A coworking space is made out of 50% open space, 18% regular offices, 17% meeting rooms, 8% for events and the other remaining square meters are for a miscellaneous purpose. Setting up a new office is an effective way to build your business planning capacity. It’s like a project that requires you to mobilize your budget management, design and visualization skills to incorporate all the essentials for the smooth running of the workspace. The most important thing to consider is for you to decide on the setup checklist rather than leaving it on chance. Business plans can make things easier if you don’t have a business plan or you just need to open the office without waiting for any kind of plan then the checklists save the day for many successful endeavours.
What Makes A Good Coworking Space?
1. Who is the competition?Do you have coworking spaces in your town? If yes, do visit them. Try to figure out what they are like? What do they cater to their client? Can you see a niche for what you want to do? You would want a broader mix of people perhaps. Broader the mix of people you have the bigger is the market you can cater to. This will get more people interested in your space. Check out the market as to which brands are in the competition and are leading the business. Knowing about your competition does help in making decisions.
2. What space is available in the area?If you are looking for an expensive space the chances to make mistakes minimizes. Make sure you are making a comparison of full service, triple net, and gross leases of the properties. Try to check out a few spaces and compare the prices. Don’t just go with the first space even if it appeals to you. Check out various spaces. This is assuming you are just leasing space. There are other ways to acquire the space as well as partnering with a landlord or buying a building.
3. Do you have the contractor base you require?There is a lot of work involved in the actual construction of opening a coworking space. Sometimes the landlords handle these for you, but you still require someone on your team to know something about construction and contractors.
4. Have you assigned the task to a good designer?Designing is very important. People have different choices but they will choose to go into your space if they feel it’s welcoming and bright. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should make the clients feel good to walk in and work there every day for a long period of time. Natural lights add bliss to the coworking space. A lot can be done with the space like a sensor light can be used to save on the utility and also add a uniqueness to the coworking space. Try to make the infrastructure as efficient as possible, like using good soundproof rooms in case of privacy. Be sure you have some kind of noise cancellation, whether you decide to use music or speak on the phone or have a conversation with the coworkers.
5. What size of space should be chosen?It is difficult to figure out that is it the larger spaces are more profitable per square foot than the smaller space. There are a lot of variables to consider:
- Build our costs structure.
- The liability of the monthly rent.
- Ability to fill up the larger spaces - competition, market awareness, market demographics.
6. What are the staffing costs?The cost of having staff is another big expense after rent. The survey suggested that a broader range of titles for the members facing role than it was expected. About 46% of the members of the staff are paid less than Rs 40,000/- per year, whereas about 37% are still paid more than Rs 50,000/- per year.
7. How will you lay out your space?When you are renting a space, you’re converting it into a membership for the use of the space. Since you are renting a space you can afford to waste a lot of spaces. Think about how you can build the coworking space which will create full utilization of the space along with building a sense of vibrancy and comfort.
8. What type of plans can you offer?Try to keep your space available 24/7. Even if space is empty outside the working hours, people want to know they have access if it is needed. Keep a check over the demographics to help you define your plans. A lot of consultants use conference rooms or office to organize a meeting. Certain workers need the office just a few days a week. There are teams who want to work in a shared space. All the requirements have to be considered before setting a plan.
9. CommunityThe community is an important part of coworking space. Some of the best coworking spaces have professionals who work in the same or similar niches. For instance, about 40% of the coworkers are freelancers, whereas IT takes the lead when it comes to organizations. They understand each other and maybe sometimes launched projects together. Community building can be done is many ways like taking feedback, organising meetups, involving in the decision-making process etc.
10. SafetyAs coworkers, you would definitely want that all your data, business files and other stuff remain intact. You should make sure the location for your coworking space is located in a safe area and safety is maintained both online and offline. There are various measures that can be taken like surveillance cameras, checking the anti-hacking software and the procedures in case of data breaches. It is important to know that the space you are renting from is trustworthy no matter how incredible a coworking space might be.
11. EquipmentThe basics for a small or large office are telecommunications, the internet, furnishings etc. The limited space should stock up the essentials. Setting up the internet is the first task to be done. There are various questions to consider like do you really need a big kitchen? Which team can share a desk? When space is being rented it is the employees that need to accommodate more to space. Evaluate how much equipments are needed based on the size of the team and the sphere of work. List of office equipment and supplies:
- Office phones and fax machines
- A server that will make your business run more efficiently
- whiteboard/projector is important for work organizations and presentations.
- Stationery and shredder
- A coffee machine