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The office rental landscape has seen a shift in the past couple of years. More and more, freelancers, telecommuting employees, startups and even larger corporations are embracing the coworking model. There’s clear advantages for choosing the coworking model over a traditional office space. Hesitating to make the jump? Read on for the six biggest myths about coworking.

Myth #1: It’s Just Office Space

One misconception about coworking spaces is that you might as well rent a “real” or traditional office space. Traditional office spaces often come with non-flexible lease agreements and extra expenses such as utilities and tenant improvements. Given the cost associated with launching anew company and getting it off the ground, a smarter and more economical solution is to look towards renting a couple seats or even a closed office in a coworking environment. This affords you the freedom of renting the exact number of seats you need at the moment, without having to worry about the pitfalls of traditional office rental. It also puts office rental in the reach of thosewho work for themselves.

Myth #2: No Room to Grow

Is your company getting traction and you suddenly find yourself in the wonderful position of needing more employees? No problem! With coworking you can rent extra seats and even upgrade to a private office space, affording you the option of scaling up your employee pool without having to relocate your entire operation. You still get to enjoy the freedom of not being locked into a traditional leasing agreement (some companies offer 6-month rental contracts and allow you to cancel with a 30-day notice regardless of how long you still have on your agreement, with no penalties) and you get to keep your hard earned money to properly reinvest into your burgeoning business. The coworking model can be a great way to reduce your overhead while you’re building your brand.

Myth #3: Too Distracting/Loud

When people think coworking space or shared offices, they often picture a loud and distracting work environment not conducive for work. And while it’s true that some spaces can be louder than others, the beauty of coworking spaces is that you can move to another spot that better suits your auditory requirements. Is your current neighbour an energetic keyboard typer? Do they hum Top 40 hits under their breath while adjusting lines of code? No problem! The solution can be as easy as requesting a different seat, depending on availability. Need to make an important call to that potential investor? There are private phone booths available for use, simply hop into an unoccupied one and talk away.

Myth #4: It’s Just Freelancers and Startups

Another common misconception in the world of coworking is that those spaces are only used byfreelancers looking to get out of their apartments or local coffee shops and startups who don’t have the funds to get their own location. More and more, we see corporations choosing to house their satellite offices or telecommuting employees in coworking spaces. It’s proven to be cheaper than opening a brand new location for one or two employees, and has all the amenitiesof traditional offices without the hassles. Corporations have confidence that their employees canmeet clients in a professional atmosphere and have all the tools they need to conduct business efficiently. You never have to worry about maxing out your internet usage, picking up ink for the copier or running out of much needed coffee to get through that last-minute all-nighter to complete a project.

Myth #5: One Size Fits All

No two coworking spaces are alike. Regardless of the factors that are more important to you (cost, environmental responsibility, community engagement, networking opportunities, great local partnerships, general atmosphere) there’s a coworking space out there for you. Most offer you flexibility, adaptability and a slew of perks that make your work life that much easier. Depending on the type of space you choose, you can also find like-minded individuals in your industry that can help you expand your business, attack a problem from a different perspective or give you great referrals. Who knows, you may find your next employee sitting right next to you.

Myth #6: Location, Location, Location

The popularity of coworking has made it so that new spaces are popping up outside of the typical city centres. Gone are the days of exclusively being located downtown; you can now find a space that not only suits your business needs but also your location requirements. As a freelancer you can choose a location close to home, giving you the best of both worlds by cutting your commute significantly but also providing you with an all-inclusive location where youcan work without the distractions of home. Looking to spend more time in that neighbourhood you wish you lived in? There’s a likely a co-working space right around the corner.

All in all, opting for a co-working space to call your home has many benefits that can help you do your business. You get a highly functional, all-inclusive working space, none of the responsibility of the upkeep, access to like-minded people from completely different but complementary industries, built-in business and social networking, a professional place to meet clients or collaborators and a way to cut out the pitfalls we often run into when working from home (you know your dog just wants to play and you can’t resist those eyes).

Making the jump can be as easy as signing up for a trial period or getting a free day pass.Do yourself a favour and give it a shot, you may well find your dream workspace.

Anomaly provides beautiful and fresh coworking at the intersection of data and design in the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec.