Coworking spaces are all the rage in the freelance, entrepreneurial and start-up world these days. In my area alone there seems to be a new one popping up every day. In fact, they are so popular that WeWork took it a step further and launched a community living space in New York a couple of weeks ago.
It seems that competition is out and collaboration is in, and coworking spaces truly understand this. Additionally, it’s nice to have a designated place to go to where a) you can have human interaction b) you can get out of the house and c) you can get some work done.
I started going to a coworking space a few months ago when I couldn’t take working from home anymore. This has come in handy for the rare in-person meeting, when I need a change of scene and when I need to hunker down and meet a deadline. It even came in handy for one of my clients who ended up renting out a conference room to film a course!
If you’re looking to perhaps start working from a coworking space, here’s what you need to consider to see if it’s the right line of work for you.
Location, location, location.
Look, there’s been one coworking space after another opening up in my area, but I didn’t become a member of any of them until one opened up five minutes from my house. This is perfect for those days when I attempt to start working from home but it just doesn’t work out so I end up at the office. A quick bus ride and I’m there.
Shared office spaces aren’t exactly a new phenomenon. In fact, they’ve been around for a while. The difference lies in that the older ones are super corporate whereas a coworking space is more laid back.
Of course, this could have it’s downside as well. Some coworking spaces are a little too open and a little too full. This could actually hinder your progress so make sure you actually like the environment of the space you are considering.
This could be because bad design is a major pet peeve of mine, but if a coworking space wasn’t designed with their members in mind I wouldn’t join. Additionally, there is something to be said about how our surroundings affect the way we work.
Fortunately, most coworking spaces tend to go all out in the design department. Unfortunately, there are a few that put a little less effort into creating functional design within their spaces.
If you’re going to be paying for a membership at a coworking space you better check out their amenities. For example, some offer printing with their membership and others charge separately for it. In reality, it’s just a factor to consider when looking at the next point.
Just because you theoretically can afford a private office doesn’t mean you should go for it. Assess what your needs are and then choose a coworking space based on that.
I, for one, hate being confined to one place and need to move around. As such, a community membership where I can float around the community areas depending on my mood works just fine for me.
A coworking space could be a good option for you as a freelancer, especially if you need a place to focus or are more on the extroverted side. Having the ability to walk into my office when I need a change of scene has been a game changer for my business and it could be for yours too.