What to look for in a coworking space

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You need to get out of the house…

While sitting on your couch at home – have you ever met many smart, interesting, helpful people that can give you advice from their own personal experience?

Are you surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs who are working towards the same goals as you are?

This is where Coworking comes in.

It will open your world and has increasingly become an integral part of any startup businesses eventual success.

It’s your cost-effective access to networks, knowledge, capital, markets, talent, professional facilities and at times emotional support.

However, don’t make the mistake of tying yourself into a 3-6 month contract with a coworking space only to find out you can’t get sh*t done there.

Because you’ll only have yourself to blame.

Did you practice your due-diligence?

Did you even consider whether you’d be a culture fit?

We bet you didn’t look any further than the price and now you’re locked into a coworking space where you can’t even work.

We’ve seen it all over the past 6 years of supporting the Startup community and we’re here to give you our insights on the key factors for finding your ideal workspace.

 

We’ve also included a list of every coworking space in Sydney include details such as their Space type, internet speed, prices (where available), public transport and parking access.

Compare Sydneys Coworking Space’s

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Location, Location, Location

Whether you’re looking for commuter convenience or the prestige of being based within a certain part of the city a suitable location is the most important aspect to consider when choosing your space.

This should be entirely dependent upon your goals.

If you’re working within the Fintech Space you probably want to be close to the pulse of your local financial Financial District.

If you’re an early stage bootstrapped startup you want to be part of your local startup hub (clusters of co-working spaces within the same area) you’re going to need to meet and learn from a lot of experienced entrepreneurs to really get the value out of your coworking experience.

Important:

Don’t forget to consider your access to local amenities such as parklands, gyms, lunch spots, pools and public transport. Most co-working spaces will have limited parking so make sure you choose one that’s accessible by public transport unlesss you’re prepared to park on the street…

Coworking Space Environment, Breakout Spaces & Meeting Rooms

Ideally, you don’t want a coworking space to be too noisy or too quiet.

If you’re looking to join a coworking space then odds are you’re tired of either working from your living room (too quiet/isolated/distractions from family & housework) or a cafe (too noisy/busy). A coworking space is a financially viable, distraction-free alternative to these environments. So each coworking space should be valued on their surroundings and the number of distractions they bring as they can be a huge determinant to how quickly you’ll make progress on your projects.

Things to consider:

Are there dedicated spaces for phone calls (booths, rooms etc.) or are teams on calls in the coworking area?

Are there designated meeting rooms for whiteboarding, meetings & team discussions or just coworking desks?


We suggest that you ALWAYS ask for a tour of the office by the community manager before signing up so you can get a feel for a space before you start.

Coworking spaces also have the added benefit of giving you access to professional facilities such as boardrooms and meeting rooms to meet with potential investors, clients and employees.

Make sure your space gives you access to these professional facilities as part of your membership and see how they go about booking sessions. Most spaces will have their own internal booking system that you can use to book meeting rooms online, ask what the availability is like, do you need to be organised and book days in advance? Or can you generally manage to book a room on the day?

Specialised Coworking Community

When you join a coworking space you also join its community.

One of the biggest benefits of joining a coworking space is being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, digital nomads and independent professionals so it’s crucial to pick one where you’re a culture fit.

Seeing people working towards the common goal of building their business will encourage you to come to work each day. The social aspect of working alongside people who “get” your entrepreneurial challenges will also give you a support network to fend off the doubt, isolation and loneliness that often arise when working independently.

You’ll also do a lot more peer learning and have a much better chance of understanding what you don’t know. However, if you’re in a specialised industry such as Fintech it’s best to join a dedicated Fintech coworking space. Same goes for social enterprises, agri-tech etc. surround yourself with

When deciding if a community is a good fit for you, ask yourself:

– What professions are other members of the workspace?
– Are my skills a good fit for this community?
– Does this space host regular events for members to network with each other?
– Will this space help drive and hone in my ambitions?

Bonus: Internet

If you’re a tech company you must have access to fast internet.

If you rely on the internet for your day to day business, for conference calls or for transferring large files and if you’re in a coworking space sharing internet with 50 – 100+ people then it’s really a no-brainer.

A normal home connection of Adsl 2+ is 24Mbps which gives a theoretical maximum download of 3 MegaBytes per second, the truth is that a home connection is lucky to get 5 or 6.

The next step from there, if you’re lucky is NBN where you might get 50/40Mbps, that’s 50 up and 40 down, or if you took the best plan you might get 100/50 that’s pretty quick and could see you downloading between 6 and 12.5 MegaBytes per second.

Ideally, you want to try and find a space that has fibre laid to the building and always do a speed test on your computer to check whatever claims they make.

Ultimately

As a new bootstrapped business price will probably be the determining factor when it comes to choosing your coworking space but just remember that once the ink has dried you still need to be able to get sh*t done where ever you are.

Go in with a clear goal. Are you looking to focus and write code in silence? Do you work within a specialised industry that would have its own dedicated coworking space? Are you looking to make connections with fellow startup founders?

And always, always, ALWAYS make sure you do a walk through beforehand.

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