Coworking used to be a quirky option for cutting-edge techies and trailblazing innovators. But according to a handful of mainstream sources, the movement towards shared, collaborative workspaces has now truly come of age.

Drawing on a recent white paper on the topic titled The Coworking Industry, consultancy Emergent Research explained how the movement has hit a tipping point in a recent blog post: "The paper uses the diffusion of innovation model developed in the book Crossing the Chasm to show that coworking has reached the early majority phase. This roughly equivalent to saying coworking is beginning to enter the mainstream."

A recent article in MIT Sloan Review agrees, noting that a recent survey of the industry indicated that not only freelancers but more traditional companies are now embracing coworking.

How to pick a coworking space

So what if you're thinking of joining this growing movement either as an individual entrepreneur who wants to swap a quiet home office for a more sociable workspace, or as a boss who think her team will be more productive and creative if they're surrounded by others? You can start by reading up on the less expected benefits of coworking, but the next, obvious step is to sign yourself up for a space.

But which one? A super helpful recent post by on The Freelancer by Susan Johnston Taylor offers excellent guidance. In the piece she runs through the ten essential questions to ask before joining a coworking space, providing advice on what to look out for in the answers. Here's a rundown of what you need to ask, but if you're seriously considering joining a space, definitely check out the post in full:

  1. How much does it cost?
  2. What amenities are included?
  3. What's the commitment?
  4. How often will I use it?
  5. What's the noise level?
  6. How's the lighting?
  7. Does it meet my ergonomic needs?
  8. What's the vibe?
  9. Who are the other members?
  10. How's the commute?

Veteran coworkers, do you have any other tips or advice for those thinking of signing up for a space for the first time?