Yes, you can turn your apartment into a co-working space. Since a good number of successful companies often work from converted homes, deciding to convert your apartment into a co-working space is indeed a great idea. A co-working space is a shared work environment where people meet, work, network, share ideas and collaborate on projects.
These spaces are independent of a single office or business and instead cater to the various needs of entrepreneurs and business professionals from different industries, and areas of expertise. Owing to a lack of space, business owners are beginning to convert residential properties into offices or retail spaces.
Truth be told, a suitable location can help attract young talent, and since office space can be quite exorbitant per square foot or require long-term commitments, it may be very lucrative to convert and rent out your residential house or apartment as a co-working space, especially if your landlord is understanding and flexible.
If your apartment is in a place with flexible zoning, then you can make good money from the monthly rent of coworkers.
Forget about those luxury and exclusively designed conference rooms; meetings can take place around the kitchen. Since the primary objective of co-working is to distance yourself from the corporate feel, a converted house may have the casual, collaborative atmosphere most clients are looking for.
Basic Issues with Turning an Apartment into a Co-working Space
When looking to convert your apartment into a co-working space, you should have an understanding of what converting your residential house into a commercial space entails. Here are common issues to note if you want to convert a space from home to a co-working space.
Table of Content
Right before you start making any adjustments or renovations, you must ensure you are legally allowed to operate a business in the space.
Have it in mind that residential zoning can prevent you from operating a business that hosts clients or draws significant foot traffic. If you are not particularly familiar with the zoning requirements of your area, then consult your local government.
Business offices and co-working spaces are always expected to have adequate security to ensure companies’ properties are safe. When looking to convert your apartment into a co-working space, it is advisable to consult a trusted security company.
You shouldn’t leave this item until the last minute; note that you may need to have to make changes to the building or layout to protect your property, so consider your security needs from the start.
Agreeably, it might require a little work to turn your home into a functional office space. Whether you are taking down walls for an open-concept communal feel or splitting up rooms into private offices, converting living space into working space may be expensive and time-consuming.
Nevertheless, it is recommended you check to verify if you need certain permits for the work you are doing. According to reports, the average cost to renovate an office space is about $200 per square foot. You should budget higher rates for a residential-to-commercial conversion.
Although your objective might be to ensure your members stay away from that “office feel,” however, you still need to give the co-working space that easy, comfortable ‘place to work’ feel. Consider designating or creating some private spaces for confidential conversations and meetings, and don’t forget a color scheme.
Also, note that you can still maintain an eclectic look, but a loose design scheme helps your place of the business exhibit that cohesive and professional feel.
Comfort and Convenience
Before you venture into making adjustments, ensure that your newly converted space can cater to the day-to-day needs of your clients. You should ensure that the apartment is adequately ventilated and that the heating and cooling system can support any additional strain (owing to more computers and high occupancy).
Additionally, don’t skip on parking. Whether you obtain permits or pave a parking lot just for your members, note that neighbors and employees will appreciate your consideration.
How to Convert Your Apartment into a Co-working Space
Converting your apartment to a co-working space can be the greatest thing you have ever done. With its focus on community and shared values, you will steadily meet interesting and talented people with whom you can exchange ideas, collaborate, and make significant contributions to each other’s success. Here are steps to guide you through.
Assess Your Space
The first thing to do is to assess the space you are looking to convert to a co-working space. If the space is a plain square or rectangle, then you will have an easier time with it. This will more or less give you three walls to work with, and wall space is going to be your best friend as you go on with this conversion.
Most often, your space is only going to give you two walls you can work with, and they won’t always be flat. However, you are going to need at least one wall for the desk space and someplace for storage.
Gauge Your Appeal
Right before you start making any major amendments or sourcing furniture, you should ascertain whether there is demand for your co-working space. To find out more and promote interest, you could create a group on social media and then host some events.
While on this, you will not only be doing some vital groundwork, you will also be creating an online community, and this will serve as a marketing avenue for your co-working space when it is up and running.
Choose Desks, Tables, and Storage
After you must have finished the necessary adjustments and planning, you need to pick your tables. There are many types of tables to choose from; long tables, small desks, and L-shaped corner desks will work best in a small area.
There are no hard and fast rules here. You can go really upscale designer, mid-range Ikea, boho, or a mix of all three. Also note that you can find some nice stuff at flea markets, second-hand stores, auctions, and second-hand office furniture dealers. You are only limited by your budget and ideas.
Since you are converting an apartment, you might not be able to provide a cafeteria. However, note that you can install a kitchen or kitchenette with coffee and tea-making facilities, a fridge, and an oven. You just have to make available the tea, coffee, milk, and sugar, and don’t joke on quality.
Also remember to keep bathrooms fully stocked with soap, hand towels, and toilet paper. If you can afford it, contract someone to clean your co-working space once a week. Otherwise, make sure you don’t forget to do it.
Cable management isn’t that daunting especially if you put in the time to keep things neat and organized. However, since you are dealing with numerous workspaces, you are going to have numerous cables to wrangle and therefore a more intense challenge.
Since most workspaces will be guest-occupied you will need to plan for additional cables. Note that this may be as little as a charging cable, but you will at least need some easy-access outlets.
Wi-Fi might be the easiest and most affordable option but sometimes people will want to connect via Ethernet. You should make plans to have a means of connecting via Ethernet for the rare occasion it is required. Most often, you may be restricted to Wi-Fi without running an Ethernet cable across your home.
Howbeit, note that you can easily turn an old router into a Wi-Fi bridge to offer Ethernet ports to your coworkers. Possibly, if you need an Ethernet port, it is might have to be for a shared printer. Note that you can always have one machine connect to printers and share them, but if you want them to be always accessible on the network a Wi-Fi bridge may be necessary.
Setting Office Hours and Rules and Scheduling
Note that if your coworkers enjoy being at work, then it might be challenging to get them to leave. You can alleviate this before it starts by setting office hours for every day of the week. In addition, you may also want to rotate who’s in the space during the week.
However, regardless of if you keep a consistent schedule or people sign up weekly, ensure to keep a specific calendar for your space. You can share it with everyone involved so they know when the space is occupied and when it is not. If you set up schedules in the very beginning, it will make managing the co-working space much easier.
A well-structured co-working space will enhance collaboration and creativity. Note that if you have the necessary incentives and budget for the required renovations and changes, then you should convert your apartment into a co-working space. Converting your apartment into a co-working space might be a premium ticket to good revenue and savings.