To many, choosing a coworking spot is a really easy decision. Find some space where you can work in peace, and sign up. For others, it can be a more thought out process because of certain requirements and amenities needed.
There are some basics that every coworking space needs. Things like a coffee maker, a kitchen (or at least a refrigerator), easy access to bathrooms, WIFI, and plenty of space, are things that are must haves. I wouldn’t compromise any of these things, it will only cause you issues in the long run.
Full Time Employee(s)
Having a full time employee at the establishment can alleviate a significant amount of issues. While it’s not a necessity, having a dedicated person there to answer any questions, or take care of any problems is invaluable. Even basic upkeep can be a chore depending on how big the space is. To me, To me, it’s been the single most important factor at the places I’ve been a member.
A Large Community
“Large” is a relative term here, but if a coworking space has 30+ active members – opposed to 10 – it often makes for a larger communal knowledge base. If networking and making business connections is something that is high on your priority list when looking for a coworking location then this should definitely be on your list.
This is another thing that, for me, is non negotiable. If I can’t get access to a private meeting area then I can’t be a member there, it’s that simple. Where would I take clients? Where would I take important calls? With a large community this may sometimes be tough to reserve a room, but as long as conference rooms are an amenity that the coworking space offers, I’m happy.
If you’re a freelancer, or your business offices entirely out of the coworking space, then this is something that’s probably very important to you. Think of this as a domain-specific email address, you’ve got to have one if you’re going to look professional to clients or customers.
Location, Location, Location
How close is your current location to places to eat? If you don’t want to bring lunch every day, or you have plans to wine and dine clients, then being close to restaurants can be to your advantage. Having a place you can go to eat without having to drive there is something that many find important because of how easy it is to get back into the “work” mode. It can be much more draining from a productivity standpoint when you have to pack your laptop, hop in the car, drive, eat, and drive back, unpack your laptop, then get focused on work again. Whew, that’s exhausting just typing it!
One thing is for sure – there are a lot of options out there, and if you’re in the market for a coworking space, you should take a good look at what’s important to you on a day to day basis and weigh your options accordingly.
Jared Carrizales is co-founder of Heroic Search. His company “grew up” in many coworking spots in Dallas and the surrounding areas. He enjoys collaborating with like minded people and taking on challenges with his coworking pals.