In recent years, coworking spaces have become a favored approach for many startups, freelance workers, and even established businesses looking for more flexibility. Austin has seen a high demand for these spaces, and the market has responded. But, with so many coworking spaces in Austin to choose from, how do you find the right one for you?
Different businesses have different needs, of course, and thankfully there are coworking options to fit them all. While having so many choices can be great, it can also feel daunting to pick one from the list. The best way to approach it is by first determining your needs. From there, you can narrow down the options and start (co)working.
The Market for Coworking Space in Austin
You’ve likely noticed: Austin has seen a boom in recent years. Not only has the city seen huge population growth, but it’s also become an attractive place for startups looking to set roots. Austin is the place to live, work, and start (and grow) your own business. Couple this trend with the global shift to more flexible working spaces and ways of working, and you’ll see why an abundance of coworking spaces have become available in Austin.
Startups love an opportunity to lower their overhead while focusing on their projects. Freelancers have a chance to avoid noisy cafes (or days in pajamas) in favor of a more professional setting. Even established companies are reducing their risk and increasing flexibility by choosing coworking spaces.
Covid-19 impacted all areas of work, prompting many people to work from their home spaces. Many asked whether the work-from-home trend would carry on. What would it mean for the future of office and coworking spaces?
The luxury of rolling out of bed and into the “office” has worn off. Many are seeking to get back to work, and out of the house. Offices in Austin are in high demand, and coworking spaces are rising to the occasion, welcoming people in for a day’s work.
Choosing a Coworking Space for You
There are lots of different types of coworking spaces available. Higher-end offices with dazzling interiors and corporate services. Corporate spaces with companies working daily in a dedicated space, with a reception to support. Niche-specific coworking offices, catering to a specific industry. Fun spaces, with ping pong and evening social events. What’s the best coworking space for you?
Here are a few things to consider when you begin searching for your new workspace.
The Access You Need
A great place to start in your hunt for a coworking space in Austin is to consider the access you or your business will need. This includes both building access and the features that are critical for how you do business. There are a few elements to consider to narrow down your search:
Are you looking for a place to support a 9-5 schedule, or do you need more flexibility? This is an important thing to consider and to evaluate the needs you have across departments and employees.
Some spaces available only for standard “business hours,” and others offer 24/7 access to allow more accessibility and flexibility to those who need it. Others have membership tiers that offer different options for access and hours, so choose one that’s right for you.
If you drive to work, you’ll want an office that offers parking space. Your guests will also appreciate this perk, of course. The same is true if you ride your bicycle – check to see if they have a secure place to keep your bike while you’re working.
Another thing to consider is how you want to show up at the coworking space. Some people feel comfortable knowing they’ll need to find a desk when they arrive. Others want to leave their things on their desk and come back to them each time.
Consider whether you need a dedicated desk, or you’ll be happy for the free-for-all of a more drop-in dynamic. Coworking offices are often an open plan design, so the question of space for meetings and video calls is also key. If you work better in a quiet space, a private office may be more your style.
Whether they’re in-person or via video, it’s crucial to have a space for meetings when you need it. Coworking spaces offer a variety of options for discussions with others. There are phone booths for taking phone calls with privacy. Meeting rooms for one to two people to chat face-to-face or via video and conference rooms for those more significant meetings.
If you know you’ll need equipment such as a projector, whiteboard, or conference-sized table, check to be sure that the coworking space you’re considering can offer you what you need. These dedicated spaces are often in high demand or come at an extra charge, so if you know you’ll need a meeting room repeatedly, ensure they’re included in your membership.
Setting up shop in a coworking space means you don’t have to meet colleagues or clients in a cafe. As mentioned, it’s great to have a meeting space to host your business meetings. Sometimes though, you want to bring a guest for a day of collaboration.
Check with your coworking space for their policy on guests. Many offer guest passes for drop-ins invited by their members. Choose a place with a friendly and attentive reception desk, so your guests can find you when they arrive.
Related: The Power of Creative Workspaces
Community and Connection
Another element to finding the right coworking space in Austin is to consider the social aspect of work. For some, that sounds like a contradiction, but allow us to explain: Different coworking spaces offer different degrees of connection with others. This goes for networking with your fellow coworking inhabitants and with the surrounding community.
If you love a chance to network with new people from different industries, check to see if the coworking office you’re considering hosts events. If you’re launching a product or service and want a chance to share it with some new people, you may want to see if their event space is available for rent.
If you envision striking up a conversation in the kitchen, check to see what amenities the coworking space offers. An espresso machine or communal eating table is a great place for networking opportunities. If you prefer to meet people within your industry or with similar objectives, consider a coworking space in Austin that is industry-specific.
Perhaps it’s not only new friends or potential colleagues you’d like to meet but also the four-legged variety. Many coworking venues offer a chance to bring well-behaved dogs to work, so check to see what the policy is. This is also an important question to ask if you have allergies or aversions to dogs.
The dynamic at some coworking offices is more communal than others, so find one that fits the vibe you’re looking for. Those looking for a community to work amongst can find great options in Austin. The same is true for those who are simply looking for an alternative to the dining room table.
Related: The Global Impact of Impact Hub
Business Support Perks
If you’re a startup, it can be challenging to find the support or mentorship you want. Whether you’re just starting out, or looking to take your business to the next level, it’s great to have someone on your side to help you out. Some coworking spaces in Austin offer mentorship programs and accelerators, aiming to bring expertise to help businesses to thrive.
A reputable accelerator will be an invaluable addition to your journey as a startup. They’ll guide you through funding rounds and go-to-market strategies to help set you up for success. Being an entrepreneur is hard work – find a coworking company that can help make life easier for you.
Coworking Space in Austin That Fits You
Ultimately, the best coworking space is the one that fits you and how you work. By giving some thought to your needs for things like privacy, flexibility, and community, you’ll be able to find the office that is right for you.
With two locations in Austin and multiple membership options, Vuka can offer something to everyone. As a part of the global Impact Hub, we offer a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking to make an impact on the world’s most pressing issues.