In the not too distant past I used to work out of various coworking spaces around Los Angeles, depending on the client and the project. There were certain amenities that made all the difference in the world and kept me coming back. Below I outline 10 essential for coworking spaces.
Having plenty of space to work is essential for when you’re looking for a coworking space to call home. Nobody likes to be crammed on top of one another. I don’t want to feel someone breathing right behind me while I’m focusing on a deadline for a proposal. Plus, in this COVID-19 era, personal space is sacred. It's absolutely necessary to have space to have my notebook on one side and my mouse on the other, without it getting too weird and bumping up against my neighbor. There’s an app for that, I believe.
People who don’t consume caffeine are weird to me. So when coffee isn’t a key ingredient to your morning routine, I feel like I just can’t connect with you. Nothing personal. Avid coffee drinkers know the struggle of working out of an office, building, or co-op that has putrid coffee. Having to stop what I’m doing to go out for coffee or spend an extra $7 just to have Postmates bring me Blue Bottle Coffee, totally messes up the workflow. I need good coffee, I need it now, and I also need an unlimited quantity. Please.
Nothing says more about a person’s character then how they respond to slow Internet. I am not above a temper tantrum when download speeds take more 30 seconds. Especially after I’ve had my third cup of coffee for the day. The day could be going great, I’m on a roll, then all of the sudden… it.. Just… takes… too… long… to... get...shit...done… ARGH! No way. If a coworking space has slow wifi I won’t be coming back. Byeee.
Client meetings are key in establishing and growing relationships. Part of the reason why I’m in a coworking space is so I can meet with my clients in person at a respectable space. Having access to meeting rooms is so important when I’m pitching a proposal because it shows a level of dedication to my craft. I feel it shows a lack of preparedness when trying to find a table at Starbucks and then sitting down to a pile of dirty napkins. It's preferable to have my clients to take me seriously, so that way when I ask for that check, there’s not someone randomly sitting at a table next to me chiming in, “Want to hear my mixtape?” True story. Happened at the Starbucks in Hollywood.
Sometimes I get nervous when I can feel people listening to my conversation, especially if I’m trying to close a new client or there’s a fire I’m trying to put out. I also don’t like when I can hear someone else on the phone with their bank screaming “LET ME SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER!” because that interferes with my chi. Woo saaaa buddy. Take a step back and step into the phone booth so we all aren’t subjected to your bad vibes. And then sage the booth when you’re done. If I don’t have a secluded phone booth area to freely talk about private information, I probably won’t stick around.
SENSE OF COMMUNITY
I like to feel like I belong. As much as I like to work quietly in a corner and not have to answer to anyone, I also like to have people who I can vent to, relate to, and connect with. A sense of community is so important to overall well-being. Going at it alone is never the answer, for anything. We are all better together. I like a coworking space that fosters these vibes, because I want to know that someone cares and has my back.
I don’t know anything. I’m somewhat of a specialist in a few things, but not all. Being able to connect with people with higher levels of expertise is crucial in nurturing my professional growth. I never want to be the smartest person in the room. I would rather be learning and running to catch up to those around me to keep me motivated. Having other experts around is a huge benefit and could be the difference of winning or losing this entrepreneurial battle.
FUN AND GAMES
All work and no play means murder. Just kidding, that was a reference from the movie “The Shining” for those of you familiar with the phrase all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But seriously, sometimes I need to chill out and play a game of ping pong. If a coworking space has a ping pong table AND a foosball table? Well, then that’s a win-win. Being able to just stop what I’m doing and pick up a game to ease my mind for a moment, well that’s clutch. This also ties in with the sense of community because it is nice to have a pick-up game partner. I don’t think there’s an app for that, yet.
Parking is the ultimate cherry on top of any venue, experience, or destination. Especially in metropolitan cities. If I can just drive in and park no problem, there are 10 extra bonus points. But if I need to circle the block, pay $20 every time, then that’s just another monkey wrench thrown into the many things I need to get done today in addition to growing a company. Having ample parking is just one less thing to worry about in the day to day grind. Those coworking spaces that offer free parking, bless you.
What are some essential amenities that you look for in a coworking space?