By Cat Johnson, a well-known writer, podcaster and content strategist in the coworking industry and a happy member at NextSpace Santa Cruz.
Professionals are no longer tethered to one office or one time zone. Business and connections happen 24/7 in locations around the world.
It’s now easier than ever to find on-demand office space in any city. Between coworking spaces, virtual offices, shared workspaces and business centers, professionals have access to a variety of on-demand offices to meet clients, make presentations and do uninterrupted work.
Every shared workspace is different, however, so it’s important to find one that suits your style, preferences and brand. Here are seven things to look for in on-demand office space.
1. The Right Vibe
Are you comfortable in the on-demand office? Does it have the right vibe for you to meet people or go heads-down and get your work done? Some on-demand offices are hip, trendy and lively while others are more traditional and quiet. Do your research ahead of time to make sure the office is a good fit for you, your colleagues and any guests you bring into the space.
Any on-demand office will have desks and wifi. What other amenities will you need? Make sure you can easily connect to the printer and scanner. Is there a projector? Will you need a shredder? Will anyone on your team need a phone booth for private calls? Do you need partitioned workspaces? Do you need a mobile whiteboard or A/V setup? Does the kitchen meet your requirements? Confirm that the office has everything you’ll need before you commit to being there.
3. Noise Level
What’s the noise level in the shared workspace like? If it’s loud in the open coworking areas, are you able to close the door to create a quiet workspace in your office? Is music being played in the space? Does the music suit your preferences and the tone of your company? If there is steady noise in the space, make sure there are quiet areas you and your team can move to, if necessary.
4. Networking Opportunities
One of the best things about shared workspaces is that they come with built-in professional networks. Many coworking spaces and shared workspaces are home to vibrant, active professional networks.
Are you interested in an on-demand office that offers networking opportunities? If so, what type of networking do you prefer? Casual connections that happen organically in the space, or more organized networking events and meetups? Ask the community manager what events are taking place while you’re in the space. That will also give you a glimpse into the culture of the workspace and community.
One of the most important things to look for in an on-demand office is the location. If you or your clients have to criss-cross town getting to the office, or it’s hard to find or get to, no one is going to be happy. Make sure the office is conveniently located, with plenty of neighborhood amenities around so you can easily go out for lunch, drinks, a walk or a coffee break.
6. How’s the Coffee and Tea?
It may seem like a small thing, but in-house coffee and tea is an essential perk when renting an on-demand office. The space is not going to work if you have to leave every time you need a refill because you don’t like the coffee, tea or creamers they serve. Check out the beverage offerings ahead of time to avoid a last-minute rush to get good coffee.
ProTip: If you love the space, but not the coffee, find out if they have a French press or drip cone and bring your own coffee.
7. Meeting Room Amenities
If you’ll use a meeting room during your time in the on-demand office, make sure the room has all the amenities you’ll need, including a white board, projector, conference call phone, power outlets and plenty of comfortable chairs.