How Location Influences Coworking Spaces

Susan Post Susan Post How Location Influences Coworking SpacesPhotos by Susan Post

Location, location, location! It’s a saying we all know for a reason. It can make or break a business. When it comes to location in the realm of coworking there are two ways to think about it – owners selecting the right location for their venture, and members choosing a location and coworking space that best fits their needs.

Neighborhood, obviously, plays a major role in a coworking space’s placement and the kinds of members it will attract. What other types of businesses are concentrated in the area? Is it a residential neighborhood? Are there nearby amenities?

Serendipity Labs two Columbus locations highlight how two spaces can be close together – 1.5 miles apart to be exact – but serve distinct audiences because of their neighborhood.

At 21 E. State St., Serendipity Labs Downtown is across from the Statehouse, near the courthouse and surrounded by government buildings and law firms. It’s those audiences the space primarily seeks to serve.

Head to Short North and the audience changes. At 886 N. High St., Serendipity Labs is in the thick of a bustling neighborhood that sees many businesses, like retailers or restaruants that might not have a back-office space, utilize coworking. That audience extends to startups, small businesses, artists and more.

Serendipity Labs Director of Business Development Jessica Somerville says that each location sees a mix of members that are neighborhood residents and those that do business with other organizations in the area.

A Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) study found that 58 percent of members choose a coworking space because it’s close to their house. But even more than proximity, community and interaction are bigger drivers at 76 and 75 percent – both of which can be influenced by a coworking space’s location.

Location determines several other factors that can sway an individual’s decision to choose one space or another, like accessibility or amenities. The average cowoker commute is 18 minutes, according to the GCUC study, with just over half driving. Is there parking once the arrive? Members also have to consider ease of access for potential clients and guests.

With their proximity to High Street, Serendipity Labs has the benefit of being easily accessible to public transportation, including the free CBUS Circulator, which has stops close to both offices. Somerville says accessibility can be a challenge, but is encouraged by the progress made over the last few years to address parking issues and increase access to alternative transportation options in Columbus.

Nearby amenities are a benefit of both Serendipity Labs locations. Downtown’s lab is steps from practical necessities like a dry cleaner and pharmacy, close to greenspace with the Columbus Commons, and also surrounded by restaurants and entertainment destinations. Short North brings a bevy of local shopping and dining options. Somerville says it lends itself to the elusive work-life balance. It’s also a connected community that supports local, and community is one of the driving factors in choosing a coworking location.

These urban core coworking spaces have largely been the norm when it comes to location, with GCUC finding 77 percent of spaces located in urban areas and just 17 percent in suburban. However, Somerville thinks the suburbs may not be far behind. They’ve heard consistent feedback from members that want more suburban locations – they’re after shorter commutes and resources closer to home.

This mutli-part sponsored series on co-working in Columbus is presented with paid support by Serendipity Labs.

Serendipity Labs is introducing a network of inviting, inspirational members-only workplaces to Columbus, Ohio. We have combined state-of-the-art workplace design, technology, and security with the highest service level standards to deliver a consistent and peerless workplace experience.

Our mission is to deliver an upscale, hospitality-based workplace experience that can serve as an extension for businesses and a home base for established, independent professionals.

Learn more about coworking in Columbus, including Serendipity’s Downtown & Short North Locations in The Metropreneur’s Coworking & Creative Workspaces Guide.


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