Making connections in the fastest-growing city in the United States can be challenging. But it’s also vital for any entrepreneur, freelancer, or remote worker—especially if they spend most of their day staring at a computer screen in their home office or in crowded, noisy coffee shops.
Leveraging the opportunities available in the 10th largest metropolitan area in the United States becomes easier when you find the right coworking space in Austin. It’s a great way to open up networking possibilities that will feed your business growth—whether as a solopreneur, a freelancer, or a founder of a nascent startup. Austin abounds in coworking spaces, so determining what you need in facilities and environment will help you find the best location for you.
A Rich History Of Coworking Spaces In Austin
A decade and a half ago, shared working spaces were virtually unheard of, with only 14 spaces listed in the United States in 2007. But by 2017, that number had ballooned to more than 4,000 and continued to climb—rising to 6,200 by 2022. Austin has been a leader in the skyrocketing growth of these spaces.
Austin represents a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation when it comes to shared working spaces. Have tech companies flocked to the metro because of the rise of coworking spaces or did coworking spaces keep popping up because of the interest from tech companies? Whatever fueled the growth, those who are looking to find a working space have plenty of choices based on location, amenities, nearby services, and more—and when they find that perfect location they’ll find everything they need for productive work and vibrant connections.
The Benefits Of Shared Working Spaces
The initial idea for coworking spaces might have been to give the freelancer or solopreneur a space to break their isolation while making use of the amenities of an office, such as high-speed internet and printing options. But the many benefits of coworking spaces have turned them into a popular spot for everyone—from those working solo to international corporations.
Productivity and Creativity
The right coworking spaces are often inspiring and motivating. A far cry from the traditional cubicle spaces, today’s coworking spaces are open, embrace the natural, and are designed with a work-life balance in mind. This leads to improvements in the work experience. According to business.com, almost 50% of professional coworkers said that their “work skills, work quality, and collaboration” improved with the use of coworking spaces. In addition, 45% noted improvements in their mental health.
Interactions amongst coworkers—whether from the same company or from companies sharing space alongside each other—expand the networking capabilities of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers for larger corporations. While many of these connections grow from casual conversations while sharing work time, others come about through more purposeful social interaction. One study noted that a substantial 79% of coworking participants said that coworking improved their networking connections.
More than that, workers can gain a sense of community by becoming a member of a coworking space. They overcome the feelings of isolation that often develop from working alone in a home office or at their dining room table. Casual interactions initiated during coworking office hours often develop into new business relationships and even lasting friendships.
Today’s coworking spaces offer diverse environments, from individual workstations and conference rooms to outdoor spaces. Workers won’t find their creativity blocked by staring at the same old walls in their traditional cubicles or home office. Conference rooms facilitate staff or client meetings without having to rely on computer interfaces. Workers can come and go whenever needed and know they’ll have access to the tools and amenities that will power their work.
Coworking spaces are more economical than long-term building leases while offering more. Most spaces offer amenities that give members access to all the services they need without having to pay upfront costs for individual services—for everything from printers to high-speed internet—and conference rooms also feature better equipment for presentations and online interactions. With a simple membership, you’re ready to streamline your work and get it done on your terms.
What to Look For in a Coworking Space in Austin
Many of the features that draw workers to a great coworking space are a given, such as high-speed internet, but there are other factors to consider that can make a big difference in your overall work-life experience.
Location and Parking
One drawback to working in a growing metro area like Austin is the need to commute and deal with traffic. Look for a coworking space that is in a convenient location. Additionally, choose a location that offers parking on-site. Ensure parking lots are well-lit and not isolated so you can feel comfortable going any time of day.
Visit potential coworking spaces in Austin to get a feel for the environment and atmosphere. Expect an appealing environment that makes you feel comfortable and welcome but will also look professional when you have colleagues or clients visiting. Look for a place that is well-furnished with plenty of natural lighting, a variety of spaces, and a design that inspires you.
You may also want to consider looking for a coworking space that offers both indoor and outdoor spaces. Having the opportunity to work in a nice shady outdoor space can boost productivity and creativity and simply make working an enjoyable experience. Outdoor space also can be an excellent gathering location for networking with colleagues.
When looking for the best coworking space in Austin, amenities are one of the most necessary and desirable perks you’ll want to consider. These should include both essential amenities and optional amenities. Printing and fax services are essential for getting work done efficiently. Package delivery and a mailbox is another essential amenity you won’t want to do without.
At the same time, a kitchenette comes in handy for making a coffee, feeding yourself, or preparing a snack plate if you’re meeting with staff or clients. Comfortable seating options can be perfect for an informal meeting or a well-deserved break during your work hours. Review both essential and optional amenities of any coworking space you consider, and determine if what they offer meets your needs.
Flexible Conference Rooms and Private Calling Areas
Organizing a staff meeting with your remote workforce or calling for a brainstorming session with your coworkers becomes a snap when you have ready access to flexible conference rooms. This provides a professional environment for group meetings while not requiring an investment in large spaces when you don’t need them.
Of course, not every meeting is a group meeting, and you’ll want your coworking space to be able to accommodate that as well. Look for a space that offers private phone booths for your confidential conversations. A coworking space with a variety of spaces can meet every work need as it comes up.
Many members want to use the facility during their most productive time, which could be in the middle of the night. Others need to interact with clients or fellow employees in other time zones, so they need facilities readily available at the hours that work for other participants. Choose a location that is open when you need it.
Community and Community Events
The best coworking spaces in Austin will embrace and encourage community among coworking members. Look for signs of this when you visit or research your potential space. Do the desks look well designed, promoting both work and interaction when desired? Does the coworking space offer community socials and events that allow members to get to know one another?
You may want to look for like-minded business people or those working in the same field to gain knowledge and network connections. Alternatively, you make look for opportunities to interact with members that share similar interests. Regardless, a great coworking space will inspire community and support it in purposeful ways.
Find a Coworking Space in Austin That Inspires Your Work
Before you begin your search for the perfect coworking space in Austin, determine what your priorities are. Each person will have different needs in a shared work location, so you must decide which features will be the most important for your situation.
Once you understand your priorities, research various coworking locations in Austin and see what features they offer that fit your requirements. Check out their websites to learn about their facilities, and check for local reviews and independent evaluations of the spaces you consider. Review the services and amenities included in each plan.
Plan to visit three or four places to determine how you feel in each location and if the facilities are as described. You can either schedule a tour or take advantage of any free coworking trial days to gain a better idea of the community.
Vuka offers a workspace and community that supports you as you do your best work. We offer a variety of spaces, including outdoor spaces, so you can work and make connections in an inspiring environment, on your terms. We welcome you to visit our Bouldin Creek location in South Austin or the North Loop facility in historic Central Austin. Stop by to feel the vibe and determine if Vuka is the right place to begin your coworking journey. Contact us today to get started.