6 Must-Have Amenities You Need at Your Co-working Space
Discover the amenities your co-working space needs, including 24/7 access, free parking, fast internet and much more.
Co-working spaces are spreading like wildfire in almost every metropolitan city around the world. It's a tribute to the increase in the gig economy, which according to Intuit, is currently 34% of the workforce and predicted to be 43% by the year 2020.
Whether you're looking for a co-working space for a few employees or just for your own personal working space, here are a few of the top amenities every co-working space should have before you buy a subscription plan.
24/7 Access and Free Parking
One of the perks of working freelance or setting your own hours is the ability to work whenever is best for you – whether that be in the mid-afternoon or the wee hours of the morning. So you need to be able to access your workspace during the hours you’ve designated for work - no matter what times that may be.
Worried about your safety? Check if they've installed a security camera near the entrances and if they have a way of securing access only to those who have a subscription. WeWork, for example, requires all guests to check in at the front desk and present a valid photo ID. You'll also want to make sure parking is close by and free, so you can return to work several times during the day if you wish after errands.
Perhaps fiber internet isn't necessary, but it's a huge advantage to have reliable and fast internet at your working space. It's a big time-waster to have to reset a modem or wait for pages to load, and many people will simply go home rather than put up with it. Before you commit to a co-working space for the long term, find out what kind of internet service they provide. This is true not just for individuals looking to use a co-working space, but also companies looking to scale and offer high-speed internet to their employees.
Private Phone Booths
When you worked at your former company's open space, you might have stepped out of the office entirely to make a phone call. Many workspaces designate certain areas for self-employed business owners to make the calls they need during the day in an uninterrupted space. Not only will this help you concentrate, you won’t have to worry about other co-workers overhearing your telephone conversations throughout the day. Make sure there is a private area in which you can take private calls, whether business or personal.
Many of us need to print and sign a document, fax contracts, or copy important papers. Finding these services when you work at home can be a colossal waste of time – and one of the reasons you've decided to join a workspace. Make sure your workspace has in-housing printing, faxing, and copying services before you commit to a co-working plan.
A Professional Staff
If you have a problem at your workspace, the biggest pool or greatest yoga class won't help you. But a professional staff will. In addition to helping solve customer complaints, co-working staff can be essential for helping to build a sense of community that replaces the work environment many might be familiar with.
Parents are increasingly joining the gig economy as they seek more flexible hours and better balance between their home and work lives. Workspaces that offer childcare services are growing to meet this demand, springing up in many metropolitan cities. Beyond regular babysitting services, many also offer activities like music lessons and other activities for kids. NextKids, a co-working space in San Francisco, even offered a compostable diaper service as part of its childcare package before it closed in 2016!
Although childcare in co-working space isn't necessarily cheap, it offers the advantage of skipping the workday commute, and the ability to check in on your kids during the day. Since many co-working spaces with childcare services offer a monthly or weekly plan, parents can opt to not pay for childcare on months or weeks that they know in advance they will be on vacation. Traditional childcare, in contrast, often charges on a yearly rate, making parents pay for weeks or months that they are on vacation.
Extra Non-Essential Amenities in Co-working Spaces
Co-working spaces these days offer a dizzying array of non-essential amenities, which can include anything from handcrafted furniture at Weserland in Berlin to arcade games in Puzl CowOrKing in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Here are a few nice to have, but non-essential amenities in any co-working space.
An on-site bar
Many entrepreneurs and self-employed workers who feel socially isolated are looking to extend their social circles within their co-working acquaintances. Drinking is a social and bonding activity, and it can be useful to have access to this activity during or right after work hours.
Designated nap spaces
Of course, you should already be sleeping your required 8 hours of sleep. But if your busy work schedule doesn't allow it, it's always nice to be able to recharge in a hammock or comfortable nap room – or nap pod, as the cool kids are calling it.
Some co-working spaces such as Launch Workplaces in Georgetown, offer a recording studio with high-quality sound recording. The space was created for both experienced broadcast journalists as well as new podcasters to benefit from the studio.
Maybe you can bring your dog to a workspace, or maybe they offer a dog park next door. This can be helpful for pet owners who worry about their feline friends getting lonely or harming their homes during long work hours while they are away.
Video and virtual reality games
From arcade games to virtual reality, some co-working spaces offer workers a way to unwind during the day. The Arcade in Melbourne, for example, offers a collaborative workspace specifically for gamers and game developers.
The Co-working Space of 2018
The concept of co-working spaces has completely changed the way we understand work in a public setting. Instead of conforming to a workspace, we now have workspaces that conform to us. One thing that hasn't really changed, however, is our need to socialize or feel close to others. Many co-working spaces are geared towards creating a community for its workers, whether that be through after-work activities, childcare, or the other many amenities offered. To compare the best co-working spaces available today, visit our cities page here.