This is a brief guide on how to choose the right co-working space. If you are a freelancer travelling through different countries your requirements for temporary office space will be very specific.
Of course the main criterion for choosing a co-working space is price. You can search on different platforms like Coworker or Huddle for a hot desk or a private office based on price. Once you have found a price bracket that is within your budget, you then have to check what that price will cover. Most co-working spaces will provide free refreshments like tea, water and coffee and small snacks.
Do you use a bike for commuting? Some places will include storage (for example, for a rucksack) in the price while others will charge a small extra.
Hotdesking Vs Private Office
This factor requires careful consideration: are you happy to share a desk in an open office or would you find it too distracting? Are you willing to pay extra to have more privacy and a quieter environment?
The layout of most co-working spaces will include an area for hot-desking, which would normally be quite near the main reception. Then there will be private offices in the quietest parts of the building, plus some break-out areas with sofas, some private booths for phone calls and Skype calls and one or more kitchens.
Hot-desking is usually cheaper and more flexible than a private office, but the obvious downside is that you are more exposed to distractions like members checking in at reception and people walking past your desk.
How flexible is the rental contract? Can you choose between a day membership and a monthly membership?
Some co-working spaces will also charge by the hour so if you only require the use of office space for a meeting or to work on emails and any important documents this will be a great option for you.
The right level of flexibility depends on how long you are staying in one place. For example, if you are planning to work in the same country for at least a month, then a monthly membership would be more cost/effective even though it is not the most flexible.
Does the co-working space you are about to choose offer workshops and networking opportunities? Don’t underestimate the added value of events. This is particularly true for digital nomads and solo entrepreneur, as making useful connections can make a difference to the growth of their business.
From workshops to social gatherings, any occasions where you can talk to like-minded entrepreneurs can help boost your business. You can find out about businesses you want to partner with, you can meet virtual assistants who may take your business to the next level while you focus on strategy, or learn about important trends in your industry. Working in isolation has it risks, particularly when it comes to keeping abreast with recent developments in your area of expertise. You are probably spending most of your time delivering projects and updating your knowledge can take a back seat.
Location is an important factor when choosing where to work as you don’t want to waste too much time commuting. If you need the co-working space for both solo working and for meeting clients, the office must be easy to get to by public transport and quite central.
The bigger co-working space providers will offer a choice of locations so by becoming a member you can pick and choose a temporary office that suits your needs.
Check the fine print of what is included in the membership. Sometimes you might be surprised at the amount of services that are covered and that you never thought you could access.
Large co-working companies like WeWork (not sponsored) offer a generous amount of privileges to their members including being able to use their offices around the world and access their app, which alerts you of any freelancing projects that are available from fellow WeWork members.
Last but not least is a place’s atmosphere. Some places may make your heart sing while others will make your heart sink. To give you an example, Work.Life in London’s philosophy is “Thank God It’s Monday” to capture the feeling of looking forward to going to work. Digital nomads often choose their flexible career because they wanted to leave the corporate world behind, especially the Monday blues.
Most co-working companies will offer you a free tour of their premises so visit at least three so you have enough information to be able to compare what is on offer. Look at the attention to detail, the design, the cleanliness, the availability of natural light. Occupancy rate is also a good indication of how popular a place is.
Some companies may either have a partnership with hotels or have their own accommodation organised as part of their membership package, so that is another useful factor to consider when you are travelling.
How to choose your perfect co-working space? During the course of your career as a digital nomad or solo entrepreneur you will likely choose different types of temporary offices to suit your needs.
After you have looked at prices, the main criteria you may want to look at are definitely what services are included in the price, location and atmosphere. You chose to be a digital nomad for a reason and atmosphere can be a very influential factor in your decision to pick a hot desk or private office. What many don’t realise is that, with membership of a co-working space, you also get a ready-made community and that is priceless.
WeWork referral link: https://refer.wework.com/i/6d333
Work.Life website https://work.life