What are the best qualities of your favorite co-working space?

Hi guys, we’re starting a co-working space in Sayulita, Mexico and are wondering what your favorite qualities of the best co-working spaces are that you’ve visited.

Fostering community is one of the best things a co-working space can do, in my opinion. Providing opportunities for people to hang out, socialize, and get to know each other is highly important. Game nights, dinners out together, pub nights, yoga/workout sessions, weekend outings, etc.

Also, providing food, either cooked on site or brought in from a nearby restaurant/food stand. I’ll happily pay to eat lunch and breakfast at the co-working space most days. Helps me get in a rhythm and stay more productive.

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Thanks for the feedback Nick! We have an opportunity to put a nice open-air lounge on the roof of our space (even has an ocean view!), which should be nice for hosting get togethers outside of “work” hours.

The food idea is interesting - in your experience, how does that usually work? Does the co-working space order a bunch of food and then charge individually for whatever you want, or does the co-working space say "hey we’re ordering food - who wants what?

Sounds like a great space!

As far as food, I don’t think a la carte ordering is the most viable option for most new co-working spaces. It takes more money and management up front. Set meal options are great though, and I think every co-working space can offer them.

For example… the co-working space I’m at right now offers a set lunch every day. In this case, it’s cooked on site, but if you don’t have a kitchen, you could easily order from a restaurant or street cart. People are required to “sign up” for lunch prior to 11am so the right amount of food can be made.

Lunch happens at the same time every day, and it’s been a great opportunity to socialize with folks at the co-working space and quickly develop deeper relationships.

Agreed about food. My favorite co-working spaces have a cafe/restaurant on-site or next door, with high-quality coffee and healthy (paleo-ish) food. I’d rather go to a cafe with those things instead of a co-working space without them.

There are several spaces in Berlin which have a full cafe area in front, which doubles as the drop-in space, and then reserved desk space in the back, requiring membership.

The other thing I look for is variety in seating options. I like to switch between standing desk, regular seated table, and lounge chair.

Thanks for the feedback Thomas! Unfortunately, we don’t have the space/capital to launch with a cafe/restaurant in-house, but I think we could start something like what Nick suggested and take food orders to be delivered at a set time. We have tons of great local restaurants all around us.

Our major priority is going to be opening up the roof space as our landlord has promised to create access for us. I think an open-air space away from the more quiet work area will be key for us as far as starting up a food program.

I like the idea of multiple types of seating. Our plan is to build a high-top, bar-height table in our drop-in space so that you can either sit in a stool or stand and work. We’ll also have some couch seating for those who want to lounge.

It doesnt have to be you providing the food! Perhaps there is a nextdoor/nearby restaurant that can add a few healthy, high-quality food and drink items to their menu under your guidance?

I really like the open-air space idea. I love working outside!

It should be an environment where my things are very safe. If I walk out of the room for a minute I don’t want to be worried that my laptop is gone when I come back.

For me 24/7 access(with your own key) is an important feature. If you work across timezones, then entering the space at 9 o’clock in the morning may be way too late and same with access requirements during weekends.

A social atmosphere is very important. This starts with the founders. If the founders are there to meet and introduce each member of the co-working space, and make an effort get to know each member, this will foster a similar atmosphere across the co-working space. Also creating events that encourage organic social interaction is huge. Working conditions are also very important for a co-working space but social atmosphere is what makes one special.

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