Whether you’re a freelancer looking to get out of the house in favour of some good ol’ human contact, a dynamic start-up with a growing team, or a bigger business wanting to keep the creative juices flowing–coworking could be the perfect workspace option for you.
The good news is that London has a ton of coworking options to choose from; the bad news is that choosing the right space for you can sometimes be a daunting task. Not to worry: here are 8 questions to ask before choosing a coworking space that will make the process painless.
1. Am I looking for a hot desk, fixed desk or private office?
Coworking isn’t one-size-fits-all: depending on your preferences and budget, you should start by deciding whether you’ll be looking for a hot desk, fixed desk or private office.
Hot-desking is especially popular with freelancers: you’ll sit beside someone new every day (#networking) and it won’t empty your pockets, but keep in mind that you’ll need to pack up your things at the end of the day and hot-desking areas can sometimes be too bustling for some.
If you’re looking for a space to make your own but still want to be around other creative entrepreneurs, then a fixed desk in a shared space may be a great fit. Here you’ll share workspace but still be able to keep creature comforts on your desk overnight.
Finally, renting a private office in a coworking hub is great if you’re looking for privacy and room for your team to collaborate but still want all the coworking perks like breakout space, community feel and all-round innovative vibe.
2. What’s my ideal location?
This one’s a no-brainer: you don’t want to be spending hours on the tube to commute to work every morning. In addition to ease of access, also consider the general area vibe you’re going for. Some examples: protech startups like Appear Here and Nestled call the EC1 postcode home, Tech City at Old Street attracts fintech gurus, Croydon is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the South’ and Shoreditch is synonymous with creatives. You can check out our area guide to get ideas.
3. What’s my budget?
When determining how much you’re willing to spend on a desk or office, keep in mind that nearly all prices listed exclude VAT and that you’ll sometimes need to pay-as-you-go for access to amenities like meeting rooms and WiFi.
4. Who would I be sharing the space with?
In choosing everything from furniture to which events to hold, coworking hubs are tailored to different types of professionals. For example, Techspace caters to later stage Fintech companies, Shed Haggerston is the home of uber creative freelancers/small teams and Impact Hub has great support programs for start-ups. You’ll be mingling with your neighbours daily, so have a think about your company culture and aesthetic.
5. Is a trial period possible?
The best way to make sure that a space is the right fit (see #4) is to try it out. Inquire with the coworking hub you like about a trial membership period before make any longer-term commitments.
6. What kind of community events are held?
Coworking spaces typically offer a wide range of events for members like networking luncheons, a/b testing sessions and Friday drinks. Take a look at the community’s social calendar before moving in so you’ll know what to expect.
7. What facilities does the space offer?
Most workspaces will cover the basics like access to WiFi, meeting rooms, a kitchen, breakout space and printing facilities, but some offer nice-to-haves like showers, bike storage, 24/7 access and even dogs (in fact, pet-friendliness was one of our top most searched for office facilities).
Hubble Tip: make a list of non-negotiable facilities when conducting your search to stay on track.
8. Will my membership get me into other locations?
If you’re a fan of switching things up now and then–who isn’t?!–you’ll be happy to know that some coworking communities offer day passes to different locations across London and even around the world (check out Spacehaven and WeWork).
Now that you know the right questions to ask when choosing a coworking space, browse what’s available.