Coworking has been described as having the freedom of working from home, at the same time having the interactions of an office. It is a still relatively unfilled office space niche which is growing fast. People want to know how to start a coworking business, and the description above is just the bare framework of what a coworking space is.
There are several physical requirements for a coworking space:
- Chairs and tables. These would serve as workspaces.
- Computer connection. A strong internet connection is a must. Most work nowadays depend on emails, social media and the cloud.
- Projector and screen. Presentations are part of the work. The presentations may be at the coworking space, or they would be conducted at client offices. Either way, a projector is needed for the coworking community.
- A/V Equipment. This includes microphones, sound systems and lights. It might be necessary to have trainings conducted at the coworking space.
- Copier, printer and scanner. This can be an all-in-one machine. Like an office, there would be instances when something has to be printed or photocopied. For an all-in-one machine, the scanner functionality is now more commonly used compared to the others.
- A small office. Or a “phone booth”, which can be used for private meetings.
The people in the coworking space enjoy working in a social environment which they could not find online or in their home. The social component of the coworking space is just as important as the physical requirements. The following are necessary to foster a community:
- Coffee machine. Coffee is the fuel of choice for coworking members.
- Snack bar. Not really a bar, but more like a counter where the members can order sandwiches, cookies, biscuits of instant ramen.
- Refrigerator. There would be times when someone would bring food from home. Usually, the policy is that food is not left overnight.
- Microwave oven. For heating food.
It is not uncommon for coworking members to eat together at an allotted time. This can break the ice for those using the space. At the same time, while working, it is not uncommon for people to be munching on sandwiches while discussing their projects.
Coworking spaces are like offices, but more intimate and created to be project a feeling of community. There are more decor on the walls, as well as more accessibility to food and equipment.