The most important requirement of a workspace is that everyone feel safe and secure. Beyond that there are a few other basic needs that must be met.
Coworking space requirements:
- People (of course)
- An office with desks, chairs, and lighting (physical things)
- Power (or my laptop will die in like an hour)
- Water (mainly for caffeinated beverage making!)
- Bathrooms (no one wants a dirty office)
- Fridges (to store lunches)
- WIFI (the internets)
- A coffee machine + coffee and tea. (Sometimes coffee and tea are not included. We need caffeine or at least a way to make it!)
Optional coworking offerings:
- Beer, cider, and/or mead on tap. (I do like a good local brew.)
- Snacks (Nom. Nom. Nom.)
- Full kitchen (I can make meals for the community when I can cook.)
- Mailboxes (Yes. We do still get mail sometimes.)
- Lockers and storage
- A great design that helps coworkers be more collaborative and productive. I could argue that a good design is so important for the growth of a culture that it is mandatory. However, I have seen some offices that don’t have an amazingly beautiful or well-planned space but have built a wonderful community of people. You will find what works for you.
- Easy commute with walking, public transportation, or parking options (Free parking is a wonderful thing.)
- Quiet spaces like phone booths and conference rooms for calls and meetings
- After hours access for those who like to work late or with irregular schedules
- Games or places for distraction. This is more controversial. I have seen game rooms, ping pong tables, etc. be a great addition and provide a way for people to take a break from their typical work lives. Many of our best ideas and creative breakthroughs occur when we aren’t thinking about a problem. However, it can just as quickly become an annoyance.
- Windows and natural lighting
If you manage or run a coworking space, think carefully about what type of space you want to have and then pick and choose as you see fit. This is not the reason why coworking is worth it, but it is the foundation and structure it is built on.
There are many more benefits, features, and elements of a coworking space to discuss that I will include in my next articles of this series. These are the basics to get us started.
Do you have any suggestions for additional basics? Feel free to share in the comments.