Ask Vital Questions About Amenities, Location, and More to Ensure You Make the Right Choice
Coworking has rapidly become a major component of the American work environment. After all, 74% of people feel more productive when coworking, and it’s the perfect antidote to the loneliness of remote work. Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses alike can gain incredible benefits from the right coworking space. But how to find the ideal coworking community?
Let’s take a deep dive into what to look for, along with what questions to ask before committing to a new coworking space. These are the key areas you’ll want to evaluate:
- Location and accessibility
- Amenities and features
- Community and networking
- Security and safety
- Price and membership options
- Reviews and testimonials
Location and Accessibility
Location and accessibility are central to choosing a coworking space. Consider the facility’s proximity to your home or other places you go regularly. Think about what traffic will be like during your typical commute times. If you prefer to bike or take the bus, consider whether you could easily (and safely) do that.
If you’re seeking a space where different team members can work together, look for a facility in a central location. If you plan to meet with clients often, consider spaces that are accessible to them.
When considering a particular space, also ask questions such as these:
- “Is the coworking space located near public transportation?”
- “Does it offer free parking? If not, what do members pay for parking, and how far away is it located?”
- “Are there restaurants or coffee shops nearby—ideally, within walking distance?”
Think about whether you’ll feel comfortable walking to work from your car or the bus stop, in terms of both safety and convenience. Easy access to cafes, stores, and restaurants will let you grab a quick coffee, lunch, groceries, or an after-work drink with colleagues.
Amenities and Features
A good coworking space typically offers vibrant interior design with ample natural lighting. Other typical amenities and features include a comfortable break lounge for relaxation and chit-chat, a fast and secure internet connection, and printers and scanners.
When visiting a coworking space, take note of whether these options are available. Consider whether you would prefer to pay more money for a private workspace or less for shared desk space. Also ask yourself whether it provides a quiet workspace where you’ll be able to focus.
Here are some questions to ask facility staff:
- “During what hours is the space accessible?”
- “Do you offer private desks or offices?”
- “Do you have a dedicated space for phone calls that can be used as needed?”
- “What type of kitchen amenities are available (coffee, snacks, microwave)?”
- “What kind of internet connection is available?”
- “Are meeting rooms available for rent?”
- “Do you offer lockers for storing things at the coworking space?”
Find out if amenities like snacks and printing are complementary. Consider any other options that are important to you, too. Do you want the option to use a standing desk? Do you need to store your bike during the day, or do you want a facility with a gym, meditation room, outdoor patio space, or showers? Do you want a space that maintains a low carbon footprint, minimizing waste and energy use? Do you hope to bring your dog with you to work? Be sure to ask about these options before committing.
Community and Networking
Building community and networking with peers are major perks of a coworking space. First, working among colleagues will keep you from feeling isolated. Plus, working among other driven people will boost your energy and enthusiasm. Second, networking can open up new doors professionally.
Some coworking spaces have mastered the art of encouraging networking. Here are some crucial questions about community-building opportunities:
- “Are there events or social activities for members?”
- “Is there a member directory or online community for networking?”
- “What types of businesses rent from you?”
While touring a space, consider whether it strikes the right balance of quiet workspaces and social opportunities.
Security and Safety
Security and safety are crucial in any workspace. Today, many coworking spaces offer options like key fob or smartphone entry rather than a typical front desk to allow for flexible work hours. Others have traditional security guards stationing the doors. Video surveillance is another common security feature, especially near exterior doors and parking lots.
To address your security concerns, ask questions like, “What kind of security measures are in place?” and “Is there a protocol for emergency situations?”
Price and Membership Options
Coworking spaces typically offer different pricing and membership options. Consider which one best meets your needs while fitting your budget. Asking questions like these will help you understand your options:
- “How much is a basic membership without a designated desk?”
- “How much does a designated desk cost, and where is it situated?”
- “How much does a private office cost per month?”
- “What does a private meeting room cost per hour?”
- “Are day passes available?”
- “Is there a free trial period for new members?”
A day pass or trial period can give you a chance to test the space out. If looking for a space for your team, ask about group options. Many coworking spaces offer economical rates for teams.
Reviews and Testimonials
Reading reviews and testimonials from current or past members can provide valuable insights.
Ask, “Can you provide reviews from current members?” If you test the waters on a trial basis, you’ll also have the chance to talk with members about their experiences.
All coworking spaces have pros and cons. To find out if a space is right for you, schedule a tour and speak to the staff. You’ll get a strong sense of the atmosphere, the perks of working there, and the community created in the space.
Contact Interworks Mt. Airy for more information and answers to these questions, or to schedule a tour.