How to choose the best co-working space
With the popularity of co-working spaces on the rise, how do you choose the best one for your small or midsize business? Natasha Burton offers five useful tips. Covid resulted in an increased awareness among the business community of the value of co-working spaces, as hybrid working models were widely embraced. From the ease of […]
With the popularity of co-working spaces on the rise, how do you choose the best one for your small or midsize business? Natasha Burton offers five useful tips.
Covid resulted in an increased awareness among the business community of the value of co-working spaces, as hybrid working models were widely embraced. From the ease of flexibility to the potential for connection and networking, and of course, the potential for lower overheads and commitments compared to long-term leases, there are many benefits to coworking.
But not all coworking spaces are created equal.
As one of the first coworking community managers in Aotearoa, Natasha Burton from The Icehouse Coworking Space has seen hundreds of businesses come and go through the doors and has come to know the ins and outs of coworking.
During this time, Natasha (pictured below) has seen a common theme in the perceived benefits from businesses looking to ditch the traditional office setup for coworking.
“Businesses can have facilities maintained for them, choose the plan that best suits their needs, and take part in community events and activities – all for a similar or more affordable price compared to a traditional office set-up,” she says.
“Coworking spaces are making the benefits of big business more accessible to small and midsize businesses.”
With an abundance of coworking space options available, from Wellington’s wellbeing and sustainability-focused two-fifty-seven, to Christchurch’s elegant Qb Studios, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.
Natasha shares her top factors to consider when choosing the right coworking space for your business.
Flexibility is synonymous with coworking. It’s what drove the growing trend of coworking spaces following the Covid lockdowns. Make sure to assess the coworking space’s membership plans and lease terms. Do they offer month-to-month plans, part-time options, or dedicated desks? It’s important to make sure your plan can grow and change with your business.
When comparing prices between coworking spaces, make sure you’re striking the right balance between affordability and benefits. Do meeting rooms cost extra? Is it accessible via public transport? Remember that the perfect space may be worth the investment if it improves growth potential and productivity.
One of my favourite advantages of working in a coworking space is the potential for networking opportunities. I have seen a number of incredible relationships built, problems solved, and collaborations fostered in our space at The Icehouse.
If networking is important to you, research the types of businesses currently in the space. Some spaces attract creative and innovative startups, others are majority B2B businesses, and some are where sole traders find community. Like our space, there may even be access to free professional advice. If you can see yourself finding new business, being inspired, and creating partnerships in a coworking space – that’s where you want to be.
4. Facilities and amenities
Would your business fall apart without high-speed internet? Perhaps you need printing services, or would your staff simply not function without an espresso coffee machine?
Different coworking spaces offer different facilities and amenities. Some spaces even offer facilities like prayer rooms, spaces for parents, social areas, and fitness centres. Understanding which of these are important to you and your staff will help you choose which coworking space is right for you.
5. Atmosphere and culture
Every coworking space has a distinct vibe and culture. Some spaces offer a corporate, sleek feel, whereas others are more creative and relaxed. Some are friendly and vibrant, and others are quiet and peaceful.
When you visit a coworking space, make sure to take in the atmosphere, and assess whether it fits with your business’s style.
The Icehouse Coworking Space is located on St Georges Bay Road in Parnell, on the top floor of the historic Textile Centre. It opened in 2014 and is one of the longest-running co-working spaces in Aotearoa. The Icehouse Coworking Space is part of The Icehouse, a nationwide trainer and advocate for the midsize business community.