How to Know if Coworking Space is Right For You

Happy businesswoman using a digital tablet in a Manhattan coworking office.

In New York City, coworking spaces are more than just desks and Wi-Fi; they’re hubs of creativity and collaboration. Whether you’re a solo freelancer, a growing startup team, or an established professional, these spaces are tailored to meet your dynamic needs. Even larger companies find value in them, especially those not ready to commit to a long-term lease. Whether seeking flexibility, networking, or a break from traditional office norms are the norms, these spaces are playgrounds for growth, innovation, and building new connections. Wondering if coworking is the right fit for you or where to start looking? We’ve got the insights you need below.

Manhattan’s Top Neighborhoods for Coworking Space

  • Financial District: The Financial District in NYC is the go-to for a professional yet vibrant coworking vibe. Here, the energy of Wall Street meets the charm of historic New York, offering a workspace that’s both dynamic and steeped in history. Imagine being in the thick of the city’s commerce hub, surrounded by a community that’s all about ambition and growth. It’s the ideal spot for anyone who loves the buzz of business and wants to be where the action is.
  • SoHo: Are you into the arts or fashion? SoHo is your go-to. Renowned for its historic architecture, fancy shopping, and arts scene, working here means you’re right in the heart of creativity and style. Envision yourself taking lunch breaks in trendy cafes or finding inspiration in chic galleries steps away from your coworking space. It’s a neighborhood ideal for creative professionals and fashionistas who thrive in an energetic and aesthetically stimulating environment.
  • Grand Central Terminal: Grand Central is more than just a transport hub; it’s a fantastic coworking spot for those who love being in the heart of things. This area is a magnet for diverse businesses – from tech startups to marketing firms. The affordability of coworking spaces here is a real plus, too. You get the convenience of a central location without the hefty price tag you might expect in other parts of the city. This makes it a great choice if you’re keeping an eye on budget but still want that energetic New York vibe. Plus, the easy commute from just about anywhere is a lifesaver. You’re always just a hop, skip, and a jump from wherever you need to be in the city.
  • Chelsea/Flatiron: Are you looking for a neighborhood that perfectly blends the art scene’s vibrancy with the tech world’s pulsing energy? Look no further than the Chelsea/Flatiron area. This neighborhood is not just about the stunning architecture, galleries, cafes, and the High Line; it’s also a vital part of Silicon Alley, New York’s answer to Silicon Valley. Here, you’ll find a flourishing tech scene full of startups, digital innovators, and major tech companies.  
  • Greenwich Village: If you resonate with a bohemian and artistic vibe, Greenwicch Village is your neighborhood. With landmarks like Washington Square Park and the presence of New York University, it’s a melting pot of ideas and creativity. This neighborhood is perfect for innovators, thinkers, and dreamers who thrive in a lively, eclectic atmosphere.

Coworking Space Pricing Considerations

Unlike traditional office leases, coworking spaces offer flexible pricing models tailored to individual needs and company sizes. Think of it as a menu at your favorite café – you pick exactly what you need, and pay for just that. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand how pricing in coworking spaces works, and to find the best deal for your work style and team size.

  • A La Carte Services: Unlike the per-square-foot calculation in demised office spaces, coworking spaces charge based on the services you choose. Need a desk for a day? Or a private office for a year? It’s all about what you need and when you need it. This flexibility is perfect for freelancers, remote workers, or startups in their early stages.
  • Space and Duration Flexibility: You can opt for common area access for a more open, collaborative environment, or a private office for confidentiality and focus. The duration of your agreement can range from a day to a year, adapting to your project timelines or business growth phases.
  • Added Value Services: Many coworking spaces offer value-added services like virtual offices, where they handle your mail and provide receptionist services. This is a boon for those who need a professional front without the cost of a full office setup.
  • Cost-Effectiveness for Larger Teams: If your team is growing and you foresee a stable business model for the next two years or more, leasing a private space might be more economical. This shift is generally advisable for teams with more than 4-5 members, where the cost per person becomes more favorable in a leased space.
  • Comparison to Demised Office Space: Understand that while coworking spaces offer more than just physical space, like community and networking opportunities, they differ significantly from leasing a private space. Private leases come with longer commitments and less flexibility, but can be more cost-effective for larger teams with longer-term horizons.

What You Should Look for in a New York City Coworking Space

Choosing the right coworking space in New York City is more than just picking a desk or an office. It’s about selecting a community and a vibe that aligns with your work style and aspirations. So, what should you keep an eye out for? 

  • Location, Location, Location: The Big Apple is huge, and each neighborhood has its own personality. Do you want the artistic buzz of SoHo or the upscale calm of the Upper East Side? Consider commute times, nearby amenities, and the overall atmosphere of the area. It’s not just about convenience; it’s about being in a place that energizes and inspires you.
  • Workspace Design and Amenities: You want a space that feels right the moment you walk in. The layout matters, whether it’s open-plan benches, cozy private offices, or chill-out zones. Also, look for practical amenities like high-speed internet, printing facilities, and meeting rooms. Bonus points for those extra perks like coffee bars, wellness areas, or rooftop terraces – little things that make your workday more enjoyable.
  • Community and Networking Opportunities: The community is one of the best parts of coworking spaces. Look for spaces that host networking events, workshops, or social gatherings. It’s not just about having people around; it’s about finding potential collaborators, mentors, or friends who can support and enrich your professional journey.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Your needs today might not be your needs tomorrow, especially in a city that’s always on the move. Opt for a coworking space that offers flexible membership options so you can scale up or down as your business grows or changes. This flexibility can be a game-changer for freelancers, startups, and established companies.
  • Cost and Membership Plans: NYC isn’t cheap, and coworking spaces can vary widely in price. Set a realistic budget and compare what different spaces offer. Sometimes, paying more for a well-located space with great amenities and an incredible community can be worth the investment. Remember, it’s not just a cost; it’s an investment in your work life.

The Advantages of Leasing Coworking Space in New York City

Whether you’re bootstrapping a startup or looking for a dynamic environment for your small team, coworking spaces offer a unique blend of advantages. Specifically in New York City, here are some to consider: 

  • Flexibility in Lease Terms: One of the biggest perks of NYC coworking spaces is their flexible lease terms. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a growing startup, the uncertainty of future needs is real. Coworking spaces understand this and offer the flexibility to rent for a day, a week, a month, or even a year. This adaptability is a godsend for young companies still figuring out their real estate needs and revenue projections.  
  • Access to Premium Facilities: Imagine paying for a private office and getting a whole building’s worth of amenities. In a coworking space like Regus, for your $1200/month private office, this is what you get. Picture this: spacious common areas to relax or brainstorm, a kitchenette to fuel your day, and panoramic views to inspire your work. It’s a practical, yet vibrant setting for professionals who appreciate a bit of luxury without sacrificing convenience and connectivity. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness for Small Teams: Coworking spaces are often more cost-effective than traditional office leases if your team is a tight-knit group of 3-4 people. Once you grow beyond 5 people, you might consider dedicated office space. Nonetheless, until then, coworking spaces offer the perfect blend of affordability and community.
  • Networking and Community Building: Coworking spaces in NYC are melting pots of talent and opportunity. They offer a unique environment to network with fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers, and creatives. Regular events, workshops, and casual coffee breaks could lead to your next big collaboration, client, or even a lifelong friend.  
  • No-Hassle Maintenance: Say goodbye to dealing with the nitty-gritty of office management. Most coworking spaces take care of everything – from cleaning to IT support. This arrangement means you can focus solely on growing your business without the distraction of operational issues. It’s like having your own office management team without the overhead.

The Challenges of Leasing Coworking Space in New York City

While coworking spaces in NYC offer a dynamic environment and a sense of community, be sure to weigh several of the following challenges against your business needs and working style:

  • Limited Branding Opportunities: In a coworking space, the chance to make your mark – quite literally – is limited. You can’t put your company name on the front door or have signage in shared areas. This disadvantage could be a deal-breaker if brand visibility and company identity are crucial for your business.  
  • Privacy Concerns: Coworking spaces do not have the privacy of a private office, no matter how you try to spin it. You’re in a sea of potential eavesdroppers, and confidential conversations might not be so confidential. Consider looking elsewhere if you need quiet to concentrate or if you’re a business dependent on confidentiality, like an accountant or law firm. 
  • Competition for Shared Resources: While coworking spaces offer fantastic amenities, remember you’re sharing them with potentially hundreds of others. That means competition for booking meeting rooms or finding a spot in the communal kitchen during the lunch rush. It’s like trying to grab a treadmill at a busy gym – sometimes, there’s a wait.
  • Noise and Distractions: The energy of a coworking space is exhilarating but can also be a double-edged sword. The background buzz of conversation, phone calls, and impromptu meetings can be distracting, especially if your work requires deep concentration or frequent client calls.
  • Balancing Networking and Space Maintenance: In an active coworking environment, the challenge is twofold. First, there’s the potential for networking overload – sifting through endless connections can be as taxing as it is exciting, and it’s easy to lose focus on your actual work. Secondly, these spaces can show quicker signs of wear due to the constant flow of people, which is something you wouldn’t normally see in a more controlled, private office setting.

Top Options for Coworking Space in New York City 

​​Whether you’re a freelancer, a startup team, or need a change from your home office, NYC’s coworking scene has got you covered. With many options, each with its unique vibe and amenities, finding your perfect workspace match is just around the corner. Let’s check out some of the top coworking spaces lighting up the city:

  • Regus: A global giant in the coworking space, Regus offers a vast network of locations across NYC. Perfect for professionals who need flexibility and a professional setting. With fully furnished offices, meeting rooms, and business lounges, Regus caters to a wide range of needs, whether you’re a one-person show or part of a growing team.
  • The Yard: For those who love a blend of modern aesthetics and functional design, The Yard is a top pick. Known for its beautifully designed spaces that foster creativity, it’s ideal for artists, designers, and entrepreneurs looking for an inspiring environment. Plus, their focus on building a supportive community adds an extra layer of value.
  • Industrious: Industrious stands out with its focus on premium, elegant workspaces. They offer a mix of private offices and shared workspaces, complemented by top-notch services. If you’re looking for a space that feels more ‘upscale professional’ and less ‘startup hustle,’ this could be your spot.
  • Studio by Tishman Speyer: Studio by Tishman Speyer is an excellent choice for businesses seeking flexible, high-quality coworking spaces. Unlike the standard approach of calculating workspace costs per square foot, Studio offers a wide range of customizable options to fit various business needs.
  • WeWork: A name synonymous with coworking (and controversy), WeWork still offers an extensive network of locations in NYC. Known for its vibrant community, trendy designs, and regular events, it’s great for networking and socializing. Whether you need a hot desk, a dedicated desk, or a private office, WeWork has options for everyone.

Ready for More Insights?

Since 2004, our team has represented hundreds of tenants and helped them lease coworking space. Contact us at (212) 444-2241 for any questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does a coworking space’s vibe impact networking opportunities?

Each coworking space in NYC has its unique atmosphere, which can significantly influence the networking opportunities available. Spaces with a more corporate vibe might attract established businesses and professionals, offering networking opportunities with seasoned industry players. Conversely, more creative and relaxed spaces often draw a crowd of freelancers, artists, and startups, providing a different collaborative and innovative networking environment.

2. What are the hidden costs of coworking spaces in NYC that tenants should be aware of?

Beyond the apparent costs like monthly rent and membership fees, potential tenants should look out for hidden costs. These can include fees for booking meeting rooms, printing costs, or charges for attending certain events and workshops. Additionally, some spaces might charge for premium amenities like high-speed internet or using specialty equipment. Consider also the nasty termination charges you could incur if you fail to provide the facility with advance notice in as much as 6 months. It’s essential to understand the full pricing structure to avoid surprises later.

3. Can the location of a coworking space in NYC affect my business’s growth potential?

Absolutely! The location of your coworking space can impact your business’s visibility, client access, and even talent acquisition. For instance, being in a tech-centric area like Chelsea could benefit a tech startup. Similarly, creative businesses might find more synergy in neighborhoods like SoHo. Consider how the location aligns with your industry, target clientele, and your team’s commuting needs.

4. Do specific coworking spaces in NYC cater to particular industries or professional interests?

Yes, some coworking spaces in NYC cater to specific industries or professional interests. For example, some spaces focus on tech startups, creative arts, social enterprises, or even women-led businesses. These specialized spaces offer tailored amenities, relevant networking events, and a community with similar goals and challenges.

5. How does the scalability of coworking spaces in NYC compare to traditional office leases?

Coworking spaces offer unparalleled scalability compared to traditional office leases. They allow businesses to scale up or down without a standard lease’s long-term commitment or financial burden. This flexibility is crucial for startups and growing companies that may need to adjust their space requirements rapidly due to business size or model changes. However, on a per square foot basis, coworking space costs much more than demised space. Your company will pay a premium for flexibility.