What Is Coworking and How Do I Find the Perfect Space?

When I am working full-time while traveling full-time, my coworking space becomes my most important resource. It becomes the headquarters for my business as well as my social life. In this video I cover some hard-earned advice on how to find the best coworking space.

Bonus: You can find the second video in this series here: How To: Succeed at Coworking

What is a Coworking Space?

A co-working space is a shared office space. Whereas the traditional office model has only one company in a space, a co-working space has many tiny companies within one space. The benefit is small companies can share resources and it is extremely easy to meet new people to collaborate with.

Elements of an Ideal Coworking Space

The People — I recommend seeking out a group with diverse skillsets and occupations. Some of my greatest business insights have come when talking to people outside of my industry about the problems within my industry.

Internet Access — Internet Access is the most important aspect of a coworking space. One of the first things I check when evaluating a coworking space is the Internet connection speed. For this, I recommend Speedtest.net.

Locker Space — I recommend getting a cheap locker within your coworking space in order to spread out the location of your valuables (presumably the other half is in your apartment). This also gives you the extra benefit of giving you an space to store your stuff when you are ready to go out for the night and don’t want to run home first.

Free Food and Drinks — This is my favorite item on the list. Most coworking spaces will offer at least a small amount of food and drinks. Coworking spaces are sadly a small margin business so this small gesture is a sign of both business health and an indicator of where priorities are.

Workable Environment — When I am evaluating a coworking space I look for just enough distractions to be useful. I want a space that inspires me and pushes my brain in directions it is not normally moved in. If you are going to be spending a lot of hours in a space, it is important to make sure it is a physical space that reflects the work you want to be doing.

Quiet Spaces — This is a must. I never choose a coworking space if it doesn’t offer some closed in private space to have private conversations. Generally this takes the form of conference rooms but can also include soundproof booths. I treat my client’s privacy very seriously and as such these quiet spaces are mandatory.

Recommended Coworking Spaces

I have found coworking spaces in every major city that I have ever visited and needed to work in. The following are my favorite finds.

  • Buenos Aires, ArgentinaUrban Station (A bit too pricey but the best of a limited supply)
  • Barcelona, SpainMOB – Makers of Barcelona (This is my favorite coworking space in the world!)
  • Singapore, SingaporeMakespace
    Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam – Saigon Hub (Excellent hub for entrepreneur events and social scene)
  • Seattle, USA – I have found the coworking spaces in this city to be too expensive. Instead I recommend cafes, my favorite of which is Freshy’s Coffee

Worldwide Coworking Spaces Map

Special thanks to Gareth James for the map!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Great video! I hear ya on the quite room. I was on a phone call the other day with a guy who had Celine Dion playing in the background the whole time!

    I’d add comfy chairs to the list. Sometimes co-working spaces have trendy or modern looking seats that aren’t comfortable at all, if I’m going to put in long hours, a good chair is a must. Or better yet sitting and standing desks available.

    Also check your cell phone signal while in the space, a lot of these are setup in old mills or industrial spaces and their walls/metal can kill the signal.

    • >I was on a phone call the other day with a guy who had Celine Dion playing in the background the whole time!

      It was Vietnamese christmas music and it was not my fault! :-p (I actually lol’d when I read your comment)

      Excellent point on chairs and cell phone signal. You are absolutely right. Those are must haves.

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