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How to Choose the Right Coworking Space for your Business

How to Choose the Right Coworking Space for your Businesscoworking space for your business

Thinking of switching to a coworking space for your business? You are in good company. Coworking spaces aren’t just for freelancers and solopreneurs. They are great alternatives for startups and even large corporations looking for a great place to work.

As early as 2016, Microsoft integrated flexible working solutions, allowing several of their teams to work from coworking locations.

Since then other Fortune 500 companies like Facebook have joined the trend diverting some of their traditional leased offices to flexible coworking spaces.

The Benefits of a Coworking space for your business

The benefits of coworking are numerous some of them include:

Flexibility

Expensive long term lease arrangements are fixed and do not give your business the flexibility to expand neither are they designed for the evolving hybrid work model.

In a poll conducted by AfricaWorks 15% of  responders voted to work onsite, 35% chose to work from home and 65% of the responders chose the hybrid model.

Choosing a Pan-African workspace like AfricaWorks also gives you the flexibility of switching cities if the situation, demands or needs of your company changes.

With AfricaWorks One Pass you are not restricted by your location. Members have access to over 8 cities on the continent. You also get support and discounts as you expand to other cities.

Community and networking

Besides providing free coffee and great internet, coworking spaces bring people together. You and your team will benefit from the incredible opportunity to network and collaborate.

Save Cost

Whether you’re a solopreneur or a small business, or an established organization, setting up and fitting out and maintaining a modern office space does not come cheap. Coworking spaces provide you with a functional work set up designed to heighten your productivity and lower overhead cost.

Cons of locating your business in a Coworking Space

Unless you opt for a private office or an enterprise solution, shared workspaces give you limited control and offer lesser privacy than a traditional office space.  Sometimes, you might have to deal with internet downtime or a broken coffee machine in your coworking space. But unlike your own rented office you have no control and may have to wait on their schedule not your own.

Trying to decide if a coworking space is right for Your business?

In this article, we will explain the difference between Hot Desks and Private Desks, and enterprise solutions so you can decide which works best for you.

Hot desks

Hot desks are flexible seating arrangements in a coworking environment where members do not have a fixed seat or desk. You can choose any of the allocated seats according to their needs.

Hot desking means that you and your team don’t have your own desk but instead you share the desks with other people. You are not assigned to a particular desk or workstation in your coworking space. Normally the person who arrives first gets their pick of the desks available and if they leave their desk at any point during the day it becomes open to be used by someone else.

Pros of hot desks

  • Less Commitment

There’s no commitment, as your team gets bigger you can decide to switch to another work model. It’s also easy to move to other coworking spaces if you get bored of your coworking space or decide to rent your own office space.

  • Flexibility

Hot desks can be rented on an hourly, daily or monthly basis. This gives you the flexibility to only pay for what you need, and is a good option for those starting out with their own small business or freelancing.

  • Cheaper

Hot desks are most often the cheapest work solution in a coworking space and if your business is just starting out, it is a great option to consider.

Cons of hot desks

  • High Noise Level

Some coworking spaces can be bad for small businesses and startups because of lack of privacy, high noise level, lack of storage space, organizational challenges and unavailability.

While some employees in a small business may enjoy working in a collaborative atmosphere, others in a larger corporation may find it distracting or even stressful. There is also the potential for increased noise levels when multiple people use one desk at once.

  • Lack of Privacy

In order to accommodate more people, hot desking often means that there are fewer dividers between workspaces which can lead to privacy concerns among some individuals who prefer not have their conversations.

  • Lack of Storage Space

There is no storage space available on hot desks, so all your belongings must fit into one bag or briefcase. If you have lots of things to bring in every day, this may not be the right option for you.

  • May Not Always Be Available

Hot desks are reserved on a first come basis and it is possible for all the seats to be booked before you are ready. It can feel unreliable, as there are no guarantees you will get your  favorite seat or spot.

  • Organizational Challenges

The desk itself is often shared by multiple people throughout the week so it might never be as organized as your own private workstation. (if you like your workspace to be clean and organized).

Private Desks

Private desks are ideal for a small business or startup who craving their own space but without the commitment of a traditional office. They are more cost-effective than offices and offer more privacy than a coworking space. They can also be excellent for anyone who wants to be in control of their schedule and personal space.

Pros of Private Desks in coworking spaces

  • Increased Productivity and Focus

Your productivity will increase because you won’t have to spend time setting up every day unlike hotdesking. You are also assured of your favourite spot or desk.

  • Privacy

This is the biggest advantage of a private desk — you get to work without being watched or overheard by others. You can keep your personal belongings in your desk and lock it up when you leave, which may not be possible with a shared desk arrangement. If you’re in an open office where the noise level is high, having a private desk may allow you to concentrate better than you could at a shared desk.

  • Customization

When you have your own desk, you can personalize it to suit your preferences. You can position the desk so that it’s more comfortable for you, and decorate it in any way you like. Employees who have a lot of distractions at home due to pets or children may prefer having their own space in order to focus on work. It also gives employees with disabilities the chance to make their workspace more accessible.

Cons of Private Desks

  • Limited Mobility

You’ll be assigned a particular desk, which means you’ll always be in the same spot at the office. This can be great for consistency, but if you need more mobility to easily collaborate with team members at different desks, this may not be the best option for you.

Hot desks vs Private desks

 

hot desks vs private desks for your company

Hot desks are a great option for companies or individuals who have a heavy travel schedule or work from multiple locations. It’s also a cost effective way to share an office space.  Hot desks provide the basic amenities of any co-working space: desks, Internet, conference rooms, and printers.  Unlike private offices, there are no assigned seats or cubicles.  You can show up to work at 10am one day and find that someone else has your favorite seat!

Enterprise solutions

An Enterprise Solution allows an organization to have complete control over the look and feel of their workspace without incurring the costs of a long-term lease or starting from scratch. Enterprise Solutions gives you the opportunity to create a space that reflects your identity and the kind of work you do.

 

5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Coworking space

 

Tips to choose the best coworking space for your business

It’s important to find the right coworking space for your business, as it will impact everything from productivity to networking opportunities.

Here are tips to help you choose the best coworking space for your business:

Location

This is perhaps the most important aspect of choosing a coworking space. You need to select one that’s in close proximity. The chances of getting work done increase when you don’t spend too much time commuting. A good location can also be beneficial for your clients because they can easily visit you at your new office.

Amenities

Whether you are working alone or with a team, be sure to check whether the coworking space provides you with all the amenities that you need. Some of the common amenities that most coworking spaces provide include:

  • High speed internet
  • Office stationery (like printers and scanners)
  • Coffee and tea
  • Ergonomic furniture
  • Charging points for laptops, phones and other devices
  • Board games and events for networking
  • Events on skill development and business growth

Budget

The cost of renting a coworking space depends on several aspects, including the location, size and amenities provided. Make sure you know exactly how much you will be paying each month before signing an agreement with the company. Also, check if the workspace includes any hidden costs, such as parking fees and electricity bills. You may not want to deal with those unexpected expenses later on.

Consider Your Unique Business Needs

Besides the standard office amenities such as high-speed internet and photocopiers, what other features do small need? For example, if your business involves a lot of meetings, you should look for a space with meeting rooms. On the other hand, if your business is focused on research and development or activities that require uninterrupted focus, then look for a coworking spaces that offer private offices.

When your business grows, you might require more space than what you have right now. So it’s worth checking whether there is room for expansion in case you need more space in the future.

Networking opportunities

Some coworking spaces will offer classes, workshops or social events designed to help members get to know one another and form connections. Others may take a more hands-off approach; while they don’t necessarily set up these opportunities, they do foster a community environment where members mingle naturally.

FAQs

What makes a good coworking space?

A good coworking space has a strong community, a professional look and feel and easy access to amenities.

Here are some other qualities of great coworking spaces:

1. Access to private meeting rooms

2. Comfortable break room with a kitchen

3. Reliable and fast WiFi internet connection

4. Events and workshops that bring members together

How to choose the right coworking space for your small business

Coworking spaces are attractive options for many entrepreneurs and small businesses. They provide an easy and affordable means to access working space that’s conducive for productivity. But there’s a lot of variation between coworking spaces — from their size and amenities to the type of members that work there and their location — so choosing the right one for your business is important.

Whether you’re already a member of a coworking space or are thinking about moving to one, you must consider the cost and your budget, location of the space, accessibility, amenities, space design and community.

 

Coworking space for your business

Takeaway

Both emerging startups, small businesses and bigger corporations benefit from coworking spaces in a variety of ways: it lowers overhead costs, aids talent attraction and retention, provides ample collaboration opportunities, allows them to grow and contract as needed, and, with new lease accounting standards in place, it provides a way to keep balance sheets on the positive side.

 

Considering switching to a coworking space?

Here at AfricaWorks we have a huge number of fast growing startups and multinationals like Glovo, CarryIst, Paystacks, L’oreal and Universal Music Group using our private offices and enterprise solutions.

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