Coworking Space: Finding Something Suitable

Tired of going from one local cafe to the next looking for a good spot to work? Perhaps it's time to consider coworking space. A coworking space is one of the best options to consider when you're looking for a place to get some work done. Aside from the ambiance, a coworking space usually has the same equipment as a regular office. This is pretty useful if you need some printing or your work requires high-speed internet connection.

Here are some tips from a recent article that can get you going in finding a coworking space.

Step 1: Identify your needs and requirements

Every coworking space should offer the following:

  • A variety of membership options to fit your needs
  • High speed wifi
  • A desk
  • A comfortable chair (these vary greatly in quality)
  • Free caffeine

Some additional offerings/amenities that you may need include:

  • An actively managed community
    Every coworking space will use the word “community” or “collaboration” in their marketing. If this component is important to you, make sure you understand how it’s played out. Evidence of an active community will include photos of member events, an “events” section on the website, someone that greets you for your tour that has the title “community manager” vs. “operations manager.” This part is the most subjective and based on culture. A major benefit of coworking is access to a community of other entrepreneurs and mobile professionals. You may want more or less of this. Get a sense from the spaces’ website and tour guide how much of this goes on and how easy it is for you to opt in or out.
  • A niche community
    “Makers,” photographers, architects, screen printers, filmmakers, developers, high tech start-ups, etc.
  • Niche amenities
    Yoga classes, fitness space, partner discounts, video conferencing, high-end conference rooms, espresso machines, etc.
  • Events
    You’re an entrepreneur or a mobile employee into professional development – on-site events are certainly efficient, convenient and a great way to interact with space and community members.
  • Private offices
    Not all coworking spaces offer private offices. If your team needs private space, make sure to look for this option or email the space for availability.
  • Configurable seating
    Maybe you don’t need a private office but you would like to sit in a “pod” with your team for easy collaboration/interaction. Some coworking spaces are designed to support this, some are not. Another thing to email the space about if this is a priority.
  • Phone rooms
    For a brief, private phone call – most spaces have these but can’t hurt to check.
  • Conference rooms
    Most spaces also have these, but if you have specific needs, make sure your membership includes enough hours and that the conference room quality/amenities meet your needs.
  • Bike Racks/Storage
    ’nuff said.
  • Showers
    Biking to work or running at lunch? Showers are awesome for that.
  • Kitchen
    These range from just a microwave to full kitchen with stove/oven, dishwasher, fridge/freezer.
  • Lunch options
    Think about what you like to do for lunch and make sure the relevant options exist.
  • Furniture/space design/natural light
    Coworking is still very new and you will find quite a range of spaces that range from “I had some extra space and got some furniture off of Craig’s List so you could come hang out with me during the day” to “I hired a space designer and an IT engineer and this space is pimped out.”
  • Storage
    Mobile peds, lockers, cubbies. Find out what’s included and what’s available for an extra fee.
  • Printing
    Most of us just don’t print that much anymore but if you have specific needs, make sure to check the printing equipment and policies. Most spaces offer some black and white printing for free each month and charge for color printing.
  • 24/7 access
    Some do, some don’t. Make sure to ask.
  • Staff
    Most spaces are staffed. Some offer more service than others. Coworking spaces with staff are likely going to be there to make sue that you have enough coffee and internet, the space is neat and tidy and the community is growing and developing.
  • Location
    It’s like the gym, if it’s not convenient, you won’t want to go. Unless your boss works there and says you have to. As coworking advances, we are seeing spaces pop up in every neighborhood. So decide if you want a neighborhood location or a central business district/near the CBD. That probably depends on how often you need to be in the CBD for client meetings and networking events. Decide if you want to be able to drive and park or take public transport.

Step 2: Determine your budget

You’ve decided you’re willing to pay for productivity, community, and gosh-darn it, a wi-fi signal stronger than 4mbs. Next decide how much you’ll use the space. Are you the all-in type that wants a dedicated desk that you can personalize? Or do you and your Macbook Air just want to show up a few times a month when you need some company or some super-focused time?



Budget is key

Remember that as with all things in life, you get what you pay for. More expensive spaces have better design, better Internet, comfier chairs, better staff, better coffee, more convenient location. Coworking space owners are not getting rich. They have a personal guarantee on at least a 5-year lease and they’re spending $300 to $800/month just on coffee for you crazy kids. So nicer spaces have to charge you more because it costs them more to make the space nice.

Check the membership fees

In addition to membership fees, consider other costs – How much will it cost you to get there every day? If you need to get into the CBD frequently, what will you spend on cabs or Translink (public transit)? If they don’t have a kitchen, how much will you spend on eating lunch out every day?

Step 3: Knowing what is available

This is where Spare Workspace comes in. By browsing on our website, you can find listings of what is currently available. You can filter through location, venue type and workspace type.

Step 4: Making the final decision

Once you've found something that you think is suitable, you can book anytime online. SWS is available to you with the click of a button, 24/7.

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