Co-working can be a good intermediate step between working from home and the jump to running your own office. Or it may be that you are running your own small business or working remotely for a large company in another location and finding that working on your own at home can be a lonely place to be and where distractions can keep you from working at full capacity. If you want to try out the idea of co-working in a shared office with others it is a good idea to have a think about exactly what it is you are looking for. The following are a few considerations to take into account before signing up to a contract or parting with any of your hard earned cash.
- Type of set up
Different venues will suit different types of people and different types of business. What sort of businesses are other people running? Are they all full time or do they only work one day a week in the space. Having other people around working on the same type of thing could be helpful. Do you want to be able to meet clients? Does this need to be in a meeting room or will an informal coffee shop area work for you?
Check out the different facilities on offer. Generally it is assumed that you will get use of a desk and free Wifi but what else is included? Are you able to meet customers or have a private phonecall? Is there a cafe or place to eat? Do you get use of a printer / photocopier? Can you keep your belongings anywhere or do you have to clear your desk each day? At the end of the day what you want are the benefits of an office environment without all the hassle and extra costs.
- Meeting space
Does the co-working space have a coffee area to meet clients informally? Is there a meeting room which you can book for a more forrmal meeting or training? What are the extra costs for this and how easy is it to book?
Where the co-working space is obviously makes a difference to how easy it will be to access. Is it near where you live or is it better to be a bit further away and so nearer your clients? Having a city location could be an advantage if you are meeting a lot of clients or if you live nearby. Can you get there on public transport? Is there parking nearby?
Before you sign up to anything make sure you check out the costs. Are there reduced rates for more frequent users? How much notice do you have to give if your circumstances change and you no longer want to work there? Are there any extras? Do you have to pay for photocopying / printing / coffee / meeting rooms etc?
- Noise levels
You will also need to think about how much noise you can cope with. If you are the kind of person who needs silence to work then a co-working space is probably not for you. If you can work with some background noise and peoples inevitable phonecalls then then you are probably going to be ok. You also have to consider how noisy you are too – if you are going to be on the phone all day than you could be the one being annoying and maybe your own office would suit you better. Some places are noisier than others, the best thing is to visit before to test it out.
- Trial days
Do ask if there is the possibility of a trial day to test out whether you like the feel of the place and the people. You will get a much better idea of how the place works and how noisy it is by actually being there.
At Business Revolution in Norwich, we have a variety of full time and part-time co-workers, from a wide range of businesses. We have a meeting room and a informal coffee lounge. We aim to keep our rates as low as possible to make co-working at Business Revolution affordable for all. Why not contact us and arrange a free trail day.