Co-working spaces have proven to be a relatively new but beneficial concept for many businesses around the world. According to the 2018 Global Co-working Forecast conducted by GCUC and Emergent Research, there were a total of 14,411 co-working spaces operational across the globe in 2017, and the number was expected to grow to 30,000 in 2022. The reason for this expected growth spurt is simple – co-working spaces can reducing your business costs significantly as you do not have to pay rent for an entire office. However, the advantages of renting a co-working space do not end there.
Many startups and small businesses can’t afford a conventional office space, which can challenge their credibility in the eyes of their customers. However, thanks to co-working spaces, they can now have a physical address. Also, this way, they will have a space where they can work in peace without the distractions that come with working-from-home, which will boost their productivity.
Furthermore, renting a co-working space instead of a conventional office offers businesses multiple networking opportunities that can lead to collaborations and campaigns. And even after all this, if it does not work out for you for some reason, flexible contracts enable you to easily cancel your membership at any time.
While the numerous benefits of co-working spaces make them highly appealing, they might not be the right choice for you. On top of that, like most properties, not all co-working spaces boast the same amenities and features. Therefore, when renting a co-working space, you need to be mindful of certain factors to avoid making any decisions you may later regret. So ask yourself the following questions:
1. What Place Will Be Cost-Effective?
Since the key aspect behind renting a co-working space is its low cost, you need to make sure the price you are getting fulfills that purpose. You may want to search a little bit over the internet. For example, if you are starting a small business in Japan, you can type rent co-working space in Japan into your search engine to get a list of all available options. You can then compare their packages against your budget and all your must-haves from that space.
2. Who Will Be Sharing the Space with You?
It is vital that you know who will be sharing the space with you because not every startup requires the same environment. While some businesses may need a quiet environment, others may require a more social and interactive environment. For example, a content writing company will have to provide their writers with a controlled environment to help them focus on their work. In contrast, a digital marketing startup will need the exact opposite since different people will have to collaborate on a single campaign.
3. What Will Be the Operational Timings?
Knowing the operational days and timings of a space before renting it is crucial. Many co-working spaces remain open only from Monday to Friday. However, if you are working with international clients or have dealings in an international market, you may need to work at odd timings to accommodate their calendar and move past the barriers of time zones. For example, the weekend in UAE is from Friday to Saturday, so if you have a Dubai-based client, you need to be available for them on Sunday. Similarly, you might have to work on public holidays if your clients’ businesses are open in another part of the world. Thus, to avoid issues and losses when working with international clients, you need to make sure that the operational timings of the co-working space you plan on renting meet your needs.
4. What Security Measures Are Implemented In The Co-Working Space?
Before renting a co-working space, you need to find out what security measures and protocols the commercial space owner or manager has in place, like armed guards, security alarms, and 24/7 video surveillance. Not all co-working spaces offer renters the same security features, so find out if the current measures suit your needs.
5. Are the Conference Rooms and Meeting Areas Sound-Proof?
The conference rooms and meeting areas are specific for having client meetings and discussing the company’s future plans and strategies, some of which are confidential. Therefore, it is essential to know if these areas are soundproof to avoid trade secrets, intellectual property, and tips from spilling out. To find a co-working space that accommodates your need for confidentiality, even if it means paying a little extra for it.
6. How Much Space Will You Get?
You need to know how much space will you actually be getting, which is not limited only to the work area. Space also includes conference rooms, seminar halls, parking spots, etc. Some co-working spaces also offer play areas, gaming areas, and a cafeteria. Just keep in mind, if you are opting for a place that offers all of that, it is a good idea to find out if you will be charged extra to use these areas instead of dealing with unwanted stress later on.
7. Are Any Networking Events Hosted?
One of the most common benefits of a co-working space is to have opportunities for networking and building contacts. Sharing office space with professionals from different fields allows you to build diverse connections. However, not everyone is comfortable disrupting people while they work or are uncomfortable approaching them randomly. Therefore, you can ask the owner of the space if they host any networking events. Attending networking events is a great way to establish your presence in the local business community.
8. Will the Space Be Able to Accommodate the Growing Needs of Your Startup?
Not all entrepreneurs are happy with a small profit, which is why many decide to rent a co-working space to save and invest in your business to foster its growth. But what happens when your business actually expands? In such a case, you need to make sure that the co-working space you are renting will be able to accommodate the growth of your startup. Thus, you need to consider your business plans and future goals before leasing any co-working space.
Have you ever heard the proverb, ‘one man’s meat is another’s poison? That is the case with renting a co-working space. A workspace that may be suitable for one person may not be for another. Not every business can function seamlessly in a co-working setting, and not every shared office offers the same amenities. Therefore, to sum it up, it is imperative that you take the above-mentioned considerations into account along with your budget before signing off on any co-working space. After all, you want to find a space that meets the needs of your business and provides an optimal environment for growth.