If you’ve been working out of your home and thinking of using a shared workspace instead, chances are you have been asking some questions like these . . .
What’s it going to cost?
Where can I find the cheapest coworking space options that offer the best quality?
Can I really justify spending the extra money right now, when I am already spending next to nothing working at home?
Because you alone know your income and expenses, the ultimate decision is up to you. But here are some reasons why using a coworking space could turn out to be cheaper than you think, and possibly cheaper than continuing to work from home.
The expenses of using a coworking space are easy to track for tax purposes . . .
The cost of membership in a shared working space is easy to track as a business expense. If you work from home and want to deduct business expenses, will you really track the costs of having a home office such as Wi-Fi, electricity, heat, and office equipment. Chances are you won’t bother to track those expenses and deduct them from your taxes, because doing that is so complicated.
Deducting the cost of a home office is not always a good idea . . .
There can be disadvantages. Speak with your accountant if you want to know more, but a home office could actually cost you money. One example: If you tell the IRS that 10% of your home is used as a home office and you later sell your home for more than you paid for it, you could end up paying capital gains tax on the appreciated value of 10% of your property. That cost could be bigger than the money you saved by taking a deduction for a home office. So before deciding to deduct part of your residence as a home office, it is worth talking with your tax advisor.
There are certain pieces of office equipment you can avoid buying . . .
If you are setting up an office or work area in your home,you are probably going to buy a printer, a scanner, a desk chair, and other equipment. You might even need to set up new phone service. Granted, those items will be tax-deductible expenses. But if you use a coworking space, you won’t have to buy that stuff. That stuff is there for you to use. Plus if that equipment breaks, you don’t have to repair it because it doesn’t belong to you.
And if you move from one residence to another, you don’t have to pack up all kinds of office equipment and move it. If your current equipment becomes obsolete or you simply want something newer, you don’t have to toss your old tech and replace it. You don’t have to pay for insurance on a lot of office equipment if you use a coworking space, because it belongs to someone else.
It’s kind of like leasing a car instead of buying. There are advantages and disadvantages to think about and compare.
Coworking spaces simplify your costs and working style if you have roommates...
Sharing living, cooking and sleeping spaces with roommates is complicated enough. When you add the complications of trying to work from your shared apartment, the whole situation can reach critical mass.
One story? A guy came home and one of his roommates had “borrowed” his computer without asking for permission and was using it. Another story? A woman’s roommate forgot to lock the front door and her laptop got stolen. Still another story? A woman installed Wi-Fi in her apartment and her roommate used it without ever paying her for access.
Those are rather extreme problems. But using a shared coworking space outside your residence is an efficient way to get your working life out of a shared residence. In ways both large and small, that can save you both money and mental capital.
There are other reasons why using a coworking space can save you time and money . . .
Your roommate’s Samoyed won’t chew on your laptop . . . if your domicile is taken over by annoying house guests, you can get away and continue to get your work done anyway . . . if you have to move in with your parents until you find your next apartment, you can keep earning money by working in a quiet environment that is outside of their home . . . if the management of your apartment building decides to send in a crew of workers to replace the washer and dryer in your apartment, you can get away from it all and keep working . . . and there are plenty of other advantages too.
So if you’ve been asking “what is the cheapest coworking space I can find?” maybe it is time to relax. If you are currently using one, you might have found it already.