Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched Apple in a Los Altos, California garage. Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes created Facebook in a cramped Harvard University dorm room. Had these entrepreneurs had access to one of the many affordable co-working spaces now pervasive across the country, the origins of their multi-billion dollar startups may have been a bit less memorable!
An Emerging Trend: Why Co-Working Spaces are Becoming So Popular
Co-working spaces are convenient, collaborative, and, according to one study, highly satisfying to workers. The study measuring workplace satisfaction concluded that individuals who work in co-working spaces reported an average “level of thriving” of six on a seven-point scale.
Arguably the most compelling draw of setting up shop in a co-working space is the cost. The average monthly cost of securing a dedicated desk in a co-working space varies from city to city, but even in pricey New York City, plenty of membership options are available for $250 or less per month. Additionally, most co-working spaces offer flexible terms ranging from hourly and daily passes to monthly memberships. Unlike traditional office space, a co-working space doesn’t require a long-term financial commitment. Many workers would agree that the new connections, lead generation and intelligence sharing that occur between co-working members are priceless.
What Should you Look for in a Co-Working Space?
If you were searching for an office space to rent, you would visit multiple sites. Do the same when you’re looking for a co-working space. While you won’t have to worry about taking on office space planning, if you decide to move use a co-working space, you will need to make sure the space will work for you. Here are some issues to keep in mind as you look for the right fit.
- Ambiance. This can include everything from what color the walls are painted to the people that you’ll be working next to. The people working in your coworking space are your coworkers (temporarily at least.) When you begin checking out different options, plan to stop by the office at least a few times, at the times of day or evening you’ll most likely be working there. You should get a sense of the overall vibe in the office.
Are workers interacting, chatting and laughing? Or are workers essentially keeping to themselves and doing their own thing? The ideal environment for one person may not be ideal for another. Decide whether you prefer a quiet space where you can work in solitude or a collaborative space with plenty of conversation and interaction.
- Agreement. Before you commit to joining a co-working space, carefully scrutinize the user agreement. Make sure that it spells out rules members are expected to follow and what will happen in the event that a member breaks those rules. The agreement should also include confidentiality rules (including a non-disclosure clause), information about security and access and policies involving smoking, bringing children to the office, etc.
- Amenities. Make sure to find out what’s included in the user fee. Is Wi-Fi access included? Is there a shared printer? What about a copy machine (and what about coffee?) Are there private meeting rooms available for hosting clients? If you’re in an urban area, is there free or discounted parking? Additionally, some co-working spaces offer group health insurance.
- Convenience. Look for a space that’s relatively convenient to home, but also centrally located and convenient for clients who need to meet with you. Also, make sure the co-working space has hours of operation that would work for your schedule. Some spaces are open around the clock, others are not.
Whether you’re a freelancer who craves interaction and camaraderie or you’ve launched a startup on a shoestring budget, a coworking space is a smart alternative to your kitchen table, the local coffee shop or a commercial lease you’re not ready to commit to.
If you don’t think a co-working space would be a good fit for you, or your looking for something a bit more permenant, there are still ways to save money. Call our experienced office furniture installers at Houston Installation Services for more ideas.