[Originally posted on WorkShifting.  It’s already drawn several comments from other coworking sites from all over.]

Phillip.jpgIf you’re a WorkShifter, that great coffee shop may be a nice environment for you to work in, but where do you go when you need to meet with someone? Holding a business meeting at a cafe table might work in some instances, especially if the person you are meeting with is not a complete stranger to you. But what if you need to meet a new client? Then things can be a bit more difficult.

Home office workers can face the same problem, too. Not everyone keeps their house in presentation mode at all times. The distractions of a personal space may not be the right environment for some meetings. And family and pets can be added distractions, as well.

Coworking can provide a good option for a workspace with the characteristics of an office, but without the associated overhead. Coworking spaces are, first and foremost, work spaces. So there are fewer extraneous distractions than you are likely to find at home or a coffee shop.

Those of us with young children face the nearly insurmountable task of keeping toys and clutter out of the way. Staying on top of that, as well as running a business is just one more headache to deal with if you are meeting people at your home.

Some pets may not be conducive to a good meeting environment, either. Not everyone’s dog is calm and quiet when strangers come to visit. Even locked away in a back room, a barking dog can disrupt a meeting. And a visitor with allergies to your pet may be uncomfortable in an environment where the animal has been living.

Another problem that neither the cafe nor the living room address very well is the kind of furniture that is available. Meetings with more than a couple of people are often difficult with the small tables found in most cafes. And very few homes have tables other than a kitchen or dining room table that are the size and scale of a meeting table.

Coworking spaces not only have work furniture, but private meeting rooms are the norm, so that you don’t have to disturb your fellow coworkers, either. My coworking space has two meeting rooms, one that will accommodate 4-5 people, and the other for as many as 12. There’s also a small phone room that sometimes gets used as a two-person meeting room.

Even with a home office, it can be useful to have a coworking space available as a place for meetings. For people who don’t need full-time access, but who may occasionally find access to a coworking space useful, some coworking spaces offer day-passes or other short-term options that allow use of the facilities on an as-needed basis.

Do you have other options for meeting space?

Photo credit: Workantile Exchange