Daily, the number of solo-preneurs, startups and small businesses are shifting from working-from-home to coworking. Kenya in particular, has registered plenty of thriving coworking spaces, popping up in every major city. The benefits of sharing a working space are huge and despite this, you have to understand what it is you are getting into.
Whether you are learning about coworking for the first time or are looking forward to moving from one coworking space to another, here are the 8 crucial things you should ask yourself before signing that contract.
What is a coworking space?
Generally speaking, a coworking space is when people assemble in a neutral space to work independently on different projects, or in groups on the same projects. This is very different from a typical office because everyone in the shared space is neither working for the same company, nor getting paid by the same employer.
However, coworking spaces offer the same resources you would find in a typical office. Coworking spaces are flexible as contracts can be as short as you want or vice versa.
Coworking spaces always provide clients with basics like Wi-Fi, printers, computers, some ‘conference rooms’ or ‘board rooms’ and in some instances, some will have coffee and snacks available. Resources are almost unlimited, as you may also be provided with coaches and advisors. All features available are entirely dependent on which plan and pricing you choose.
The following questions will be centered on that particular space you have your eyes on. If not, keep reading as I will be listing the top coworking spaces in Kenya.
Are there good public transport options nearby?
For car-owners, you will be more concerned on whether the space provides an ample parking space for your car while you are working. You wouldn’t want your car towed away while working silently on your project in the space.
For public transport users, there is no doubt that the reason why you are looking for a coworking space is to have flexibility with your working hours. You definitely don’t want to be trapped in that shared space late in the night just because you couldn’t find a ride back to your house.
Ensure that your coworking space is close to your home, to reduce time spent on commuting. You will save yourself a lot of time and money when you choose an easily accessible coworking space.
What facilities does the coworking space have?
Coworking spaces should offer more than a desk, chair and silence. Coworking spaces are made so as to boost your working performance and therefore, look for a shared space that has many advantageous resources. They include:
- Fast Wi-Fi connection speeds, 4G or 5G. Reliable internet connection is a basic need in this environment.
- Printers and photocopiers.
- Conference rooms, boardrooms or meeting rooms.
- Large Windows or any other sources of natural light.
- Proper air circulation from well-placed windows and ventilators.
- Good hygiene. No one wants to collect an infection from a poorly maintained coworking space.
Does the shared space host workshops or events that you may want to join?
Many coworking spaces host several workshops and events that help the clients using the spaces. For instance, the popular Icons Hub in Kisii hosts computer literacy programs that include learning programming for peoples of all ages, but particularly focused on the youth.
Other social events within a coworking space will help tenants network with each other and build strong relations.
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What is the feedback from people who have used the space?
Before choosing a space, do your primary research on the reputation of the coworking space. Is it development oriented? Does the space offer proper services to its clients?
Hook up with current or previous users of the space to establish whether it will be a good fit for you.
Does the space fulfill your aesthetic standards?
No one wants to get into a relationship with someone they don’t consider attractive. The same applies to coworking spaces.
Choose a coworking space that matches your brand ethos, theme or image. Ask yourself if you would be proud to host your clients in that building. If not, you need to reconsider your options.
What are the top coworking spaces in the area?
In Kenya, there numerous shared spaces. Below is a list of the top coworking spaces.
- Icons Hub – Located in Kisii, this space is for researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and students. Its services include one-on-one mentoring, encouragement and guidance. This space also organizes incubations and training programs for entrepreneurs and young professionals. For more information about this space, read here.
- Jenga Leo coworking space – This space offers flexible offices, a rooftop bar, conferencing and meeting rooms. For more information, call +2547-16- 888333
- Regus coworking space – a quick google search will show you an ad from Regus. The space provides its clients with fully-furnished, I.T.-enabled workspaces. Read more about this space here.
- Metta coworking space – Nairobi
- iHub coworking space – Nairobi
- Almasi office services – Nairobi