What makes a great coworking space?

WORDS, HUBBUL

By the end of 2016 the number of registered coworking spaces will have grown to 12,700 worldwide. Chuck in over 1 million global members, and it’s safe to say that coworking has played its part in the workforce revolution sweeping the world.

Disrupting the traditional office model, coworking is modern offices with affordable and flexible memberships for the new, freelance workforce. 

But it’s much more than simply affordable office space for freelancers and small businesses. Coworking spaces – or workhubs if you prefer – offer members the opportunity to join and network with a thriving community of like-minded people. A home from home for every freelancer if you like.

And forget boring, dull soul-sucking offices, coworking spaces are bright, open plan and enjoyable. Finally, office space that's designed for the one-man-band. 

With 78% of coworking members rating their space as 9 or 10 out of 10, it’s an arrangement that fits the bill for almost anyone who joins. 

Coworking is popular, we know that. But what are the things to look out for and rate when hunting for the perfect space? Here's your handy checklist to see you through...

Community

A group of friendly, hard-working members will open doors to new business and are perfect for bouncing ideas off. Impact Hub, with 80 odd spaces around the world are awesome at this kind of stuff. 

Cost

Find a flexible or pay-as-you-go membership to suit your budget. Don’t over-commit or overpay. Check out Work.Life for tap-in, tap-out memberships in London. Read hubbul's Work.Life review here.

Events

Advice, mentoring and guidance, help you brush up on any business skills you’re struggling with. Techhub, along with IPSE run a whole load of events for freelancers. Check them out. 

Amenities

Printers? Kitchen? Free coffee? Bike racks? Storage? Nice clean loos and a decent shower? Gym? If you’re lucky. Tot up what matters to you and get visiting. 

Wifi and tech

As blatant as it sounds, check that the wifi won’t let you down. Are you a big downloader, or just your average internet surfer? Test it. And if you need presentation rooms, screens or a studio, see if the space provides it first. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Location

Nobody likes a long commute, particularly Londoners. Stuffy tubes and stand-still morning traffic? No thanks. Find a space in your end of town, or close enough to your clients so you can nip in and out as and when.

Space and size

The size of your desk, number of meeting rooms, break-out and private spaces, and even amount of natural light can and to be honest, should be deal breakers.

Before going full steam and signing up anywhere, try before you buy. Ask for a free pass, and get a feel for the place before you become a member. 

Know any great coworking spaces? Share below...

 

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