Looking for a coworker? If you are sick of the ‘home office’ concept you may want to test co-working — a concept described in the Workstation column in the New York Times.
1. Figure out what type of space will work best for you. Searching for a workspace that caters to people in your industry? One for creative professionals? One that doubles as event space? If yes — it may be best to try a workspace location with a specific niche like Green Desk in New York, known for its “environmentally responsible” office space, or the Summit SF in San Francisco, geared to entrepreneurs.
3. Keep in mind what your daily needs are — like the ability to make private phone calls, access to computer or copying equipment, a nearby Starbucks? If you’ll have clients visiting you the ‘professionalism’ of the office is also important.
4. Once you have a shared office space you like — remember to ‘test’ specific areas in the office. You don’t want to be stuck with space near the restrooms (foot traffic) or by the break room/office kitchen (way too much conversation).
5. What does it cost to give up your (free) home office and take up a shared situation? The New York Times reports that “on average, co-workers pay $275 to $375 a month to work in an open environment that usually includes Wi-Fi, and can also include coffee, snacks and office supplies.”
6. Our suggestion? See if you can negotiate a free ‘test day’ to spend working in the space before you sign any contracts. See if you like the other people there and most importantly — if you can really get any work done.