The total coworking market currently stands at around $20.05 billion, with the largest markets in the U.S., UK and Australia, according to Instant Offices research. With shared space growing in popularity and more businesses searching for ways to reduce costs, improve productivity and remain agile as they grow, large emerging markets are also mounting in countries like India, China, Germany, France, Italy and Singapore.
With so many options to choose from, take a look at the list below for a few important things to consider when choosing a coworking space for your startup.
9 things to consider when choosing a coworking space
- What’s in the box?
Most spaces will be kitted out with standard office equipment, but be sure to enquire about anything extra, like conference facilities, phone rooms, private spaces, projectors etc. These days, coworking spaces come with all kinds of added amenities, like restaurants, workout facilities, courts for basketball or tennis, networking spaces, and even bike ramps that enable you to ride your bike all the way to your desk.
- The ambience
Focus on finding an office space that’s tailored to your needs and the sector you work in. Looking for a space that places an emphasis on tech and innovation, or a space that encourages networking and idea sharing? Work spaces are becoming increasingly user-centric these days to ensure a better atmosphere, and you must be sure to find one that inspires you (and your team, if you have one).
- Fast internet
When choosing a coworking space, one of the first things you want to enquire about is the internet. You want a connection that’s fast, reliable and stable, so be sure to test the Wi-Fi speeds to ensure they’re up to speed. Also, find out what packages are available for additional bandwidth and internet use.
- Great coffee
Many shared office spaces provide things like free tea and coffee, which is worth testing out if you’re going to be drinking it every day. Others offer perks like lunch areas, gym areas, outdoor areas for working and even free beer. Instead of choosing a space based on how great the perks are, focus on choosing one that most closely mirrors the culture that you value in your own business.
- Safety and security
One of the biggest benefits of coworking is that you only pay for the space you need. With that in mind, it’s ideal to be able to pop in and out of the office on your own schedule. You want a space you feel secure leaving your work overnight, so check what the security protocols are and whether your space of choice takes any specific security measures.
- Your own working hours
You need a space that aligns with your own working hours and schedule. Perhaps you work better in the evenings or early morning. Choose a space that is open when you need it to be. Some are open 24/7, while others operate at flexible hours.
- The neighborhood
Whether you’re choosing a space to be close to home, in the same vicinity as brands you hope to network with, or because it’s close to your favorite restaurant, always consider the surrounding neighborhood when selecting your ideal office space.
- Any hidden costs
Are there any hidden costs at your space of choice? Depending on the coworking space, there may be additional costs for using meeting rooms, kitchens, printing or internet. Be sure to ask about these upfront, as well as what packages are available to further help reduce costs.
- Testing the space out
A space may tick all the boxes upfront. It might be in a great area, have all the amenities you need and be home to other people and brands you’d love to collaborate with, but you never really know until you try it out. Find out if your space of choice offers a trial period before you commit to joining, as this is a great way to see if it is the ideal space for your needs.