If you have decided to join the co-working ‘revolution’, here is a checklist of all the questions to think about before you zero in on the right co-working space:
Location – Does the location cut down on travel time for you or your employees? What about proximity from your business partners, mentors, vendors or clients? Do you prefer a quiet place in the suburbs or one in the heart of the city? If you are hiring space for temporary needs such as client meetings or recruiting, how is it located with respect to the airport, train and metro stations?
Flexibility for your needs –
Co-working spaces provide a range of seating options and added services and no two co-working spaces are exactly alike. Does the space suit your budget? Will you be paying more for amenities like accounting or crèche services that you won’t need? Will it accommodate your specific IT infrastructure needs? What is the occupancy? How easy is it to book meeting rooms in Bangalore once a quarter for a stakeholder meeting? Does it offer a long-term rental and the possibility of extending the number of desks if you decide to scale up your team? If you have a young team that cares for casual meetings and modern decor, does the space meet their aspirations of their workplace?
Community & Collaboration –
If you’re headed to a co-working space, no doubt a part of the reason is the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of professionals. The culture of co-working spaces depends on the philosophy of the space provider and the particular mix of people the space hosts. One may have a large number of enterprise customers, another may explicitly cater to startups, another to the design community. Which would you thrive in best? If you are looking for fresh talent or looking to keep an ear to the ground for new ideas and trends, which co-working space will allow you to do so? Are there a kind of people (investors, fintech entrepreneurs, designers, content writers, marketers…) who you would like to actively seek access to for potential partnership or collaboration?
Work Environment – Ergonomy, Lighting, Amenities & Services
Is the space well-managed? Is it regularly cleaned? Any space that you are going to spend your working time in, must satisfy basic comfort requirements like comfortable, ergonomical seating, adequate cooling and lighting, IT infrastructure and pantry/catering services. Is there a gym facility or will you have to spend money in getting membership for one outside the office? Is there is the option of working outdoors? Are there accounting, marketing services or a mentorship program applicable for you? What about the professional and social events organised?
Security & Access – What access control and security systems are in place for the physical security of users? Will you be safe working there late into the night? What are the options for data security and privacy? What about tele-conferencing and video-conferencing services? Are there meeting rooms and private cabins or only open seating and hot-desking?
Age of the Property – Who would want to lease an office space in a couple of decade’s old building, with increased chances of collapsing or disintegrating during a natural calamity like earthquakes? Opting for a newly constructed and well-structured building is an ideal choice.
Clear Lease – Once you’ve decided the perfect office space for your team, the next step is to sign the lease and seal the deal. The lease should mention all the terms and conditions very clearly. Before making any commitments and signing the lease, it’s important to speak to your lawyer to make sure that the agreement has no loopholes.
Infrastructure – In a connected world today, a reliable internet connection, phone lines, postal services etc. are important requirements for an ideal office space. A refreshing office design and ambience can have a big influence on the image, reputation and productivity.
Business Type – Different offices cater to various needs of different industries. You need to consider your company’s business type when selecting an office space. For instance – If you are a startup, you should opt for a co-working space instead of a fully rental office space. Whereas, if you are a shipping and distribution firm, you shouldn’t look for an office space in a business centre.
Ask other users of the co-working space for their feedback. See that the management of the co-working space is professional, competent, and friendly and open to suggestions. Finally, ask yourself if the workspace is secure, pleasant and adequate for you. Make a well-researched, informed choice and make co-working work for you.