If you’ve been thinking about coworking but want to learn more about this phenomenon before you jump in with both feet, there’s a good chance you started with a Google search.
Depending on where you live, the results might have surprised you. Most major cities now have at least one coworking space, if not already established, it’s in the works or there are people talking about starting one.
If you have more than one coworking option to choose from, or you need help comparing the features of a coworking facility to those of an executive suite or dedicated office space, here are 5 things to look for.
1. Comfort and Ambiance
Ok that’s two, but they go hand in hand. The worst thing about working in a traditional office space or (gasp!) cubicle jungle is that they aren’t comfortable. Fluorescent lights, worn out desk chairs and stark white walls belong in hospitals, not your everyday workspace. Check out the space’s website and look for pictures of the interior. If you don’t find any, it might be because they’ve got something to hide.
2. Multiple Workspaces
Does everyone have to crowd around the same table? Do you have to fight off other early risers for the “good desk”? A prime coworking space will provide different places for you to work, so that you can choose the environment that is most conducive to your productivity on any particular day. Couches, tables, open and enclosed desks, nooks and comfy chairs all within ten feet of a white board? Yes please!
3. Conference Space
Freelancers and small business owners are constantly having meetings. Lots of them. Being a member of a coworking community means that you no longer have to take these meetings in crowded coffee shops. Make sure you find out whether there is a classy looking room with a closeable door for you to use. If you take a lot of meetings and there’s no meeting space, it might not be the right facility for you.
4. Multiple Membership Plans
The whole reason people are attracted to the idea of freelancing or owning their own business is because they feel trapped in the traditional 9 – 5. What’s the use of coworking if it isn’t flexible enough to fit into your life with ease? Look for coworking facilities that offer multiple stages/styles/levels of membership. This will ensure you get the most out of the experience and your investment.
5. Good People!
It’s called coworking. That means more than one. Every space has to start somewhere, and there are always those days that everyone stays home, but the people are the most important part of coworking. Find out how large the membership is, what kind of work the other members do, and ask the space owner/host/curator which days tend to be busy or empty. This can help you plan which days you want to come for quality interaction.
If you want to see a stellar coworking facility in action, print free day pass to Cohere Community!
Image Credit: thechangeyouwanttosee.com