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Modern cities provide myriad opportunities for coworking. But the more coworking offices there are out there, the harder it becomes to choose a place that suits you. The first thing to consider is inevitably the cost of membership. Only you can judge what fits your budget so we’ll stick to giving you an overview of other things that might influence your decision such as design, location and perks.
You are looking for a substitute to your home office, so the new location has to be at least as comfortable as your desk at home. Assess the size of rooms, the degree of privacy and noisiness, the quality of the furniture and kitchen facilities, and bathroom cleanliness. Be picky: if anything bothers you now, then it will distract you even more when you’re working on a project.
Tip: Don’t forget to check lighting and ventilation. Everybody has their own preferences, so maybe you’ll have to bring an extra desk lamp.
It’s important you feel comfortable in your coworking space so you can be productive. However, you should also consider whether the coworking office has an interior that serves your business needs.
If your job involves a lot of meetings and you need to invite clients over, a high-end office is likely to make a better and more professional impression. Note that this type of office is often only open during normal business hours and normally occupied by freelancers and entrepreneurs. On the other hand, if your tasks and responsibilities don’t require meetings, an artistic, more relaxed environment might suit you better. Such offices generally attract a notably younger crowd and are often the domain of creatives and IT types. The communication between members is often more casual, resembling a shared home office.
Tip: Book a test day at several coworking spaces in your town to get a feel for the place. Talk to the members and ask yourself whether the environment is right for your personality and business.
Research says that people with shorter commutes are the happiest. Nevertheless, don’t get carried away and make your choice based solely on the distance from home. It is useful to consider whether the location is convenient for your clients. You should also think about proximity to certain amenities like daycare facilities, fitness centers, shops and restaurants.
Tip: You might want to avoid the coworking space next door. It’s hard to switch between home and work mode in just a couple of minutes and being close to home might tempt you to finish for the day sooner.
You should pay attention to the culture of your future coworking space. It is important that you feel confident around and trust the people you will be sharing the office with. Investigate whether the shared offices have a community manager who facilitates social events. Coming together and collaborating is one of the main reasons to get out of the home office, so don’t miss the opportunity!
Tip: If you are short on time and cannot visit all the offices in town, check their pages on social media. Instagram and Facebook can often provide insight into the events held by a coworking space and a general idea about the type of member.
Make a list of office supplies and facilities you need and try to go beyond “printer, coffee machine, WiFi”. If you need to call your clients often, look for a shared office with special call-zones or separate meeting rooms. There are also shared offices with resting areas, terraces, table games and even yoga rooms.
Tip: Make sure you go to the office not only to have a good time, but also to get things done.
And don't forget that perks might come with extra costs. Choosing a coworking space is a time-consuming activity, but it is a worthwhile investment. Chosen carefully, a shared office can become a new home for your business without burdening you financially or mentally. Bear our advice in mind, but follow your heart!
After a one-year hiatus, the Global Coworking Survey is back to find out how the coworking market has developed since 2013.I’ve taken the liberty of outlining some highlights from the presentation!
Perhaps this will inspire you to improve your own coworking space’s design or range of services, or perhaps it will lure you into joining a space!
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