19 questions to answer when looking for a co-working space or flexible office space. Well, only If you are picky.
How's the location of the space? What's around it?
Yes, location, location, location. Location encompasses: how close is the space for all employees? Is it close from the subway station, from Union Station? If the space is located downtown, what restaurants are around it?
What was the first impression when you got into the space?
People do judge a book by its cover 📚 and good impressions are always important. Were you greeted when you came in? Is the staff attentive to you? How did the space look?
What floor is the space in?
This is usually an overlooked one, are there enough elevators for the entire building? How many floors are there? Will you have to wait a long time waiting for an elevator? Especially post COVID where you will have to take your distance inside an elevator, it's important to understand timing. I mean if the space is on the fifth floor, it might be good for you to do some extra exercise by taking the stairs 🏃♀️.
Is the quality of the furniture good?
Furniture makes a huge difference, especially for your back. Do they have the cheapest office chairs out there? Is the chair comfortable to sit on? Do they have Herman Miller chairs? If yes, you are lucky.
How much effort did they put into the design of the space?
I am a big fan of details and design usually falls into this umbrella. You will be able to tell right away if the coworking space actually has strong design values. A well-designed space will make you more productive. A good example of a beautiful space? Check out Workplace One Peter Street 🌱.
How many phone booths do they have in the space?
Phone booths are one of those things that you will love once you have access to them and you'll feel the pain when you don't. Phone booths are also great for quick meetings and to meditate. Are the phone booths always full? Do you think the number of phone booths are adequate compared to the number of people that are there?
Are there any break out areas? How many of them?
These areas are great for when taking a break or when you are having casual conversations with clients or to even have lunch.
How friendly is the staff?
Not only should they be nice, but can also you ask them anything? I was working out of Workplace One Peter Street and Felicia the community manager, was helping me find hidden gems to eat in Toronto 😋.
How expensive is the workspace?
Of course, this depends on many factors, such as location, quality of furniture, square footage per person, branding, etc. Take a look at worksimply.com so that you can compare prices.
What other additional costs are there other than the rent? How much is the deposit and setup costs?
Another overseen thing, make sure there are no surprises when moving in. Some spaces charge one month's worth of rent for a deposit and some spaces even charge 2 months (I am looking 👀 at you WeWork). There's also a one time set up costs such for Fobs and Keys so make sure you aware of these as well.
Do they let you try out the space?
I think it's important for you to get the real feel of the space. Most spaces will let you try out the space for the day.
How big are the bathrooms?
The worst thing is when there's a massive floor and there's a tiny bathroom attached to it.
How often do they clean the Kitchen?
If they let you try out the space, you should definitely check how often they clean the kitchen, do they run the dishwasher frequently, do they run out of cups, is the kitchen crowded, is the kitchen big enough for the space?
How much sunlight does the space get?
For some people, sunlight is very important, I mean who doesn't want some natural light come into the space? Does the space get a lot of it?
How interested are you in community events?
What are their guest policies? Can you bring people to the space from time to time?
This varies significantly from space to space. I have seen spaces where they give you passes for your guests and some other ones don't really care if you bring them every day as long as you register them.
How many meeting room credits do you get? Is it clear how they get to be used?
This is another important one to consider, will you have a lot of meetings? Additional costs might start to add up fast if not considered properly.
Do they have an online community? Do they have Slack? How active is it?
I have been to spaces where their Slack channel is super active and other ones where it's not active at all. Slack is a great way to know what's happening in the community and to connect with others.
What unique perks do the members get?
These include software, hotel, gym, coffee, restaurant discounts, and more.