The Complete Coworking Guide 2021

Coworking Spaces in Rotterdam

Monday January 18, 2021

Introduction

Working from home may seem optimal for many of us but the home office is no long-term solution. Similarly, traditional office spaces are outdated and often lack engaging work environments for freelancers/entrepreneurs/startups. So what is a cost-effective solution that provides flexibility and a vibrant work environment? This complete Coworking Spaces in Rotterdam Guide will answer this question.

Coworking refers to working in a shared working environment. Members work independently from the host organization in a collaborative space. This is the preferred working way for those who seek flexibility, want to increase their productivity, and desire to move away from isolation (home office).

Not convinced yet? Below are some statistics that show why coworking is one of the hottest trends for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups:

  • Currently (2020) over there are 19,400 coworking spaces globally – this number is projected to double in only four years to 42,000 spaces
  • Close to 2 million individuals already work in co-working spaces globally, by 2024 this number is expected to increase by 250% to 5 million
  • Desks are becoming more affordable as competition increases, the price per desk globally decreased by 2.14% over the past year
  • The average price for a flexible desk in Europe is €175,-

During these unprecedented times, many freelancers/entrepreneurs/startups / small businesses/organizations have faced tough and uncertain times. It is predicted that in a post-COVID-19 economy coworking will start to become the norm as more organizations desire flexibility. Firms will be looking to decentralize workforces to smaller flex desks/offices. Coworking spaces offer a unique value proposition; flexible monthly contracts. Giving freelancers/entrepreneurs/startups / small businesses/organizations financial freedom and the optimal opportunity for growth.

This complete guide provides a complete & comprehensive overview of coworking spaces, as well as all the necessary information you need to find the optimal coworking space in Rotterdam that works best for you.

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Coworking Office

1 Benefits of coworking

Coworking spaces in Rotterdam, a complete guide 2021! Coworking was a relatively unknown concept only a decade ago. Now it is transforming and modernizing the way we work because of an array of benefits, namely;

Increased Productivity

Particularly true for small business owners and freelancers who predominantly work from home. Working from home can be great, however, you’re easily distracted. From realizing all errands and chores that still need to be done, to kids running around. It is often hard to make a clear distinction between home and home office. By going to a dedicated work environment, you will put yourself into work mode. Having a clean, organized, and vibrant workspace can increase productivity. More and more coworking spaces are adopting 24/7 accessibility, giving you the freedom to work whenever it suits you. 

Flexibility

One of the greatest benefits of coworking spaces is the flexibility you gain. Coworking spaces offer a variety of membership plans, from day passes to flexible monthly contracts for desks & offices. This is great for freelancers who are constantly on the move. Or entrepreneurs who financially cannot be bound to long term contracts. Coworking spaces are dynamic in nature, they are designed in a way for you to easily enter but also exit.

Cost-Efficiency

You pay less for more. Coworking spaces do not only offer flex desks, you pay for a package that includes a variety of benefits including access to communal spaces, shared meeting rooms, perks, and many more. Whereas, these all come at an extra cost in traditional office spaces. Additionally, business services such as registration and mail handling are provided by many coworking spaces – saving your business money in the long run. 

Boost in Creativity

Coworking spaces are designed in a modern and dynamic way to boost creativity. The spaces are often large open spaces that focus on light and are filled (sometimes) with lots of green – to create a rich and engaging environment. Parallel to this, by working with individuals that are like-minded, new opportunities can be created by exposing yourself to different perspectives.

Networking Opportunities

Connecting with other individuals is one of the greatest advantages of coworking spaces. It only takes one interaction to spark a new opportunity. Coworking spaces such as 42workspace, focus exclusively on a specific sector; Tech. By housing freelancers / digital nomads/entrepreneurs/startups focused on the same sector, it creates a community in which everyone can help each other on the way to the top.  

 

2 Points of Consideration

There are plenty of factors that contribute to the choice you make when searching for the perfect coworking space. By keeping them in mind, you help yourself understand what you need from a coworking space, and make your own priorities. Points to consider are the following:

Location

Location is an important factor for a number of reasons. You must consider what area suits you and your team best. If you live too far, consider renting an office space that is close to public transport like trains, metros, or bus stations. Consider urban areas that offer a lot of benefits, including increased productivity, more attract more talent. Nearby facilities such as restaurants, cafés & markets are also key components to an optimal coworking space location. The right combination makes for a perfectly balanced modern workspace location. Most coworking spaces are located in optimal locations that take into consideration the factors listed above. Particularly in Rotterdam, almost all coworking spaces are located in the center of the city, near public transport and other facilities. 

Facilities

When you search for a coworking space, it is important to consider the kinds of facilities that you and your team need to effectively run day to day business. Luckily, coworking spaces tend to offer an array of facilities. Look out for facilities such as: kitchen, espresso machine, microwave, fridge, lockers, lounge seats, booth seats, phone booths, meeting rooms, gym, shower, outdoor spaces, printer room, event spaces, coffee area, bar and reception.  

Consider what facilities matter most to you and your team. 

Facilities vary between the same types of office spaces, depending on the coworking space you choose. For instance, if you get a premium desk at 42workspace, part of your coworking space membership is access to facilities such as the gym. Meanwhile, a coworking space at CIC, offers yoga, meditation, and massage. 

Facilities are shared. For example, traditional offices have total control over their own equipment, while coworking spaces share printers and scanners with members. However, in case of damages, shared facilities are taken care of, while privately owned equipment is primarily one’s own responsibility. Less worry and more time to focus on your work!

Shared meeting spaces

One of the greatest value propositions of coworking spaces is that you pay less and get more. Meeting spaces are not always used and use a lot of space which comes at a cost. Well in coworking spaces – meeting spaces are shared and easily accessible (through booking systems), this is a great way for you to reduce rental costs. A great alternative to using space without the requirement to rent it. 

42workspace provides different meeting rooms like Deep Thought , a spacious, vintage space inspired by Douglas Adams’ novel: the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, most suitable for brainstorming sessions. Further, some providers offer extra food services such as Spaces.

Room to grow

Importantly, consider your businesses expansion potential. If you plan on growing quickly and/or change occurs frequently within your ecosystem- coworking spaces are a great solution to your needs. Coworking spaces offer flexibility and room for growth. By signing shorter leases (1 month contracts), you deal with less risk and more possibility to easily upgrade your space to accommodate growth. 

Digital freight forwarded, Shypple, started with a team of 4 people working at a coworking office space at 42workspace. Gradually, the company grew from 1 to 3 units, before it eventually expanded enough to take up the entire 4th floor of the office building. It has been declared as one of the hottest startups in the Netherlands and Startup of the year 2019 by Sprout magazine. They have now grown out of 42workspace because of their further expansion, whilst remaining an active member of the community.

HelloPrint, is another prime example of how a coworking space helped a startup achieve growth. After launching in 2013, HelloPrint quickly gained traction and revenue was going through the roof. As their team grew rapidly, they were in need of additional office space. This is when in November of 2017, HelloPrint moved across the street to 42workspace. The company started on the first floor and had a Private Office with 8 desks.  6 months later, they moved up 3 floors from a private office to a whole floor with 45 desks. A real success story!

Price & contract flexibility

When choosing the optimal coworking space, remember that price matters. Look at different packages and compare these to competitors. Ensure that you know what exactly you are paying for. Fortunately, coworking spaces are known for transparency unlike traditional office spaces. It is important to look out for contract flexibility – make sure the contrast does not restrict you but instead does the opposite – gives you the ability to easily manage change (as with the COVID-19 pandemic) and the opportunity to smoothly grow. 

Coworking space providers like 42workspace, Spaces and CIC offer flexibility in their contracts, while other providers don’t. Be certain about your contract’s flexibility before you sign.

Community

Coworking space providers such as 42workspaces focus exclusively on building a strong tech community. Along with some highly involved community members like Helloprint, they have taken steps to organize and cater for their members with drinks, a daily buffet, a fully equipped gym, and even the WeTechRotterdam Foundation to improve the tech ecosystem in Rotterdam.

Further, coworking space providers enhance the sense of community through various community-specific topics or a focus on an industry vertical such as; Tech startups (42workspace), circularity (Bluecity), first time entrepreneurship (ECE), Maker spaces (RDM). Hashtag Workmode is an all-women coworking community space for hardworking women who seek to be inspired by the work ethic of other women working among them. 

These communities encompass a mindset of helping one another to the top. Creating them is extremely valuable, as they can accelerate the growth of your company and give community members a chance to network and collaborate with like-minded people with whom they can share knowledge & experience. For instance, 42workspace has hosted events such as the “ProductTank Rotterdam: Kick-Off Event”, a webinar discussing ways of managing a growing product in product management. 

You can also learn more about the community from individual providers by looking at community events that they offer. CIC, ECE, Bluecity, Spaces, and 42workspace welcome members to host hackathons, corporate events, workshops, and much more.  

3 Perks of Coworking Spaces

When you sign a contract with a coworking space, you get more than a designated workspace area for you and your team. Many coworking spaces offer a variety of facilities and services. Benefits include the following:
Free coffee and/or tea
Kitchen
Bar
Open space
Printing facilities
Gym
Lockers
Communal areas
Meeting rooms
Outdoor spaces
Event spaces
Community
Networking opportunities and partnerships
Option to scale your business easily
High speed secure Internet (for security measures, VLAN WiFi networks are strongly advised against open networks)

4 Coworking spaces in Rotterdam

Examples of coworking spaces in Rotterdam

Rotterdam hosts a rich ecosystem of coworking spaces. See the list and table below for a quick and easy comparison of some of the most prominent spaces in Rotterdam;


  • 42workspace

    42workspace is Rotterdam’s leading coworking space and community for tech and digital entrepreneurs, freelancers, digital nomads, startups & scale-ups. Located in the city center, our workspace offers the environment and network that will accelerate your business to the next phase.

  • Bluecity

    BlueCity is an international icon of circular economy, a national platform for circular entrepreneurs, and a very visible local accelerator that empowers circular entrepreneurs and inspires citizens.

  • CIC

    CIC Rotterdam opened its doors in September 2016 as CIC's first international location. Acting as a gateway to Europe, CIC Rotterdam expands the existing community of entrepreneurs, investors and established businesses. It’s located on the 4th floor of the iconic Groot Handelsgebouw in the heart of Rotterdam and next to Rotterdam Central Station.

  • ECE

    The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) is the leading centre for entrepreneurship in Europe. The ECE empowers startups, SMEs, and corporates to turn ideas into innovations by bringing business and academia together.

  • HIG

    Het Industriegebouw is an icon of the reconstruction, created in post-war Rotterdam by the legendary architect Hugh Maaskant. in collaboration with Willem van Tijen. The building houses more than 200 companies, and a community of more than 1000 professionals and a wide variety of quality hospitality and retail concepts.

  • Spaces

    Spaces Hofplein is situated a stone’s throw away from Rotterdam Centraal station and is the gateway into Rotterdam city centre. Its exciting and innovative style designed by internationally renowned London based interior designer, Sevil Peach, reflects the creative philosophy of Spaces.

42workspace coworking building

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