The workplace and way people work has changed considerably in the past ten years and this is reflected in the demand for flexible work solutions such as coworking offices.
The coworking industry in Australia has grown dramatically in the past decade and as a pioneer in this industry I have been at the forefront of this growth has been.
Originally used by freelancers needing a desk, now coworking spaces are home to small and medium sized business which benefit from facilities usually the domain of large corporates and the added bonus of being in a vibrant and diverse business community.
What should you look for in a coworking space?
For individuals and small businesses looking to move into a coworking space, I have put together my five top things to look for, to ensure you find a space that really helps your business flourish.
You can feel an office culture as you walk in the door most times, and it’s important the culture of a coworking space fits you and your business. You want to feel inspired and excited to come into work each day, and be somewhere that aligns with your business culture. Make sure to take a tour of any coworking space before you move in and speak to existing members to get a first-hand account of what it’s like to work there.
Find a space with a diverse member group as this increases the chances of collaboration, business opportunities and career development. At Hub, our members come from a variety of industries such as tech, law, design and not-for-profits, and we’ve found they often work together to create new business ventures or make valuable business connections. The brilliant thing about being in a coworking space is these chances pop up all the time – from a chat with the person sitting next to you, someone you meet in the kitchen or at member event, like Hub’s weekly ‘Friday Wine Down’.
3. Inspiring and functional space
At Hub we have years of learning about how to create a home for businesses to grow. Our latest coworking space provides state-of-the-art facilities that would usually be the domain of large corporates, to fledgling businesses. It’s important a space not only looks beautiful and inspires creativity but also is functional and can support your business. Facilities such as bookable meeting rooms, a boardroom, event space and informal areas such as a lounge or café provide flexible meeting environments and amenities such as end-of-trip facilities, meditation rooms and a kitchen are a must for staff.
The type of workspace you want is also something to consider, some people need a flexible desk while others need a dedicated desk or a private office from one up to 20 people. Ensuring the coworking space provides the work style and area you need is integral to choosing a coworking home.
4. Supportive network
The coworking community is a naturally supportive one and at Hub we are so proud to see our members grow both personally and professionally. When choosing a home for your business, look at the wider coworking community and how the space you’re considering fits within that. Look for a space connected to other coworking and flexible workspaces such as the League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces (LExC), an international network of innovative coworking spaces.
Also consider what business development aids are offered. Some spaces have a roster of guest speakers on a variety of topics such as social media or marketing which can help improve your knowledge and skills, which in turn will grow your business.
While a space can have everything you need in terms of features, function and culture, it may not be in the right location for your business. Take into account not only your personal commute when choosing a space but also the needs of your business. If you meet a lot of clients, is it in an accessible area for them? Ensure the space is located near good public transport and local amenity such as cafes, banking, post, car parking etc.
Brad Krauskopf is the founder of Hub Australia