The following seven factors are crucial for any entrepreneur, small business, or enterprise considering transitioning to a coworking space.
Coworking spaces have rapidly become the home of choice of many of today’s top startups, nonprofits, and established enterprise teams. It begs the question, why have millions of entrepreneurs decided to build their businesses in a coworking space?
As companies and individuals change and grow, the regular 9 - 5 in a stuffy office has also transformed. Coworking has changed throughout the years and has become a space for startups, freelancers, and even established companies looking to maximize flexibility and the in-office experience while keeping costs low. With all the benefits that come with coworking, it's understandable why they would make the switch. With that being said, let's get into what to look for when comparing coworking options.
We all know that there are numerous startup coworking spaces across Pittsburgh, and increasingly, it's not just startups embracing coworking and flexible offices. Nonprofits and established companies looking for low-cost and flexible workspaces have also found coworking to be a great fit. At OneValley, we have a pretty good sense of how founders can get the most out of a workspace and have housed thousands of early-stage teams in our coworking spaces, including some of your favorite startups, nonprofits, and global enterprises [like Canva, Epic!, Min.io, SigFox, Digital Promise, Ripple, 3M, Volkswagen, and JetBlue].
Today, we will review 7 essential things any founder, office manager, or team member should consider when exploring the different coworking options across Pittsburgh.
1. The Workspace Atmosphere and Experience
You are building a high-quality company; your workspace should reflect this vision and offer you and your team a productive, well-designed, and engaging experience. Today more than ever, startup, nonprofit and corporate leaders are looking to select a place their team wants to spend time in. Surveys show that this means abundant natural light, a mix of flexible shared and private areas (offices or conference rooms), access to outdoor space, and a design focused on both individual productivity and collaboration. The best coworking spaces will provide you with all of the above.
As they often say in real estate: “location, location, location”! You want to select a coworking space that is conveniently located for your team that may be spread across Pittsburgh. It’s more important than ever to keep the commute of team members at less than 30 minutes, so we suggest quickly collecting the neighborhood/town/zip code of each team member (or checking your payroll data) and identifying the coworking spaces around Pittsburgh that are within a 20-30 minute commute of all or most of the team. Also, investigate the existing public transportation options so the entire team can commute. Making it easy to access the office is often the best way to get teams excited about coming into the office in the first place.
Low-cost, flexible pricing attracts people to coworking spaces and shared offices in the first place; the improved office experience and hidden cost savings keep teams there. While most coworking spaces will offer low-cost workspace options, it is vital to understand the upfront move-in costs (typically your first month's rent and some security deposit) and the ongoing monthly fee associated with your desk(s) and/or office space. Most coworking spaces have a variety of membership models [flexible desks, designated desk space, private offices], so finding the model that makes the most sense for your team is essential. When considering various coworking spaces or shared offices, ensure you understand how costs may change if you grow your team and need more space. You want to ensure you are selecting a coworking space that will allow you to efficiently add more desks or office space if your team grows. Some coworking spaces will offer you a good amount of flexibility to scale up within an office space, while others have strict pricing for each team member that can get expensive as you grow past 10+ team members. Finally, make sure you understand any add-on costs, such as parking, printing, access to amenities, etc. These can add up quickly, especially as teams get more prominent.
Most startups, nonprofits, and even established companies using coworking spaces or shared offices are looking for flexibility above all else. Historically, that has meant finding a coworking space that allows teams to quickly increase or decrease their size, often with just a couple of days notice. This core flexibility is key! Today, however, you should also be looking for coworking spaces that offer flexible and innovative membership models built for the hybrid work culture we see in startups, nonprofits, and enterprise teams. Make sure you understand when your team members will be in the office and how many to expect at various times, and have a proactive conversation with coworking providers about how they can support your team’s unique needs.
We all know that a great workspace is more than desks and offices. It would help if you offered your team a productive work environment. Still, you also want a coworking space showing your team access to a broad set of amenities that improve the employee experience and provide value to your business. The prominent coworking space amenities are food, beverage, and business service. Still, in reality, this can include everything from basic free coffee service and no receptionist to cold brew, beer-on-tap, and concierge service for you and your team. Other things to consider are whether the coworking space offers other value-added resources, like event space, access to storage, and outdoor space.
Keep in mind that amenities are more than the coworking space. Consider your proximity to restaurants, bars, public transportation hubs, and areas you may regularly visit, like downtown Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh. As we mentioned above, it is great to have access to popular neighborhoods or critical areas of Pittsburgh within 10-20 minutes of your coworking space of choice.
6. Other Perks
Does the coworking space offer you other benefits, like free credits or discounts to essential technology tools (AWS, Hubspot, Segment, etc.)? Do you get savings at local businesses or free access to relevant events? These benefits can add up quickly and deliver value to early-stage companies and teams. Often when you find coworking spaces that offer similar workspace options, the broader amenities and perks can help you choose which space delivers the most value.
One of the essential benefits of having desks or offices in a coworking space is the broader community. Other founders, diverse teams, engaging events, and groups can add significant value to an early-stage team. This can give you and your team access to a broader community for inspiration, insight, and network building. When done right, a robust startup or nonprofit coworking space community allows a 5-person team to access a community of knowledge and relationships of a 100+ person company.
Introducing the Roundhouse
OneValley at the Roundhouse is Pittsburgh’s premier coworking and event space purpose-built for startups and nonprofits and deeply rooted in Pittsburgh’s history. Launched in 2021, the Roundhouse at Hazelwood Green offers coworking and private office space for Pittsburgh's startup, nonprofit and enterprise community and event spaces that accommodate groups from 10 to 250+. The Roundhouse provides a one-of-a-kind workspace and the turnkey amenities that every team needs and is just minutes from Oakland and downtown Pittsburgh. OneValley at the Roundhouse is perfect for founders looking for beautifully designed office space or coworking memberships with pricing and flexible terms designed specifically for early-stage teams.
Photos by GBBN
Workspace Atmosphere and Experience: The Roundhouse is a recently launched workspace specifically designed to support growing startups, nonprofit and enterprise teams. The Roundhouse offers 30,000+ sq. ft. of highly functional desk, office space, conference rooms, and event space inside a wholly renovated 140-year-old steel mill roundhouse just feet from the Monongahela River. The Roundhouse won 1st place in the 2021 Metamorphosis Awards by Retrofit Magazine, recognizing the most outstanding commercial building designs each year.
Location: OneValley’s Roundhouse is located in Hazelwood Green, less than a 20-minute drive from the Innovation District and many of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods:
Hazelwood: 2 - 5 mins
Oakland: 7 - 10 mins
Financial District: 8 - 12 mins
Squirrel Hill: 8 - 12 mins
Bakery Square: 15 - 20 mins
Lawrenceville: 15 - 20 mins
Pricing: The Roundhouse offers some of the most competitive pricing in Pittsburgh coworking for flex desks, designated desks, and private office space. We require a 1-month security deposit but no other move-in costs. We also offer discounts for larger teams and 6-month or 1-year leases and have a good amount of flexibility regarding office space occupancy. We work with each team to ensure we have a working cost model today and in the event the team grows substantially. Finally, there are no add-on costs at OneValley coworking, with conference room hours, printing, WiFi, 24/7 access, coffee, beer, and mail service.
Flexibility: OneValley is purpose-built for teams that need flexible workspace, so we pride ourselves on our flexible terms and membership models. We only require 30 days' notice on our standard memberships and can scale up/down typically on 48 hours' notice. We have been supporting rapidly growing teams across the country for nearly ten years and are more focused than ever on creating models that work for today’s hybrid teams. We can organize flex space for high occupancy days or develop mixed membership models to fit your team’s needs.
Amenities: The Roundhouse offers excellent in-house amenities and is only minutes away from a broad set of restaurant and entertainment options. Roundhouse members have access to best-in-class:
Facilities: an adjustable standing desk for every member, a large cafe, lounge spaces throughout the building, an outdoor patio, 7+ fully connected conference rooms, bike storage, private showers, diverse event and meeting spaces, and facility-wide COVID protections.
Beverage Service: full automated barista that serves coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes, along with nitro cold brew. Flavored seltzer waters and beer and cider on tap.
Business Services: reception service, mail/package management, and concierge room/space booking.
The Roundhouse is also just minutes from a variety of restaurants in Hazelwood and
Oakland by the Water areas and a ~10-minute drive from major
restaurant/entertainment districts in Oakland and Southside.
Other Perks: OneValley coworking members receive over $1M in free or discounted technology tools and services, access to a global pool of expert mentors, a curated library of resources, tools, and templates, all powered by PEP, OneValley’s online resource hub for Pittsburgh founders.
Community: Despite opening less than 1 year ago, the Roundhouse is a robust community that today supports a broad range of early-stage startups, nonprofits, and enterprise partners, including Venture For America, Rewyndr, Safe Space, Community Kitchen, and Thoughtform, While open to all businesses, the Roundhouse has focused communities of both venture-backed startups and founders focused on social impact. Beyond our members, we host 50+ events yearly that bring startups, innovation, and impact communities across Pittsburgh and beyond.
To learn more or inquire about shared workspace or host an event, contact us today.