Tips for Picking Shared Office Space

Starting a business from home can be isolating to say the least. If you find yourself having conversations in the neighborhood drugstore – with yourself -- you may be ready to leave your home office and join others in the same situation.

Hotdesking can help (there’s even a magazine dedicated to it) but consider a few things when choosing a locale:

  • Know your needs. Co-working or shared working spaces offer open work spaces where you sit side-by-side with other people, or offices with doors that close and conference rooms for small or large meetings. 
  • Fees vary. Expect to pay $25 to $35 to rent desk space for a single day or $275 to $300 a month for dedicated space. Many have discounts for groups; there are a few Meetup groups dedicated to telecommuting.
  • Amenities vary. These days, besides a desk and chair, almost any co-working space offers high-speed wireless internet connections, coffee, water and restrooms, possibly copy machines and printers and a even a kitchen available. Bring everything you think you may need, however.
  • Spacefinders. There are apps like LiquidSpace and sites such as Opendesks that can help locate available open office space when you're on the road.
  • It’s not for everyone. People who enjoy the solitude of working at home may find the space itself intrusive.
If you start to miss the guy who hung around your cube because you had candy in your desk drawer, it’s probably a good idea to get out. Plus you get to work among other like-minded individuals to network, share ideas, or just rehash your weekend. 
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