More and more workers are switching to freelancing, choosing to telecommute, and are opting to work remotely . In fact, more than 30% of the total U.S. workforce is comprised of freelance workers.
It used to be that working remotely meant working from home. Today, work can be done wherever it’s most convenient, and this has given rise to the birth — and phenomenal growth — of coworking spaces designed expressly to meet the needs of today’s work market.
Coworking, the style of working which involves sharing a work environment with other people — people who may or may not be belong to the same company — is a continuously growing trend. It is estimated that about 1.2 million employees worldwide will work in coworking spaces in 2017. And as 30% of the total U.S. workforce is now involved in freelance employment, with the numbers showing no signs of letting up, the demand for coworking spaces is likely to increase even more in coming years.
Coworking spaces offer a number of benefits that make them attractive to telecommuting workers. Many businesses themselves also encourage their employees to work in coworking spaces, as it could help save up to 75% on costs.
What Makes For a Good Coworking Space?
If you are a freelancer or a telecommuting professional or consultant, or a business-owner that wants to benefit from the savings, how will you choose an ideal coworking space?
Read through this post to find out what makes for a good coworking space; these tips will help you.
1. Accessible Location
Coworking spaces should be easily accessible. Whenever you feel like — or need to — work outside of your home office, you’ll thank yourself to find a workplace that’s easy to find and travel to. Ideally, your coworking space should be near a train station and bus stops, and should also be located within a downtown district that is both hip and accessible to affordable amenities.
2. Fast Connectivity
Freelance and remote workers heavily rely on the internet. Naturally, they need fast and reliable internet connectivity to be able to work and collaborate with their employers and teams. Apart from fast and reliable internet connectivity, coworking spaces should also have a solid backup plan in case the main systems incur down-time
3. High-Tech Equipment
Some workers use coworking spaces to gain access to equipment and systems they don’t have at home. Thus, coworking spaces can offer high-tech equipment that provide for better productivity and convenience. Up-to-date tools, appliances, and devices such as wireless printers, scanners, cloud servers, and the like are a must-have.
4. Competitive Rates and Packages
Coworking spaces are growing in popularity. As a telecommuting employees typically get paid on a per project basis, they certainly want to be able to complete their work with the least possible expense. Aside from affordable rates, you should also consider the quality of service and the amenities that the coworking space offers. Flexible payment terms and simple billing are among the features you should for, as well as a wide range of service packages. Is there a package that allows for individual use of the amenities as well as packages that let you work with others — including access to meeting rooms?
5. Flexible Layout
An ideal coworking space is one that supports your work needs and mood, enabling you to bring the out the best in yourself. It should offer a combination of interactive and private areas. An open area makes for interaction and networking. Function rooms are great for private meetings. Meanwhile, private cubicles or similar spaces allow you to retreat for some serious “heads down” work, with the assurance that no one will bother you.
While privacy is required at times to be able to concentrate on a complex project, you will also benefit from your collaboration with like-minded individuals — and even from others from different industries with specialties you otherwise know nothing about. To prove this point, 91% of remote/freelance workers reportedly have better interactions with others when coworking.
6. Healthy Ecosystem
Even if you are not required to go to the office, a change of scenery from time to time is bound to be good for your health. Should you choose to use a coworking space, it should also encourage a healthy lifestyle and provide a healthy ecosystem. For instance, it should be clean, have proper lighting, and be able to offer peaceful and quiet working spaces. Furthermore, the layout must be properly designed, giving easy access to equipment and amenities. If you find a coworking space that meets your needs, you might just be among the 70% of coworkers who reported that they felt healthier working in a coworking space.
7. Sufficient Support and Convenience
Lastly, a coworking space should offer sufficient support and convenience. It should have ample administrative and tech support, as well as convenient booking and payment systems.
When you find a coworking space that offers all of the above, you can rest assured that your next working day will be a more productive and enjoyable one.
About the Author
Kelly Bedsole is the vice president of sales and marketing for Metro Offices. She is responsible for the overall occupancy the company. Currently living in Reston, VA with her family, she enjoys reading novels and books, as well as writing informative articles about business and news in her free time. Catch her updates at their company blog.