So you just started your own business, or are expanding or downsizing in the next year. You are considering moving office and are currently looking through the many options that are available in the market. Should you rent a shophouse? Consider an A-grade office building? Check out a coworking space?
If you choose to set up a new office from scratch, there are many steps that need to be taken into consideration such as budgeting for build expenses, sourcing a contractor, designing, purchasing furniture, setting up the internet, facilities management, procurement of pantry items, and the myriad of little tasks at hand which distract from the day to day of growing your actual business and running your team.
On the other hand, when you consider a coworking space in your options, these are some of the key items to check when you visit the space :
Look out for a well-connected location for yourself and your colleagues, as well as accessibility to the office space for your clients and other visitors who you might need to host. A well-connected space should have ample parking, easily accessible from different parts of town and public transport to keep affordable transport options open for your new and existing hires.
How is the internet connection? What are the opening hours for the office space? A good coworking space should allow you and team to be the most productive you can be, this may mean extra hours for aircon, access to the office space 24/7, high-speed internet and a reliable IT support team that can fix any issues instantaneously as they arise.
Flexibility in the duration and number of people is also a key consideration, can you add or minus team members easily? Can you lengthen or shorten your contract with some flexibility? These are what sets apart coworking from traditional office leases and is also its core differentiator.
Does the office space have enough different nooks and crannies for productivity and creativity to be sparked? Does it have ample meeting rooms, different choices of seating, private phone booths, games room and other amenities that make this a space that you can work in well?
Look out for these additional amenities as additional perks that you and your team can utilise free of charge! It is the easiest way to get the most value out of what you are paying for.
Starting a business also means figuring out on one hand, how to get connected to the right market and customers, on the other hand, how to get connected to the support network and required skillset to support your business – such as marketing agencies, web designers etc.
This is where the power of coworking is really seen. The opportunity to connect to different businesses in the space and the external partners aggregated by the coworking space creates a powerful network. You can tap on at a moments notice, whatever the requirements. This is the true value of a coworking space which having your own purpose build office can never recreate.
Go into the space yourself to walk around and experience first-hand what the physical location is like. You can ask for a free day pass or a few hours of time to work within the space so you can experience it. After all, nothing beats your own trial to see whether a space suits your needs. Talk to members to get feedback on how they, as customers have experienced the space. Talk to the community and operations staff to understand more about how they can assist your requirements.
Hopefully, with these tips, you would be better prepared when it comes to finding your next great office space!
Christina heads up Business Development for WORQ Coworking Space. When she is not working, she loves Tango dancing, food and travelling.
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