How to Find the Right Coworking Space for Your Team
For small business teams, coworking offers appealing perks. You have flexible workspace, an in-house professional network, business amenities, and you don’t have to worry about things like buying toilet paper and making coffee.
But not any just coworking space will do when it comes to housing your team. Finding the right space is essential. Here are 11 tips to find the right coworking space for your team.
1. How’s the location?
Is the coworking space conveniently located for you and your team members? Is it in an active area with restaurants, public spaces, coffee shops and walkable streets? Getting the location right is key to getting off to a good start.
2. Can the space accommodate teams?
Not every coworking space is designed for teams. Some of them are primarily open coworking, while others lean toward private offices and dedicated desks and workstations. What do you need for your team? Can the space meet your needs and preferences?
3. Is the culture of the space a good fit for your company?
Coworking spaces run the spectrum from small, casual spaces with people taking naps and playing darts, to office rental spaces where suits and ties are more common than jeans and sneakers. What’s the vibe of the coworking space you’re looking at? Make sure it fits the culture of your team.
4. Is there a vibrant network in the space?
One of the biggest perks of coworking is the built-in professional network. Coworking spaces tend to house diverse groups of people, from graphic designers and attorneys to artists, software developers, community organizers, financial planners, remote workers and more. In the best coworking spaces, this professional network is vibrant, engaged and active. Those are the spaces to look for as you’ll find yourself collaborating and connecting with other professionals in ways you hadn’t considered.
5. Does the space offer professional development events?
May coworking spaces offer professional development events, such as lunch and learns, skillshares, networking gatherings, meetups, marketing workshops, etc. If this sort of thing interests you and your team, take a look at the offerings in the space and make sure they align with your interests. There may even be opportunities to host workshops or skillshares to connect with other members and talk about your work.
6. Does the space have the amenities you need?
What amenities does your team need? Meeting rooms, event space, phone booths for private calls, printers, A/V tools for remote meetings, and good coffee are a few amenities you’ll find in coworking spaces. Make sure the space you’re looking at has everything you’ll need.
7. Does the space have room to grow your team?
Say you’re a team of two or three now, but have plans to grow. Can you grow in the coworking space? Can you bring in new people without an issue? Can you move into an office—or larger office—if needed? Make sure there’s room for you in the space now, and in the future.
8. What’s the noise level in the space?
Some coworking spaces are bustling and active all day, some are relatively quiet, and most spaces fall somewhere between the two, with an ebb and flow of activity and noise. What level of noise works for your team? It’s good to get clear on this ahead of time to avoid a situation that doesn’t work for you—or that doesn’t work for your fellow members. For instance, if you hope to make calls all day from the open coworking area, will that work for the other members of the space? What are the rules and norms in that space? Find out before you commit to being there.
9. Does the space have workplace options?
Flexible workspaces are great because…they’re flexible. Some days your team members may need to go heads-down in a quiet area while other days you may enjoy brainstorming at a community table in the open coworking area. Some days you’ll need a meeting room to meet a potential funder or client, while other days you may want to work at a standing desk in the corner. Make sure there are workspace options for your team.
10. What’s the membership agreement in the space?
Many coworking space offer month-to-month membership agreements, which is great for a new team figuring out what it needs and preferences. Once you find a space you like, however, inquire about making a longer-term agreement at a potentially reduced rate. This is good for your company and the coworking space.
11. How’s the IT?
Sluggish or spotty wifi is a nightmare when you’re trying to run a business. Before you commit to a space, find out about the wifi and make sure the IT setup will work for your needs.
Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking and community. She publishes the Coworking Out Loud Newsletter and has written for dozens of publications, including Shareable, Yes! Magazine, Mother Jones and Lifehacker. Follow her on Twitter: @CatJohnson