As the number of mobile workers grows, so does the need for temporary, part time or informal work spaces. Called, "co-working spaces," these office spaces give people a place e to work without the distractions of home or the coffee shop.
Liz Elam, owner of Link Coworking, a co-working space in Austin, Texas, gives BusinessNewsDaily readers three steps towards finding the right co-working space for themselves.
Go shopping. Coworking is an emerging trend but that doesn't mean there aren't a few spaces in almost every city. You can find most of them on them here on the Co-working Wiki or through a simple Google search. Almost all co-working spaces offer a free first day. Gather up everything you would normally take to a coffee shop to work and go hang out for a day. Talk to the members and see what they have to say about the space. This will give you a great feel for if a space is the right fit for you. As co-working grows we're beginning to see some segmentation. There are spaces that are mainly 20-year-old coders, spaces for non-profits or spaces like mine which hold a wide variety of professionals from CEO's to entrepreneurs. Taste all the flavors and see what works for you.
Ask questions. If you talk on the phone a great deal find out if there is a phone policy. I like to say my space is not a library, we all talk on the phone. Ask about the hours to make sure they fit with your schedule. Ask about guest policies to insure that you understand how it works. Ask about events so you can immediately engage in becoming part of the community. You're going to become a member of a community so make sure that you feel comfortable. Ask if there are any discounts or specials promotions.
Be open. Once you have found your space, be open. It's going to be a little bit of an adjustment. You've never worked in a co-working space but fear not, everyone had their first day and soon you'll just be another regular. Hopefully you have joined a space where the owner will introduce you around and help you find common ground but if that doesn’t happen just hang out in the kitchen, it is still the epicenter. If you take a couple of minutes you’ll soon find similarities and then the magic happens. You will meet people, you will share, you will advise, you will learn and you will grow. Co-working will supercharge your productivity, help bring your work-life balance into the acceptable range and could even change you life. Just be open and enjoy the ride.