The PivotDesk Blog

How to Choose a Coworking Space in NYC

Coworking is all the rage these days.

And it’s easy to see why. The flexibility and networking benefits they offer are typically not available in a traditional office. No wonder companies like Uber, Instagram and Hootsuite made it so big, operating out of a coworking office.

But before you too can achieve coworking success, you need to find a perfect coworking place – a place that suits your personality, brings the best out of your team, and offers ample networking opportunity.

With hundreds of NYC coworking options out there, however, finding the right space for your team is no slam dunk.

But don’t worry! There are ways to make your search easier and faster. Whether you are a busy solopreneur, a fledgling startup or a team of 50+, here are some tips to get you started.

Decide on the desk type

Most shared offices in New York offer mainly two types of desks. You can either book a fixed desk or a flexible desk space, AKA a hot desk. Each type has its pros and cons. For instance, hot-desking allows you the flexibility to swap desks as and when required, but you’ve to pack your bag at the end of each day. As you can imagine, lugging around your laptop and essentials is no fun.

On the other hand, a fixed desk limits your networking opportunities to some extent, as you don’t get to sit somewhere new and talk to new neighbors every day. When choosing between a hot desk and a fixed desk, also consider that the former is usually cheaper than the latter. That brings us to the next point.

Consider cost

While you should not make decisions based on price alone, it’s always a good idea to stay within a budget. Membership fees can vary widely depending on the location, ambiance and facilities available in a coworking office. So make sure you know what you are paying for. When setting your budget, consider that you may have to spend extra on certain amenities, such as, printing and bike parking. The good news is you might get 100% tax deductions on your coworking membership fee. So take that into account as well.

Choose the location well

When choosing the location of your New York City coworking space, definitely consider the commute time. If you commute an additional 20 minutes per day, you might feel as awful as receiving a 19% pay cut, says a recent study. So find a location close to your residence. 10 to 15 minutes of commute is fine. Anything more is a red flag.

You may also want a strategic location, for instance, an area where most of your industry experts and potential clients reside.

Make a list of facilities you need

Most membership plans would include basic amenities like WiFi, conference rooms, free phone calls, daily cleaning, and onsite staff. But often, many other facilities are available at an additional cost. For instance, some companies offer screening rooms and noise-canceling headphones for their premium members. Since the facilities available are so wide-ranging, it would be a good idea to make your own list of essentials and look for a plan that includes most of those.

Assess the ergonomics

Make sure the office furniture meets your ergonomic needs. At the very least, you need a comfortable, height-adjustable chair, a clean desk and enough space to stretch your legs while working long hours behind your desk. Poor office ergonomics is definitely a deal breaker.

Look for cultural fit

Material comforts and all are great, but your coworking success often depends on who you share the space with. Ideally, look for like-minded professionals and a great cultural fit.

For instance, if you belong to the travel industry, joining Voyager HQ in NYC would be a great way to up your networking game. It’s the go-to coworking destination for travel startups and investors. Galvanize, on the other hand, is a perfect coworking hub for tech giants and wantrepreneurs.

Even if the workplace doesn’t cater to any particular niche, you should still choose your neighbors well for networking benefits. For instance, collaboration between a freelance writer and an SEO expert could still be a win-win for both. 

To test the waters, visit the place with your team and have a look around. Talk with your would-be neighbors to get a sense of their work culture, communication styles, etc.   

Try before you buy

Nothing helps to evaluate a workspace better than actually working there for a day or two. Thankfully, most NYC coworking companies offer a free pass for at least one day. Some even allow you a free trial for a whole week. If visiting multiple days isn’t possible, then consider trying out the space on a busy day to see how the vibe feels and if it matches your personality.

Finding a NYC coworking space is easy, finding the right space isn’t. With the help of the above tips, you should be able to land a suitable deal for your exact needs. 


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