Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Co-working Space

Working from your home can no doubt be great. It’s easy. There’s no commute. You don’t have to worry about the smell of burnt microwave popcorn in the afternoon. But as awesome as taking calls in your pajamas might appear, there are also some challenges to working from home or at a local coffee shop….

Working from your home can no doubt be great. It’s easy. There’s no commute. You don’t have to worry about the smell of burnt microwave popcorn in the afternoon. But as awesome as taking calls in your pajamas might appear, there are also some challenges to working from home or at a local coffee shop. Problems such as: collaborating with a group in person, needing to interact with another human aside from your dog or cat, or asking someone a tough question that Google or your crazy neighbor can’t answer. That’s why we created Capitol Post; to be the hub of the veteran business community and give people a place to create, collaborate, and connect. Because not all co-working spaces are created equally, here are some questions to ask yourself when considering space.

Space:

  1. What are the space’s amenities?
  • Wi-Fi – what’s the quality
  • Conference room access
  • Coffee & snacks & food?
  • Printer / scanning access?
  • Phones / answering service?
  • Mailing Address?
  • Parking? Metro access?
  • Basic office supplies (and supplies for purchase?)
  • Front Desk / Receptionist?
  • Bathrooms nearby?
  • Whiteboards?
  • AV?
  • Are there resources that I’d have to pay for myself?

 

  1. What are the local amenities?
  • Where can you pick up a gallon of milk and diapers on your way home?
  • Can you get coffee with someone nearby?
  • FedEx/ UPS
  • Places to bring clients for lunch / dinner?

 

  1. Does it offer any other “perks?”
  • Building concierge?
  • Gym?
  • Local discounts?

 

  1. How much does it cost?
  • Daily, weekly, monthly fees?
  • Most spaces here in the DC area range
  • What system do I pay on? Is it easy?

 

  1. Can I bring clients or investors in?
  • Does that cost $?
  • # of people for the amount of time.

 

  1. What are the hours and security?
  • HVAC after hours (think summer / weekends)?
  • Is it staffed on the weekends?
  • Can I store files and papers / inventory?
  • Can I leave and go the bathroom and not worry about my laptop getting stolen?
  • Do I feel safe here working at night or after hours?
  • Key card access?

 

  1. Does the space have “street access” or do I need to take an elevator?

 

  1. Can I grow my business here?

 

  1. What do people love/complain about the space?

 

  1. Can I try it out for a period (day or week) to see if I like it?

Culture / Vibe:

  1. What is the staff like?
  • Do they turnover often?
  • Are they friendly? Nice? FUN? Do they care about me?
  • Do they provide value?
  • How responsive / organized are they?

 

  1. What do the workspaces look like?
  • Are there offices?
  • Is it open?
  • Where are the power sources?
  • Are the chairs comfortable?
  • Is there enough services space?
  • Where do you put your coat and bag?

 

  1. What is the culture like?
  • Is it a “museum” or a fraternity house?
  • Is it collegial? Open? Closed? Library-like?
  • Everyone in a suit?
  • Average age?
  • Do I see myself working here?

 

  1. Who is currently working there?
  • Industry focus?

 

  1. Is it clean? Well-maintained?
  • Who does it? When does it happen?
  • Where can you eat?

 

  1. Are there “rules?”

My Own Considerations:

  1. What are my needs?  
  • Am I trying to professionalize my company? Or is still okay to have people come to my house or a Starbucks?
  • What are my norms?

 

  1. What is driving me to make this change?
  • Productivity?
  • Professional appearance?
  • My own sanity?
  • Community / resources?

 

  1. How much space do I need?
  • Inventory

 

  1. What can I afford?

 

  1. How long is it going to take me to get there? Can I park?

 

  1. Can my clients / customers easily get there?

 

  1. Am I am employee-based company? What does my growth look like?

Programs & Services:

  1. Are there any programs & services offered?

 

  1. Social / networking events? Opportunities to connect?