Coworking spaces are a growing trend in the business world. In fact, by the end of 2017, it is estimated that 1.2 million people worldwide will have worked in a coworking space. If you’re an entrepreneur with a startup business looking to reduce overhead costs, or a freelancer looking for an innovative environment, coworking spaces might be for you. Here are ten important features to consider for when searching for a coworking office.
Security can mean different things to a business. First and foremost, take a look at the building where you will be working. Is the door manned? Are there key cards to get in? Can anyone walk in?
Second, look at the security options within the office. Are there locked filing cabinets you can use? Is there a place to store your things when you step out for lunch? If not, you may have to carry your secure documents back and forth with you.
Finally, look beyond the tangible security options and consider the virtual ones. Is the network secure? Is the Wi-Fi password protected? You will be sharing a network with different organizations, so you want to be sure you have a layer of protection.
Consider the location of the coworking space. What is nearby? Is it near public transit routes? Is there adequate parking? While you may be considering a coworking space for convenience, these little factors can be a nightmare if you don’t vet them in advance.
3 Meeting Rooms
Many coworking spaces boast an open-concept, engaging workspace. While this aspect of coworking is great for day-to-day work, it can be challenging when trying to conduct meetings or training sessions. Be sure to check out the meeting rooms and private areas your coworking space has to offer. How many meeting rooms are there? Are they booked for weeks in advance? Looking into this is crucial when you have a team of employees.
What equipment does the coworking space have onsite? Are there a few, office-grade printers and scanners? Do they have the equipment needed for hosting an information session or giving a presentation? What equipment would you need to outsource if you chose this spot? Again, this is an important consideration when assessing if the space is convenient for you to use.
The atmosphere can mean a few different things. What is the physical atmosphere of the space like? Is it open and airy? Clean and modern? Or does it look like the inside of another uniform, uninspiring, windowless office? There is also the intangible atmosphere to consider. Visit the space when people are working there. Does it seem like a positive environment with passionate entrepreneurs working on projects, or is there an underlying feeling of negativity and tension?
The open-concept layout and passionate workers can all culminate in one negative factor: noise. Some level of noise is going to be unavoidable in a coworking environment, but some businesses try to offset this with plants, green walls, and creative floor plans.
7 Internet Reliability
Many coworking space providers struggle to offer reliable internet. Depending on your line of work, this can either be a minor inconvenience or a debilitating challenge. Try to find reviews of the space and talk with current or previous tenants about their experience with the Wi-Fi.
Lots of coworking spaces come with extra perks, like a gym or breakfast bar. At the very least, you will want to be sure that your coworking space offers the essentials: a clean bathroom, a place to make coffee, and a place to rinse out your dishes. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit.
9 Cost and Commitment
Before you look for a coworking space, you need to have a financial plan and vision. Some spaces charge monthly, while others require a lease agreement. Costs vary depending on space required, time spent, and other variables. You’ll need to consider all these things, and read the fine print when renting a coworking space.
Are you planning on growing your business before moving to a space of your own? Then you better be sure there is room to do so. You may also want to check how many people are allowed in your workspace to try and foresee crowding issues now or in the future. If you feel like productivity will be a challenge due to the number of tenants, then you should keep looking for the perfect spot.
Using a coworking space can have a huge effect on your productivity levels, inspiration, and networking opportunities. Determine what you need and what you want before starting your search, and you’ll find the perfect workspace in no time!