Unlimited caffeine, a buzzing community, outdoor terraces with unwavering wifi and the option to make money with a dog on your lap. Sound like a good work environment?
According to the GCUG global coworking report, over three million professionals would have said yes in 2019 – and the number of coworkers in the world will almost double by 2022. Whether to avoid becoming the meat on a human sandwich while commuting, pretending to stay engaged during unnecessary meetings or simply binding output to a time of day, the rise of coworking spaces and demand for professional flexibility isn’t a new trend – it’s the new norm.
With over 30,000 flexible and alternative workspaces worldwide there’s no shortage of coworking locations to set up shop. But what makes for the best coworking space, and what keeps creative entrepreneurs coming back to one office space location for more? We’ve shared our top three below.
- A Strong Community
Humans are social creatures and when it comes to good business (both start-up and in general) collaboration is key. According to deskmag, 40% of all cowork space members are individuals and while it may be great to no longer have a micro-managing boss peering over your shoulder, constantly working solo can be an isolating business.
A good shared desk office or coworking environment connects you with like-minded others (politics-free) and provides networking opportunities aplenty; you’ll be able to feel the energy of a strong community as soon as you walk in the door. Keep an eye out for offices with a social calendar and group events like Friday drinks or lunchtime learnings. Table tennis also helps.
CoWork Me member Nasia, a 26-year-old graphic designer, said: “Location was a big one for me initially but the people are what keeps me coming back. Being surrounded by fun, energetic and inspiring creatives is great for my productivity – and they all have great freelancing advice!”
- An Equally Strong Team
In any office, a good culture starts from the top. In a coworking space, it starts with the staff – also known as community managers. As officernd puts it, “hospitality is the essential building block of coworking spaces”. A smiling face and warm greeting from behind the front desk will set the tone for your day, and a strong team will foster good energy and connection within the coworking community.
CoWork Me Marketing Manager Jo, 30, said: “I love CoWork Me mainly for the people and flexibility. I get to be surrounded by and work with a lot of people from different industries. It’s inspiring and interesting as you never know who you’ll meet. Being a part of a community like this has definitely helped to grow my network and I’ve made some good friends. There are so many possibilities for yourself and others when being a part of a coworking space like this.”
- Keep It Convenient
With so many coworking locations at our fingertips – or within walking distance if you’re lucky – convenience is key. This includes:
Location Look for shared spaces in an accessible location with plenty of public transport options nearby. If you subscribe to the work-hard-play-hard ethos, proximity to bars and restaurants should also be considered.
Price If you’re working for yourself – or just starting up – being frivolous with finances isn’t an option. Sure, Instagram-worthy decor and fancy carbonated beverages on tap are cool – but do they really justify paying hundreds more a month?
Facility We’re talking kitchens, showers, wifi and more; there’s a lot of variance out there – so do some research to see which office facilities are most important to you.
CoWork Me member and entrepreneur Martin, 35, said: “I didn’t want to sit at a cafe or work from home. Here there are great facilities, a great group of people, the community managers are supportive, it’s cost-efficient and you get your own business address. What’s not to like, really?”
Want to read more about the advantages of coworking spaces? Learn how they can help grow your business here.
- Best at Your Business: How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur - March 4, 2020
- What Makes A Good Coworking Space? - February 19, 2020