The coworking environment has forever changed the way local entrepreneurs look at the question “am I ready for office space?” The industry has proven to be a resounding success, as established companies and industry leaders have begun experimenting with the flexibility and scalability coworking offers.
The public is also doing its homework on what a great coworking environment can – and should – bring to the table. With several options available, it is imperative that you have a set of criteria in mind when choosing the kind of workspace that’s right for you.
Finding the right coworking space can be a challenge, as there really is no one-size-fits-all solution. The market is growing and spaces are rapidly diversifying. Finding and working in a good coworking environment is not just about having reliable internet access and free coffee. It’s a lot more than that.
There are currently over 11,300 dedicated coworking spaces around the world, so lots of choice! Therefore, we’ve put together some key factors to consider when it comes to finding a space to suit you.
Here are the four things to look for when deciding on your next coworking space and why they’re essential.
1. Choose the location wisely
Everything comes down to convenience, so here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
- How’s the commute? Is it located near major highways or transit stations?
- If you’re driving, does the area include a parking space? If not, consider the cost of parking, especially if the space is located in the city centre or more high-density areas.
- How easy is it to find? Coworking spaces are meeting places for many freelancers and small businesses. Think of the impact your space may have on your existing or future customer base.
- What are the perks and conveniences of the area? Is there easy access to restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, and bars?
Choosing the right location is the first step towards envisioning yourself in a coworking community. Consider what might be essential, including transit lines, parking, coffee shops, good restaurants, and more.
2. Quality of the facilities
It is important that your new space offers you both the facilities and amenities you need to maximize your productivity. For example, if you require a lot of printed materials, what’s the reliability of printers like? What’s the cost of printing? Not all spaces offer the same packages, and you may need to pay extra for a particular facility, so it’s a good idea to find out what works best.
Make sure the internet connection is as fast and safe as possible – and with a redundancy plan in place. That way, if the main network goes down, you know there’s a backup plan.
3. Office culture & community
The value of meeting others and acquainting yourself with like-minded people varies with the individual, but the “vibe” of the environment, and the networking opportunities it can provide, are a huge advantage of coworking. On the first point, there’s no better way to get a sense for a new work environment than to try it out for yourself. If you have an opportunity to try for yourself before you decide on your membership, it is always recommended.
If possible, you may also consider attending a community event or meeting hosted in the space. This will give you a chance to meet some of the residents who are engaged and provide you with a sense of the daily environment.
Your surroundings can play a major role in your daily productivity and – perhaps more importantly – your happiness, so it is important to find a space that caters to your working style and preferences.
Ah, yes. Money. That little detail. Without a doubt, your membership costs need to be considered carefully. Reviewing the various features that are included (or excluded) from your monthly membership is important. So know the features you really need and want, as well as those that you are less likely to take advantage of, so that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons. And, like any important purchase, be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of your membership to avoid being blindsided by unforeseen costs or limitations in your membership plan.
Test before buying! Many coworking spaces offer a free trial so you can get a taste of what you’re about to hop in. Make sure you do take advantage of those offers. A maximum return on value against your time and money invested is always good practice.
As you can see, there are a number of things that go into finding a great coworking space. Not all flexible workspaces are created equally, so it’s important to consider all the things you need to be happy and find a space that will deliver as many of them as possible.
The next time you’re on the shared workspace market, make sure these items are on your checklist. No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find the right fit by pursuing these guidelines.
That being said, whether you’re an independent freelancer or work within a company and you’re looking to reinvigorate your employees and brand with a modern coworking space like Sterling Spaces, then you’re in the right place.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today to arrange a call or tour (in-person or virtual) of our space.
Main Coworking Photo byScott Winterroth on Unsplash.