Chris Osborne

Dear Coworking Space Owners…

I’ve just waited 40 minutes outside in 30c heat for a coworking space to open. At 9.40am, 40 minutes after they’re due to open according to their website and social media channels, I have had enough.

So I walk over to another co-working space that’s just 10 minutes away.

It’s open – so a least that’s a good sign.

But after paying for my daily pass, I come to learn how slow the internet is. Heck, I’m even having a hard time loading Facebook.

What’s worse, the desks and chairs are horrible, and I kid you not, I’m limited to only connecting one device to this shitty internet connection (if I want to connect another device I need to pay for another daily pass).

I’ve been remote working for 12 years and I love the explosion of coworking spaces that have opened over the past few years.

But so many coworking spaces get the basics wrong.

I think the main reason is that those who open coworking spaces haven’t actually worked out of a coworking space before.

So what follows is a simple (and I’d argue to say obvious) checklist for creating a great coworking space that entrepreneurs like myself enjoy working from.

Invest in good chairs.

This is easily the biggest error I see co-working spaces make.

For me, I’d rather you invest the budget you had for art and a fancy coffee machine into quality height adjustable chairs that are comfortable to work from for long periods of time.

Invest in the fastest internet you possibly can.

And let guests connect all their devices.

Open your promotions to everyone.

A popular co-working space in Hong Kong offers a free day pass to encourage guests to come in and check them out.

After calling I was told this was only open to local residents.

While I understand they do this so people don’t take advantage, I’d argue it does more harm than good.

Open when you say you will.

And if you’re closing for a holiday, make sure you update your site and social media channels to let your customers know.

Quit the music, and require guests to wear headphones.

When other guests start to watch YouTube videos or open Spotify at full volume without using headphones, it has a negative impact on everyone’s focus.

Please, start requesting everyone to wear headphones so it doesn’t distract other guests.

Consider renting/selling products.

I’ve yet to see a co-working space rent external monitors, sell batteries for mice or offer notebook stands.

I think think this is a huge missed opportunity to not only stand out from other coworking spaces in your area, but also open up an additional revenue stream for the business.

Turn off the T.V.

I kid you not – I visited a coworking space in Bangkok where the receptionist was watching a soap opera on T.V at full volume. WTF.

Most guests, like myself, just care about comfortable chairs, few distractions, and fast wifi.