Coworking spaces have redefined the professional office landscape. According to a 2022 Global Coworking Growth Study, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is expected to reach over 40,000 by 2024.
If you're contemplating becoming part of this transformative trend, arm yourself with the right questions before you embark on this journey.
Here are ten queries to help you unlock the potential of your prospective coworking environment.
Unearthing the Origins: The Background Check
Every community has a story, and knowing the tale behind your potential coworking space is crucial. In your conversation with the community manager, ask about the founding principles, values, and history of the space. This will help you gauge if the space aligns with your professional ethos.
Additionally, inquire about the managerial structure and the roles of different team members. This will give you an understanding of who you'll be interacting with on a day-to-day basis, and the support you can expect.
Unlocking the Treasure Trove: Amenities and Services
Not all coworking spaces offer the same amenities. In fact, according to Deskmag's 2020 survey, amenities greatly influence coworking satisfaction. So, get the lowdown on what's on offer.
Is there a quiet zone for those intense focus moments? Are there communal areas for collaboration? Do they offer any professional services such as legal, accounting, or mentoring? The answers will give you insights into how the space can cater to your individual needs and business growth.
All About the Moolah: Pricing Structure
A conversation about cost is crucial. A study by Officevibe reveals that 68% of people feel happier at their coworking space compared to their traditional office. However, happiness should not cost an arm and a leg.
Ask about the pricing plans available. Are the terms flexible or fixed? Do they offer part-time packages or day passes? Can you upgrade or downgrade your plan based on your needs? These questions will help you understand the financial commitment involved.
Are We There Yet?: Accessibility and Location
Location is a key factor for any business, and coworking spaces are no exception. A Clutch survey shows that 58% of coworkers choose their space due to proximity to home. Ask the community manager about the accessibility of the space.
Does the space have accessible public transport links? Is there parking available? And importantly, what is the surrounding area like – are there places to eat, relax, or entertain clients?
All Inclusive or Not?: Diversity and Inclusivity
The ethos of a coworking space can often be reflected in its member diversity. Ask about the demographics of the space - are there members from a variety of industries, age groups, and cultures?
Inclusivity also plays a vital role. What policies and facilities are in place to promote a safe and inclusive environment for everyone? The answers can help you determine whether you’ll be a fit in the community.
The Noise Factor: Quietness and Noise Control
Workspace noise levels significantly impact productivity, with a 2019 Ipsos survey indicating that 85% of people are more productive in a quiet environment. Ask your community manager about their noise control measures.
Does the space have soundproofed rooms or dedicated quiet areas? Is there a noise policy in place? This will give you a sense of whether the environment will facilitate or hinder your productivity.
Community Vibes: Networking and Events
Does the space organize workshops, seminars, or social events? If so, are these events inclusive to all members, or is there an additional cost? This can help you evaluate the potential networking opportunities available to you.
Creature Comforts: Security and Comfort
Your comfort and security within the coworking space are paramount. Check with the community manager about their safety and security protocols.
Are there security cameras? Do they have ergonomic chairs and standing desks for your comfort? Is there a protocol for after-hours access? Your safety and comfort in your working environment is as important as the work you do.
The Legal Ease: Contract Terms and Conditions
Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to know the contractual obligations. Ask about the notice period, the cancellation process, and if there are any penalties for breaking the contract early.
The legal fine print can often be overlooked, but understanding it can save you from future misunderstandings or complications.
Future Forward: Expansion and Growth
As your business grows, your needs might change. It's essential to know how the coworking space can accommodate your growth. Ask about the possibilities for expansion within the space.
Do they have larger office spaces? Can they accommodate teams? What services do they offer to support business growth? Your future business needs should align with what the space can provide.