Lost in Space: 5 tips to finding the ultimate workspace in shared spaces
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Image Credit: Getty Images Israel

Shared workspaces have replaced offices and today you will be hard pressed to find a startup that doesn’t take advantage of the services they have to offer. Over 50 spaces are spread throughout the country offering a plethora of advantages over regular offices but come with quite a few problems as well. This is how you’ll choose the ideal Hub, which will provide you with a business-oriented work environment with a warm family atmosphere.

This post is sponsored by Spaces.

Shared workspaces have brought with them a new, refreshing and fairly attractive concept: An office with a young and dynamic vibe on a 2-year lease, without any property taxes, and on top of that free kitchen access and all-day networking at a significantly reduced cost. They let independent workers and entrepreneurs pick the size of the office they require, or can afford: From personal workstations, through offices of varying sizes to stylish boardrooms. That way, entrepreneurs don’t get locked into long-term contracts which require a commitment in advance, and they don’t burden their up-and-coming business or startup with high expenses on rent. Add to that office services, free Internet, Lounges, social activities and a kitchen with coffee and beer – and you have the best deal you can possibly dream of.

Work in shared workspaces is comfortable and worthwhile, and what was seen as a passing trend just a few years ago has become the most stable sub-category in the office real-estate market. This particular field’s flourishing can be attributed to two main factors: The first is the transformation that the work environment is going through in the technological age, in that nowadays people can work from anywhere at any time, and the second is the astounding growth in the number of independent workers and entrepreneurs. Over 50 shared workspace compounds are spread throughout the country, offering entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses the opportunity to rent parts of the shared spaces on an hourly, daily or monthly basis.

These Hubs, which the people within them view as more than just an office, but rather a community of entrepreneurs, began thriving when they offered temporary work spaces with office supplies and a comfortable place to hold meetings. They met the need of independent workers to leave their lonely homes into a shared workspace for entrepreneurs and businesses, which also helps them in their networking. But in being excited about the new trend, it seems that some of these compounds have given up their workplace mentality in favor of a cool and social vibe or started opening up in the middle of restaurant districts as opposed to industrial districts, and they are no longer the best place to work and find inspiration.

Before you, too, join the party and start looking for a venue for your startup, here are 5 things to look for when choosing your workspace:

  1. Location, location, location. Every vacant property in a popular area nowadays becomes a workspace renting out spaces for independents, but not all venues are the right fit for technology and high-tech-related startups and businesses. Pick one of the compounds which target the startup community specifically, which will be located in industrial districts and business centers, such as Herzliya Pituah, Ramat HaHayal, the stock market building in Ramat Gan, Matam Haifa, The Science Garden in Rehovot, etc. There, you will be geographically closer to companies in corresponding fields, enjoy the high-tech and industrial atmosphere and have lunch with workers from the neighboring buildings. Inviting over investors, clients and business partners for a meeting in your rented workspace should ideally be in an area which suits your field, and not in the middle of a shopping center, or among garages.
  2. Flexibility and a varying assortment of different spaces, are two of the most important parameters when looking for the ideal workspace for you. Make sure the compound allows you to use different types of spaces for your varying needs: One day you might need a quiet workstation to finish writing a business plan, another day you may need a room for a group meeting, on yet another day you might have a meeting with a client over a cup of coffee, and then some days you may need a classy boardroom in which to show a presentation to investors. Because of the popularity of shared workspaces, some compounds only allow Open Spaces or personal and bi-personal stations to maximize their profits and use up their space as effectively as possible. Look for a compound that is versatile enough and offers different options on a daily or monthly basis, as needed.
  3. Your very own office. Some people don’t deal well with randomness, Open Spaces and spaces being subject to availability. They need their regular, permanent office, which they will come to every day, without worrying about someone else sitting on their desk chair. A place with privacy, where they’ll be able to lay out their plans away from the prying eyes of the people with whom they share the compound. If that sounds like you, you would probably prefer a compound who’s owners can commit to giving you a private, permanent office, but one that could be changed in case you hired more workers and raised more money and need a bigger office, or in case you decided to move to a smaller, more intimate space.
  4. All expenses paid. Shared workspaces offer their tenants a wide array of services. You bring your own laptop to a well-furnished, well-accessorized workspace, and they provide you with office services, including a real address for mail and bills, a printer, and a copier, and even clerks and secretaries who will greet your guests, These shared workspaces give you everything you can expect to find in a standard office, without the hassle: landlines, cleanliness and maintenance, and around-the-clock security. But while some offer fairly standard services, compounds targeting startup companies will also provide professional business guidance and monthly assistance in starting your business in its formative steps, with the help of experienced accelerators. All included for the price, of course!
  5. Quiet, we’re working here! The vast amount of young people who came to these workspaces with the goal of networking with others has made these places offer various social activities and a cool vibe. The problem is, that with this amazing advantage, that is meant to provide a social experience which rivals the one you had as employees, the focus was lost a bit and the feeling becomes that of a social gathering instead of a workplace. Workspaces with no workplace mentality and atmosphere won’t give you the drive you need. Look for venues which, along with social activities, offer a formal working environment that will push you to work, and neutralize unnecessary distractions like noise and disarray. Some places offer special chambers to make phone calls in, so as to not disturb those working in the Open Space, and some create an atmosphere of “getting things done” which further instills motivation. You should go for those places.

This post is sponsored by Spaces

The global Spaces network was founded in Amsterdam now have dozens of centers around the world. The network, which was among the first worldwide to target the startup community as a designated market, is in the process of opening the very first workspace center in Israel. The compound includes a very exact mixture of dynamic and creativity-inducing workspaces in Open Space, and small, quiet offices for when people are waiting for inspiration to strike, combined with a special emphasis on a unique design and appearance and a wide variety of social activities for leveraging and enriching the working environment.

 

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