Coworking is so hot right now. Errryone is doing it. Gone are the days where you have to work off your kitchen bench or your couch. Hot desking in a cool and vibrant space is much more fun.
The rise of the 'gig-economy' means people can now work from anywhere using their smart phone or lap-top using high-speed wifi and cloud-based technologies and apps.
But not every co-working space is made equal. Our Director of Stakeholder Relations, Janelle Ryan, has been instrumental in setting up Runway's new Ballarat coworking office, and below she shares her thoughts on what to look for when looking for a coworking space. 1. Culture and vibe
How do you feel when you walk into the space? Does it fit you? Do you fit it? A coworking space is often not only a place of work, but also a place of social activity and can help foster opportunities. Ask yourself, would this place motivate and inspire me? Do I feel safe here? Would I be proud to bring my clients in? As a member of a coworking space you are buying into a community of people and it’s important you feel a sense and ownership over the success of the space and that you can contribute to and benefit from collaborative opportunities.
2. Comfortable and accessible work space
A good coworking space should offer you practical space to work, but also comfort for your mind and body, as this feeds your productivity and ability to work in the space all day. Couches, communal tables, standing desks, little meeting nooks, private meeting rooms and comfy chairs are all important offerings for a successful work day, while greenery, good music, light and fresh air help keep your mind clear while you work.
3. 24/7 safe access
It’s often so, that entrepreneurs, freelancers and consultants don’t work a 9am – 5pm day, which means individual access to a work space to work your way, when you want to, is important. You should also feel safe to be in the space during the hours you choose to work.
4. Caffeine comforts
An ‘equipped’ kitchen and by this we mean a good coffee machine 😉. Also plenty of fridge space for you to store your lunch or dinner and a communal table to eat around, because when people eat together, they chat and chatting leads to sharing ideas!
5. Great people who you enjoy being around
It’s called coworking for a reason. Coworking is about getting to know the people around you and finding ways to collaborate to support each other and build collective success, feeling like you’re connecting with the people in the space you choose is important!
So there you have it. Five tips to kick-start your coworking search. More than anything you need to feel comfortable and happy in the space. This may take some trial and error but you will get there.
Runway Geelong is running a free coworking event on 15 and 16 November. Ballarat dates will be announced soon also.