In pursuit of finding the best coworking hub that matches both your personal needs and business goals, you’ve likely spent long hours in front of your computer doing thorough research. While this is one of the most important steps in finding the shared office space of your dreams, you should never underestimate the next substantial move: going on a tour to see the coworking hub for yourself.
Even if you think you might find all the information online, on their website or social media accounts, taking a tour of the office gives you a chance to form an unbiased opinion, based on the things you see and experience on-site. At the end of the tour, don’t hesitate to walk up to your guide and ask a few questions in order to receive even more insight. Here are a few things you should definitely consider asking:
How fast and reliable is the Internet connection?
Most businesses today, with a strong online presence or an e-commerce website, virtually collapse without a strong and fast WiFi connection they can continuously rely on. That’s why it’s of paramount importance to investigate the dependability of a coworking hub’s Internet connection. Network security is another issue that should be addressed, along with bandwidth allocation. When you ask these questions, make sure you don’t settle for generic answers—ask for concrete numbers as proof.
What kinds of other businesses frequent the shared office space?
To get a general feel of the office, it might be worthwhile to ask about the other entrepreneurs frequenting the coworking hub. This way, you can make sure that it isn’t a specialty-office that attracts only one type of crowd, and you can also work out whether you’d fit into the community or not. The key to realizing this is that while not everyone needs to work in the same industry, it really does help if you can establish creative or business partnerships with those who attend the coworking hub.
Are there any hidden costs you should expect?
Whilst coworking hubs are generally transparent when it comes to their membership fees, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask about any hidden costs you should be aware of. Some services which are generally free at most shared office spaces might be taxed additionally at the coworking office you’re eyeing, so it’s something you should definitely talk about. Because the last thing you want is to sign up for the shared office experience, only to realize halfway through that something your business depends on is not included in your membership option—which brings us to our next point!
What are the amenities included in the price?
Another thing you should definitely ask about is the full set of amenities incorporated in your monthly fee. Although most features at coworking hubs are conveniently included, some, like renting out a meeting room, can cost extra depending on your membership option. It is very important to know exactly what you’re getting for the money you’re paying, so make sure the explanations are crystal-clear when it comes to covered amenities at the shared office space.
How lively is the community atmosphere?
If you aim to join a coworking hub, you’re probably interested in the social vibes and community atmosphere in the office. Professional interactions are as important as the feeling of belonging somewhere, so make sure you find both features. Look for formal networking events as well as informal get-togethers, along with the coworking hub’s potential for professional advancement (courses, seminars and other business-oriented events).
Why does this coworking office stand out from the crowd?
For a more intimate look at the shared office, you might want to ask your tour leader what he or she considers to be the “spark”, the most unique feature of the coworking hub. The answers you’ll receive are often quite personal, which can help you establish a better first impression. Try to find out what makes this office space stand out from the crowd of similar establishments and compare the tour leader’s answer to what you’ve read online.
Can you get a trial run before you sign up as a member?
Last but not least, if the space appeals to you in some way, but you’re not 100% positive about whether or not it will work out in the long run, go for a trial run. Ask if the coworking hub has day passes which you can benefit from for a few days to get a feel of the office spirit before you sign up as a permanent member.