If you’re on the fence about coworking and worried about changing from a traditional office to more flexible space, there are a few things you should consider to help you make a good decision about whether coworking is right for you and what kind of space will help your business succeed.
1. What Are Your Needs?
Every business is different, so it’s a good idea to start by asking what kind of expectations you have for your workspace.
You can begin by taking a look at how your business operates on a day to day basis. What kind of space will help you work more efficiently? Do you need more of a collaborative environment, or will you benefit more from a quiet space where you can focus without distractions?
The good news is that coworking spaces are designed to accommodate many different work types. Unlike a traditional office environment, they’re made to be flexible, so chances are you can find a space that offers everything you need to be productive.
2. What Is Your Budget?
As with any business decision, your budget will play a role in determining whether coworking is a good fit for you. In most situations, this is where coworking makes good financial sense.
Generally, coworking is much more affordable than paying for a brick and mortar office. A side by side comparison of a traditional office with all the same amenities as a coworking space typically reveals that coworking offers unmatched cost-savings.
Another advantage is that you’re not responsible for maintenance, which can be an additional cost. Business operation necessities like IT infrastructure, HVAC, and furniture are handled by coworking ownership, saving you time and money.
3. What Kind of Amenities Do You Need?
Is your current work environment satisfying your operational needs? In many cases, coworking offers more benefits and extras than you can get on your own in a traditional space.
Even on a basic level, it’s common for coworking spaces to offer things like janitorial service, IT support, meeting and conference rooms, free parking for your customers, maintenance services, mail services, generator backups, a phone operator or messaging service, food and beverage stations, and printing services.
Depending on your needs, you can also find coworking spaces that offer networking opportunities in common areas, more elaborate food services, recreation centers, and even special areas for napping and relaxing.
Amenities can also make a big difference when it comes to cost. While certain things like napping spaces are a nice perk, other offerings such as phone service or a full-service printing area can save your business thousands of dollars a year.
For example, with a phone service shared by the community, you might be able to eliminate the overhead of administrative personnel. With a printing service, you can save on renting printing machinery, maintenance, and paper.
4. Do You Want to Be Part of a Community?
Many coworking spaces give members the chance to network with others. Depending on your needs, this may be an opportunity that’s important to you.
As most business owners know, networking is a big part of finding new customers and making important connections in your industry.
In some cases, you don’t even need to connect with people who do the same sort of work. Rather, forging relationships with business owners in other industries can yield opportunities in interesting ways that benefit your business and allow it to grow.
If you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer, having access to a business community can be a helpful asset. When you work on your own or do most of your business solo, you naturally miss out on some of the networking opportunities available to traditional business owners. With coworking, you have access to neighbors who can help you further your business goals.
5. Does Your Coworking Space Offer a Trial Period?
Making the switch to coworking can be a big decision. Understandably, you might be apprehensive about taking the plunge. This is why it can be beneficial to try out a coworking space before you make a long-term commitment or fundamentally change the way you work.
If a trial run makes you feel better about giving coworking a try, make sure you take advantage of everything the space has to offer before you make your final decision. In other words, don’t just wall yourself off in a quiet area at a solo desk. Instead, try working in various parts of the building so you can get a true appreciation for how the space serves your needs.
Giving Coworking a Try
Coworking is changing the way business across the country work, and some of the biggest companies in the world are shifting their operations to coworking spaces. No matter what kind of industry you’re in, there’s a good chance coworking can work for your business.