Nov 14, 2017
With coworking offices offering everything from onsite coffee shops to gyms and breweries, choosing the right one for your business can be complicated. Here are some of the most important factors to consider before making your decision.
You might think that the right location matters less for a coworking space than it would if you were buying or renting more permanent premises, but it’s still something you should keep very much in mind. Firstly there’s how appealing the general area is for you and your employees. A nice area that is serviced by good transport links will be far more appealing to your team than one that’s cheaper but nastier.
But this will also affect your business dealings – you may want to take advantage of your coworking space’s meeting rooms to hold client meetings, and journeying to a run-down corner of nowhere is unlikely to impress. Even if your clients never need to visit you at work, many spaces in impressive areas offer virtual office services that can provide you with a prestigious business address.
The Workspace Environment
Our working environment has a big impact on how we perform – research from the University of Exeter’s School of Psychology found that people working in an ‘enriched’ or flexible office space – those decorated with visually appealing features such as plants and wall art, for instance – were 17% more productive as a result.
Coworking spaces by their nature have a more flexible and less restrictive workspace atmosphere than cubicled offices, and factoring their potential for collaborative and team-based work into your decision is a must.
One of the myriad benefits of basing yourself in a coworking space is the access it provides you into a thriving community of entrepreneurs, freelancers and startups. With some figures suggesting that as many as 85% of all vacancies are filled via networking, this community can prove to be a practical way of sourcing new staff and building up a strong base of contacts and potential clients.
The importance of networking and a community approach is so important to some coworking spaces that they’ve specifically factored it into their model – London coworking space The Brew’s free café workspace is open to members as well as the wider business community of Shoreditch’s Tech City.
Professional business facilities are an important factor, but don’t assume that paying for each and every one of them is automatically better – superfast broadband may be vital for your business model, but ask yourself if you’re really holding enough client meetings to justify hiring out boardrooms. Assess which facilities you need, and which you will probably need as your company grows, when making your decision.
However, the facilities at a coworking space often go above and beyond the purely professional – cafes, breakout rooms, onsite gyms and craft beer on tap are among the innovative options for kicking back that some spaces have implemented. They may sound like frivolous novelties, but they’re actually more business oriented than you’d think – studies have shown that long hours and stressful conditions are damaging to our health and wellbeing, but also to our productivity and quality of output.
Whether a swanky business address in the heart of London or quirky onsite facilities is your final deal breaker, judging each of these factors against the specific needs and requirements of your business will enable you to make the decision that’s right for you.