Coworking spaces began as a simple enough idea; people were in need of a place to get their work done, so spaces were filled with chairs, desks, inkjet printers and WiFi to accommodate those needs. As the demand for this service has grown, the designs have changed. Many of the working spaces we see today are much more high-tech, offering all kinds of supplies, tools and services to meet the needs of its members.
With so many spaces to choose from, it’s not always clear right away which location will be best for a worker. Some coworking spaces are loud and busy, while others are small and quiet. It’s easy to find all different kinds of offices that cater to different jobs, personalities and preferences. In fact, one of the trends of coworking spaces this year is niche spaces, which are geared towards specific types of work or workers, such as writers, small start-ups or other specialized groups. These niche spaces can make it easier for some individuals to determine the best coworking environment for them.
If you’re not sure where you or your business fits in, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to find the best coworking space for your needs.
Do a Trial
Coworking spaces offer monthly and annual memberships, but many are also open to individuals who are only interested in stopping by for the day. This can be helpful to newcomers who want to get a better feel for a coworking space before they commit to longer memberships.
Use this kind of one-day approach to check out a few different spaces in your area. Spending a day in the space will give you a better idea about the types of workers who visit, how loud it can be and how comfortable you feel there.
Chances are you will know someone or another business that has utilized coworking spaces before, so asking for their opinion is a great way to get an idea of where you might want to go. Consider asking individuals or groups who are in the same kind of business as you, or who have the same style of work. This way, you’ll be getting feedback from people who appreciate and look for the same kinds of features.
Compare Pricing and Features
If you can’t physically visit locations you’re interested in ahead of time, most coworking locations have their own website. These sites have a lot of basic information such as location, prices and features.
If you want to find the best coworking space for you, take some time to do your research on the places you’re interested in by looking online or calling.
From your research, you can figure out how much it will cost you for various features (single desks, meeting rooms, permanent offices, etc.), and whether or not you actually require the features you’d be paying for. Researching each location might also tell you what kind of office supplies you need to supply, amenities located nearby, how much space is available, etc.
The reason many individuals only choose one-day sign-ups is because they’re passing through the area and need a place to work. If you’re running a business that is constantly on the move, then it might not be efficient to invest in a monthly membership to one coworking location.
Some coworking companies have offices all over the country, which makes it easier for members to visit offices that they recognize and enjoy visiting. One company, known as WeWork, has coworking locations all over the United States, as well as locations in Canada, Germany, Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Companies like this one with multiple locations allow you to travel from office to office, depending on where you need to be. This can be make choosing a specific company like WeWork very valuable, especially if your team is moving around a lot or if your team members are spread out across the map.
Think About Your Business
Are you an individual who works alone? Or perhaps you’re a small startup with a few members? Not every coworking space is going to cater to the needs of your business. Since your job opportunities will inevitably change over time, the way you work will also change.
If you’re not sure how to find the best coworking space for your needs, really think about what your business requires right now, and what it might need in the near and far future. Are you going to be adding new members soon? Will your business require better technology and more meetings? A coworking space that is able to provide for you now may not necessarily have the tools to keep you moving forward in the future.
Similar to buying your own office space, you’ll have to think about your business and how it needs to be run. If a lot of space is what you need, make sure to look for coworking spaces with plenty of room for members and some available desk spaces. You will want to show your appreciation for your employees or coworkers by offering a good place for them to set up shop and get to work. Also, if you are going to be hosting a lot of meetings with clients in the future, having private conference rooms will also be a must.
Catering to your business right now is important, but if you visualize a lot of changes in the near future, it might be a good idea to join a coworking space with month-to-month memberships that can be cancelled or upgraded easily.
If the concept of a space for coworking appeals to you and your business, you have plenty of locations to choose from. As the number of remote workers continues to grow, so too does the demand for spaces where workers can focus, collaborate and join a community with common goals. As the number of coworking spaces expands, take your time deciding on a location that suits you best. Visiting potential locations and finding out what they have to offer will give you a better idea of the supplies and space you have at your fingertips.