John Peterson

How to Choose the Best Coworking Space for You

In the past few years, the co-working industry has exploded, rising from obscurity to a multi-billion-dollar giant over that short period. Many startups and individuals are turning to co-working spaces as their bases of operation, and for good reason: they offer an unprecedented balance of flexibility and features, essentially bridging your local coffee shop and formal office.

With distributed teams also growing in popularity, startups can thrive on reduced costs and increased access to talent across the world without being limited to only workers who are within a day’s commute.

If you’ve decided that a co-working space would be good for you, the next decision you’ll need to make is exactly which one to sign up for. Here are a few tips that’ll help you choose the best one for you:

1. Location

How far away is it from your home? Since part of the allure of co-working spaces is the reduced commuting time, it’d be redundant to spend the same amount of time commuting to your co-working space of choice, unless of course you’re deliberately cycling and using the time to get in some exercise. Choose one that you can get to without much stress, and you’ll see an increase in your efficiency throughout the day, since you’ll be feeling (and thinking) fresher for longer.

2. Co-Workers

The people whom you’re going to be surrounded with are crucial to your success. Although you could presumably make do on your own and stick to communicating with your team virtually, being able to talk to someone, show them an idea and get their take on it instantly could be just the spark your creativity needs. You might even end up meeting your next business partner there!

See if the people who spend time there most are people you’re comfortable with, and ensure that there’s a healthy mix of professionals, so you can maximize your networking.

3. Facilities

As with the meetings, you might need to make presentations or fax some documents over at short notice. Top-notch coworking spaces like Novel Coworking include the use of board rooms and other amenities as part of your subscription.

If you are going to need those, then be sure the space you’re considering has them, and ask for clarification so you can understand exactly what you’re entitled to use in the course of your subscription.

4. Aesthetics

This is most important if your business is one that’ll require you to hold meetings with partners, investors, customers or anyone else at the co-working space. A place that looks good and is impressive would be a big positive. If you don’t need to meet with anyone, you can just go for the one at which you’re most comfortable.

5. Cost

Whether you’re a startup, freelancer or just someone working remotely, you’ll certainly be looking to maximize costs and keep your overhead down. Compare prices and shop around, but don’t make the mistake of basing your decision solely on price.

Understand the value (long-term and short-term) you’ll be getting from the different spaces and use that to make your decision on how much to pay, and where.