To many, working from home sounds like a heavenly dream. But if you’ve been a remote worker for several months or years now, you may realize that your home isn’t the productive work environment you imagined.
So, the alternative you can explore is a coworking space—also known as a shared office. Let’s look at the important factors you should consider when looking to rent a coworking space.
1. Types of Coworking Spaces Offered
In general, a shared office offers three types of coworking spaces: hot desks, dedicated desks, and private offices. Hot desks are often first-come-first-served. However, this suits those who travel light—for example, all you need is a laptop to start working. If you enjoy the stimulation that comes with changing your desk view often, it’s also a good option.
Dedicated (or fixed) desks ensure that you have a spot secured at all times. They tend to come with some drawers for storage as well. The third type, private offices, are most expensive, but they give you privacy and ample storage if you’re working with lots of physical files and folders.
2. Shared Office Location
Do you prefer to work in the city center, where most companies are located, because you’d like to expand your network? Or is a coworking branch near your home sufficient, because you simply need a quiet place to concentrate on your work?
Consider the parking availability as well as food and restaurant choices in the area. These might seem small and insignificant, but they will impact your personal expenses and everyday work routine.
An easy way to have a bird’s eye view of both the coworking space and its surrounding area is to hop onto Google Maps. Key in the term “coworking space” and type in a specific city or town you’d like to work in. You’ll then see all the notable landmarks, eateries, and more.
3. Office Atmosphere and Environment
Due to the growing popularity of remote working, more and more coworking spaces are established. A quick browse through Pinterest will show you images of offices with beautiful work atmospheres.
Sadly, some only meet minimum expectations by having desks and chairs. The bare emptiness of such places gives the vibe of an interrogation room. Yet, they’re charging the same market rate.
When you have compiled a list of promising coworking spaces, it’s best to request a physical tour of the office. Many coworking spaces offer this service for free—you’re their prospective client, after all!
If you suspect there’s a discrepancy between the office website’s gallery pictures and product description, you can still give the benefit of the doubt but save on a trip: reach out to them, politely state your concerns regarding the information, and ask for the latest photos.
4. Rental Rate vs. Your Budget
Compared to renting from an office building, coworking spaces are significantly cheaper. If you’ve gained a stable income and landed good clients through freelance writing jobs sites, getting a nice private office would be a great milestone in your freelance career. However, it’s essential to have a budget and stick to it.
While you may feel that an office isn’t a significant drain from your monthly income, calculate what that cost would look like in a year. Do you feel that the luxury is worth it? Or is a cozy fixed desk more realistic and budget-friendly?
On the other hand, some of you may feel it’s an uncomfortable leap to pay for a working space, especially since you didn’t need to pay anything when you worked at your own house. To balance between costs and your budget, check out these apps to manage your finances.
5. Rent by the Hour, Day, or Month
There are several different coworking passes in general. You can choose to rent by the hour or on a specific day. This is helpful if you want to meet with clients in a professional environment with facilities.
Depending on the rental package, you may also register for a monthly, quarterly, or yearly membership. If you foresee yourself using a coworking space frequently, it’s best to become a member, as it will save you money in the long term.
6. Coworking Space Accessible Hours
If you’re a freelancer, you’ve probably heard one of these common freelancing myths: you get to wake up late and work in your pajamas. It’s entirely different in reality, as you’d have to adhere to deadlines, meet clients, and so on.
With a long list of responsibilities, working remotely on your own certainly doesn’t mean that you get to laze around and clock off on the dot. You can use productivity apps on your PC to help keep you on track, but you may still occasionally work weekends.
Therefore, it’s important that you have 24/7 access to your chosen coworking space if you need to. Take note that some shared offices only let you have after-hours access if you’re a registered member.
7. Amenities, Perks, and Other Services
A coworking space should have common amenities including beverages like coffee and tea, high-speed internet, printing, and meeting rooms. Other benefits in your rental package may include free parcel and letter collection.
Some offices charge extra for these services, so be sure to clarify these details with the staff there. Use helpful note-taking apps to list down all the questions you have.
Besides individual perks, some shared offices targeting entrepreneurs and freelancers may even organize workshops and events to encourage networking among their clients. These are all incredible opportunities to further develop your career and gain new knowledge in the process.
Choosing the Right Coworking Space for Yourself
If you’ve been working at your kitchen counter, dining table, or on your living room couch, you may feel that your home isn’t a conducive workplace. You may even feel that your career has ended up isolating you.
By considering these factors carefully, write down a list of criteria you expect your ideal coworking space to fulfill. This way, you can choose a coworking space that best suits your needs.
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