Working from home means battling temptations like the washing up or just tidying that shelf; coffee shops distract with bantering baristas and chatty patrons. Coworking, as we looked at last week, offers an alternative.
To find a space that meets all of your needs, you need to know what questions to ask. To ensure you join a hub that truly benefits you and your business you need to think about the essential factors of an office work space and what features of a home work space you want to continue enjoying.
Hours of business
At home, you have your choice of working hours. When picking a coworking space, a hub that opens at ten in the morning won’t help you if you check emails by 6.30 am.
You might not need a space open 24 hours a day to work at three in the morning, but you want to make sure the space you pick will be available when you want to work.
Where you sit for eight hours a day is important. When looking at a space, sit in the seat you might occupy in the days to come. Some furniture is appealing to the eye, but not your lower lumbar.
How’s the ambiance? Do you like the style of the space and the lighting? How cold or warm do they keep the building? How are the acoustics in the building?
Make sure the level of privacy suits you as well. Can you make a phone call discretely? Can everyone see your computer screen?
Outlets and internet
Pay attention to how many outlets are next to each workspace. Can you charge multiple devices at once? Ask what their internet capabilities are and if they have a procedure to handle IT issues.
Different spaces have very different rates depending on the type of workspace you are looking for. Some locations offer free space to individual creative workers. Have an idea of the amount of space you need and what your budget allows.
You don’t want to end up paying to work next to people you can’t stand when you could be working at home for free. Do a trial period of the space you’re considering to see who shows up.
Pay attention to what other businesses work out of the space. For example, a hub full of graphic designers could breed more competition than collaboration. Look for a hub that has a diverse range of business types you can connect with.
A coworking space is an excellent place to network. Don’t choose a space that leaves all the networking up to you.
Find out what kind of events and workshops the space holds and what types of topics they cover. Meet the host and find out how they encourage collaboration.
You will also want to note what else the location offers. Ask:
- Is there coffee available or a shop nearby?
- What are your lunch options?
- What’s your commute?
- How is parking?
Coworking gives freelancers and entrepreneurs another option. Deciding which shared working environment to share with other local business owners and startups is a process. These tips should make sure you ask the right questions to make the right decision.