In a few years ahead (2020), global coworking spaces are projected to surge to over 25,000. Hubs such as New York, London, and Tokyo may well have over 400 spaces.
For the coworking professional looking to find workspace, lets look at a few key factors that are easy to compare.
Your coworking space’s location can be a big factor in how much value you get out of your membership. Being located in a prestigious neighborhood can impress potential clients. Having conveniences within walking distance is a plus.
For example, professionals at Gravitate, a coworking space in DesMoines, appreciate many nearby conveniences. Surrounded by parks, it’s nice for members to go for a stroll through nature and get exercise on their lunch break. A delicious treat is also never far away. The Gravitate is a few blocks away from a gourmet supermarket as well.
Checking where your potential coworking spaces is located can influence your decisions. It should be in the central part of town with many conveniences. You’ll want your space to be near the city center and resources if at all possible.
The availability and price of parking are also important considerations. In some cities parking can be scarce or pricey. Parking may or may not included in your coworking membership.
In many cultures people say when you marry someone you also marry their family. Likewise, when you join a coworking space you also join its community. Oprah Winfrey said, “Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.” It’s important to understand that being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, remote workers, and talented independent professionals is one of the biggest benefits of joining a coworking space.
Making friends at your coworking space and seeing others hustle to build their businesses will encourage you to come to work each day. Working alongside other people who “get” your entrepreneurial challenges will help you avoid the feelings of isolation and loneliness that often arise when working alone. Brainstorming, collaborating, and networking are ways to feel a part of a community.
Some coworking spaces offer leisure activities like volleyball for members to enjoy together.
Finding a space with a great community isn’t too difficult. When deciding if a community is a good fit for you, you may want to ask yourself; of what professions are people at this workspace? Are my skills a good fit for this community? Does this space host regular events for members to network with each other? Will this space help drive and hone in my ambitions?
#3 Work Environment
Working at a cafe often brings loud giggling gossip. Family members and domestic tasks will call for you while working at home. Your surroundings and the amount of distractions are huge in determining how you progress on your projects.
Coworking spaces can be affordable, distraction-free workspaces, but they’re not perfect either. Some spaces bring excessive chatter from members collaborating on joint projects. Other spaces are too hot or cold to comfortably work for extended periods of time.
Perhaps some spaces may not have your preferred type of seating. Not all coworking spaces have standing desks, ergonomic chairs, and beanbags. Yet, these types of seating arrangements have huge health benefits and the ability to greatly increase your productivity. Feel free to bring in your own items to make your day more comfortable.
When trying to determine if a coworking space has a suitable work environment, visiting that space is the best way to find out. Ask to try it out a few times before you commit.
Apart from a work environment that allows you to focus, it’s also important to find a coworking space that gives you everything else you need to maximize your work experience. Is free coffee a must for you? How’s the internet connection in the work area? Does your work often require you to have access to a printer, or conference room for client calls?
These are all things to think about. The amenities can make or break you.
Of course, amenities don’t just help balance the work side of the work/life balance equation. Coworking amenities can be a lot of fun too. Someday, maybe, Springboard will offer trampolines for their members to jump on.
Membership fees and how much you’re willing to pay each month are fundamental in choosing a place to work. Memberships at premiere spaces, offer full access and many amenities. If you need massages, a fitness room and living accommodations you may pay several thousand dollars a month. This is a dream package for successful entrepreneurs wanting a great place to work. But if you’re on a tight budget you may have to compromise on some things.
It may be hard for someone with a six-figure income to work at a space with less comfort and amenities, but it appeals to early stage start-up’s. Find a coworking space that offer a variety options for membership. Find a plan that gives you everything you need to be productive. That way you won’t pay for a bunch of extras you’ll never use.
In short, you’re going to need to prioritize what you need from your coworking space to get the best return on your investment. Remember that environment is everything. Putting in the extra effort to find a right space that fits you will be rewarding.
The post was originally written by Cameron Chardukian, I edited to make it work for Springboard Coworking. Cameron is a lead contributor and analyst at Coworker.com.