CoWorking spaces have long been a popular choice for startups, budding entrepreneurs and companies to network, economise and grow. The approach and design of co-working spaces has drastically changed from what it was 5 years ago.
The traditional ‘one size fits all’ coworking model, has now expanded to cater to niche and broad audiences to improve the way we work. Law Firm Suites for instance, is a coworking space in New York, designed for professionals within the law industry. Likewise, Coalition is targeted towards professionals in the energy sector.
And now, coworking spaces are now readily available everywhere – it’s not only the new way to work, it’s the better way.
Coworking spaces prove to be most beneficial when it’s the right fit for you & your company. That way, you get your money’s worth, you’re happy and can professionally grow. With numerous high quality coworking options available, it’s easy to get stuck deciding on the best space for you.
To help you out, we’ve put together 5 points to consider when choosing your ideal coworking space:
1. Location & accessibility:
The location of a Coworking space could make or break a decision to become a member. Some questions you should ask here are; is the coworking space easy to find & access? How long is the commute by car or public transport? Are there convenience stores nearby? Is there bike storage in case you or your team want to cycle in.
Consider other amenities close by such as coffee shops, restaurants and bars – just in case you wish to treat your team or a client.
It would also be useful to ask if there is on-site parking and guest parking available, and the costs for the same.
2. Amenities and facilities:
It’s important to find a coworking space that offers access to the right facilities and amenities to create a stress free environment. This can help make the coworking space feel more like a community hangout and less like a professional environment.
Besides the standard office equipment, it is important to look at other amenities. For instance, does the space have fast & secure wifi, is the technology up to date and reliable, are there break out zones & hang out spots to access during breaks? Is the kitchen well equipped with necessary appliances?
Are there any unique amenities that set the co-working space apart from the rest? For example, The YARD includes an art gallery & an attractive rooftop lounge available to all members via an access pass.
At CoWork Me, we have on site private parking that can be accessed 24/7. The space also has an on-site cafe & a fully functional kitchen that is stocked with free healthy snacks every week. CoWork Me also integrates inclusive design elements into the workspace to ensure member wellbeing and ease of accessibility. This includes wheelchair ramps, light and temperature controlled office space & availability of both private and communal work spaces to suit user preferences.
When deciding on a coworking space, it is important to get a sense of the space’s culture and community – and if it suits your personal aesthetic. A coworking space can essentially be an extension of your own company’s culture, which is crucial especially when potential clients visit you at work. Furthermore it can also enhance overall productivity and satisfaction.
When choosing a coworking space, think about the kind of community the space fosters and the kind of people and businesses it hosts. This will further help you connect with the right people for your business & can also create meaningful relationships.
So when you inspect a coworking space, make sure to enquire about their current members and whether the space organises social & networking events. Observe how you feel when you walk into the space as well – do you feel instantly inspired and welcomed or is the energy low?
The quality of staff on site is also a great reflection of the kind of the culture you might see – so pay close attention to that as well.
The team at CoWork Me go to great lengths to cultivate a sense of community and connection for their members through social events & daily interactions and activities. Some of CoWork Me’s events include weekly Friday Nights, member-led workshops and unique events like Christmas in July.
4. Membership, price & budget:
The cost of the membership is something you should keep in mind. After all, joining a coworking space should be viewed as an investment for yourself & your business.
Before signing up to a coworking space, it’s important to understand your membership plan and what is included in it, so that you can align your budget accordingly.
read the small print, make sure you understand the terms of the contract. Be sure to ask upfront about hidden costs or additional charges on amenities and services. Are things like parking, printing and booking meeting rooms included in membership? What extra or fancy amenities come with the membership, for instance fitness class / access to a gym or an on-site spa or massage therapist.
It is important to know which amenities and services are important to your business so that you avoid paying for something you might never use.
Lastly, it’s always good to try before you buy. Many coworking spaces offer free trials so take advantage of these offers!
The reason why most companies switch to coworking spaces is to enjoy flexibility, a factor that traditional offices don’t offer.
Most coworking spaces offer the flexibility of a month to month contract, which companies find appealing and convenient. Some workspaces also offer a discounted price if you commit for more than 12 months, which is very cost effective.
Flexibility with regards to your private workspace is also important, for instance does the coworking space have multiple work spots for hotdesk members, is there an option to expand an office space if your team grows? Does the space use ergonomic furniture or provide stand up desks for members? Is there 24/7 access to the building?