Cubicle Wars: WeWork & Other Co-Working Spaces Battle It Out
Check out the top co-working spaces in the country and find out which one is the best of the best. Take a closer look at WeWork, Mindspace, and Regus to see if they have what it takes to help make your work thrive.
Co-working spaces are the outgrowth of a society constantly striving to improve output and maximize comfort at the same time. A shared work environment where freelancers, independent workers, and other remote employees can come and get their work done, co-working spaces are currently home to more than 1.1 million workers. Built around a community setting, co-working spaces take the formality out of office environments, while still providing the social and technical aspects most people need to work efficiently. What’s amazing and perhaps surprising, is that research has proven these spaces to be more effective than other work environments.
Of course, some co-working spaces will allow you to be more productive than others. So, the question becomes: which spaces will help you thrive the most?
Here’s a closer look at some of the best names in the industry along with the key factors to use as a comparison for top co-working spaces available today.
The atmosphere in which you work has a huge impact on your creativity, productivity, and workflow. WeWork has a social-centric workspace where all roads lead to social, in fact. The entire premises is centered around a large, square of couches where people can sit and chit chat with one another. The area is surrounded by a snack bar and comfortable places for social opportunities. The design is open, spacious, and comfortable, and it is easily one of the best we’ve seen to date.
Regus has a more professional atmosphere that could be good for some businesses or restrictive for others. If you like the more business-like cubicle and conference room style setup, Regus will appeal to you.
Mindspace brings back the fun atmosphere with casual seating areas, couches, and other comfort features. This creates the kind of laid-back atmosphere that piques the interest of today's millennials and other professionals.
Winner: Since socialization and being a part of a community is a major part of the co-working manifesto, WeWork really pulls ahead for its space design.
Pricing in this sector is often customizable, so it can be difficult to get an accurate picture of who is charging more. Here is a sample pricing table to give you an idea of how each company compares.
*Prices last updated May 2018
One of the most significant benefits of co-working spaces is the ability to save on pricey office rentals, so keeping in line with this thinking makes for a more successful co-working space service. Each of these services has a lot of flexibility, letting you only rent the space and time you need. One thing we really like about Regus is that it offers hourly rentals. However, Regus loses points for lack of transparency, and not offering any pricing information whatsoever on the website. Unless you call a sales rep, you won’t be able to get any information on this company. That’s annoying for comparison shopping.
WeWork has some of the most competitive rates in the industry. It buys large office spaces and has plenty of seats available, so WeWork is able to offer better rates than most. Mindspace is slightly higher than WeWork, but it still offers lower pricing plans than a lot of other co-working spaces, including deals on memberships.
Winner: WeWork has the most competitive pricing, but Mindspace is a close second.
In a competitive market, the more perks you give, the better your services will be received. Subscribers are constantly looking for the fringe benefits they can get from co-working spaces. Amenities include office supplies and services, food conveniences, and even social and entertainment luxuries. WeWork offers a lot in terms of amenities.
Some of its services include:
- Cleaning services
- Phone booths
- Onsite staff
- Snacks & drinks
- Conference rooms
- Printing capabilities
- Social and networking events
- Office supplies
- Bike storage
- Mail and package handling
Regus has some great amenities as well, including telecom setup, high-speed internet, hot drinks available all the time, a receptionist to greet your business guests, office maintenance staff, and 3,000 locations across the globe that you can connect to with your membership.
Mindspace also has a good mix of amenities that are not as common in other co-working chains.
Customers will enjoy:
- Private meeting rooms (including LCD screens and Apple TV)
- 24/7 access
- Soda fountain and other drinks bar
- Event space
- Private phone booths
- All furnishings
Winner: While all three have a good amount of amenities, WeWork really pulls ahead with all of the specialty perks it offers.
As mentioned above, the social aspect, and networking, in particular, is an important one in co-working spaces for 2 reasons. For one thing, it gives freelancers a chance to promote themselves in a natural, non-salesy sort of way. If you are sitting next to a copywriter who is in need of graphic design work (and you just happen to be a graphic designer), you can offer your assistance. This way, you've made a fast client without any marketing budget.
Networking is also important because it allows freelancers to help each other and branch out, making use of their skills to help someone in another field. Community cohesion is a fundamental principle of this sharing community, so helping each other is par for the course.
As such, the networking opportunities are strong motivators for those looking into these spaces. Regus definitely falls short in this area. The very design of this company is meant to appeal to business people on the go, where networking doesn’t factor in as much as in other co-working spaces. WeWork has an online community that you can connect with, seminars to attend, and even classes like yoga to meet and greet other professionals. But, Mindspace really pulls ahead in this area. Not only does this company offer a great community with events and members communications, but Mindspace even has massages and shiatsu treatments for people to wind down, relax, and get together.
Winner: Mindspace goes above and beyond with its amazing networking amenities
Having someone to turn to when issues come up is a must, so companies rank higher when they have good customer service available. Mindspace has a great community, and you can even reach community members on your mobile device via the app. You can also reach customer service via phone, email, or social media handles like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
WeWork has phone, email, an FAQ section, and social media handles to help its customers. Finally, Regus really does customer service right. In addition to email, phone, and social media channels, Regus offers dedicated customer care sections for various areas customers require including questions, problem reporting, and even feedback. Regus even has a section to submit ideas on how to improve its service. That’s impressive.
Winner: Regus has so many options, it’s the obvious winner.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, WeWork clearly stands out in the co-working space industry. Mindspace and Regus are good competitors though, that can appeal more to specific niches. Find out more about our top pick, WeWork, and have more productive workdays every day.
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12 East 49th Street 11th floor New York
I love We Work. My company worked in the Charging Bull location while renovating its old office -- and we liked it so much that, once we were able to move from that office, we voluntarily gave up our brick-and-mortar space for Tower 49. We also moved our LA office into a We Work. I realized after being here for a while that what we get from We Work is not just space but culture. We Work excels at creating a vibrant workplace. It's easy to be here -- there's always fresh coffee, the staff is always friendly and quick to help -- but it's also fun. There are frequent networking events, free food, beer on tap. Our staff loves being here and we hope that, no matter how we grow, we will be able to remain here for the long term. I've personally worked in two We Work locations plus squatted in a couple others. Tower 49 in particular has to be the best of all of them. It's a large facility with a lot of people -- and therefore a lot of variety and interaction. But best of all are the staff here. They couldn't be more personable or helpful. I give them and the entire place 5 stars!
Starts from $400/mo
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332 S Michigan Ave Chicago
Great Location, Great Amenities, Great Workspaces, and best of all, the Toilet Stalls are Fully Enclosed Rooms!
Starts from $445/mo
1372 Peachtree St Atlanta
I came here for an event. The building itself is very nice. The location is pretty good. It's near the Arts Center MARTA station so you can walk to and from the location. I would suggest that because parking is limited.
Starts from $250/mo