How to choose a coworking space in Manchester | Workplace
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How to choose a coworking space in Manchester

Workplace
Author since:
December, 2016
33 blog posts

Whoever you are, whatever you are doing and for whatever reason you are looking for coworking space, we want you to be successful. We need you to love it, talk about it passionatly and to feel motivated to be at work and  growing your business, even if you don’t choose Workplace for coworking in Manchester!

The reason is; the more professional and the better a shared workspace works for each member, then the more the industry can become recognised. This means more people will want to cowork rather than work from home, a coffee shop, or a stuffy office block. Your coworking space should be motivating, and being there should be enjoyable, easy and ensure that you can be productive.

But, where do you start to look, and how do you know what do you need? For instance, how much space, what location, how much should you spend, what can you expect, what are the costs, what is included, which one is best? It’s exhausting isn’t it. It might even make you want to retreat to your dining table or to the local cafe, hiding away from moving your business forward.

So, stop and take a deep breath; here is a simple checklist to get you started. There is something for everyone and with so many shared workspaces opening for coworking in Manchester, it is not as daunting a task as it might first seem.

We should probably say here that this is a checklist; it’s not necessarily in priority order.

1. Location

Location covers lots of aspect for our members, from being able to park easily, being accessible to public transport, whether the address has the kudos they want for their business, is it easy for customers to get to? You must decide what the priority is for you and your business.  Many of our members say the location is where they want themselves and their business to be seen.

Although we say ‘location’ first, it is not always the top priority because in my opinion a good location with dirty toilets and no customer care just won’t cut the mustard (but who cuts mustard anyway!)

So the next — and often top — priority is:

2. Hospitality

Here’s where you ask, what are the staff like? How is the space managed and do they really care about me? If I bring in clients, are they noticed, made to feel important? Do I feel important when I am working there? We all like a bit of TLC and attention some of the time.

3. The environment

Many of the spaces for coworking in Manchester (and beyond) are aimed at tech and creative companies. This works very well because much of this industry’s work is collaborative and carried out by freelancers who can group together to gain more work. It also provides a great learning environment.

If you are not from one of these industries, don’t worry, this might still be the right location for you because you’ll get inspiration or ancillary work from the environment. Ultimately, it is down to what you really want to get out of your shared workspace. Do you want to get more work, mix with like-minded people or do you require a tranquil space to get your head down? Do you need somewhere with a great vibe, or somewhere that you can upscale from coworking to a dedicated desk and then to private office.  Some people join for the social side of the work space and enjoy chatting all day and having weekly pizza and beer nights, others find this distracting and just want to get on with their work in a friendly atmosphere and to get home to family at night. It is important that you find the environment that matches your personality.

4. How much do I need to spend?

When you are a small business, or on your own, every penny counts. Any money you spend on a work environment needs to give you a good return on investment. Our members told us that they would not necessarily go for the cheapest option, but they did want to know they were getting value for money.

This is where looking at any extra charges and asking the money questions is important. You don’t want to commit to a venue and start working there only to find out that you must pay for every cup of coffee, or printing is very expensive, or that you use too much bandwidth for Wi-Fi. Make sure that you ask not only the basic charges, but exactly what is included, and what you might be charged more for.

5. Internet connection

Always check how robust the wireless internet in your shared workspace is. If you can’t work without a strong and secure connection, your work will be constantly interrupted. Make sure you find out if there’s a bad wifi signal!

Now for the paperwork part:

6. Contract length

It is tempting to go for the best offer, perhaps the 12 months for the price of 9, but what happens if you sign up to this and don’t like it? If your needs change, you won’t get your 3 free months until the end of the contract, so you are tied in for a full twelve months.

This could end up not being the best option for you. If it works, great! But if not, there are other coworking options that offer just a month-by-month payment plan. These shared workspaces make life more flexible, even if it might be a little more per month. This is, ultimately, for you to decide.

7. Hours of work

Note that some coworking spaces are open 24 hours, some are 8am – 6pm, some are 7 days per week, so there’s a great variety. Make sure that the hours you need access are covered by the hours you’ll have access to the shared workspace that you choose.

I hope this list will help you to make the right decision on the best coworking in Manchester. All we ask is that you go and try it out! Most places will let you have a day for free to see if a coworking space works for you.

We also want your life to be the right balance between work and play. At the moment we’re giving away £250 worth of Selfridges vouchers when you book a Workplace dedicated desk. That’s it — no catch — just some retail therapy on us to keep you motivated. Read more about our dedicated desks and coworking spaces in Manchester, and we look forward to welcoming you soon.

Up Next

Workplace- Unedited view of a members first year!

Workplace
Author since:
October, 2015
61 blog posts

In the beginning – Unbelievably it’s 12 months since I (Arthur Ward -KKANDOO) walked through the doors at Workplace. After many years working from offices on Manchester University Science Park and then Eaton Place on Washway Road in Sale and  a couple of years working from home on a virtual office basis, I’d come to miss the stimulation of a shared environment. For about a year I used the Business Library at The Central Library a couple of days a week and as a Manchester Rate payer I got lots of free time on their spanking new computers. Paying Didsbury Council Tax rates had eventually paid off! But the occasional stranger walking in and telling you random jokes had begun to pale.

The first challenge at Workplace was that they were on the 4th floor and I haven’t used enclosed lifts for some years. Squeezing into a metal box and then shutting you in is not my idea of fun. Using the stairs has never been a problem but the stairs in Churchgate are big. I take the stairs twice a day as I always go out at lunch so  I now have the legs of a mountain goat.

First impressions really do count 

A good start – First impressions were good and I pretty much signed up right away under the relentless pressure from Louise and Adrian! Within a few days I was told about a wine and fish supper evening involving free wine tasting. As I like wine, a fish supper and a night out I said count me in. There I met a few of the other members/tenants and was sat next a nice Irish girl, Gemma, who I have sponsored more times than I can remember since. In addition, she was telling me about her work and background and I told her she was “just a spring chicken” and she said, “so are you”. It made me wonder how bad her eyes were but it was sweet.

A great community feel

Being sociable – Shortly after that evening I was asked if I’d like to come to the Xmas party. As I like a party and a night out I said count me in. You get the picture by now I suspect. By now my wife was convinced I’d joined a social club not a work place. And I began to worry if I could afford the social events and sponsorship never mind the rent. It was a great night and I was sat next to the lovely Lysha and Laura from Qui so I wondered if it was a test!

An Eclectic mix of fellow workers

My Co-Workers   And so I found myself in the eclectic mix that is the Workplace environment.  Thrusting Millennials trying to get on and so energetic but friendly ( would I like to do Yoga, a 10 kilometre run, a Mud Run! – ha, ha), scary recruiters relentlessly hitting  the phones, Hip-hop and Grime agents putting tours together all over the world, Social Media experts who soon exposed my lack of knowledge in this area, marketing and creatives companies, software companies(ah I know something about that), political commentators, and some heavy duty engineering guys I think, graphic artists and so on, jobs I’d never heard of like Data Expert(?). And the loudest laugh I have ever heard from a human being. I’d wanted stimulation and I certainly was getting it – all in a business-like environment and pleasant surroundings.

Lessons from Workplace

What I’ve learnt – * A lot about Social Media – and my thanks go out to all the people I pestered for free advice.  * That although the hot desks are for anyone some places by default are always for some people. (Take them at your peril, such as Recruitment corner) * Recruitment is taking over the world * People are nice * Adrian is a good dancer as anyone who saw him dancing to “Your sex is on fire” at the Xmas party will know* Not to come in with a holiday tan and a stripy shirt as you will be told you look like David Dickenson. * There’s plenty of options on where to sit so vary your days to keep it interesting. * Pret a Manger is not a bad sandwich option and I never thought I would say that – it’s a little bit worrying * The guys from Workplace are very helpful.

 

So, I’m not planning to go anywhere unless my circumstances change, my legs give out, or Workplace put the charges up. And they wouldn’t do that – would they?

 

Art Ward

KKANDOO ENGLISH. www.kkandooenglish.com

CIAS Limited  B.I.Software Consultants  www.cias.co.uk

Art Ward Consulting    www.artwardconsulting.com

 

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