A once untapped market, the growth of coworking spaces has grown exponentially in Australia in recent years with 26 per cent more locations available for businesses.
However, with this industry thriving, it can be increasingly confusing for business owners to distinguish which space is right for them.
From inner city locations to offices in the heart of major Australian CBDs, dog-friendly offices to yoga studios, the offerings are varied and it is certainly an exciting time as many operators roll out new and unique facilities.
Like any business decision, it is important, however, to consider every facet of an office before locking yourself into a contract in a specific space. There is a number of factors to think about and it is important to be thoughtful in your resolution.
Determine your needs
While seemingly obvious, it is important to scope out your business requirements when researching coworking spaces. Are you a small to medium business with the potential to scale up soon? Well, you’ll need space to expand your team.
Are you a maker in need of specialised zone or are you a graphic designer that needs constant access to a printer? Do you have meetings frequently that require a fully equipped private meeting room? These are all things to take into consideration.
Other things to consider include fast internet speed, particularly if you’re a business that must constantly be connected, security, 24/7 access, and even the distance from the office to public transport.
The facilities can be a make or break for most so it’s imperative you have this covered before signing on the dotted line.
Who will your neighbours be?
As with any workplace, surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is also important for both business and culture.
While professionalism is of course, paramount, sharing a space with people whose company you enjoy on a personal level is also key. When considering a coworking space, look at their social offerings and common areas, particularly if this is important to you personally.
In a 2018 survey, 93 per cent of coworking members at The Commons said they look forward to coming to work because of the office environment, while 64 per cent reported their overall well being has improved as a result of working in a shared office space.
Further to this, working in an office with like-minded individuals and businesses opens up the possibilities for strong networking opportunities.
Do some research on prospective members – are they the right type of businesses you want to be surrounded by? How can you provide mutually beneficial opportunities for one another? Does the coworking space offer networking events beyond just social functions?
Collaboration is key for so many businesses and if there is the opportunity to foster some fantastic working relationships, it’s a sign you could be onto a good thing.
We often hear of companies such as Google providing employees with everything from a giant slide to sleeping pods, and there is an increasing demand in Australia for offices to provide office perks for employees in order to enhance time at work.
If this is important to you, consider asking for a tour of the coworking space to find out what you have access to.
Whether it be a library, wellness program or photography studio, unique office features can be the true difference between a good or bad coworking space so do your research, ask the right questions, and never settle for mediocre.