7 Things to Consider When Looking for a Coworking Space
Meet this post's contributor, Chris Richardson. Chris is an editor and a blogger from London. He is passionate about writing, traveling, and photography. Chris loves to meet new people and talk about modern education and technologies. Find Chris on Google+.
You decided to try out a coworking space? That’s a great option for freelancers and business owners who like to be independent in their work but still want to connect with other people. The extraverted freelancer is not an oxymoron. Some of us actually hate the sound of silence and sense of isolation.
So how do you find that perfect coworking space? We’ll give you a few things to consider while looking:
Set Your Budget
You want a coworking space that will serve as a daily office for you, but you have to keep the expenses within the limits of your budget. On average, the monthly cost of a desk in a coworking space is around $195 in the USA. However, the price can go up or down, especially depending on your city, and it’s up to you to hunt for the most affordable offer.
Most coworking spaces will either have tiered plans or additional costs, depending on needs and extra amenities. Ask about additional costs regarding the Internet speed, coffee and snacks, meeting rooms, faxing and printing, and access at any time. Make sure to plan your full expenses, so you won’t end up investing more than you assumed.
Consider Your Working Hours
When you’re looking at your options, think: are these coworking spaces open when you usually do your work? If you prefer working late, the ability to access the space at any time will make a huge difference. Many coworking spaces are available 24/7, but check to make sure.
Look at the Location
Decide what's important for you. Do you want to save on commuting costs? Maybe aim for a space that's easily accessible from your home or need good public transportation. Do you want to have a gym nearby, so you can be physically active while taking a break from work? Any good restaurants in the area? It’s important to think not only about the accessibility of the coworking space, but about what you want and need in the surrounding area as well.
Think About Your Best Working Environment
Maria Smith, a writer for Essay Geeks, explains that the office design is one of the most important factors that influence her work: “It’s not just about getting a desk and doing your job. It’s about the way the place makes you feel. Open workspaces work great for me, since I like being surrounded by other people while I work. Some writers, however, like to have their privacy. That’s how important the environment is.”
A community or space manager will happily take you on a tour of the space during working hours, so you can take a look to see how people use certain areas of the space. Take note: are there lounge areas where people can take a quick break? Are there specific spaces for quieter work? Ask yourself what environment you work best in and what appeals to your preferences.
Get a Sense of Community
When you join a coworking space, you become part of its community. You’ll be surrounded by people and you’ll be seeing the same faces every day. You’ll meet digital nomads, entrepreneurs, freelance writers, and professionals of all kinds. You want this community to give you a supportive vibe. So give a few coworking spaces a trial period before you settle for the one that gives you the best sense of community. Fostering the sense of belonging promotes success at work!
What Amenities Are a Priority for You?
So you need a desk, but that’s not all. How good is the Internet connection at the coworking space you’re considering? Can they provide a laptop if yours experiences unexpected problems? Is there an option to get coffee and nice light meals? Will you have access to a 3D printer if you need one?
Consider security as well, if you want to leave your things. Can you leave your laptop on the desk while you’re having a short walk? Can you leave it overnight and feel safe about it? Check the security protocols of the space before you become part of it.
Is There a Trial Period?
Do you have to rent out space for an entire month? Do you have to commit to a contract right away? Ask to see if the coworking space offers a trial period of few days or even day passes so you can experience the space and make your decision.
The right choice of coworking space will practically change the way you do your job. The sense of community will inspire you. The mere fact that you’re investing in your work will push you to get more productive. The only important thing is to choose the right space for your needs.