As I’ve said so many times before, what makes coworking unique and so beneficial isn’t the Wifi speed or the selection of office types: it’s the people. Coworking spaces are first and foremost communities where we celebrate, support, and challenge each other. By being independent together in our selected spaces, we are building a resilient local economy that’s focused on flexibility, openness and sustainability.
With a growing number of coworking choices in Fort Collins, I wanted to revisit the topic of how to choose a coworking space. Like that artist’s palette pictured above, there are many different shades of coworking. Choosing a coworking community is about more than comparing lists of amenities or evaluating price.
Anyone can set up desks and connect Wifi. But did they take the time to build a purposeful community? Are members encouraged to interact? Is there a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie, or do members pass like ships in the night? The answers to these questions will greatly affect your coworking experience.
Rules of Thumb when Choosing a Coworking Space
1. Look for the people. What kind of website does the space have? Are there people in the pictures, or just empty chairs and desks. The way a space markets itself tells you a lot about the type of community that lives there. Member profiles, events, and scheduling functions should always be easily accessible. This indicates activity, enjoyment, and gives you a peek at your new neighbors.
2. Work there first. Never choose a coworking space sight unseen, I don’t care how attractive their prices are. Most coworking spaces offer a free tour or day pass so that you can experience the community culture first hand. Sit in the seats. Listen to the chatter (or lack thereof). Test the lighting, Wifi speed, and coffee. Shake some hands. A coworking community has the ability to drastically affect your mood, motivation, and yes, even profits. Choose wisely.
3. Peruse the plans. A well-established coworking space offers a variety of membership plans so that you can choose the relationship that suits you best. Look for flexible contracts so that you can adjust your memberships according to your needs. No sense choosing a 12 month contract when you travel for 3 months every summer. Also be on the lookout for nights and weekend availability if that’s when you are most productive.
Alright, now that we’ve got those tips out of the way, feast your eyes on a sampling of Fort Collins area coworking options on our fo(co)works alliance home page at http://focoworks.com.