As work from home and hybrid work models are on the rise, it’s no surprise that coworking spaces are popping up everywhere. While the ability to work from home is appealing at first, many are discovering that having a physical workspace to work from is a preference on days when distractions are high or they just need to get out of the house.
So, what factors should you consider when choosing a co-working space to supercharge your productivity? We’ve compiled a list of things to look for as you check out your local options.
What do you need in a workspace? Are you frequently printing or scanning documents? If so, you’ll probably need to look for a place with a printer and scanner provided so you’re not lugging one from home every day. You’ll also want to look into things like internet access and speed to make sure your connections are strong regardless of how many people are working from that location.
“Coworking spaces are fantastic opportunities for people who work remote or hybrid jobs but have distractions at home,” says Boye Fajinmi, Co-Founder and President of TheFutureParty. “One of the first things you should explore as you check out your options are things like internet connection details, amenities, and resources. Do they provide a copier or printer? Is there a coffee bar? Do they have pens and paper available? Depending on the coworking space they may have all or none of these things. You’ll want to evaluate these items and determine what you’re willing to pay for a space with or without these amenities.”
While you may just be going there to work, you also want to enjoy the atmosphere you’re in. Are you looking for a place that feels like an office or are lounge vibes more your style? Is it a workplace where people chat between projects or is it a deep quiet zone? These are things to consider as you explore co-working spaces to supercharge your productivity.
“Spend some time in a co-working space before committing,” says Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer of Winona. “Stop by a few different times throughout the week to check out the vibe and see if it’s somewhere you’d want to spend hours and hours each week.”
Obviously, the price tag is important when it comes to considering which co-working space is best for you. Ultimately, you’re going to have to determine what value each of the other components on this list holds for you individually. It’s also a good idea to shop around even if you love the first place you see just to make sure it’s a good value.
“Cost for co-work spaces can vary dramatically,” says Jason Reposa, Founder and CEO of Good Feels. “A basic workspace in a small town coworking lounge is going to be significantly less than a high amenity coworking location in a big city. Explore all of your options and compare the prices and benefits of each location before biting the bullet. There are also some coworking spaces geared more toward small businesses who charge larger one-time payments annually to save their customers money.”
The work environment is equally as important as everything else on this list. It seems trivial, but working in a place with comfortable temperatures and clean facilities can dramatically help your productivity.
“Checking out the general environment of the location can be important,” says Umer Usman, Head of Growth of AvantStay. “Some people prefer locations that feel open with lots of windows and easy access to lunch spots while others might be distracted by the busy street outside and the low thermostat settings leave them feeling like a popsicle. Appearance isn’t the only thing to consider when looking at a coworking space. Make sure you check out the environment both inside and outside of the building too.”
The flexibility of a coworking space is definitely something to explore. You’ll want to check out their policies on seating, locations, and hours. All of these can greatly contribute to price and value when it comes to choosing a co-working space to supercharge productivity.
“Some coworking spaces are cooperatives that allow you to work anywhere in the building or even at multiple locations,” says Lina Miranda, VP of Marketing at AdQuick. “Then there are others that will assign you a designated office space that’s private from the rest of the building. If you’re someone that needs flexibility and a change of scenery throughout the day, the latter probably isn’t what you’re looking for. It’s also important to know what hours you can utilize the space. Some places give you an access card or code to utilize the space 24/7 while others may limit you to using the space between normal business hours. Make sure you know the policies on flexibility before commiting to a coworking space.”
Most coworking spaces require a certain commitment to utilize their space. In most cases, it will be a month-to-month contract, but there are also places that will allow you to use a daily or weekly pass if you’re not going to use the space frequently enough to warrant a membership.
“Knowing how many days or hours you plan to spend in a coworking space can help you determine what commitment you want to make,” says Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB. “Often, monthly contracts are a great option because you can utilize the space whenever you want, but if you’re working a hybrid position and know you’ll be in the office more than your coworking space for a couple of months, it’s nice to have the option of daily or weekly payments.”
Choosing a coworking space can be a big decision. If you’re someone who has a work-from-home job but needs to have a separate workplace, a coworking space can be a great option. They can help with productivity and motivation that can be inspired by getting out of the house and away from distractions that might be present there.
While cost is definitely a factor when it comes to choosing a coworking space, it’s important to look into what you’re getting for the payment you’re making. Is it a space with lots of amenities or will you have to provide all resources for yourself?
It’s also important to consider the vibes of a place as well as the physical environment in and around the coworking space to make sure it’s somewhere you’ll feel motivated to be productive. Spend some time in each location to get a good feel for what it would be like to work there.
Finally, look at things like flexibility and commitment. There are vastly different policies at each co-working space in terms of membership and workspace practices. You’ll want to make sure the space you’re committing to will allow you to utilize the space in the way you’re imagining.