Coworking as Smart Capital

We wax poetic a lot about the value of community at the BizDojo, but we don’t often talk about the economic benefits of shared workspaces. BizDojo Operations Manager Sarin Moddle highlights how coworking is a smart economic move for startups with limited capital.

With news that Wellington and Auckland commercial property rents have increased 3% over the last six months, the cost of housing your team is a basic startup challenge that isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Auckland’s average rent for prime office space now sits at $36 per square meter per month, and $30 in Wellington. The amount of space you need obviously depends on the size of your team, but suffice to say that a square meter isn’t much!

Coworking is a solid economic choice in a couple different ways. First, there’s the flexibility: where commercial leases come with multi-year terms, coworking operators take on the commitment and risk of a long-term lease so you don’t have to. BizDojo runs memberships month-to-month, so 30 days notice is all that’s required to scale down or end your membership (unless you’re a team of more than six, in which case the notice period extends to 90 days).

Second, coworking offers access to a greater breadth of physical resources and amenities than most startups and small companies are able to provide on their own. Various meeting rooms, AV equipment, state of the art espresso machines, chill zones, breakout spaces, plants, a beautiful place to host clients or investors… these are great value-adds to your team’s work environment but are unlikely to be affordable in the first stages of startup life, or a priority for your capital in later stages.

From a health and safety perspective (particularly relevant for New Zealand companies given recent changes to H&S legislation), a coworking operator should also be taking the heavy lifting on this front as far as the workspace is concerned. The BizDojo provides all H&S documentation for our workspaces, emergency exit and natural disaster plans, plus help with emergency preparedness. This reduces the burden on company directors by providing helpful frameworks when compiling their own company-specific H&S plans.

Then there’s the cost of facilities management: cleaning, consumables, pest control, hygiene, teatowels, reactive building maintenance, security, printing facilities, the ever-important WIFI, the list goes on… these are all a significant financial burden to bear by a small company, and many come with long-term contracts. Think of coworking like a structured pooling of resources, allowing smaller teams to punch above their weight in purchasing power.

Of course, we don’t reduce the value of coworking to the physical space - the real value lies in the community - but the spaces are an undeniable bang for your buck too.

Sarin is the Operations Manager for The BizDojo. She is intimately familiar with the cost of things like living walls, coffee beans, and plumbers.