By Lillian Connors
Tons of people are freelancing right now and the reasons are quite obvious: they either can’t find a steady job or don’t want to. Whatever the case, the rising number of those working as freelancers is constantly changing global economy. Many of those people prefer working from the comfort of their own home, but others still feel better if they do their daily work in some sort of an office.
Shared office spaces that accommodate freelancers and small businesses are popular at the moment and their benefits attract more people every year. However, you shouldn’t agree to this solution without giving it a lot of thought. Here are some of the things you need to pay attention to.
Every company and individual have their own business culture that defines them as strictly professional, playful, exciting, innovative, etc. This culture has to be matched by the space they occupy and, in case of shared office spaces, this might be hard to reach. The space you’re looking for has to suit you and your employees’ work ethics and be productive and encouraging.
For instance, freelance writers or computer engineers work quietly and therefore can’t be surrounded by people yelling on their phones all day long. Writers often thrive in coworking spaces and enjoy them more than working from home, but a certain level of quietness has to be achieved. So, when looking for a shared space, make sure it fits this basic requirement.
With a number of individuals all sitting next to each other, but working in different areas, you wouldn’t expect to find someone who you could collaborate with. But this happens more frequently than you could imagine, which is, ultimately, more than good. Shared work space can inspire business connections.
Small business owners looking for new workers could quite easily occupy the same office as someone looking for a position in their field. That’s how new job offers are made and new employee/employer relationships are built, all thanks to the proximity ensured by coworking space.
One of the main problems with shared offices is that their occupants rarely feel obliged to take care of them. No matter how long they’ve been there, it’s still technically not theirs, so why should they invest their time and money into issues like security and safety? However, even though they’re guests and not owners, they need to consider insurance policies for renters, as well as a general liability policy. Above all, they must think about their own safety.
Unfortunately, your work is always at risk in a shared office and someone can simply walk in there and endanger it. Or you can forget your keys on a busy day and get locked out of the office. These are the reasons why more and more shared office spaces hire 24-hour locksmith services that provide immediate help to their occupants.
There are a few things every working individual needs, no matter which field of work they cover – a high-speed Internet connection, a properly illuminated office, an opportunity to receive their mail and deliveries at work, etc. When working from home, you can arrange these amenities on your own and when working in an office, you employer is in charge of them. But what about working in a shared office space?
Since most people work online these days, all respectable coworking spaces include a Wi-Fi connection by default, but not all are pet-friendly or open to FedEx couriers, for example. And if this is something you might need on a daily basis, it could mean that a certain space just isn’t right for you.
It seems that less and less people drive their own car to work every day and opt for alternative ways of transportation instead. Using your bike is a great solution if you work near your home, or you can try carpooling – besides helping the planet, it saves you money and time. But what if you insist on driving to work? This is an issue you need to think about in advance and see whether there’s available parking space.
Other Shared Issues
Some of the other things you have to figure out before choosing a shared office space are additional services – secretarial assistance and conference room access – that might come in handy from time to time. Finally, check the hours of operation and make sure they suit your personal working schedule.
Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.