A quiet, well-connected office is just what a lot of freelancers and entrepreneurs need. But which one is right for you?
If you already work from home, you’re no doubt painfully aware of the solitary feelings that can overcome you at times. While frequenting your local coffee shop may seem a great way to get some stimulation (and get out of your pyjamas), there’s another space that can offer you more than background noise and caffeine.
Coworking spaces usually charge a daily, weekly or monthly fee for workspace and amenities such as Wi-Fi and common elements including conference rooms, private telephone booths and the all-important coffee maker. With plenty of coworking spaces to choose from, finding the right one for your business can be a challenge.
When shopping for a coworking space, ask these 10 questions…
1. Can I Visit?
Given the fact that different people show up to different spaces means every space has its own personality. Although you can easily register online it’s often better to first visit the space to see if it’s a good fit before making a commitment.
2. Who Are The Current Tenants?
Before setting up shop in a coworking space, survey the list of current occupants and ask yourself whether these individuals may be able to help you in your business and career development. While some coworking spaces are specifically geared towards certain type of industries; others have a wide variety of tenants including tech startups, non-profits, designers, lawyers and accountants. These types of coworking spaces allow for individuals to connect with others across industries and share knowledge and expertise.
The most beneficial part of being in a coworking space for many is being able to be a part of a community and experience the camaraderie of the office experience.
3. Can I Try Before I Buy?
Ask if you can work in the space for one day to try it out to make sure the space is compatible with your work style. If you need quiet time to work, make sure the space you choose has private quiet areas rather than a large open space where people around you will be talking on the phone and having frequent meetings and discussions close by.
4. What Networking Opportunities Are Available?
Many coworking spaces host social events and professional development workshops to help inspire tenants and foster the sense of community. If you’re not the joiner type though, it doesn’t matter as you can easily find a quieter space to work from at the same location.
5. Does The Space Offer Other Perks?
Some coworking spaces offer special benefits including health insurance or discounts on educational courses. Signature Works Membership comes with three advantages: a Privilege discount card, Incubator Panel and FREE gym membership.
6. What Are The Opening Hours?
While some coworking spaces keep set office hours, others are open 24/7 allowing tenants to set their own working hours.
7. How Long Is The Commute?
Most coworking spaces are located in urban centres that are easily accessible by public transport if you live within a reasonable radius. You should calculate the time saved from your commute to make for a more efficient work day.
8. How Long Is The Contract?
Most coworking spaces allow tenants to rent space on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. This flexibility is much more desirable than a traditional two-year lease, particularly for growing businesses.
9. How Much Space Do You Need?
While some coworking spaces offer little more than a desk, others like Signature Works have private offices to accommodate multiple staff members. Carefully choose your coworking space for the opportunity for growth it provides. You can have a private office and rent several desks in the communal area and just add people to floating desks as and when they join your company.
10. What’s The Infrastructure Like
Are you a graphic designer who needs to print a lot of material? Do you regularly meet clients and need to book conference room space frequently? Are you a tech company who requires a large bandwidth? Before signing a lease, make sure the coworking space you choose has the right infrastructure you need to support your business.