Key criteria to choose a coworking space.

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Coworking spaces are only rising in popularity worldwide. In fact, over 25,000 commercial spaces are predicted to be established worldwide by 2020. Their attractiveness is largely due to the fact that they offer a unique opportunity for freelancers, remote workers and small start-ups to enjoy the benefits of an office without compromising on the flexibility such an environment provides. However, with so many different choices available, picking the perfect one can get quite tricky. After all, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different factors to consider.

The environment you work in plays a huge role in your productivity and happiness. The goal is to find a coworking space that fits in with your goals and ambitions, while still speaking to your unique personality. A coworking space that nurtures you and that you are comfortable in. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the ideal coworking space – you have to find one that is tailored to your individual needs.

Luckily, this article will provide some insight on what exactly you should be looking for in a coworking space. We’ll discuss the five most important factors for you to consider so that you can find a space for you to channel your creativity, produce good work and achieve professional fulfillment.

#1: Location

One of the best benefits of coworking spaces is being able to choose the location you work in. There are a few things to consider when choosing your optimal location. The first is the value it adds to your business. Clients will be impressed if you have your workspace in a good neighborhood due to the prestige associated. Another factor is convenience – if the coworking space you choose is near restaurants, bars and other entertainment options, it will attract employees and keep them satisfied. Nearby accommodation is also a plus point.

You should also consider available and affordable parking as well as nearby public transport options to make the commute easier for both you and your employees. Not all coworking spaces offer free or cheap parking, so you may have to look around for nearby lots.

In conclusion, the neighborhood you choose your coworking space in is extremely important. One that is easy to reach and near the central business district is likely the best option if budget is not an concern.

#2: Community

The best ideas come from collaboration! That’s why it’s extremely important to pick a coworking space with plenty of common areas you and your team can discuss ideas without the pressure of an office/meeting room. Of course, you may also need an office to discuss more private matters but informal common areas are also important as they create a more relaxed setting to bounce ideas off one another.

You should also look at the community of people at your chosen coworking space. Some coworking spaces cater specifically to certain types of people – digital nomads, go-getting entrepreneurs, creative types, etc. Pick a coworking space that has a community of people with similar goals to yours as this will make it easier for you to meet other like-minded individuals.

Lots of coworking spaces also regularly organize events. These could be networking events or fun activities such as yoga or wine-tasting classes. They provide an excellent opportunity to learn or perfect your skills while allowing you to socialize with your peers.

The social aspect of coworking cannot be discounted. If you’re surrounded by energetic, motivated, friendly people, you’ll feel like going to work when you wake up every morning. Plus, you’ll reap the benefits of brainstorming with others who could give you new ideas.

#3: Work Environment

An office environment is easily controlled, however, a coworking one may not be. Look at the layout of your chosen coworking space – are the common areas segregated from the work areas to allow maximum focus and productivity? Are there sufficient areas to relax without disturbing others who are working? Can the peace and quiet you need be easily achieved?

Apart from noise levels, you should also look at décor and lighting. Lots of natural light will create a better work environment for you to happily focus in, as opposed to bright fluorescent lighting. A good view will boost your moods every day. Light, yet tasteful, décor will stimulate your creative juices without being a distraction. Lastly, consider the furniture. You’re going to be using it for at least 8 hours a day, so make sure it’s comfortable!

To make it simpler for you, we have classified coworking spaces according to their environment. The four labels we use are Premium (prestigious, unique, luxurious), Inspiring (dynamic, stimulating, creative), Business (professional and convenient) and Theme (niche, dedicated and original).

#4: Amenities

Plenty of coworking spaces offer free stuff. Most have free refreshments such as tea, coffee and snacks on hand in the pantry. Others have on-site cafes, restaurants and rooftop bars. Some have lockable wellness rooms perfect for praying or meditating.

Consider the needs of you and your company. Other common perks included with coworking memberships are access to a gym or pool, childcare facilities for working parents, additional office supplies and equipment such as 3D printers, photography studios, video editing software, sewing machines, private meeting/conference rooms, event spaces and even mentoring services for start-ups.

You may have to hunt around a little bit to find the perfect coworking space, but rest assured, it is out there.

#5: Budget

Of course, money plays a role in everything. If you’re on a small budget, it may be difficult to find the perfect coworking space. You’ll likely have to compromise on some features, depending on the size of your team. If you’re just one freelancer, a simple hot desk at a coworking space with lots of extra features may be feasible. However, if you’re a small start-up, you may want to consider a private office in a coworking space with fewer features, at least until you get your business off the ground.

If your company is well established and you’re looking to network, a more luxurious, prestigious coworking space would be a better option. You’ll be able to meet similarly successful people as well as impress potential clients.

Featured workspace image credit: The Hive Carpenter, Singapore

Basically, when it comes to choosing a coworking space, look at it like an investment. Find this compromise between productivity and satisfaction for your employees as you make your research. Get help from FLYDESK to find you best workspace solution.

 

 

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