Top 8 Things to Avoid When Booking a Coworking Space
Hello there, and welcome to this guide on things to avoid when booking a coworking space.
We cover everything from pesky distractions to location and everything in between. Because where you choose to work has huge ramifications on your output.
So without further ado, let’s dive in. Enjoy folks!
We’re kicking off with something 48% of users say is a challenge in their coworking space: distractions. This is a problem with all working areas, with more than half of high-performing employees declaring they need quiet spaces to work effectively.
The issue is that some coworking spaces can be rather loud. So for starters, it’s always good practice to have noise-cancelling headphones.
Thereafter, there are always tell-tale markers to know if a coworking space has respectable noise levels.
Something as simple as plants can be a sign. They absorb noise and serve as a visual barrier between you and other workers. Then there are formal barriers, of course, as well as noise-absorbing panels, phone booths, and work pods.
But the best way to make an informed decision is to ask the coworking space directly how they strategise against distraction.
Lack of Privacy
Likewise, privacy is a common issue with some coworking spaces, with 48% of workers sighting it as an issue.
From the fear of sensitive plans and data being on display to the feeling that you’re being judged or watched, even in a shared space, privacy isn’t something you should be deprived of.
Privacy is a crucial part of good work, with Fast Company highlighting four main advantages:
- It helps ideas gain traction.
- It fosters creativity.
- It encourages focus.
- It increases employed engagement.
The solutions are similar to that of distractions: noise-cancelling headphones, plants, partitions, sound-proof panels, phone booths, and work pods, and perhaps best of all, private rooms that can be booked for short periods during the day.
Lack of Space
This one seems like common sense, and perhaps it is. But it bares reminding. After all, as much as 39% of coworking space users find space to be an issue with their location.
So, when hunting down your perfect coworking spot, think of the space per square metre. And if you have the chance, visit the site in person to get a feel for the place.
Lack of Personalisation
Research has shown that workers value their personal space over any other at the office. And this is reflected in satisfaction with coworking spaces, with 31% of workers finding the inability to personalise their space their biggest problem.
In a traditional office, employees can personalise their space with photos, trinkets, and iconography that lets them express their identity and visualise their motivations. More often than not, this is lost in coworking locations.
However, there are some places that will allow you to make a space your own if you block-book it for long enough. So if adding personal touches to your workspace is good for your well-being, then this is something you should prioritise!
Safety and Security
Of course, feeling safe in your workplace is paramount to working effectively. You can never expect employees to be productive if their brain is distracted by their personal safety or their valuables being stolen.
This doesn’t just concern physical safety or physical objects, we can also consider internet security in this question. Because your livelihood could be there on the WiFi network, so it needs to be secure.
So, when you’re looking for a coworking space, verify their internet is safe, that they have lockable storage facilities, and that they have a secured entrance with an alarm.
Lack of Equipment
Sadly, not every working space comes fully equipped with everything you need, so do your homework. Only you know what you need to do your work. But consider checking for at least the following:
- Strong, reliable, and safe WiFi
- Power outlets
- Printing and scanning facilities
- AV equipment in meeting rooms
- A functioning kitchen
Location is a paramount factor for two reasons. The first is logistics, and the second is identity.
So, logistically speaking, you need to be able to get there without too much struggle. If it takes you an hour – in traffic or via three busses – you’re going to be exhausted and ultimately unhappy. So make sure your commute leaves you with the energy to work and time to live afterwards.
And secondly, style and location are influential on your work culture and identity. Where you work says a lot about who you are and will impact how you feel about your work.
For example, if you’re heading a creative start-up, look for an up-and-coming part of town. On the other hand, if you’re looking for clients with a bit more gravitas, that are suited and booted, then a location like that won’t cultivate the vibe you need.
So even though you’ve always been told not to judge a book by its cover, assume everyone else will, and choose your location accordingly!
Of course, the key to every successful business is being smart with money. That’s why it’s always good to make savings where you can. Finding a reasonably priced coworking space is a case in point.
However, you’ll find that the average cost of a coworking space ranges between $250-500 per month. Now, that usually includes essentials like electricity, WiFi, cleaning, etc.
The implications of opting for somewhere too cheap might mean those essentials aren’t included. Or, you’ll miss out on crucial benefits illustrated above like location, security, and so on.
So yes, it’s always savvy to look for savings where you can. But when it comes to coworking spaces there are only so many concessions you can make before negatives drown out the cost savings.