The definitive guide to Coworking spaces

Charles BrecqueCharles Brecque
Last updated on:
March 12, 2023
Published on:
December 7, 2021

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Choosing a coworking space has many benefits whether you're a freelancer, entrepreneur, small businesses or more established company with many employees. Whether you are choosing a coworking space as a temporary or long term solution, this article will explain what a coworking space is, the reasons for choosing a coworking space, the important factors to help you choose one which meets your needs and what to look out for.

What is a coworking space?

A coworking space is not a traditional office leased to a single company for a period of time. A coworking office is an office space which can be rented on a flexible basis via a cost-effective coworking membership. Coworkers can rent a desk or a private office on a temporary or pay as you go basis. The office space will provide wifi, meeting rooms and various over services to the occupants. Coworking spaces are an affordable option for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses who are getting started, need flexible workspace or can't commit to long term leases. Whilst working from home might seem like a good option, having flexible access to coworking space can split the working day. One of the other benefits of coworking spaces is the coworking community of entrepreneurs you can learn from. Providers such as Wework have helped popularise the concept of coworking spaces but more recent providers now exist such as Uncommon. Some coworking spaces also act as incubators or a virtual office to register your business address. Coworking spaces sometimes have entrance requirements which is why you might need to enquire and submit an application to be accepted.

How to choose the right coworking space for your small business

Finding the best coworking space for your business will depend on the type of work environment you are looking for, the size and stage of your business, if you're a startup or not and finally if you need private office space, meeting rooms or simply flexible work space with hot-desks. Coworking spaces will always offer serviced office space which includes wifi but depending on the location, they can offer perks like refreshments and foster an environment to network with other members of the shared office space via community events.

Do you need private office space?

Remote workers don't usually need an office and work from cafes or their home office. However, having private office space can be useful for collaborative work or general wellness. Serviced offices offer flexible working space which can be useful for remote workers seeking a work-life separation or wishing to join a community of other freelancers and remote workers.

Do you need meeting rooms?

Coworking spaces usually have meeting rooms which can be booked by the hour. Meeting rooms and event space can be useful for workshops or meetings with clients. Coworking spaces sometimes have breakout spaces which can be useful for brainstorming sessions with other team members.

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Do you need a hot desk or a dedicated desk?

If you are working on your own and infrequently then a hot desk in a shared office space is probably sufficient whereas if you are going to the coworking space on a full-time basis then dedicated desk space might be more appropriate. To determine how the coworking space fits in your schedule, you can enquire about a trial period or a short-term membership.

What are the additional perks of coworking spaces?

Coworking spaces usually offer more than just office space. Membership plans might offer cafes and refreshments, lockers, conference rooms and organise networking events with the other members. It is important to choose a coworking space based on the community of members so that you can easily integrate and make the most of the social aspects of being a member.

What coworking spaces are available in your city?

Legislate has compiled a list of coworking options which offer shared workspaces for the major cities in the UK and tips to help you make a decision. Choose your city from the list below:

What do you need to watch out for when joining a coworking space?

One obvious think to look out for when choosing a coworking space is its location. It should be reasonably close to public transport and to your employee's and your home. Choosing coworking spaces based on community also means choosing by location. For example, choose Shoreditch, Camden or East London and Soho in New York if you are a startup. Other busy cities such as Manchester and Birmingham will offer coworking spaces which might be cheaper than London. One other factor to consider is pricing and flexibility.

What to look out for in coworking spaces?

Despite coworking spaces being a great place for small business owners and entrepreneurs, it is important to ensure you have sufficient legal protection to make sure your intellectual property is protected and employees protected against solicitation from other coworking companies. Robust non-disclosure agreements and employment contracts can protect your business and grow confidently.

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement, is a contract between a party disclosing confidential information and the party receiving that information. The receiving party, who is also known as the recipient, agrees to protect the other party’s confidential information by keeping it secure, not using it for unauthorised purposes, and not disclosing it to third parties. NDAs are crucial whenever sensitive information is being shared, especially in a coworking space where other members might over hear information or see sensitive data. Members of a coworking space often enter into an NDA to ensure that they do not use other members' confidential information for their own purposes and that their own confidential information is protected.

An employment contract allows an employer to hire an employee for a specific role in exchange for a salary. The employment contract should have a number of restrictions to prevent the employee from working for a competitor or for intellectual property developed during the course of employment from being used by the employee outside of work.

Having the right non-disclosure and employment agreements in place will allow you to thrive in a coworking space. To create a customisable lawyer approved contract for only £9.95, sign up to Legislate. Legislate offers all the essential legal documents on no legal budget so that you can focus on your business and have peace of mind that your legals are in order.

About Legislate

Legislate is a contracting platform where landlords can create contracts relevant to the property they rent, ranging from tenancy agreements to letter agreements for serving notices. Read our tutorial to learn how to create your tenancy agreements in minutes with Legislate. Book a demo and Sign up today to put the confidence back into contracting.

The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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