Transform Your Spare Space Into a Co-working Space: The Complete Guide to Creating a Co-working Space
Imagine your solo workplace becoming a vibrant, collaborative coworking space. Transform your surroundings and share it with like-minded solopreneurs, work-from-home employees or self-employed business owners. We show you how to transform spare space into coworking space in this article.
The workforce is becoming more flexible and dynamic than ever before. Coworking is becoming the future of how we work. Covid-19 lockdowns continue to drive employees to work from home with professionals and administrative staff working from suburban homes instead of commuting into the city office. But working from home can be very isolating and for some and more distracting. Home based coworking spaces could be the answer to a new problem.
Could you turn your unused, forgotten about space into a coworking space? Perhaps you have a large room that isn’t well utilised that you can convert. Or maybe you are a home-based business with spare desks and spare space that could be modified into a coworking space.
So, we are here to help you with that. Let’s start with…
6 Simple Steps to transform spare space into co-working space
You might enjoy being surrounded by all your “stuff”. But that won’t be the case for others looking to hire your space. So the first step is to declutter and get rid of anything that is not essential to the space. Did I say anything? I meant everything!
Remove all unnecessary furniture, equipment, bookcases, shelves, lamps, screens, things on walls, books etc. Decluttering makes the space inviting, increases productivity and will inspire your hirers to keep it clean.
Now you have cleared out the space, it is important to give the area a good clean. Dust, vacuum, mop. If you have windows make sure they are clean inside and out. Clean curtains and blinds. You really want this space to be free from dust, pet hair and your personal belongings. Also clean the restrooms they would use and the kitchen facilities. A clean space is a welcoming, inviting and inspiring space to work in.
Add Furniture & Essentials
Now that we have removed all non-essentials, and the space is clean, your next step is to fill it with the essentials. Contradiction? Well, let’s not “fill” it. But certainly add in any items that will be needed to make it a functional space for the intended purpose.
For example, if you’re creating an office space then you might consider the following
- Desk and chair – make sure that what you use is in good condition and functions properly.
- Lamp – this enables your coworkers to control their own lighting needs
- Access to essential appliances like a fridge (a bar fridge is sufficient), coffee and tea making facilities
- Storage – whether a locker for securely storing their bags or shelving so they have a place for books and folders.
- Plants – fake or real, plants add colour, freshness and helps create a calm environment
You will want to make sure that this space is comfortable to work in all year round. That might mean an air conditioner needs to be installed if there isn’t one already. It is okay for you to load on the blankets in winter, and swelter through summer but once this becomes a space for others to hire – it needs to be comfortable all year round.
Easy Access to Power Outlets
We are a people who need power! Make sure you have sufficient power outlets for laptops, phones, and any extras. Also ensure that it is easy to access these power outlets. You don’t want guests to bend around cupboards and behind the backs of desks to access this everyday essential.
List Your Space on SpareBizSpace.com
Once you have transformed your space and it is ready to share with others, list your space for free at sparebizspace.com. Make sure you include fantastic photos that sell your space and highlight everything that makes it better than any other.
What are the essential inclusions for a co-working space?
Aside from those things noted above, here are some other standard inclusions essential to any workspace:
- Wifi – Access to high speed, reliable internet is a must
- Easy access to clean bathrooms
- Easy access to kitchen facilities or a kitchenette with the basics
- Water – for making tea and coffee most likely, but a water cooler is a nice (non-essential) addition
Non-essential but nice inclusions for an even better co-working space
To make your space the preferred short term hire, consider including the following for added comfort and value:
- Snacks – like we said, not essential but nice! You might have a fruit bowl made up from your local fruit market and have it placed in sight and in easy access. Or you might consider some cookies to have with the cuppa. Make it a talking point and order some branded cookies from your local cake and cookie maker!
- Coffee machine – the coffee culture reigns. If you can offer a barista quality coffee to your guests, then your space will surely shine. Coffee machines are more affordable than ever before and a tax deduction in this case!
- Microwave – it’s nicely convenient to be able to heat up last night’s leftovers, and cheaper than takeaway.
- A well planned space – give some extra thought to the space you will be sharing. How can you make it better? Perhaps including a small lounge area that allows for breakaway time from the desk. An outdoor area with seating encourages moments away from the screen and into the sunshine.
- A games space – this is taking it up a notch, but a small area for real life games of solitaire, even a pool table or ping pong table would be a fantastic addition. They are great stress relievers and a means for resetting the brain. This type of space also helps foster relationships, collaboration and communal creative thinking.
- Natural lighting – not every space allows it, but where possible maximise the use of natural lighting. For starters, it can help you save on the power bill. Natural light is a great source of Vitamin D, improves circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, helps you focus and get more done. Natural light just makes us happier!
- Computer, monitor, printer – In most cases your guests will bring their own laptops to work (in an office situation). But being able to connect their laptop to a larger screen would be a wonderful convenience. A wifi printer that allows guests to print is also a fantastic addon.
Remember, the more extras you can include, the more valuable that makes your space. More people will want to utilise it for the things they don’t have easy access to. And, the more you can charge for it.
Before creating a shared work space think about these things
- WHY? What is your motivation in doing it – to earn income, to broaden your network, to help startups?
- WHO? What type of people/businesses do you want to share with?
- WHERE? Consider your location – are there people around you who are working from home or setting up their own business, but may not have a good space set aside for working. Are you located in an area close to other conveniences like shopping centres or cafes. Is it important for you to be close to public transport?
- WHEN? What days and times will you make your space available for hire? Will that time suit those you hope to work with?
- WILL doing this add to your expenses in any way (extra internet, electricity) and is that a concern?
- HOW big is your space and is it suitable? How many people can it fit? Remember that 1 person per 4m2 is the standard during Covid-19 restrictions. To calculate your area:
- Measure the length of your space.
- Measure the width of your space.
- Multiply the length by the width to calculate the area in square metres.
- Divide the area of your space (calculated in square metres) by 2 (if the 2 square metre rule applies) or 4 (if the 4 square metre rule applies) to calculate the maximum number of people allowed.
What are some coworking space examples?
People first love the idea of working from home. Lazy starts in the morning. No traffic or transport time wasted. PJs from the waste down. But the appeal and convenience of working from home soon fades as we notice the lack of creativity and connectivity that comes from the camaraderie of coworkers. A shared coworking space in the suburbs can be the solution.
Coworking spaces have been around for quite a while. Building owners and property managers have been converting larger spaces into coworking spaces in response to the increasing rental rates. But we are seeing a new movement. A movement away from working in the city precincts. A movement away from working around large groups of people. Soon, we will see an increased demand for smaller, shared work spaces in the suburbs. Including home-based coworking space. But the idea isn’t just for office workers, some other examples of shared workspaces include:
Living Room Collabs
In the US, before Covid-19, people were turning their living rooms into temporary coworking spaces by day, family living space by night. A business and an App arose from this. Participants said they preferred the atmosphere of working in the home compared to that of a corporate coworking space. The smaller, more intimate living space made it easier for people to interact and connect with each other.
Many premises have a commercial kitchen that is only used during the day and not in the evenings. Churches and community halls have kitchens that are only used over weekends or evenings but remain empty during weekdays. Share these kitchens with home-based cake and cookie makers, bakers, meal preppers and chefs who don’t have access to such equipment.
Converted Garages, Containers as Coworking Spaces
Many home-based businesses have converted garages or shipping containers into home-based office space. But much of that is underutilised space. There is plenty of room for extra desks, a breakout lounge area and even a kitchenette. This creates the perfect blend of coworking space essentials. It could foster a vibrant hub for small group collaboration and creativity.
Photo and Video Space Sharing
Instagram, e-commerce, video creation for e-courses and Youtube has seen the formation of small areas for shooting photos and videos. These too remain underutilised day in and day out. If you have a mini home video/photo studio setup, consider converting it into a space for short term hire.
Cute Corners and Insta-Worthy Spaces
So many businesses, influencers and marketers seek out the perfect Insta-worthy photo opp. If you have a beautiful room, even a pretty corner, that meets the “instaworthy” ideal – that too can be shared. Fashion shoots, product shots, pet modelling, people posing – if you have a room or surround that photographs perfectly – that could be your coworking space.
Converting your empty space into an appealing coworking space isn’t as expensive or as difficult as you are thinking. Many homes have converted garages and rooms into home-based working spaces, but much of that space remains underutilized. If you are one of these – then now is the perfect time to transform your space into something that creates an extra stream of income.
Get started today! List your coworking space on sparebizspace.com