centres of silent endeavour, while others pulsate to the sounds of table football and enthusiastic collaboration.

You need to make sure you pick the space that best fits you and your company.

The best way to work this out is to tour the coworking spaces you’re considering – most will only be too happy to take you round, and getting that in-person experience is crucial.

Also ask whether you could try a trial day or two, so you can really get a feel for how you would work in the space. If you can, try to visit on different days and at different times to see how the atmosphere changes.

It’s also a great idea to strike up a conversation with someone already using the space. Swap details, then contact them later to ask what they like/dislike and how they’ve found working there.

Finally, read the contract cover to cover – it may be dull, but you need to know exactly what you’re paying for.

Next steps

Looking for an even clearer understanding of how much coworking might cost you?

Fill in the form at the top of the page to receive tailored quotes from coworking spaces that suit the needs of your business.

That way, you’ll have the spaces and prices at your fingertips, and a great idea of the options likely to fit your business.

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Written by:
Alec is Startups’ resident expert on politics and finance. He’s provided live updates on the budget, written guides on investing and property development, and demystified topics like corporation tax, accounting software, and invoice discounting. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, and writing a wide variety of freelance pieces.
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