Sergios is IamExpat's editor in chief. His main interests include long exposure photography and onli...
Coworking spaces in Amsterdam30 October 2012, by Charalampos Sergios
No worries; coworking spaces are cool, relatively cheap, and offer a great opportunity for networking and socialising!
Coworking spaces are an affordable alternative for the many freelancers and one-man companies who simply cannot afford their own place, especially in cities like Amsterdam where you practically have to fight over desirable spaces and of course, pay for every square meter.
These shared working spaces operate like start-up campuses. They usually provide common areas and other necessities (cafeteria, meeting rooms, Internet access, etc.) so that you can focus on developing your business and building solid relationships with the other companies and entrepreneurs around.
Why work in isolation?
The whole idea behind coworking spaces is that a group of independent professionals / companies will work better when situated together under one roof. In fact, according to the 2011 Global Coworking Survey, 96% of the respondents cited "community" (rather than location or price) as the most important factor when choosing a coworking space.
So, why work in isolation when you can work a few meters away from potential business partners? If, for example, you are running an Internet company, it is very likely that you will need to work with other ICT, marketing, and / or design companies at some point, and coworking spaces are ideal and increasingly popular hubs for the creative and Internet industries.
Coworking: It's all about flexibility
Choosing a coworking space is all about flexibility. Usually different types of access are available to suit your particular needs (e.g. limited access for a few hours or a few days per month, membership for full access, or even separate office spaces), and in most cases, you are able to switch from one option to another. The (small) office spaces can be an ideal choice for small businesses that expect to grow in the near future.
Photo by Flickr user Victor1558
What to check out before signing
› How many other companies / professionals are already members or have offices?
› Is the building accessible 24/7?
› What about security? Did any incidents take place in the past?
› Does the insurance cover you in case of fire, theft, etc.?
› Does the membership (or office space) price include access keys, Internet access, etc.? Any extra costs for your employees, interns, etc.?
› Do you have to pay extra to book the (common) meeting room? If so, how much?
› Do they organise social or networking events? How often? Can everyone attend?
› Is parking available?
Coworking spaces in Amsterdam
Coworking is becoming quite trendy, so you can find quite a few spaces in Amsterdam. Here is a list of some of the Dutch capital's most famous coworking spaces:
› HUB Amsterdam
› Lev Kaupas
› The Thinking Hut
To recommend more coworking spaces in Amsterdam please comment below.