A co-working space is all the rage now for many freelancers, startup companies and even for medium-sized business entrepreneurs. It’s not that surprising though. Co-working spaces offer a cozy and comfortable place to do professional work, set up meetings, and establish partnerships.
Most of all, a co-working space is a more affordable option, especially for entrepreneurs who are still starting out or are still testing the waters of their chosen industry. It is also a good spot for transitioning or growing companies – like those who are shifting from being a home-based team to an office-based one.
The success of a business might also be dependent on the success of a co-working space in terms of environment and management. To know whether or not a co-working space is perfect for your team (or company), you must check out and review the following elements below:
1. Accessible Location
Like any real property, the location of a co-working space matters a lot. This is mainly for the employee’s comfort and convenience. Co-working offices that are near malls, retail shops, or those accessible from residential areas are a plus especially if the company’s workers are concentrated from just the same area.
An accessible location can help save on transportation (or gasoline) costs. A good location can offer a variety of commercial establishments that can help expedite company processes, services and other personal needs. Having money transfer services, banks, school and office supply shops, cafes, restaurants and the like can be a major perk.
It is also important to think about the comfort of employees. Will they have a good selection of food places during lunch time? Will they have enough spaces to park their vehicles or bikes? Are there a selection of places nearby where they can hang out after work?
And for those who don’t own a car, will they arrive at the office by taking public transportation (like a bus or train)? This needs to be considered if the company is serious about employing the right people and ensuring they actually stick around with the company for the long-term.
2. Reasonable Price Rates
This matters especially for startup entrepreneurs who must be prudent with their expenses while the business is still set to establish its own name. What is the point of getting a work space that will eventually deplete your financial resources? This is why a reasonably priced co-working space is an essential element.
A “reasonable price” would depend on the individual or the company. Rental rates are also greatly influenced by the space’s actual location. If the building is situated in a bustling district, a higher lease rate is expected.
Freelancers on the other hand might prefer co-working spaces with a weekly or daily rate option. For this group, it could be a more reasonable rate because of the possibility of keeping their options open (like when they decide to just work from home on some days). Companies (including startups) on the other hand might prefer a fixed monthly rate as it could be more economical for them rather than paying a daily or weekly rate per employee.
The rate is also a big deal for companies that are in their transitioning phase. A co-working space can be a temporary refuge before settling into a larger, solely-owned office suite. Such companies should look for reasonable prices and an open contract option. Don’t get locked in on a long-term basis when the intention is just to stay there temporarily.
3. Good Management and Client Service
Good co-working space managers take notice of how they can improve the comfort and convenience of their clients. This includes providing assistance and resources for office supplies, food and drinks (like coffee and snack lounges), organized reservations and assistance for meetings and seminars, any other activities that can help grow your company. A well-managed co-working space can help companies improve productivity and output, raise employee satisfaction, and even help entrepreneurs reach out to relevant institutions in the community.
Co-working space managers who hear out the concerns and complaints of clients are also a good thing. This is an indication that they’re willing to improve the space to ensure that workers in the space will be able to work in comfort and convenience. It is also understood that managers or owners of the space may not have foreseen something that should’ve been easily caught by a startup entrepreneur or a freelancer. So the only way to improve it is by receiving and welcoming feedback.
4. A Well-Maintained and Fully Furnished Space
One of the perks of getting a co-working space is that the maintenance and utilities of the building are surely taken care of by the management. However, this does not mean that every co-working space is managed well. Some are not doing a good job at maintaining cleanliness and functionality of their equipment and other amenities (such as restrooms and parking areas).
Some don’t even allot a space for visitors or a lounge for both employees and outsiders to sit in. Utilities such as water, electricity and Internet connection (most of all) should also be managed well with troubleshooting services at the ready. A problem with any of these utilities can hamper office productivity.
It is also a plus if the co-working space has areas that are intended for private and quiet moments, while another room is designated as a shared work space. This can help workers switch places whenever they need to do some work alone – and when they need to work with the help of friends and colleagues in a shared space.
5. A Place Conducive for Business and Community Building
As previously mentioned, a great co-working space can connect freelancers and entrepreneurs to relevant people and sectors of the industry. This can be done through meetings, seminars and events organized in the space’s meeting and forum venues. Moreover, the space should also have a great landscape with a good city view to inspire creativity and inspiration for everyone who is planning to work there.
This element also entails good management of the co-working space and its location. A space that is located near the business district is highly likely to be better connected to industry leaders, movers and sectors that can contribute to a startup’s growth. It also has an edge when it comes to emerging trends and practices that are quickly gaining ground in any given niche.
Overall, a successful co-working space is one that helps freelancers and entrepreneurs attain business and career success too. This is by way of providing convenience, comfort and accessibility to more opportunities, networks and the like. It also provides for amenities and inspiration that can help increase productivity and creativity among employees. This could range from office design and aesthetics, food and beverage services, provisions for office supplies and equipment such as printers and projectors.
A successful co-working space should also encourage and improve work-life balance. This is by providing a chill room (like a lounge), or by allotting rooms for relaxation and entertainment. There could be a sleeping area, a game room, and even an exploration room where workers can tinker with tools and gadgets that can stimulate creativity and ideas.
Author Bio: Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace.