Coworking spaces have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for a good reason. It’s doubtlessly a great choice for startups and budding entrepreneurs, as well as large companies to economize, network and fuel employees’ creativity. But are coworking spaces designed pro- productivity?
There have been numerous studies that found open office layouts to have a negative impact on employee performance, with the constant background noise and other distractions causing high-level stress and emotional exhaustion. On the other hand, more recent global research found that 74% of workers feel more productive since working in a coworking space.
“You are the product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective”
/William Clement Stone, originator of the Positive Mental Attitude/
So how to pick the right coworking space that benefits your creativity, output, and professional goals?
Here’s our ultimate guide of 11 things you should consider when choosing shared office space complete with our top picks of best coworking spaces in the US:
1. Office amenities
Most coworking spaces are fitted out with standard office equipment, but be sure to ask about anything extra that would come in handy like chargers, whiteboards, projectors. See if the printing services and meeting rooms are included in the cost, as well as enquire if there is a kitchen, shower, access to private spaces, phone booths and other facilities you might need.
Source: Workshop Cafe
For example, Workshop Cafe , located in downtown San Fran, is a vibrant coworking space gathering both art and tech lovers. The space is well kitted with everything necessary for high-performance working like video monitors, Apple TV, and up to 10 person meeting rooms. What’s perhaps even better is their app that allows to easily book a space and order delicious food right to your desk.
There are many coworking spaces to choose from, so you can surely find one in your proximity that fits your aesthetic. Focus on finding a spot that encourages productive work, sparks creativity, and has the potential for meaningful networking.
The classy Industrious in downtown Austin has the right mix of collaboration, meeting and focus areas to encourage deep work. The coworking space is designed to promote productivity and features sleek interior, floor-to-ceiling windows, and word-class amenities like craft coffee, artisan food, and fresh fruit every day.
3. Office environment
Some spaces are too hot or cold for comfortable work, other ones feature excessive chatter from community members.
When deciding upon a coworking space, go visit the location and have your Luxafor Meteo with you. The little gadget will seriously come in handy to assess whether the place is properly lit, well heated or cooled, has healthy humidity and CO2 levels. Plus it will help you tons when finding the best spot for your desk where you can have privacy from noise, as well as the best lighting and air quality to focus on your tasks.
Source: Green Spaces
Our favorite is Green Spaces – a sustainable coworking community in the heart of Denver’s Arts District. The beautiful place is adorned with plants and features sun-illuminated open spaces and cozy dim-lit nooks to hide away for deep work and privacy. The community is pet-friendly and encourages a sustainable and ecological environment, together doing their part in saving the environment.
According to a vast survey, 80 % of employees say they are more productive when they change locations while working. Flexible work in terms of location and working hours has become a priority for professionals across industries.
If you feel that a change of scenery boosts your productivity, then see if your coworking membership plan comprises a one dedicated desk or the ability to move around.
Or if your routine consists of meetings, commuting and working on the go, then consider Spacious subscription plan, which is a good investment, if you’re working remotely and on a budget. For just $99 a month you get access to 14 spots throughout New York that you can drop in for productive work and great coffee anytime from 8 to 5. Use their app to find a space nearby, see how busy it is and get inspired in a new hip location every day.
Coworking environment is a great opportunity for useful networking and fruitful collaboration. Who knows maybe you’re sitting right next to the best-in-town web developer who can easily fix you up with a fresh webpage?
Source: 25N Coworking
25N Coworking boasts modern and innovative interiors that are expertly designed to spark collaboration and productivity among their frequenters. Bottomless coffee, multiple meeting rooms, and giant conference tables surely encourage a chance encounter with top industry professionals.
However, if you find yourself too worked up by the hustle and bustle, make use of their movable walls or these Luxafor active noise-canceling headphones that will quickly zone you out of the surrounding chatter.
Or if you’re ready to send out some signals, attach to your computer this simple and ingenious Luxafor Flag to show when you’re busy and when you’re available for a chat. It’s been said it also works as a wonderful conversation starter between the tech geeks.
6. High-speed internet
Home is where good Wi-Fi is. No matter if you’re using internet only for emails and Facebook or you’re uploading heavy files to the cloud, you’ll certainly do yourself a big favor if you move your work to somewhere with a strong and reliable internet connection. The good thing is that most coworking spaces ensure the wifi is up to speed, but it’s a good foresight to enquire about it and test it yourself.
Source: The Mill Space
The Mill in Wilmington, Delaware provides top-notch amenities for businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers and remote workers of any industry. Besides, their internet runs up to 400mbps (yes, that’s damn fast) and lets you zip through your downloads and uploads in an instant. The place is equipped with everything to run your business from there, plus free coffee and free beer. Yes, free beer.
7. Good coffee, good food, and other perks
Apart from a workspace that helps you to focus, it’s equally important to find a coworking space that appeases everything else you need to maximize your productivity. Most spaces provide a bunch of extras like gym areas, yoga, children’s room, outdoor patios and more. Complimentary coffee and tea are very common, so it’s a good idea to test it out beforehand if you’re going to drink it every day.
If you’re longing to be a part of thriving community in downtown Atlanta, and good coffee and good food equals good mood, then Switchyards Neighborhood Club is the coworking space for you. A coffee bar with bottomless East Pole artisan coffee & tea is a perfect go-to station to get your productivity levels up. Plus, waffles for breakfast and noodle bowls for dinner sounds like an awesome reward for getting stuff done.
Whether you have company-established working hours or you work by your own schedule, your coworking space should be accessible in your busiest time of the day. Some people are more productive in the mornings, some like to get their grind on when it’s dark. Find out the opening hours of the place so you can plan your time effectively, and remain flexible.
Source: Jolt Office Hub
If you’re a night owl, you’re going to appreciate Jolt , a coworking community in Maumelle, AR, which is open 24/7 for your convenience. Drop in any time, fix yourself up a cup of coffee and get productive with that jolt of inspiration even if it’s late in the night.
Unless carrying your laptop around isn’t a problem, you’re going to want to have a space you feel secure leaving your work for the lunch hour or even overnight. Be sure to check what are the security measures, especially if the place is open all day and all night.
Source: Coworking Space Baltimore
Spark , situated in the heart of downtown Baltimore, offers drop-in non-dedicated desk access from 8 to 6 and a 24/7 access to a dedicated workspace. You can also rent a private office secured under lock and key for 1-7 team members. The location provides concierge services as well.
10. The location and the area
This must be pretty obvious, as you’re most probably going to choose a coworking space in your vicinity. Nevertheless, it’s important to assess where the location is situated in terms of transport and the neighboring area. Check if there are any bus or metro lines nearby, estimate the time it would take you to get there on foot, on bike or with Uber. Ask if there is any parking around and what are the fees. It’s also wise to consider what your potential clients dropping by for a meeting will think of the area.
Source: Gravitate Coworking
Located in the very center of Des Moines, Iowa, Gravitate Downtown is situated in the urban metro area, making it super easy to access no matter where you’re based. In April 2017, Gravitate Coworking opened their second location Gravitate Valley Junction and in June 2017 the original spot in downtown was moved a few blocks to its current location. Now, Gravitate Downtown is looking sleek and chic in the industrial style building, making members of their community proud to call it their workplace.
11. Extra costs
Many coworking spaces offer a surplus of benefits, but be sure to check which ones are included in the subscription fit for your budget. Don’t be shy to ask up front if there are any extra costs for meeting rooms, printing, renting a locker and more. Does your space of choice offer a trial period? If so, test it out to see if the monthly membership is really value for money.
If you’d rather pay more to ensure you get the best of something, Neuehouse in Hollywood and Madison Square is a high-class coworking space with monthly fees ranging from $150 for communal workspaces to $4,500 for private studios. And it’s not like you pay for the sexy design alone, members can enjoy a variety of luxurious perks from gourmet food and cocktail happy hours to in-house production services, Linus bike rental, and cultural programming events. There’s also high-end conference rooms, private event spaces, and an in-house art exhibition program.
To round this up, money for value evaluation is fundamental in choosing a place to work remotely. You have to ask yourself how much you are willing to pay each month, and what kind of perks and amenities you actually need to get the best return on your investment. Certainly, you want to pick the right coworking spot near you that benefits your productivity and inspires you to get the most out of your working hours. But the final choice pretty much depends on prioritizing your needs and your wants so that your money is well spent.