For nearly all businesses that could move to remote working, the last few months have been an unplanned experiment in a fully remote workforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as restrictions ease, many experts are calling for organizations to embrace remote working, and forge city and community connections in new ways.
Whether you’re operating an enterprise looking to reduce density or a small business striving to support employee’s need to leave the house – at least sometimes – for a working space, coworking may play a pivotal role in the new workplace normal.
Forbes dubs coworking spaces a “crucial support structure” for small businesses, sole proprietors, the self-employed, and entrepreneurs, citing the essential role coworking spaces can play in leveraging their local connections to help tap emergency relief funds or simply support through relationships for business that are suddenly struggling.
Whether your business is looking to invigorate employees with a vibrant workspace (and get them out of the kitchen-table situation), seeking supportive resources or looking to invest in community, selecting the right coworking space for your team is key to thriving during economic decline and excelling with the eventual rebound.
Here are 10 things to ask before you land on your new working space.
- How is the location? Landing on the right location is a little more complicated for a team than for a single entrepreneur. You’ll need to make sure the space is conveniently located for team members. But don’t stop there. You also need to vet the area to understand how accessible it is for transportation and what kind of businesses, like coffee shops and restaurants, are nearby.
- Is the culture a fit? Coworking is an ecosystem, and if your team doesn’t fit well into the ecosystem, it will be challenging to feel at home. Increasingly, spaces are focusing on niche needs, like a construction focus or a females-only space, according to Coworking Resources. Ensuring your team lines up with the focus and values of the space is just as important as some of the technical details.
- Does the space accommodate teams? Not all coworking spaces are designed with teams in mind. You’ll need to understand the options for private offices, dedicated desks, and conference rooms to ensure your team has the flexibility it needs, along with the reliability of the right spaces at the right times.
- Is the network thriving, and how might it support your business? While your team may be perfectly happy as the app-based business in a sea of musicians, your team may excel in a space with a wealth and variety of technical expertise. Some spaces have a niche focus, and understand where your business fits is important to finding the right match.
- Can your team grow in the space? Unless your business plans to stay exactly the same, you’ll want to look ahead a few years and ensure the space will still meet your needs. A key perk of coworking spaces is the flexibility, but asking your team to constantly mix up office sites can be draining, and you won’t want to move your business address repeatedly as you grow.
- Is the technology cutting-edge? As anyone who has recently battled for bandwidth at the home office can attest to, sub-par technology is infuriating – and slashes productivity. Don’t ask only about the Wifi speeds – make sure your team will be fully supported with cutting-edge technology, from the security approaches to the conference room setups for maximize productivity.
- Will your team have workplace choices? In most businesses, every day is different. Some days, your team may need a dedicated desk for heads-down work; others, they may invest hours in vibrant brainstorming. The ability to mix up the location can inspire innovation, and ensuring your team has the options to move from an outdoor space to a café to a traditional desk can provide the variety they need to stay sharp.
- Will the amenities meet your team’s needs? If your team works best with hard copies, they’ll have to have access to a printer. Or if most of your customers are dispersed across the nation, A/V tools for staying in touch are non-negotiable. Understanding exactly what your team needs from a space, from good coffee and healthy food to event space and training rooms can help make sure your coworking space checks all the boxes.
- What support does your team need? You want your team to focus on what they do best – and leave the rest to someone else. Whether they need access to an answering service, marketing capabilities, or technology expertise, explore how your coworking space can help your team excel.
- Does it meet your budget? Take advantage of the host of flexible options coworking spaces can offer, and find a solution that meets your budget. Not only do coworking spaces provide flexible contracts, but they also option a wide variety of use models and spaces that should help you find a coworking space that delights your team and sticks to the budget.
Looking for the right coworking space for your team?
Make yourselves at home at HEXA, where our integrated coworking ecosystem can nourish your team’s mind, body, and spirit, equipping them to take your business to the next level. We’re ready to answer these questions – and any others you have – to help you decide if this is the right space for your team. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.