Coworking space
Finding the right coworking space means balancing your needs and your budget. — Getty Images/Deagreez

When you’re starting a small business on a budget, you might not have the means to you’re your own office space yet. However, your work environment can have a tremendous impact on your and your employees’ motivation, creativity and productivity.

While some companies decide to operate as a remote organization, there’s something to be said for having a central location where your employees can gather and work together. Finding the right space for your business is imperative, and many entrepreneurs find coworking spaces to be an affordable, flexible option that suits their team’s needs.

Coworking spaces are growing in popularity, so there are many to choose from, but you don’t want to settle for the first one you find. Here are some things to consider when evaluating potential coworking spaces for your business.

[Read: The Best Employee Benefits for Keeping Workers Happy]

Popular coworking companies

You’re likely to find a variety of coworking options in most major cities and metropolitan areas. Some of these office spaces are part of national coworking chains with locations across the country. Here are some of the most frequently-used and reliable coworking companies.

1. WeWork: With more than 744 open and coming-soon locations in 124 U.S. cities, you’re bound to find a space near you.

2. Regus: Regus is one of the world's largest networks of workspaces and co-working spaces, with 3,000 locations in 120 countries.

3. ImpactHub: This coworking company has 100 locations across five continents and in more than 50 countries. The brand’s mission is to scale the impact of businesses who want to give back to the world.

4. Knotel: Knotel has over 171 locations across the U.S., Europe and South America. It offers tailored yet flexible workspaces to brands of all sorts.

5. Industrious: This nationwide network has over 70 locations in 40-plus cities. Industrious gives you the flexibility to scale your business at your own pace.

Many entrepreneurs find coworking spaces to be an affordable, flexible option that suits their team’s needs.

What to consider while choosing a coworking space

Choosing a business location, even just a coworking space, is a big decision, so it’s important to evaluate all factors and get your employees’ input before signing up. Based on insights from SCORE, here are some things to think about when looking for a coworking space:

1. Location

Make sure the location of your coworking space is convenient for all workers involved. Factor in commute time as well as the distance to customers, clients, and business partners. Additionally, even if the price is a bit lower in certain parts of town, you’ll want to choose a safe location so no one feels uncomfortable going to and from work.

2. Amenities

Ask yourself and your employees what amenities you’re looking for in your coworking space and figure out what and what not you are willing to compromise. For instance, perhaps you don’t necessarily need a coffee bar with assorted snacks, but dedicated desks with locking cabinets and strong wifi is a must. Make a list of both your wants and your needs, and find a company that best matches them.

3. Cost-effectiveness

After considering the above perks of a safe and convenient location and desired amenities, factor cost into the equation. What company or space gives you the most bang for your buck? Sometimes, it’s worth spending a bit extra to invest in a space that inspires you, but straying far from your budget is never a good idea. Find that happy medium.

4. Inhabitants

They say a person’s friends tell you a lot about them as an individual; the same goes for coworking spaces and their tenants. Before signing a contract, Google other tenants in the location, so you know who you’ll be surrounded by and what type of environment you’ll be working in.

5. Security

Of course, you don’t want to neglect security. Make sure the space you choose has secure wifi and offers locks for your workspace, cabinets, lockers, etc. Since this is essentially out of your control, you’ll want to find a company that values your security as much as you do.

With so many options out there, you’re bound to find a coworking space that’s right for your company.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published July 12, 2019