Coworking is becoming a bit of a buzzword lately, and flexible office spaces are popping up left, right, and center. While the benefits of this type of office model have been well-documented, what should you really look for in a coworking space?
How To Pick The Right Coworking Space
Location, location, location. It’s at the top of the list of what to look for in a coworking space because it’s that important. After all, convenience and reduced commute times are one of the best aspects of working remotely.
Here are some things to consider when picking a coworking space:
- How long is the commute from home? What will it be like during rush hour?
- Is it close to public transit or has available parking?
- Is the location convenient with colleagues or clients you may meet with?
- What else is in the area?
For many people, remote work means not having to commute into the city each day. So, if you or your team live outside of the downtown core, consider looking for a suburban coworking space.
Next, ask yourself what it will actually feel like to work there after you have picked a coworking space. Atmosphere is an intangible quality and it can be hard to define. Some things to think about are:
- Who are the other professionals in the space? Do they align with yourself and your business?
- Is it warm and welcoming? Can you picture yourself there?
- What is the staff like who work in the space?
- Are there people interacting, or is it totally quiet?
- How does the space reflect on your business?
You need to first understand what you want out of the space in order to be able to find a coworking space with the perfect atmosphere.
3. Perks and Amenities
One of the main benefits of picking a good coworking space is the amenities you don’t have at home. It’s important that your chosen space has everything you need to get work done. Here are some perks and amenities that might make your list:
- Mail and call-forwarding services
- Printing, faxing, and scanning services
- Private meeting or conference rooms to rent
- Kitchen facilities and common areas
- Coffee, tea, or snacks
- Preferred rates with gyms, catering services, and platforms and tools
- Community and networking opportunities
- Education seminars and learning opportunities
- Philanthropic initiatives
- On-site dedicated staff
- Wellness initiatives and events
What is a coworking space? Well, good coworking spaces are more than four walls, desks, and chairs. It’s the perks and amenities that bring it all together.
4. The Office Community
Similar to atmosphere, this is something you’ve got to just get a feel for. When you go to visit a coworking space, are there people talking and connecting? Is there a sense of community? Again, when thinking about what a coworking space is, it’s more than just a place to sit—it’s a community of like-minded professionals.
A few ways to check out the office community include:
- Talking with members to see what they like about the space.
- Checking out the events and activities hosted by the coworking space.
- Reading the space’s Google Reviews and testimonials.
In many instances, the community in a coworking space can extend well beyond socialization and can actually lead to mutually beneficial business connections and even new leads and revenue. You need to pick a coworking space that provides a sense of community as well as a place to work.
5. Noise Levels
A lot of people thinking about what to look for in a coworking space might not even consider this. But noise levels can directly influence your focus and productivity at work—good coworking spaces should boost your productivity, not hinder it.
Consider the layout of the space as well as the availability of things like phone booths and breakout meeting rooms. Optimally, there should be ample places where people can go to catch up, eat lunch, or take calls that won’t cause a disturbance to others.
6. Event Offerings
The vast majority of coworking spaces offer organized events. They may differ, though, on the type of event and how well-attended they are. And, depending on the types of professionals who work in the space, event format and purpose may vary as well.
Here are some possible events a good coworking space may offer:
- Social events like happy hours
- Networking events
- Professional development events like conferences or presentations
- Wellness events
- Charitable get-togethers
Consider what events you’d like to go to and then check out the space’s events calendar when you’re trying to pick a good coworking space.
7. Meeting Rooms
If you have to take private phone calls, host team meetings, or meet with clients, a private meeting room is a must. Not only does it help you get more done, but it can also help you project a professional image to your customers and your team.
These meeting rooms should be fully equipped with everything you need, including AV equipment and access to a full-service kitchen where you can get water, coffee, tea, and snacks for your attendees.
Many coworking spaces will offer a certain number of hours of meeting rooms with a monthly rate. Make sure you check out what’s available, how much the cost is, and if the meeting room will serve your needs.
8. Phone Booths
Depending on the coworking space, you may or may not be allowed to take calls in the common area. Make sure to check out the rules of each space. If you do need to take calls, find out if there are phone booths where you can go take a private call.
We all know the importance of coffee. So, does the coworking space have a place to make some? Is it free? Are there other facilities to make or store your lunch? Other kitchen considerations:
- Cleanliness and organization—keeping common areas clean is a top coworking etiquette rule!
- Plates, cutlery, appliances (i.e. toaster) availability.
- Common areas to eat—quite often, some of the best connections happen around a food table.
10. Reliable Internet
This one’s pretty self-explanatory—we all need the internet to work!
Make sure to ask questions about the WiFi and what happens if it’s down. The best insight will come from people working in the space.
11. Workspace Design
No two coworking spaces are exactly the same. There is usually some combination of private desks or offices and shared flexible areas. Consider what your needs are and where you work best.
For example, if you’re a solopreneur or freelancer, you might not need a private space. In fact, working among other people may be exactly what helps you stay motivated and focused.
But for a small business owner that hosts team meetings, you may need a dedicated office or access to private meeting rooms. A coworking space that offers more private options may be suitable over one with a large shared space.
When people think about what to look for in a good coworking space, they often only consider the price. But we put it last for a reason—it’s important but it shouldn’t be your deciding factor.
When it comes to price, consider how often you’ll use the space and what kind of amenities you’ll need. Then, get a price quote and consider what works with your budget. Make sure to look at some of the intangible benefits of a good coworking space (i.e. networking) as well.
So much of what to look for when picking a coworking space has to do with your needs and preferences. Make sure to think about each item and evaluate them carefully before making a decision.
About Launch Workplaces
We offer flexible coworking and private office space for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses, along with other services such as mailing addresses, meeting room space, and reception services. If you are looking for a coworking space where you or your team can get great work done, book a tour of your local Launch Workplace today.