The co-working revolution is in full swing, says William Newton, EMEA Director, WiredScore. It’s one of many recent trends demonstrating how the property industry is responding to changing occupier demands. Whether the motivation is to join a more social workspace or to get access to facilities you couldn’t afford on your own, co-working and shared office spaces are booming with nearly 1,000 now spread across the capital.
And the demand for co-working offices is spreading across the UK. In our recent report, Manchester: A Connected Future, we found that nearly a quarter of northern tech professionals would like to see more shared office spaces available to businesses. Space Port X in Manchester has been a fantastic example of a co-working office which has attracted tech talent in the North West by creating offices which give the tech industry the flexibility to grow and the right tools to innovate.
As a market grows, so too do the number of options. So, how do you choose the right co-working space for your business? As a long-standing user, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on what to look for in a co-working space.
One of the greatest advantages of a co-working space is the sense of community. A great space will house a variety of companies who operate in different sectors, filled with interesting, young professionals with original and different ideas. Networking within the building is actively encouraged by the owners who organise lunches, host events each night and build social communal areas for people to meet for coffee or beers after work.
Co-working spaces also facilitate great professional relationships. After weeks of emails to a strategic partner we discovered they were working on the floor below us. We were able to pop down and say hi that afternoon!
When looking at potential work spaces, speak with some of those already working in the building to gauge its vibe and whether it has a community that will empower your business.
All companies rely on internet to grow their business. In fact, inconsistent internet will cost the average company £904 for every hour their broadband is down during working hours.
Great connectivity is therefore a top priority for those co-working spaces who truly understand the needs of modern businesses and want to meet their tenants’ needs. Workspace’s Metal Box Factory, for instance, is a co-working space with best-in-class connectivity verified by its Platinum Wired Certification. Tenants can be assured that they will have access to secure and reliable internet as their office provider has made significant investments to the building’s digital infrastructure.
Be sure to ask about the internet and tech services when you check out potential co-working spaces. If the tech support is a receptionist pressing ‘reset’ on the router, it probably won’t meet your business’s tech needs.
Co-working spaces are famous for providing relaxed social spaces, such as sofas and ping pong tables, to create a healthy work-play dynamic. Some also offer practical services and facilities which might not be possible in a small company’s budget. From postal services and never ending supplies of coffee, to on-site crèches to help working parents (such as Third Door in London or Officrèche in Brighton), shared offices allows small businesses to have the same benefits as large companies.
Co-working spaces can also accommodate businesses as they grow by offering flexible month-by-month leases and different office sizes so you only pay for what you need. We moved office five times within our co-working space in the course of our first year as our team expanded. What’s more, international co-working chains can give you a base wherever you go - I’ve used WeWork in four different countries.
Deciding on where to locate your office and in which type of building can be overwhelming, but at WiredScore we’ve found that a co-working environment is exactly what we’re after. By considering the essential factors of community, connectivity, facilities, and flexibility you will be able to choose an office space which will meet your business’s needs.