After working remotely abroad for the past three months, I have a new appreciation for American coworking. It was a welcome challenge to work in a new office each month, and while I learned so much from the experience, I also became aware of which items are essential to be successful while working away from your normal office. Here are four amenities every coworking space should have to support their remote teams (and what structured offices should consider adding).
1. Activity-Based Workspaces
As a remote worker, nothing is worse than not having various places to do your job. One day you may be writing content for your company's product webpage, and the next you're making video calls to your team back home. Plans change and sometimes you need a quiet space to take a brief call unexpectedly. Each day as a remote worker is different, and a workspace needs to be flexible enough to accomodate that. Having the option to sneak away to a quiet corner to write, or a private call-booth to speak with clients when they call out of the blue is essential.
Even having a few reservable room options plus a few first-come first-serve spaces works well. One of my favorite things about working at Opero Coworking in Prague was the variety of space they offered. Their building featured large, modern conference rooms, a large open-desk workspace, private call-booths and semi-private couch areas separate from the main room. This allowed multiple people to complete multiple different types of work, in the environment they perform best in.
2. Strong Wifi
This may seem obvious, considering working remotely would be nearly impossible without it. However it's important to consider the volume of people that will be at your office during the day when looking over your internet provider options. It might be worth investing in a few different channels or having a few hotspots on hand in case your wifi decides wander off for a few hours. It's also worth noting that many remote workers use high levels of bandwidth, with video calls and conferences held through the internet, so a low-level provider just won't cut it. This isn't the place to save money. Your members will thank you in the end.
3. 24-Hour Access
While offering this amenity may not be possible for all coworking spaces, if international guests frequent your space it is truly helpful to have access to an office at all hours of the day. When you're trying to stay in communication across multiple time zones, this allows coworkers the peace of mind that they have an office when they need one. Installing a keypad system for after-hours access is a good way to keep the building safe, and instructing users how to lock up at night will ensure that everything is in its rightful place come morning.
4. Modern Workspace Technology
When working remotely, the uncertainty of change can often cause stress among employees. One way facilities leaders can combat this issue? Offering reliable technology to ensure there is always an open line of communication between building operators and coworking members. Simple technologies like room reservation solutions, mobile apps to submit service requests and interactive wayfinding maps go a long way in making a coworking space feel more permanent.
As a remote worker who has worked in multiple coworking spaces across the globe, I can attest to the fact that facilities who offered these types of solutions seem to understand where the world of work is headed. The extra effort definitely doesn't go unnoticed. They're placing the employee experience at the top of their priority list, even if those employees happen to be temporary.