How to Choose a Coworking Space? Free Guide, Ebook and Quiz Tushar Agarwal 2017-11-28T18:15:04+00:00
How to Choose a Coworking Space?
Location, pricing, contracts and facilities. Complete guide on everything you need to know to choose a coworking space that fits you and your business.
When you discover that successful businesses such as the Timehop, Facebook app embarked their startup journeys in the coworking setups, you know that the Coworking trend is on the rise.
If you are here, you have probably decided to switch from your traditional/home office to a productive, efficient Co-working space. But before we move ahead, let’s understand the basic concept of coworking.
What is coworking?
It is a creative technique of work that involves a shared working space where people belonging from different businesses can interact, cooperate and work together. Coworking, as a work concept is gaining a lot of popularity in India. According to a study by Deskmag, the number of coworking spaces have increased from 24% in 2013 to 36% in 2015. Wondering why this happened? Well, this is because of so many benefits that coworking spaces offer to their clients.
Choosing a coworking space can be a stressful task. Mainly there are 3 things that you need to be aware of before you fulfill your final objective i.e. choose a coworking space. These 3 things are as follows:
What is coworking?
What is a coworking space agreement?
How to choose a coworking space?
As we have already discussed the first point, it’s time to move on to the second one.
What is a coworking space agreement?
They are service agreements in which coworkers use the space for a limited period of time (according to their needs) and leave when they are done. These agreements don’t bind the person with a company forever. Coworking agreements are different from general rental agreements. They mention all the facilities that a coworking space will provide to a coworker. A lot of people confuse coworking spaces with real estate businesses. Don’t know why but this happens. This confusion leads to misrepresentation of coworking agreements.Though coworking is a western concept, it is slowly being accepted in India. Many people have started understanding what coworking is but still, a lot of people face problems while signing a coworking agreement.
What to keep in mind while signing a coworking space agreement in India?
There should be a clause which states very clearly that this is a service agreement. The word rental should not be mentioned anywhere.
No hidden costs
Make sure that there are no hidden costs. All costs related to rent, taxes etc should be discussed earlier. It’s better to clarify everything before you sign a coworking service agreement.
The agreement must state per seat price of a coworking office. Lumpsum cost should be avoided as the team size might grow in the future.
Damage and penalty clause
You should carefully read and understand all the responsibilities related to any damage caused to the coworking office and its property. Also, many offices don’t take the responsibility of clients personal property. If so, it should be mentioned in the agreement.
Security deposit clause
Every coworking space has its own security deposit rules. You should go through it before signing the agreement.
Before signing the agreement, you should clarify office timings and holidays at the coworking office. Make sure the same is mentioned in the agreement.
Coworking space is a shared office. Breach of privacy is very common. In order to protect your privacy, you should make sure that a non-disclosure clause is mentioned in the agreement. This clause will protect all your non-public information such as your client’s personal information etc.
Termination of contract
Coworking space agreements are service agreements which are easy to terminate. No long procedure is needed. However, the notice period of the termination should be clearly mentioned in the agreement.
House rules and policies of the coworking offices
Every coworking office has its own policies/rules on drinking, smoking, pets and children. All the policies of the office should be mentioned in the agreement.
Duration of the agreement
The agreement should clearly mention the time period for which an entrepreneur or a freelancer is renting the office space.
A certain amount of taxes have to be paid by a coworker to the government. That amount needs to be clearly mentioned in the agreement.
You as a potential coworker need to carefully go through these points before you move on to your final objective. I know you guys are very busy and your each and every minute is very precious to you, so without wasting anymore time, let’s move on to our last and final point.
How to conduct your coworking search?
What elements to look for while searching for a coworking space?
Looking for a coworking space is a problematic task but here is a list of 22 important things that you should know while searching a coworking space.
Trial facility is a must-have for any coworking host. There are many reasons for the same:
You need to check how well they deliver on what they promise in terms of amenities and management.
You need to see whether the workspace actually has the actual employee strength it claims to have.
You also need to check whether your chosen working hours offer you community-building opportunities, which requires the presence of co-workers who share your business interests during your work hours. Plus, every workspace has its own unique vibe. You must find the one that resonates with you.
You may simply need to decide whether you are ready to make the switch. A trial is crucial for entrepreneurs who have just started out and are limited by budget. A trial will give you a clear picture of whether it is a good investment at a given time or you need to grow more and develop a better stream of revenue to derive a better rate of interest on making the switch.
High speed wifi connectivity
Today everyone requires a high speed wifi connection. It is one of the few important things that everyone looks for when searching a coworking space. Every business wants to be properly connected around the globe through the internet because much of their work is done digitally.
Ease of commute
In case your current office is far from your residence, you must choose one that is nearer to be amazed by how much commuting time you will end up saving up. Less time wasted in doing non-constructive tasks offers more productive time. You should hence, eliminate all other options that are distant.
Most of the entrepreneurs look out for other tenants in the coworking space. They want to make sure whether existing tenants have a similar business, working hours and working style or not. Obviously, a sales team with their constant phone calling would not like to disturb a content writing team and share an open coworking space with them. Also, you should ask yourself whether the existing tenants can help you in your business and career development or not.
Proper seating infrastructure
Selecting aproperinfrastructure while choosing a coworking space is also important. Some entrepreneurs would require a private cabin for its sales team from where they can function properly. Some would require open spaces where they are able to interact with other people. Therefore the choice of seating infrastructure matters.
Most of the entrepreneurs would like to choose a coworking space were regular events and seminars are organized which gives them a chance to increase their networking opportunities by interacting with investors and other startups.
Every coworking space has its own culture. This culture has been formed by previous coworkers over the years. It is obvious that some entrepreneurs may like a quiet culture while others may like a dynamic culture. You should choose a space according to your culture preference.
Most of the entrepreneurs prefer those coworking spaces that have a supportive and a favorable environment. Such type of an environment helps them to succeed and stay positive.
Almost every company requires a room where it is able to discuss its important matters. Meeting rooms fulfill that requirement. Entrepreneurs can look for such rooms when searching for a coworking space.
Cafeteria and others services
Proper cafeteria is an important requirement for every company where its employees can eat and relax. Also, many coworking spaces provide unlimited tea/coffee to its coworkers which is an added advantage.
Food is one of the basic requirements for any individual. You will be surprised to know how many people rent a cowork space depending upon the availability of food at office premises and proximity to other food-joints around the work station. If you are one of them then, remember this point while searching for a cowork space.
Duration of contract
Coworking spaces rent its services on a daily, monthly and a yearly basis. It totally depends on the entrepreneur which plan he/she wants to choose. Thus, duration of contract matters.
It is one of the most important reasons why startups prefer coworking spaces. If you are self-employed or if you have a small team of 4-5 members, there is no point in renting a private office and pay huge rents. The best option is to rent a coworking office which has a reasonable rent. The cheapest coworking space is provided by Hustle cowork at Rs. 5000/month a seat.
24 hour access
Generally most of the cowork spaces provide 24 hour access to its employees. It means wifi, air conditioning and other services are provided 24/7 to the employees. While some coworks only provide a 12 hour access. You should choose a space according to your convenience. This way you can set your own working hours.
A place with fewer distractions is well suited for work. Every coworking office has its own noise rules. Some might have decent noise rules while others might have pin drop silence noise rules. You should choose a place according to your convenience.
Proper lighting in the office
Who doesn’t like a well light office. There should be proper lighting in the cowork office. Every room in the office should have enough light so that people are able to see and work effectively. Improper lighting can cause headaches and eyestrain to the employees.
Mind the scent
Like color, scents also have an impact on a person’s mood and mindset. The bad scent in the office can make an employee unwilling to work. So, choose a cowork space that has good scents which help to make the environment fresh and odourless.
Who doesn’t want to work in a safe environment? Everyone will prefer a workspace where both (the person itself and his/her belongings) are completely safe. So, choose a coworking space that has CCTV cameras to make sure that everything’s been recorded.
Imagine you are working on your laptop and suddenly the power is out. Your laptop is not charged and sadly, you don’t have access to a power back. It’s frustrating, isn’t? To avoid such a situation, make sure that the coworking space that you are about to choice has a proper power backup.
Close to nature
The cowork space that you choose should have access to flora (greenery). According to a recent study by Washington State University, when plants are added to a workplace people tend to get more productive. Also, plants provide fresh air.
Access to breakout spaces
Today, many people demand access to break out spaces. These spaces help employees to de-stress and share their thoughts/ideas with other employees. Break out spaces are not just limited to a cafeteria or a meeting room. Today, offices have lounges and gaming rooms where employees can relax and be more creative. If breakout spaces are one of your priority then, make sure to check it while choosing a cowork space.
Washroom is an area in your office that each employee of your organisation is bound to use everyday. No employee would be happy to use a washroom which is a mixture of odour, dirty floors and disorganized toilet equipment. So, make sure the space that you choose has clean toilets.
Recently, if you have seen a drop in your productivity, this may be the right time for you to switch to a coworking space. It can be a game-changer for your business.
If you are looking for a coworking space in East Delhi, consider visiting us atour hub. We will be more than happy to help you.
What to look while searching for a coworking office?
Name of the coworking space-
Important elements to look for:
Do they offer a trail facility?
Do they offer what is promised?
Do they offer an average internet speed (2 mbps) or more?
Do they have proper internet connectivity?
Ease of commute:
Is this closest to my home?
Does this space has access to public transport?
Do they have a similar business?
Will my business benefit by working with them?
Are the tables and chairs comfortable to work?
Do they offer open spaces and private cabins?
Do they organize any events/seminars?
Are the existing tenants interactive?
Do they have a positive culture?
Are the existing tenants supportive of each other?
Does it offer a distraction free environment?
Food & Beverages:
Do they have a cafeteria?
Does the space has access to local food joints?
Does the space provide any food & beverages?
Do they demand for a security deposit?
Is the membership fees within my budget?
Is the cost for other facilities included in the membership fees?
Do they offer breakout spaces?
Do they have clean toilets?
Is there proper lighting in the office?
Do they have a power backup?
Do they have a meeting room?
Does the space have good fragrance?
Do they have CCTV cameras?
Do they provide dedicated lockers?
Do they provide 24-hour access?
Can I move around in the open space without any restriction?