Finding the Right Coworking Space for You
One of the biggest positives for me in being an entrepreneur is having the ability to work wherever I want. Especially in creating an online-based business, I can practically work anywhere. My husband and I have created a cute little office space in our apartment that is literally a 90-second commute from my bed. But sometimes it is nice to get out of the house and leave the solitude of the home office for a more public work environment.
That is why I absolutely love the concept of coworking spaces. This innovative trend in office environments allow entrepreneurs and employees with flexible teleworking policies to have a space outside their home that is not the loud and busy coffee shop we’ve been working out of for years. However there is definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution. So as I’ve been looking at spaces, I realized that there area a couple of things to keep in mind before you sign up for that desk space.
- Location – Again, I love the benefits of working wherever I want and not having the 90-minute commute from my corporate days. Why would I ruin it by signing up for a place that is hard to get to or not near where your meetings typically take place! Therefore, take into account how long it will take you to get there as well as what type of neighborhood it’s in. Many coworking spaces are in up-and-coming neighborhoods that may feel a lot different when you are leaving at night in the winter than when you are walking to it during a summer day.
- Desk Space – You know how you like to work. Are you more about being out in the open or do you like the privacy that cubicle walls can bring? You’ll find that many coworking spaces distinguish themselves by how their desks are organized and arranged.
- Noise Level – Remember those coffee shops? Sometimes it’s really hard to make a business call with a potential client when there is the sound of lattes being whipped up. The same can be said for noisy coworking space neighbors. Look for spaces that have reservable conference rooms or dedicated phone spaces if you need to have a quite phone conversation or just like to have a more library-like feel.
- Community – A big benefit of joining a coworking space is the ability to interact with other entrepreneurs who are also working to get their businesses started. In addition to just saying hi to your neighbor, many facilities organize member happy hours and events to help you get to know your fellow coworkers. (For a Career Girl, I would say to really look into this. I found that most coworking spaces are filled mostly with men. While it’s not a bad thing, sometimes it’s good to have another female to talk to, especially when you are building a company focused on women.)
In full disclosure I haven’t yet committed to a coworking space, but now living in the San Francisco Bay Area I know there are plenty of options to find the one that’s right for me.