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This story originally appeared on Under30CEO.com
There are many benefits to having a coworking space, whether you’re shopping as an individual or on behalf of your business. But if you want to make the right decision, you’ll need to make sure you’re comparing spaces logically and methodically.
That decision is more difficult than ever, considering the number of coworking spaces in major cities around the country. But if you reduce your decision to a few primary factors, it becomes much easier.
The diversity of coworking spaces
Coworking spaces were once a rare novelty — but now that remote and hybrid working has become more popular, the number of available coworking spaces has exploded.
There’s a coworking space out there for everyone. If you want a budget space, it’s there. If you want all the amenities, you can get them. Some spaces try to give their members a little bit of everything, but because everyone has different wants and needs, there’s really no such thing as a perfect coworking space.
You’re probably not going to find a coworking space that’s perfect, but with the right criteria, you can find one that’s ideal for your set of priorities.
Things to consider when shopping for a coworking space
For most people, these are the most important things to consider when shopping for a coworking space.
First, you’ll need to think about the location. Most people don’t want a lengthy commute, nor do they want to work in a location that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Generally, people want a coworking space that’s as close to them as possible, though you may also want a space that’s closer to a city center if you want to be where all the action is happening. Lucas Seyhun, creator of coworking space TheFarmSoHo, says, “Our clients often choose our space because it’s close to them – and being close to some of the best restaurants in the city doesn’t hurt,” according to Under30CEO.com.
If you currently drive as a primary form of travel, you’ll need to make sure there are parking spaces available for this coworking space. Otherwise, you’ll want to look for a coworking space that has convenient access to public transportation. It’s a little thing, but the right dynamics here can save you at least several minutes a day – and several hours every year.
3. The view
When you look out the windows, what do you see? Do you get to look at a broad, beautiful forest? Do you get to people-watch as thousands of people walk the sidewalks? Or, do you have an amazing view of the city skyline? A good view can help you destress during the day and generally beautify the space.
4. The atmosphere
You should also consider the overall atmosphere of the coworking space, which you’ll only be able to fully absorb by visiting it in person. Does this space seem more formal or more casual? Is there a lot of background noise, or is it relatively quiet? Are people friendly and outgoing, or do they mostly keep to themselves? There’s no true ideal in any of these categories; what matters is that you find a space with an atmosphere that’s going to be conducive to your work.
5. Available amenities
There are countless potential amenities you could enjoy in a coworking space; it all depends on what’s offered by the owners. You might have access to meeting rooms, free coffee, high-speed internet, break room luxuries, or in rare cases, even an in-house production team. Keep in mind that the more amenities there are, the higher the price is likely to be.
6. Accessible space
How much space is available and is this always accessible? For example, are there large meeting rooms that you can take advantage of? And if so, are you required to submit reservation requests in advance of your need? If you wanted to take a break and walk around the office, could you do so effectively?
7. Flexibility and accessibility
Some coworking spaces are functionally open 24/7, giving you a key card that can grant you access at your discretion. Others are only open during business hours, and only during weekdays. If you work conventional hours, this factor may not matter much to you. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a space that accommodates your most productive hours.
8. Privacy potential
Some coworking spaces are very open, enabling people to converse and collaborate freely. Others are more private, giving people isolated individual space. It’s up to you which one you prefer.
Location has an impact on your safety and security, but you should also consider additional security measures, such as the presence of a security guard or active security cameras. Safety-conscious spaces can be highly advantageous.
10. The price
The cost for a single desk in a coworking space is usually somewhere between $200 and $700 per month, but this varies heavily depending on where the space is and what it offers. You might be able to find limited accommodations for less, and incredibly luxurious accommodations for much more. Your budget may be a highly constraining factor, so the price of a coworking space bears heavy weight.
What are your most important priorities? How do you envision using a coworking space for your business or career? No matter what, there are probably options available to you. Do your due diligence, see what’s out there, and pull the trigger when everything seems right.