12 questions to ask when touring a coworking space
1. What is included in the monthly cost?
In a typical membership package, it includes the use of your designated space, use of shared coworking area, internet, wifi, reception/front desk facility, utilities and cleaning services. The following items may include additional charges subject to the flexspace provider you have subscripted. This includes business address, mail handling, meeting rooms, pantry, upgrades to IT requirement.
2. What is the deposit arrangement?
Most flexspace providers requires a security deposit of an amount equivalent to 1 – 2 months rent. It is usually payable within a week or two after the serviced agreement is signed.
3. What are the reinstatement costs once we vacate?
This would apply if you are looking for a private office space. With the lease flexibility a coworking space offers, one needs to consider any reinstatement cost involved. When the private office space was first handover to you, it is important to report to the flexible office space provider of any defects or damaged equipment present in the private office unit (including photos and formal email). Typically, replacement and repairs would be made to rectify this issue. Also, this would safeguard you from any unnecessary costs when you vacate the space.
4. How easy is it to increase the size of the office within the building and/ or portfolio?
Startups and firms may expand their operations as business demand increases. Checking with flexspace provider regarding the ease for expansion within the building or their portfolio would save the hassle to look for an office space from stretch. This may be a decision-making factor especially for companies looking to expand within a year or two.
Technology requirements and other amenities
5. What do you charge for a phone line?
Would there be phone charges for phone provision or your membership package would have covered that cost. In most centres, incoming calls are complimentary. Local and international calls would be based on respective rates from the telco provider.
6. What is the cost of booking a meeting room?
Usually there would be additional cost attached to meeting rooms depending on the flexible office space provider. This would matter if you require a substantial amount of meeting room hours on a monthly basis since meeting rooms are charged on hourly, half day or full day basis. Under such circumstances, you may negotiate for a member package with the flexspace operator for customised meeting room usage requirement.
7. Do you offer a credit system for meeting room booking?
Some flexspace providers offers credit system for meeting room booking as well as printing needs. This credit system would be refreshed monthly and cannot be accumulated.
8. How often does the space get cleaned?
This affects the cleanliness and hygiene level of your working environment. Certain providers offer daily cleaning while others once or twice per week. Ensuring a general level of cleanliness promotes wellbeing and productivity in the office.
9. Can we brand the office and make any alterations?
Company branding is often associated with your business philosophy. It helps empower your staff and creates a sense of familiarity amongst clients. Signages including company logos are commonly used for company branding. However, usage of signages may vary across different flexible office space providers. Some providers may allow signages to be used on the exterior of your office unit, while others would not allow signages to be used outside of your office unit. Certain providers such as Regus would have a designated signage board on a paid to use basis. Usually providers would allow you to decorate the interior of your office unit such as painting the walls with company colour etc. Thus, it is important to clarify with the flexspace provider on the extend of alterations which it comes to company branding.
10. What other companies are in the building?
As the saying goes “birds of a feather flock together”, a coworking space is commonly a collaborative space that encourages greater productivity and inspires a sense of community amongst members. It would be good to know what type of tenant segmentation in the coworking space. This could spur opportunities for business collaboration amongst members whether in terms of business ideas or business outsourcing for services.
11. Are they planning any refurbishment works anytime soon?
The flexible office space market is constantly reinventing itself. Operators may from time to time consider renewing their older centres to remain competitive in this market. This would allow tenants to better prepare for any disruptions to the use of any shared space or other venues which might under renovation.
12. Are there any events or membership benefits you would offer to members?
Some flexible office space providers may have partnership programs with third parties. This may come in the form of complimentary services, discounts with food and beverage (F&B) as well as wellness vendors within the centre’s nearby vicinity. Some providers would organise exclusive events for their members to foster a stronger community experience.
The above is not an exhaustive list of questions when touring a coworking space. If you require any assistance, you may reach out to our flexible office space experts at +65 415 3658 or sent your enquiries here.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding your search.