21 Important Things You Should Look for In A Shared Office Workspace
Today’s world is all about the sharing economy. We like to share rides, share homes, and share ideas. It’s no surprise then that we like to share our workspace as well; shared workspaces have been found to improve productivity, reduce stress levels, and improve physical and mental health.
But before you go and get yourself a membership to a shared workspace, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Location: how close is the space to your home, how long will your commute take, how can you get there?
- Community: each shared work-space is unique and so is its community. Are you a good fit for the community? Can you see yourself working around the people there? *You should tour a space and even try it for a day before committing to a membership.
- Atmosphere: what is the atmosphere like? Are people talking to each other, is the space full of buzz or is it flat and doesn’t inspire you?
- Budget: how much can you or are you willing to pay? Can you afford a private office or are you more inclined towards a shared area?
- Noise levels: this is a key factor. Depending on your line of work, you might be more or less affected by the noise levels of any given space.
- Phone booths: is there a space where you can go take a call without disrupting the other coworkers?
- Internet: although we all think fast-internet is a given, it might not be, so you need to think about the service provider, how many megas you have access too, and the internet speed.
- Surroundings: depending on what you are looking for, you might want a space in a lively, full of buzz neighborhood, or you might want something in a quieter area. In any case, think of how the space’s surroundings will impact your day to day life and routine.
- Amenities: do they offer coffee, tea, printing, meeting room usage, access to events, fitness classes, etc. Look at the perks they offer and decide whether it’s something you value or not.
- Hidden costs: while looking at the amenities, take a closer look at the costs included with the memberships and make sure you aren’t signing up for any unwanted costs.
- Meeting rooms: are there enough meeting rooms and of varying sizes? Will these meet your business needs in case you need to meet with a client?
- IT: beyond fast Wi-Fi, does the space offer the necessary technology infrastructure that you need to run and grow your business? Think of a/v equipment, an IT team, and overall connectivity.
- Security: you, your belonging, and your business information need to be safeguarded at all times. Can the space provide for the security you want and need?
- Membership types: does the space offer short term and long-term memberships? Your needs might change as the time moves forward, so make sure the space is flexible enough to upgrade or downgrade your membership accordingly.
- Kitchen area: the kitchen is where relationships are built and bonding is taken to another level. Take a look around the kitchen, is it clean, is it spacious, is there a fridge, is there a microwave; in other words, does it offer the basics?
- Community manager: is there someone in charge making sure that things run smoothly in the space?
- Wellness: a work-space should make you feel healthier, not unhealthier. Do they offer fitness options, showers, lockers, etc.?
- Natural light: studies have proved that access to natural light has a great impact in our health and productivity. Does the space allow for natural light to come in? Will you be able to get a seat with enough natural light?
- Furniture: try out the furniture in the space; are the chairs comfortable, are there standing desks available, is the furniture well kept?
- Events: one of the most attractive things of shared workspaces are the plethora of events they host; take a look at their programming, are the events relevant to you? Would you be able to make meaningful connections by attending them?
- Coffee and tea: depending on your personality and preferences, a cup of coffee can make or break your day. Same goes for tea. Are they providing the cheap stuff or are they offering you premium, high-quality products?
It’s possible that a space will not meet 100% of your wants and needs; but it will get close to it. In any case, establish what your priorities are and start from there. Whether you are looking for space near your home, whether you are hoping to have access to unique events, or whether you are simply looking to meet people, co-working and shared work-spaces are your best option at finding a work experience that will improve your productivity, inspire you, motivate you, and help you connect with people (on a personal and professional level).