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When selecting a place of business, several factors must be considered. Depending on your type of business and the type of interaction you have with your customers, one option to consider is a coworking space.
In the last few months, I visited three coworking spaces: “Le Tableau Blanc”, We Work and Ecto. The concept is interesting and stands out from the temporary workspaces that I used previously for training, meeting clients or doing interviews.

How are they different? Coworking spaces want to establish a community where complementarity and exchange are key aspects; the network created can lead to some business in theory (I have not tried it, so I do not know if it actually works). To achieve this, there are networking events, training sessions, and directories of the users of a same coworking space so that they can meet and exchange. In exchange for all this, coworking spaces favor a commitment from their members; they offer options to rent a workstation (fixed or flexible) on a monthly basis, whether you need it daily or occasionally. However, some centers offer "à la carte" rental options; you need it, you rent.

The other option (temporary workspace) is less focused on the creation of a network, but on the other hand offers more flexibility in accessing its facilities. If you need a meeting room or an office, you book and if it is available, you show up and voilà. For most coworking spaces, meeting rooms are made available to members first and if it remains available, you can rent it.

Depending on your type of business, coworking spaces can be a good alternative either on a regular or occasional basis. You have access to a professional place, conveniently located, and have access to a network of professionals. This workplace alternative illustrates the evolution of the place of business in the past decade. Not so long ago, the address where you welcomed your clients was part of the image of your company. Today, a temporary space that complements the work done at home is a good alternative, and does not seem to negatively affect your brand. In fact, your image is increasingly dependent on your accomplishments and your website and less on where your office is.

Do you have an experience with coworking spaces? Thank you for sharing it. Personally, I am thinking about it. In Montreal, there are several options available to you.

Happy thinking. 

Stéphane Elmaleh-Riel, B.Ed., MBA
Marketing consultant