Are you a location-independent freelancer or professional? Do you miss the creative juices that sometimes flowed in the office of your old job? Are you looking for a place to conduct business while remaining unbound by traditional job roles?
Welcome to the world of coworking!
Wait—what is coworking? And what is a coworking space? Do I need one?
We’re glad you asked. A coworking space allows you to do everything we just talked about—remain a remote employee, but with an area to call your own if you need it. It gives you that subtle, social motivation you might miss from your office days.
Coworking spaces must be doing something right. After all, there are at least 15,500 coworking spaces globally. And within them are as many as 1.27 million people.
So at the very least, consider one. And when you begin hunting for that perfect environment, let this checklist guide you to the best space!
What Is a Coworking Space, Exactly?
When you think of the building, the people, the location, what do you imagine? What are the demographics of the people there? Is it quiet or bustling?
You get all this (and more) with coworking spaces. No two are alike, offering locals many options to suit their lifestyles.
Here are a few statistics about these spaces that should give you a better understanding of its uses:
- 40% of workspace workers are freelancers, independent contractors, entrepreneurs, or temps
- 64% of workers find themselves better able to finish work on time
- 70% feel healthier in this environment than they do a traditional office
- 60% of workers also feel more relaxed at home after using coworking spaces
- Almost 80% of workers are under 40
The stats say it all: remote workers love coworking spaces! And they’re a great place for budding startups, too. You get all the perks of an office without the high office overhead!
Whether you need somewhere to work on the reg or you want to drop in for a few hours a week, coworking spaces are your new go-to.
Here’s what you need to think about in your hunt for the ultimate space.
Is It Comfortable?
We’re talking about every sense of the word comfortable. The coworking space must be actually comfortable—ergonomic chairs, standing desks, conference rooms. And the community must feel like a proper fit for you, too.
What does this mean? Working close to like professionals and being able to network with those from similar positions. If you’re a stockbroker surrounded by artsy beatniks, well—it could be hard for you to settle in properly (and vice versa).
It also means the difference between ambient noise and distracting sounds or racket. Do you like your space to be quiet? Or are you most productive when there’s background noise?
When you walk into a new space, try and register your level of comfort as soon as possible.
What Are the Food and Drink Options?
Every coworking space should have a designated kitchen or kitchenette area. Whether it’s stocked for free, pay as you go, or supplies a microwave for you to warm food up—it’s necessary. And food aside, what about coffee?
Oh yeah, and water. And for those who don’t like coffee—tea. A few soda options or light snacks wouldn’t hurt, either.
If you’re going to be there for hours during prime meal times, you need a place that not only allows for that but maybe supplies food of their own. One coworking space in NY doubles as a restaurant at night, giving workspace workers access to a secret menu! (Visit this page to see what you could be missing out on.)
Your work is essential—but so is your belly.
How’s the Location?
All convenience falls by the wayside if the commute to your coworking space takes up too much time.
You want your space to be an ideal fit—within reasonable distance for you, as well as in a good place to hold conferences. If you need to have a meeting, can your guest make it to your coworking space in an adequate time? An ideal fit would be able to manage both of these.
Does It Provide Supplies?
We’re talking office supplies. We’re talking printers, copier machines, uninterrupted WiFi! What supplies does the coworking space you’re touring offer?
If the answer is none, well—you may as well stay at home.
If you need to print some important documents, a functioning printer on hand is excellent. If your pen runs out of ink, or your computer of battery, some extras would make the difference between leaving the space and staying. A good coworking space should have ample supplies on deck for their workers.
How Much Does It Cost?
Of course, the price should always be a consideration.
Coworking spaces vary greatly, and thus, so do their prices. A good space shouldn’t cost you more than the sum of your efforts there. If you’re spending more on the space than you’re making back, it’s not the best fit.
Is There a Gym?
Remember the statistic we mentioned earlier: 70% of people feel healthier using coworking spaces vs. traditional offices?
One reason for this could be that many coworking spaces are now including gyms or open rooms for physical activity. Within these rooms are yoga mats, workout gear like treadmills or weights, aerobic balls. If you really want some perks, see if it has a gym.
Is There a Host/Curator Available?
Who cleans the space? Who has responsibility for safety, both data security, and physical safety? Who manages, curates, and provides necessary supplies or food?
Get to know your host—if there is one. And there should always be a host there. Whether to help new workers or maintain a good environment, their presence is a helpful one.
Give Coworking Spaces a Try!
Now that your question—what is a coworking space?—has been answered, it’s time to find one that works for you. Luckily for you, coworking spaces are continually trying to improve for their remote users. This means that right now is the time to find the best of the best.
So, what’s your first task going to be in the new space? We’ve got an idea: work on your brand!
Here are 3 ways to market your business today!