What’s worse than working at home being distracted by the dog barking, the baby crying, and your neighbors’ rowing? How about booking a coworking space lacking in the essential tech you need to work productively?
If you’ve ever been in a scenario where your coworking space doesn’t offer enough charging hubs, the printer is broken, and the meeting rooms are all fully booked, you’ll want to get organized ahead of time.
What Are the Benefits of Coworking?
Coworking spaces are a welcome alternative to stuffy corporate offices and an excellent break from your remote working setup at home. And you can rent a space from as little as a few hours to as much as a few months, giving you heaps of flexibility.
Imagine a building filled with talented freelancers and employees from different companies—all collaborating in a swanky work environment filled with amenities. Expect meeting rooms, event spaces, socializing hubs, and computer programming stations alongside daycare, cafes, garden spaces, and even climbing walls in some facilities.
Although coworking spaces only currently take up 5% of the office real estate market, this is expected to increase to 30% by 2030, according to a report. Why the rise in popularity? Coworking offers:
- Flexibility: Want to work part of the week at home, but part of the week with the company? This is a great compromise.
- Collaborations: Perhaps you need access to amazing design pros or a tech wizard? Expand your network of contacts by coming together in a coworking environment.
- Productivity: Not everyone thrives in a home office. If you’re distracted by household chores like vacuuming or doing the dishes, move to a coworking space to enhance your focus.
Who Uses Coworking Spaces?
Coworking spaces are becoming more popular each year, especially as former office-based businesses have switched to predominantly remote-working models.
Regular of coworking spaces include:
- Digital nomads
- Freelancers and contractors
- Business travelers (international or domestic)
- Startup company staff
- Remote employees who want a change of scenery
What Technology Does Your Coworking Space Need?
Coworking offices vary wildly in terms of the technology they offer. Some spaces will be set up with a wide array of equipment, whereas others will expect you to bring your own. Top considerations include:
1. Secure Wi-Fi
Make sure you understand the Wi-Fi set up at your coworking space. Many will boast superfast broadband connections to accommodate everyone working there. You’ll want the available bandwidth to connect to the cloud, download data, and take conference calls without fear of a dip.
But security should be a top priority too. Some offices will have a private network assigned to each suite, but others may rely on unsecured guest networks. Always ensure you understand the implications of using the Wi-Fi in a coworking space, and consider the following measures to secure your data:
- Antivirus software
- Network activity monitors
- Double VPNs
- Using complex passwords
- Keeping your OS and software updated
- Never leaving your hardware unattended.
2. Presentation Equipment
If you’re hiring an events room, conference suite, or auditorium, you may require access to on-site presentation equipment such as projectors and whiteboards.
If you’re a freelancer or startup business, these items can be expensive to purchase. Even if you have your own, the hardware can be cumbersome to transport, so it’s a bonus if your coworking space is fully equipped.
3. Recording Equipment
Whether you’re creating training videos for your remote team, hosting a business podcast, or recording marketing videos for YouTube or your website, you’ll need access to top-of-the-range recording equipment. If so, check your coworking space has:
- Video cameras
- Specialist lighting
- Studio-recording apps
Some coworking spaces offer a recording suite or even a podcast studio. However, you may be required to complete a training session before booking a session.
4. Ergonomic Furniture
When choosing your workspace, think about your desk situation. If you’re booking the space over a long period, you might prefer to know you have a dedicated desk assigned to you.
Alternatively, if you’re accessing the coworking space more casually, a hotdesking scenario might be a better fit. Keep in mind the ergonomics of the furniture in the space. Although there may be casual hubs with a couch and throw pillows, these are designed to be collaborative meeting areas.
If you need to knuckle down into a deep sprint of work, make sure your coworking office provides computer chairs to support your posture correctly. Better yet, an office with sit-stand desks will encourage you to get up and get moving. Remember: sitting is the new smoking!
5. Office Hardware
Find out what office hardware is available before you book your coworking space. Do you need access to the following office staples?
- Business-class printers
- Fax machines
- Paper shredder
Don’t be afraid to ask in advance if tech support is available on-site in case the hardware fails at a critical point in your business day.
6. Cables, Chargers, and Headphones
You don’t want to run out of juice in the middle of a Zoom meeting. Nor do you want to find your charging cable is too short to connect to the socket beneath your coworking hotdesk.
So, before you book a coworking spot, make sure you understand which essential tech accessories are available as part of your hire charge, and which you’re expected to bring with you.
Cables, chargers, and headphones are all relatively lightweight, and will easily squeeze into your laptop bag.
Ready to Book Your Coworking Space?
Now you know how to choose a shared office based on your tech requirements, you’re ready to book your coworking space. Consider the location—do you want to be in the city center, close to your home, or the airport?
You may also want to factor in other amenities like parking availability or proximity to local restaurants, but remember, the cost of coworking spaces in popular areas may be more expensive. Now you’re ready to book your office space, check out these important coworking space factors to consider.