Not all coworking spaces are created equal. Each and every startup has a different pulse that will beat in rhythm only when its ethos and vision aligns with its environment. However, there are three common criteria that are essential to any first-rate coworking space.

1. Location, Location, Location: Waking up for work is hard enough without dreading a long commute to an office in the middle of nowhere. You’d much prefer to be smack in the heart of the city surrounded on all sides by varied yet vibrant enterprises, universities, shops and parks. Take your lunch break at the best cafes, impress potential clients with a prime office address, and interact with an incredible local community. Equally important is access to public transportation so that every morning, you can just hop on the DART, the LUAS line, the bus or even rent a Dublin bike to get to work on a budget and without hassle.

2. Community: If you know what its like to work in a typical office, surrounded by the same people every day doing the same work as you, you’ll understand immediately why coworking is a better choice. In a coworking space, you’ll never know who could walk in the door and start working right next to you. Imagine tech startups alongside artists, young university graduates alongside seasoned entrepreneurs, app developers alongside authors. Coworking spaces foster diverse connections and allow each member to grow and learn in new ways. The potential for cross pollination of ideas is endless. Even further, once a startup leaves the coworking space to expand their business, they will bring with them new knowledge and a network of individuals from all parts of the Irish economy.

3. Space Design: There’s no doubt that where you work affects how you work. Just as cramped, dark spaces will have a negative impact on your motivation and energy levels,  natural light and interesting decor can keep you working hard with a smile on your face all day. The best coworking spaces are also varied in the types of workspaces they provide. Grab a coffee in the cafe and chat with new people or old friends. Then head over to a meeting room to make sure your team is prepped for your new website to go live. Afterwards, head back to your workstation, put in your earphones and get focused. You’ll never go back to the classic cubicle model again.

Coworking is not for everyone, but it is a model designed to work for most people in the best way possible. If you want to take your startup to the next level, head to your nearest coworking space; just make sure their location, community and space design are what you deserve.