Welcome to the world of incredible work successes, laser-sharp business focus, and a fulfilling, welcoming office culture! Sound too good to be true? It’s not nirvana – it’s the essence of a great coworking space. Not all spaces are created equal though, so let’s take a look at the top 10 considerations when looking for your perfect coworking space.
TYPE OF WORKSPACE.
Are you looking for a desk for the day? Or do you need a private office? Maybe a semi-private nook in a corner somewhere is your thing, or perhaps you love to be in the thick of the action, with coworkers all around. Know thyself, and the rest will fall into place. Every coworking space is unique – and not all will offer what you need.
You’ll find most coworking spaces have a varying price structure, based on items such as occupancy, included amenities, length of time you are engaging with the space, etc. Industry standards tell us that the average price for a one day use of a desk runs between $35 – $46 USD, while a monthly membership can range from $199 – $350 USD depending on where you are in the US. Dedicated office space (not a private office) will run you on average between $389 – $650, again, depending on the space itself, and what’s included. If private officing is what you need, plan to invest a minimum of $700 and up – space exclusivity in coworking comes with a price, so be prepared to pay extra for this perk.
Arguably one of the most important factors to review in coworking. At a minimum, you should expect a desk/chair combo, high-speed WiFi, unlimited coffee/tea/beverages, and lounges or communal areas. Extras that might be included are access to conference rooms or meeting space, childcare facilities, B&W and color printing, bike storage, phone booths (for private calls), lockers for storage, outdoor space, and facilities that go beyond basic restrooms – showers & fitness options are becoming more and more common. Also, don’t forget to ask about business mail services if that’s a must-have on your list!
A LA CARTE OPTIONS.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road: does your coworking space have the flexibility to work with you to add on amenities or options that are important to you? Maybe you need an extra monitor one day, or perhaps you need to meet with clients – are reception or client hosting services available? Ask the hard questions early on and chances are good that your coworking team will thank you for the opportunity to holistically serve your needs.
This is a biggie. Every space has its own vibe – a bespoke culture that stems from the office layout, the location, the quality of the equipment, and the folks working in and around the space. Typically, you’ll either jive with a space and it’s vibe or you won’t. If you can, spend time within the coworking spaces you like the best – the hallmark of a great coworking space is one that allows you a trial period before making a commitment. The best coworking spaces offer a free trial for you to immerse yourself in the space for up to 3 days, to experience the community and culture before you make a commitment. Free trials are highly recommended if you are deciding between a few different spaces, or just want the added peace of mind that this is the right fit for you.
Hands down, a necessity and you’ll find it is always included, but, and here’s the big catch….what are the speeds you require for both downloading and uploading? If you have unique needs these should be discussed early on so that when you are in the space, there is flawless delivery and zero interruption to your workflow.
Are you a night owl, most productive in the wee hours of the morning? Or are you a diurnal do-er, fueled by sunlight? Coworking spaces commonly offer both M-F business hours and also a 24/7 option. What works best for you?
Without a doubt, you will need a coworking space that allows you to achieve your goals – and sometimes, the closest coworking space is not always the best fit. Expand your search to check out a few options, and weigh the pros/cons of each. Some coworkers love to be in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown, with unlimited food and beverage options nearby, while others just need something close to home. If you want to bike to your new coworking space, don’t forget to ask about bike storage onsite!
While this perk definitely contributes to the overall culture and is considered part of the coworking space amenities, it deserves serious consideration as well. Some coworking spaces offer monthly members-only social & networking events at local establishments, some offer weekend curated group bike rides (leaving and returning to the office), some provide access to larger business networks that might be of interest to you.
This is the foundation of a great coworking space. How you are treated by the staff of the coworking space is a direct reflection of the leadership and their core values. Are you welcomed and respected? Is your experience easy and straightforward? Is your coworking experience fully supported? These are the common pillars of coworking and will ultimately influence your overall experience within the coworking space.
A lot to consider, right? Don’t let this list intimidate you – instead, let it serve as a friendly guide – one that accompanies you on your journey to finding the perfect coworking space. Nirvana is not a destination – it’s a state of mind, at the right coworking space.
In March we review how COMMON Workspace addresses 5 specific distributed team challenges of remote workers.