Coworking has exploded globally. In London alone there are currently over 800 office buildings offering over 95,000 desks, all this in just in a single city. Coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, giving startup owners, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads, a space to work and co-create wherever they may be.
There are many reasons why coworking spaces are flourishing across the globe. While there are many positive results of being in this type of workplace, you have to deal with both the good and the not-so-good aspects of it. What should you look for when scouting in a coworking space? Below are five considerations to keep in mind.
If a small business requires an office, the old norm would be to rent space on a long term lease, usually covering a number of years. The business would then need to kit out the location, buy furniture and equipment, arrange for cleaners, etc. With coworking, a small business can rent space not only on a monthly basis but also simply rent a single desk as and when required. You just bring a laptop as all other equipment and facilities are provided.
It is a fantastically flexible way to work without the huge overheads and contracts that can come with a traditional office location. However, be warned and pay attention as overhead costs may exist. Some coworking spaces also charge per use of meeting rooms or charge per document printed. These costs can soon add up so pay close attention to the contract you sign.
One of the main advantages of being in a coworking space is getting the chance to work with other renters. Many of these spaces are aimed at particular industries. For example, a city might have a specific area with a number of coworking spaces all aimed at digital marketing and creative agencies say, whereas another space may be aimed at FinTech or financial technology. Researching and finding the right community for your business is important, as knowledge sharing and helping peers are common themes of these communities.
Culture is a significant factor to consider in a coworking environment where companies can thrive. Creating a ‘playground atmosphere’ in break-out areas while giving a conducive space for concentration is important.
Some of these coworking areas have overdosed on ping-pong tables, arcade machines, and free beer. Yes, perks can lead to enthused coworkers. However, these perks must also encourage committed and productive coworkers who understand the environment is for work first and foremost.
Many coworking spaces hold weekly if not daily events to help out the community contained within them. Be it a panel discussion or a talk from a big-time entrepreneur, joining events can be key to growing your business and your networks, and ultimately find people who can be part of your company.
One well known coworking company has a social media app that all its members start using when they join the community. This allows the members to post updates about their business, ask for help from other members or for referrals to get work done. Pay attention to coworking spaces that offer these services as they can instantly connect you to everyone in the community who might help.
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to work anywhere. Ever tried renting a coworking space? Share your experience in the comment section below.