If you’ve been reading this blog, I hope you’re beginning to get some idea that utilizing a co-working space may be a great solution for you. Whether you’re a contract worker, working remotely, managing a team of remote workers, or just need some extra office space during a busy phase, you’ll certainly benefit from having a co-working space. But if you’re new to this, it may seem a bit overwhelming to choose one, especially with all the new options opening up in the Bay Area almost every week.
Let’s look at some of the factors that can help you decide which co-working space is right for your needs.
The Space Itself
If you’re going to be spending much of your workday in your new location, it’s important to be certain that you have not only enough space, but also the right types of space to get your work done. A good co-working space should include, at the least, each of the following:
- An open area for networking - Many people consider the open space in a co-working space to be one of its main benefits. While it’s set up physically just like a conventional office, you’ll be sharing space with people who work for other companies, and very likely in other industries. This provides an excellent forum for exchange of ideas, networking and collaboration.
- Some amount of private space - Equally as important as the open space is the need for some private personal space. Regardless of what you do, there are going to be times that you’ll need to work in a separate space from the bustle and distractions of the large shared space. How much privacy you’ll need really depends upon the type of work you’ll be doing. But you’ll certainly want to be sure that you have access to a quiet room from which you can make sensitive phone calls.
- Meeting Space - Again, the nature of your work will determine just how often you’ll need to host meetings at your office, and just how much space you’ll need. But whenever it’s needed, and on whatever terms, it’s important to know that you have access to a professional conference room. It’s just so much more business-like than meeting a client at a cafe.
Once you’ve determined that the physical setup of the co-working space makes sense for your work, you can look at the additional amenities to make sure that all your needs will be fulfilled. These may include:
- Connectivity - You’re working remotely, and that means that you’re going to need always-on, high-speed internet access. Make sure the co-working space has ample connectivity for your needs.
- Availability - If you’re doing freelance work or other remote work, you may not be on what we’d call a traditional work schedule. Be certain that your co-working space provides easy access, outside of the standard 9 to 5 structure.
Creature Comforts - You’ll be there to work, and you don’t need all the distractions you’d probably have at home. But you don’t have to leave all the comforts of home behind, either. Be sure to ask about (and look at) the additional “non-business” amenities at the co-working spaces you consider, including a “break room”, kitchen space, coffee bar, and so on. Your co-working experience should be both productive and enjoyable.