Outgrown that corner coffee shop? Couch no longer cutting it for business needs? Then you might be ready to upgrade to an office space. If you can’t afford a one of your own – or don’t want one – coworking spaces are a great option. Freelancers, mobile workers, contract workers and telecommuters comprise over 30% of the workforce now and the market has taken note. It has risen to meet their demands with increased work spaces and people now have any number of places to park their computers and sip freshly brewed coffee while creating the next big idea.
Joining a coworking space has great benefits: it’s inexpensive compared to running a office and the idea of having a place to go to can give a mental boost as well as eliminate some of the distraction that comes with working from home. Since working from home can be a lonely venture, a coworking space can help foster a sense of community, allowing socialization with people of all stripes with the added benefit of getting some great networking in, too.
If considering a workspace, below are factors to consider and questions to ask when researching options:
1) Cost of the Coworking Space
Probably the most crucial aspect is determining how much to spend on an co-working space, which will influence the factors below to some degree. If you want to be there every day, there are great deals to be had – some places here in NYC cost $550 to $800 per month, which averages out to about $28 to $40 per day – a great deal for the amount of exposure and perks available. If someone only needs a place for only five to ten days per month, for example, they should consider a place that lets them pay per day or that has a flexible scheduling option. Also, be sure to calculate any additional costs that the coworking space may charge when looking at a particular location or creating a budget.
2) Benefits of Coworking Spaces
What does the workspace itself offer? Do you need constant access to high-speed internet, a desk of your own, mail services, storage space or a conference room for meetings? Or do you just want a cubicle to rent for the day (or night) while you type or write away? Some places go the extra mile with yoga classes, happy hour events and may offer numerous discounts from partnerships with companies like Zipcar, Zendesk and Handybook.
3) Work environment
Do you value a quiet workspace with occasional small talk? Or do you like being surrounded with a vibrant atmosphere and have access to a pool or Ping-Pong table? Swapping knowledge with like-minded people or interacting with professionals in other fields? The culture of a co-work space will have an enormous impact on productivity, so you should feel like you and the place are a good fit for each other. Think about how you work when you’re on your own and how your thoughts travel. If you find yourself chatting with friends while sending emails or meeting friends for lunch, you’ll most likely fit into a coworking space imbued with an air of socializing.
How close is the location to home? Or maybe it’s time to explore new neighborhoods? Where will meetings take place, and where are the clients in proximity to a potential workspace. Whether it’s by cab or subway, no one wants to deal with midday traffic, so try to find a spot that works for both everyone. Personally, I like any opportunity to discover something new about New York City, where I live, so working in neighborhood I wouldn’t otherwise spend a lot of time in is incredibly appealing to me. Since some places offer month-to-month contracts, there’s no obligation to stay if the office doesn’t work out for you or you want to try something new after a while.
Looks matter. If your clients are meeting you at your office and you want to impress them with more than just your pitch, consider paying a little extra for a well-designed, sleek or stylish office that projects an image you want your business associated with.
As Coworking Spaces Scale Can They Keep Their Communal Vibe? – The Atlantic
53 Million Americans Are Freelancing, New Survey Finds – Freelancers Union
10 Steps Choosing Office Space – The Work Lodge