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The top 5 tips to help you find the best coworking space

There’s a coworking space out there for everyone. From virtual to communal, the world is your oyster when it comes to finding a space to work from.

The harder part is narrowing down what the best coworking space looks like, for your own needs. We’ve put together five key points to consider when comparing the myriad of different coworking spaces available to you. After reading this list, you’ll be better equipped to decide what you want and need from a shared working environment.

Define what the best coworking space looks like for you

It’s a simple question, but one that has multiple different answers, depending on who you ask. Some people look for a communal space where knowledge can be exchanged to drive impact. Others look for private office spaces within a space that’s built with sustainability in mind. Others still simply need the flexibility to work from a comfortable, quiet space now and then.

So, the first step in finding the best coworking space for you is to set some expectations of what you want from the workspace. Are you looking to share knowledge? Collaborate with like-minded individuals on social issues? Grow your network? Then finding a coworking space that offers ways for its members to connect and keep in touch is crucial. At Impact Hub Berlin, members hold regular community events, chat via the dedicated IHB Slack workspace and newsletter, and meet up in the numerous communal areas.

If you’ve got a small team, then a coworking space with office spaces to hire within a creative, collaborative ecosystem could be more in line with your needs. Coworking spaces can offer flexibility for startups to scale up or down by booking rented workspaces that can be combined with coworking membership(s), as needed. Options like this help to support changing team sizes and hybrid working trends.

Aside from membership vs. rented workspace options, which we covered in a separate blog post, the other necessity you’ll need to define is the type of workspace you’ll need. 

While the hot desk concept has been around since the ‘90s, coworking spaces have evolved to not just provide a space for impact entrepreneurs to work from, but to also strive from. That’s why having a variety of workspaces is also something to consider. If you need to be on the phone for meetings quite a bit, you’ll want a space that offers call booths or meeting rooms. If you’re a content creator, an ecosystem with podcast studios, workshop rooms, or labs is something to look out for.

The other thing to think about is how often you’d want to work from a coworking space. Not everyone needs full-time access, which is why many coworking companies now offer day passes. At Impact Hub Berlin, a Connect membership offers changemakers access to our space once a month, with the flexibility to purchase additional day passes as needed.

Find a location that fits

Location is another key factor when determining the best coworking space for you. It’s important to consider the proximity and transit time of coworking spaces in your area and weigh that with the value you’d get from that space. Will you be hosting meetings in person at the coworking space? If so, you’ll want a location that’s easy for people to get to. Public transport, parking spaces, accessibility, the neighbourhood – these are all key things to look out for when searching for an ecosystem that will benefit you and your impact-driven mission.

The idea of coworking has, over the past few years, expanded to now include broader ideas of working collaboratively. Some entrepreneurs with an existing network have started creating “home coworking” spaces, where they invite friends over to work from their home for the day. This concept draws on some of the key benefits of coworking spaces, but relies on already having a network of people with the same ideas of workflow.

For the more introverted, there are even virtual coworking websites to help facilitate accountability and productivity. Coworking app Groove offers business owners one-hour coworking sessions to help boost productivity and focus. The sessions include a video hello and goal setting, focused work, and then a five-minute recap.

Workspace design that works for you

Coworking spaces are more than just light-filled rooms, comfy chairs, and a range of hot desk options. They’re ecosystems that help to facilitate networking opportunities and they represent the values of their community members.

Impact Hub Berlin community members discussing ideas at a table in an IHB kitchen space.

Our space at Impact Hub Berlin was designed by the fantastic architectural studio LXSY ARCHITEKTEN and won FRAME magazine’s “Co-Working Space of the Year” award last year. Our space is a representation of sustainability, with a key focus on conserving resources. About 70% of all the materials and products used in our space are recycled, reused, or renewable. This is important to us because it is a direct representation of and dedication to one of our key focus points, the circular economy. 

We’re also focused on building community and social cohesion, which is why the design of our space is based on the principles of New Work. This is a concept focusing on building an environment that prioritises creativity and better work-life balance. At Impact Hub Berlin, we offer different room styles for different needs – open spaces for networking with other community members, team areas, open coworking desks, seating niches, and meeting rooms. Our spaces are community-centric and we regularly host town halls to hear from our members. This helps to build a better coworking space together, tailored to their needs.

Workplace culture and community

Most of the time, when changemakers are seeking out a coworking space to work from, they’re not just looking at the amenities or the building itself, they’re looking for community. 

Coworking spaces are frequently becoming more than just places where productivity can flourish – some are shifting into that “third place” between work and home. This is a space where you can interact with like-minded people, share ideas, enjoy a conversation, and feel a sense of fulfilment. These spaces focus on community building and finding changemakers who are working towards similar social impact goals.

A key factor when choosing the best coworking space for you is to see if the coworking space’s values align with your own. That way, you’ll be better positioned to know if that coworking community is the right fit for you and your mission. At Impact Hub Berlin, we believe the world’s greatest challenges will only be solved when we work together. That’s why we set out to create a thriving impact ecosystem where we inspire, connect, and build collaboration across organisations, cultures, and generations to solve current challenges. Our four main focus topics are Circular Economy, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Green Tech, and Sustainable Food.

The best way to get an idea of whether a coworking space and its members fit with your own values is to take a tour or attend a free event. That way, you can learn a little bit more about the community involved within the coworking space.  At Impact Hub Berlin, our tours focus on the power of impact innovation and introduce visitors to the entrepreneurs tackling some of the social challenges we face today. We also frequently run events that celebrate the successes within our community. And, we also hold workshops where entrepreneurs can learn from one another and meet a future co-founder, client, or mentor.

Find a space that matches your long-term budget plans

You’ll want to make sure that the coworking space you choose offers long-term options for you and your team. Determining what your budget is in advance, taking into account any plans to scale up or down, can help you find the best coworking space for your needs. 

Coworking spaces that offer memberships, day passes, or longer-term office rentals are a great option for those worried about “outgrowing” their working space. At Impact Hub Berlin, there are myriad ways to join the impact community. There are memberships, ranging from full-time access to once-a-month, with the option to add additional days as needed. There’s also the option to rent an office space, with furnished private workspaces right in the heart of the IHB community.

Hopefully, these five key considerations will help you better identify what you want and need out of a coworking space, and how coworking spaces can help benefit not just your workflow, but also help you create positive change towards a more sustainable society through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and impact. If you’d like to join our Impact Hub Berlin community, whether that’s becoming a member or renting an office space, we’d love to hear from you!