These days more people than ever are working remotely as both businesses and employees adapt to the new normal. In recent years, coworking solutions have gained popularity amongst those who value the freedom and flexibility that working remotely can offer.
With the rise of the “work-from-home” model also came the “hybrid” work model. Coworking spaces are great for like-minded freelancers and entirely remote teams that primarily work from home yet crave the occasional in-person co-work.
But not all coworking spaces are created equally. The top coworking spaces tend to have a few things in common.
In this brief guide, you’ll learn how to identify the best coworking spaces so that you can choose the ideal solution for you, your business, and your bank account.
7 Must-Haves for Top Coworking Spaces
You could ask a dozen people who work in a coworking space what they love about their workplace, and you may get a dozen different answers. But when you look a little closer, you may find that each happy co-worker experiences some similar themes in their spaces.
Great coworking spaces offer these seven benefits:
1. BESPOKE DÉCOR
Believe it or not, office furniture in your coworking space can make a big difference in your mood and productivity.
Think about it: if you’re sitting in an office all day, uncomfortable furniture and ugly décor will eventually leave you uninspired. Many traditional office spaces are bland and boring, equipped with cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all furniture, and generic artwork, if any.
Studies show that a boring-looking workspace can result in decreased productivity. The top coworking spaces look unique with bespoke features like large windows, handmade furniture, and custom artwork that can help boost your spirits and promote productivity.
2. PLEASANT OUTDOOR SPACE
A great way to recharge throughout the workday is by getting some fresh air outside. Anyone who’s ever worked in an office knows the importance and health benefits of outdoor space. Still, traditional offices and most mediocre coworking spaces have either no outdoor space or, worse, a dirty, dysfunctional outdoor area.
In contrast, the best coworking spaces feature a beautiful outdoor area so that you can recharge and refresh yourself. Some lovely outdoor space features include abundant plants and greenery, a mix of shaded and sunlit areas, and seating. Parking lots, dark building alleys, and plain, concrete patios don’t make the cut!
3. PROFESSIONAL RECEPTIONIST SERVICES
Crafting and maintaining a professional image is one of the hallmarks of any successful business venture. One of the most important employees in any office is the receptionist who greets your guests, handles incoming calls, and shows people to your office.
If your coworking space doesn’t offer a communal receptionist, your guests will be left wondering where to go and what’s going on, which can come across as unprofessional.
Coworking spaces aren’t often accessed daily, meaning your guests won’t automatically be familiar with the space. Add to that a lack of direction, and you’ve got an awkward if not an outright bad first impression.
Suitable coworking spaces offer professional receptionist services so that you and your business can channel a sense of care for your clients and always make a great impression.
4. FLEXIBLE PAYMENT OPTIONS
Traditional office spaces can be expensive. The average cost of office rent in Austin is enough to put a significant dent in your working capital. What’s worse is that many office building management companies typically require you to sign lengthy long-term contracts that work for them and not for you.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses learned quickly that no scenario is guaranteed long-term, urging them to seek more flexible solutions. Flexible work arrangements demand flexibility in all aspects of business, including coworking spaces and financial planning.
Top coworking spaces have flexible payment arrangements, allowing you to pay as you go and scale up with your business rather than being stuck in an expensive long-term contract, possibly for years to come.
5. A FULL KITCHEN
Staying satiated throughout the day is essential if you want to stay productive. Sometimes it’s nice to grab a quick meal from a nearby restaurant or fast-food chain, but doing this every day can quickly result in holes in your health and wallet.
The best coworking spaces have full kitchens so that you can reheat or even cook meals without having to spend money at a restaurant. Look for coworking spaces with kitchens that have one or more large refrigerators, dishwashers, and complimentary beverages such as tea and coffee so that you can keep your energy up throughout the day. A comfortable seating area to build connections on lunch breaks is also valuable.
6. RELIABLE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET
It should go without saying that having reliable high-speed internet is essential if you want to succeed in this day and age. This is an additional cost every month in a traditional private office environment, and reliable business internet solutions are not cheap.
Imagine bringing your colleagues into a coworking space to have a video call with an overseas client. If your internet connection is spotty, not only will your coworking session be a waste of time, but your client might feel that you didn’t prepare enough for the call.
The most professional coworking spaces supply dependable internet at no additional cost to you.
7. MAIL AND PACKAGE HANDLING
Businesses are sometimes bombarded with mail and packages coming in from all sorts of people. This can quickly become an issue if your mail isn’t organized and looked after by a professional.
Top coworking spaces offer a mail and package handling service so that you’ll always have your mail well organized and conveniently available when you need it. Ideally, this service is included in the overall cost or offered at a low extra fee.
The Benefits Of Working From Top Coworking Spaces vs Working From Home
Now, you may wonder whether the cost of a coworking space is worth it. Perhaps you’re better off saving money by working from home instead.
The truth is that a great coworking space offers several benefits that make the price well worth it.
Let’s look at a few reasons why the top coworking spaces offer more benefits to your workday and business as opposed to working from your home office.
NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES ARE ABUNDANT
Whether you’re just starting out, in a growth phase, or are well established, networking with other like-minded individuals is an essential component of any successful business operation. If you’re working from home, your networking opportunities are extremely limited. On the other hand, if you’re working from a coworking space, you’ll have plenty of chances to meet other professionals.
These new connections already have one thing in common with you – a value for flexibility. Take advantage of the networking opportunities in coworking spaces to expand your venture and influence.
YOU WILL APPEAR MORE PROFESSIONAL
More and more people are used to the fact that professionals now work from home. That said, a home office still looks like a home office and doesn’t provide any separation between work and home life.
Of course, most people don’t mind seeing your messy bookshelf or hectic household routine in the background, as we’re all human. However, subconsciously, your home environment might not feel like the most professional space, especially for new clients.
Most coworking spaces look more professional, allowing you to boost your brand perception.
A CHANGE OF SCENERY
Some people like to work from home but just can’t, for various reasons. Or, some people might work from home regularly and crave a change of scenery once in a while. Switching up your environment can freshen up your perspective and offer an extra kick to your productivity and attitude to your work.
Working from coworking spaces, even occasionally, is a great way to get out of the house, meet new people, and reboot. The best coworking spaces offer flexible and affordable solutions, whether you need private office space, shared coworking space, or a dedicated desk for the whole month or only a few days.
Why Coffee Shops Aren’t Top Coworking Spaces
Many students, employees, and entrepreneurs have worked in coffee shops for decades. The change of scenery, good coffee, and wi-fi are great features for a work environment. However, coffee shops aren’t great coworking spaces. Here’s why:
Coffee shops often have limited seating out of your control. If you have your team attend a co-work session in a coffee shop, your productivity might fall if one or two team members are stuck waiting for a seat or if they have to sit across the shop.
Coworking spaces have ample seating for your team. And you have the flexibility to arrange extra seating when needed, a flexibility that you can’t have in a coffee shop.
Coffee shops host many different patrons for both work and social interactions. You cannot control how loud the people sitting next to you are, which might impact your co-work session, not to mention the loud coffee grinders and foamers.
Coworking spaces offer you the flexibility of booking your own space. If you must share the space with another team, you’ll at least be aware before you book.
LIMITED HOURS OF OPERATION
Coffee shops generally open early and close early. If your co-work session stretches into the evening, you might be interrupted by a barista informing you that the shop is closed. The displacement here can hamper your productivity and even result in more costs since you’ll need to book a space to finish the work anyway.
Coworking spaces are flexible with hours and usually offer flexibility if you need to work during evening hours.
Top Coworking Spaces in Austin, TX
So, now you know exactly what to look for in top coworking spaces, and why they’re worth the cost. If you live in or near Austin, TX., then VUKA is one of the most desirable coworking spaces in town. VUKA offers private office solutions and coworking spaces with all the above features and affordable prices. VUKA is an excellent option if you want to work from a professional coworking space in Austin. Contact VUKA today to learn more about our coworking spaces.