I hope you all are doing great. It’s been a while now since I wrote my last article and shared it with you people. Actually, I was in UAE for a while.
During my stay in UAE I visited some co-working spaces and also registered for one of those to do my software engineering consultation work for my clients. It had been a great experience overall. But, I would like to share some experiences that I think everyone should keep in their mind for selecting a co-working space for them. Also these are my views and experience. Some people may and may not agree with these.
Location of a co-working space is very important. It’s just like selecting a suitable place for your shop or factory. It should be easy to approach and also not so far. It is a big plus if you can also go there using public transport, unless you have your own transportation. It’s also important if your clients or people often visit your office. And if you are a sales related company than location become more important.
So the co-working space that I joined in UAE was GlassQube co-working in Al-Reem Ireland, Abu Dhabi. They have their office at 35thfloor of Sky Tower. They are also opening a new office in Corniche area which is also another good option. Both of these locations are great in my opinion and both have their own benefits.
Environment is another important attribute or item for a co-working space. To me environment is something that can make or break our deal. I visited many different co-working spaces in Lahore before my visit to UAE. But, most of those were not as per my expectations. Some of those had ambiance issues, some were noisy and some had hygiene problems. It’s job of management to keep the environment A+ class and do whatever they can to provide best value to money of their members.
Management at GlassQube were great. They were able to maintain good standards for environment related items most of the time. Although, they have used a ware-house type design for roof and walls of the co-working area. But, still it’s very clean and tidy.
Some people consider lighting a part of environment. And they are right. But, I would like to consider it separate. Because, lighting is also very important and usually ignored. You can choose any type of light. i.e. White or Yellow. But, light intensity is critical. Lights intensity should be between medium to high. As low light intensity will have cool effect but it’s lazy and dull. On other end high intensity will be tiring and noisy. Also low light intensity result in dark areas within co-working space which gets uncomfortable some times. Also both low and high intensity is not good for people with sight issues.
One of my purpose of joining a co-working space was to get in touch with people and make more connections. As new connections are beneficial in many different ways. They can introduce you to more people, bring new exciting opportunities, help you to learn something new and many other possibilities. It totally depends on you and your networking mindset.
I have been lucky to meet some brilliant minds at GlassQube. This include people like Junaid Arif (Global Marketer and Business Development), Muraad Khalid (Sales Person), David (Writer and Blogger), Mohammad Khiami (IT Project Manager, Team Leader), Mansoor (Financial Advisor) and some other (sorry, I forgot names.). It has been a wonderful experience in terms of networking and sharing roof and desk with all such brilliant people.
Obviously our actual profession and work is the main reason to join a co-working space. We always want to best utilize our time and mind to do our job, work on a project or serve our clients. If co-working space is noisy (it can be hearing noise or visual noise. By visual noise I mean people walking around and having chit-chat with others, etc.) it will not let you focus on your work. Same is true of light and room temperature. We can use headphones to cancel voice/hearing noise. But other types of noise are not easy to ignore or cancel.
Open Office Type Structure
Some co-working spaces usually prefer to use wood or glass made cubes or portioned to separate people. As per my opinion this is bad in terms of both look and feel. Most of the people that join a co-working space usually are freelancers, writers, entrepreneurs, etc. Most of them dislike and feel uncomfortable in cube like office and environment. Cubical offices also kill creativity. They prefer to work in open offices and space where they don’t feel suffocating.
There can be many other factors to look at. But, I have this small list in mind; As it helps me make better decision. If you have any other important factor in your list. Please share your opinion in comments.