With improved automation enabling a distributed workforce, emergence of the start-up economy and multiple travel options offering access to remote areas, community working, economical spaces as well as plug-and-play cubicles are the need of the hour and on-demand today. It is anticipated that by 2020, coworking space will overtake the traditional serviced office. The coworking segment in India is expected to receive $400 million in investments by 2018, according to a recent study by JLL. Consequently, coworking spaces will grow from about 350 centres today to over 1000 centres by 2020.
With so much growth happening, choosing a coworking space is no easy task. With so many coworking spaces available, and new spaces opening up all the time, how can you decide on a workspace that is as unique and fitting as your own personal ambitions? For the Co working professional looking to find workspace, lets look at a few key factors that are now more than ever easy to drill down on and compare.
#1 – Location
Your coworking space’s location can be a big factor in how much value you get out of your membership. Being located in a prestigious business area can impress potential clients. Having conveniences within walking distance (or within a few minutes on your vehicle of choice) is a big plus as well.
For example, professionals at Skootr Cyber City, a coworking space in Gurugram, appreciate many nearby conveniences. Surrounded by Offices, it’s easy for members to access other office blocks and conduct business. Proximity to the Highway and access to Metro, makes it well connected. A delicious treat is also never far away because the coworking space is located just a few blocks away from DLF CyberHub, a multi restaurant location.
Checking where your potential coworking spaces are located can easily influence your decisions. Aside from being in a central part of town with many conveniences, you’ll also want your space to be near your accommodation if at all possible.
The availability and price of parking are also important considerations. In some cities parking can be scarce or pricey if not included in your coworking membership.
#2 – Work Environment
Your surroundings and the amount of distractions they bring are a huge determinant of how quickly you’ll make progress on your projects. Working at a cafe often brings loud giggling gossip. On the other hand, family members and domestic tasks can’t help but call for you while working at home.
Coworking spaces have the potential to be affordable distraction-free workspaces, but they’re not perfect either. Some spaces bring excessive chatter from members collaborating on joint projects. Other spaces are too crowded to comfortably work for extended periods of time.
Its important to figure out the kind of environment you & your teams need to perform at your best. Some coworking spaces like Skootr offer the convenience of a private office which you can configure to suit your own tastes and requirements.
When trying to determine if a coworking space has a suitable work environment, visiting that space is the best way to find out.
Apart from a work environment that allows you to focus, it’s also important to find a coworking space that gives you all the facilities, you need to maximize your work experience. Do they offer tea/coffee? How is the internet speed? What about the toilets and housekeeping? If you work late, the security and access control might be important you. If you have clients coming over, access to a modern meeting room with equipment might be important to you.
These are all things to think about. The infrastructure and amenities a space provides can make or break its value proposition. Finding a coworking space that offers a membership plan that gives you everything you need to be productive, without offering a bunch of extras you’ll never use isn’t easy. Coworking Space provider Skootr bundles a lot of amenities in its membership packages, worth checking it out.
#4 – Budget
Membership fees and how much you’re willing to pay each month are fundamental in choosing a place to work. Memberships at premium spaces, with full access and amenities packages, massages and even fitness and living accommodations can go for several thousand rupees a month. This is a dream package for successful entrepreneurs wanting a great place to work, and expand their networks, but if you’re on a budget you may have to compromise on some things.
Likewise, it may be professionally limiting for someone with a six-figure income to work at a space with less comfort, amenities, network, that appeals to early stage professionals just starting out.
In short, you’re going to need to prioritize what you need from your coworking space to get the best return on your investment. Remember that environment is everything, and putting in the extra effort to find a space that is unique as you are will reward you handsomely in both your professional and social pursuits.
#5 – Community
In many cultures people say that when you marry someone you also marry their family. Likewise, when you join a coworking space you also join its community. It’s important to understand that being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, companies, and independent professionals is one of the biggest benefits of joining a coworking space.
Making friends at your coworking space and seeing others hustle to build their businesses will encourage you to come to work each day. The social aspect of working alongside people who “get” your entrepreneurial challenges will also help you avoid the feelings of isolation and loneliness that often arise when working independently.
So do check out the kind of companies and people who are members of the coworking space before making a decision.
Keep this 5 Key guide in your mind when looking for a coworking space and make the right choice.