With over 35,000 co-working and shared office spaces worldwide, according to research by All Work, there surely is the ideal workspace waiting for you and your business.
However, with so many co-working choices, it can be hard to find the perfect place and ensure it will meet all of your needs. So here’s a list of things you should consider if you find yourself on the hunt for the perfect co-working space.
Finance is the lifeblood of any company — especially startups and small businesses. You must find a co-working space that fits your budget or offers the level of amenities that will make the cost justifiable. Don’t let teaser rates fool you.
While you might think your business will be able to afford the higher fees once the introductory rates run out, it may not happen, and you could find yourself back on the search again.
2. Wi-Fi and Mobile Signal
A solid and secure internet connection is essential for every business. From video conferencing to emails and WhatsApp groups –– nothing will work without a strong Wi-Fi signal. Slow and unreliable WiFi connections can easily cause frustration and productivity loss for employees and guests alike.
Make sure Wi-Fi is strong throughout the entire co-working space –– in particular, the area where you and your team will rent space. The same goes for your mobile signal. You should have at least a couple of bars. Note: There may be variations depending on your carrier.
Ask a current member about this since they will not only have the most accurate experience but are also more likely to be brutally honest.
3. Noise and phone booths
Do you need a quiet, “I can hear a pin drop” office space? Perhaps some low chatter is acceptable? Could the sounds and water cooler talk in a nearby kitchen and break room frustrate you? Do you desire a quirky combination of energy and excitement around you?
Whatever your poison, sound levels change during the day, so it’s a good idea to enquire about the tone of the co-working space whilst you’re scoping it out.
Also, make sure there are enough office phone booths to make calls in a quiet and private setting. You don’t want to end up in the hallway or the staircase when you’re trying to close an important deal.
4. Event offerings
Events are on the rise in co-working communities, for members and non-members alike. Which makes sense because why shouldn’t people who work together, play together?!
Consider hosting happy hours or mixers where members can get to know each other. This is especially useful concerning accelerators since you can sometimes find the right product or service for your business a few doors down (It’s the modern version of getting a cup of sugar from a neighbor). This is made easier when spaces put on events that allow you to connect with other companies and even potentially make sales in your own back yard.
5. Free stuff
Speaking of offerings, one thing that makes an office space more attractive are the perks – coffee, snacks, group discounts on local activities, and more. In and of itself, free goodies may not make the top priority spot on your list but never underestimate how the little things keep employees happy and improve company culture.
Also, unexpected offerings for clients and prospects can leave a lasting impression and create a positive undertone associated with the quality of your business.
Coffee and biscuits for clients, for example, can sometimes cost businesses quite a bit over the year. You could easily save on this expense if you rent a co-working space where these kinds of perks are free. Every little bit helps (just saying).
You will be commuting each day (and so will your team and possibly, your clients). It is ideal to ensure the path to your office is as straightforward a journey as possible.
Convenient logistics is a bonus to ensure no one is regularly stuck in traffic. While easy access to a local airport is helpful for startups and small businesses with global reach. Also, make sure the building and local area are secure enough. And don’t forget about nearby lunch and after-work drinks options.
Think about your daily requirements and factor the capacity and capability of each site into your decision. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Does the look and feel meet our expectations (and that of our clients)?
- Would we feel comfortable inviting clients over for a meeting?
- Should we plan to meet a lot of clients, what is the arrangement and availability of meeting rooms?
- Does the co-working space have the latest technology set up (to ensure we’re not messing about with different wires and adaptors for a half-hour before a video conference call)?
- Is the building wheelchair accessible?
- Is there always someone on hand to handle a query?
Finding the best co-working space
To conclude, the important thing to note is that all of these details are subjective. It depends on the type of person you are, the business you run, and the vision you want to manifest. Yet, it’s helpful to keep all of these things in mind as you hunt down the best co-working space for you and your colleagues.
Thomas Anselmino is a co-founder at MEAVO office phone booths. Prior to this, Thomas worked in the tech sector in London (i.e., Skype/Microsoft, Job Today).
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