Coworking is almost synonymous with startups, in India and around the world. But I think that anyone needing an office space, should be coworking. (FYI - corporate coworking is on the rise). There are several offerings out there, differentiated by brand, design, price, positioning, and offerings. This is a (very) simple guide to help you decide, 'is coworking right for me?' and what type of shared office you need.
There are broadly 4 things to consider when choosing a coworking space for yourself:
Location: Wouldn't it be nice to be able to walk to work? Other related things -
- Is it easy for your staff to get to the office using public transport.
- Are there good F&B and community areas nearby, or provided by the building/space
- Does the neighbourhood and building march with your professional image
- Is there Car/Bike Parking available nearby, or provided by the space
Product: Design, furniture and vibe are important, but there are other things to consider when evaluating the product:
- Flexibility: Types of offerings include hotdesks, dedicated desks, night shift desks, private cabins, virtual, student, part time etc. Make sure your coworking space offers what you need, sometimes you just gotta ask nicely - most spaces will create a special package for your requirements.
- Built to Suit: If you're a large enough business, with a decent budget - several operators will be happy to custom build for you. We, at Redbrick Offices have built many a custom serviced office, for clients like Buzzfeed, Investec, Yougov who have taken large office spaces which have been custom built for them under our trademarked 'Super Office' offering, for companies who need between 25-250 seats.
- Hygeine: The things that cannot be differentiated and should be provided as standard (but you should check) include - business class internet, 24/7 access, security, number of conference rooms, weekend policy and exit clauses. Some nice to haves would be natural light and open space.
Community: It's just a word, but it matters. This is not just about events and workshops, its the essence of coworking - about finding your tribe. Different coworking spaces attract different tribes - creative, business, startup, professionals, freelancers etc. It is important to choose your coworking space by the tribe you want to meet, mingle and grow alongside. Read one of my old blog posts on community here to know my feelings on community.
Price: I guess you're surprised that "Price" didn't make it to the top-3, that's because I know its not one that people are going to forget anyway. However, I would recommend thinking of price not in absolute, but relative terms. What is the price you're willing to pay for a certain quality of service. Typical complaints heard at 'discounted' spaces include:
- Patchy Internet (Redbrick has 3x redundancy for Internet & enterprise grade routers)
- Unclean washrooms (Redbrick uses professional facilities managment services)
- Lip Service Community (Community is not just about Friday Fun)
Redbrick Offices has several locations to choose from across Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. We choose our locations based on these attributes to create inspiring workspaces for you.