Deshaun Hancock

Coworking Space Nottingham: A guide

How to choose the right workspace for you...

If you’re looking for coworking space Nottingham there are lots of options out there. How do you know which co-working spaces are right for you?

The Enterprise Team at Nottingham Trent University have recently completed a £9m build of a brand-new coworking space in the heart of the city campus – so we know a thing or two about what to look for. Here’s our guide to finding the best co-working space in Nottingham.

What is co-working space?

So, first thing’s first – it’s good to understand what we mean by a co-working space so you can make sure it’s the right fit for you.

A co-working space is designed for a number of people from different businesses to work in the same space together. They’re brilliant for small businesses, entrepreneurs and founders who want the buzz of an office while working on their own projects. We all know that working on your own can be isolating, co-working spaces mean you have a safe, professional environment without being completely on your own.

The benefits of a coworking space.

A co-working space can be beneficial for a small business with aspirations to look bigger. You’d normally get a registered address, so even if you’ve only got one desk on paper it can make you look more established and give you a ‘business address’ so you appear more trust-worthy to clients and prospects.

Co-working spaces are also good if you work better in an environment with people to talk to and share ideas with.

When a coworking space might not be the best idea…

If you make lots of calls, have confidential conversations or work on private documents, equipment that makes noise or mess or enjoy reheating fish… maybe a private office would be a better fit for you. Remember, if you work in a co-working space you’ll be sharing your office with other people, so you need to be a good neighbour and be mindful that people you may not work with will be able to see and hear what you’re working on.

Shared workspace at the Dryden Enterprise Centre

Important things to look for in your coworking space Nottingham

There are options out there for businesses choosing coworking spaces in Nottingham. Not all of them offer the same things, so here’s a good checklist of essentials to ensure the space you choose works for your business:

Reception Staff

A staffed reception keeps the building secure and means any visitors will have someone there to greet them. It makes your business look professional and ensures things like post and parcels don’t get left anywhere they shouldn’t. If you can find a space with a friendly team covering Front Desk, you’re onto a winner.

Secure 24/7 Access

When you work for yourself a traditional 9-5 might not cut the mustard. You need an office space that is open for you to work when you want to work, so secure access 24/7 is essential.

Make sure you can get in, but people who shouldn’t be in the building can’t get access – so you and your work are secure. Look for things like swipe card entry, CCTV and an on-site security team. If an office space can’t provide those things it might not be the right place for you.

Ruddy good Wi-Fi

One of the hassles of working from home, or a remote location like a coffee shop, can be shoddy domestic or shared Wi-Fi. You aren’t going to make the best impression with a colleague or client if you keep freezing up or losing connection. A strong, reliable, business-grade internet connection is an investment – so some coworking spaces might opt for a lesser option to make their offer more profitable.

That’s fine if you’re just sending a few emails, but when a volume of users starts to make online calls, stream data or upload large files, you could find your connectivity slowing down. Check the co-working space you choose has the right level of connectivity you need, and measures in place to stay connected when the volume of users is high.


City centre working is fantastic, a quick walk from the office and you’re in the city with many a lunch option and a bit of retail therapy (or emergency present shopping) when you need it. With the city in easy reach, you need to make sure your office is in easy reach too – proximity to parking and public transport is a must, along with safe and secure cycle parking if you’re coming into work using pedal power.

Accessibility shouldn’t stop when you get to the front door either. To make your co-working space easy for you, your colleagues, or guests to use, the building itself should be accessible too – with lifts, powered doors, hearing loops and accessible toilet facilities.

Focused Working

Just because co-working space is shared, it doesn’t mean you should have to put up with noise and disruption so you can’t focus on actually getting some work done.

It should be a space that makes working easier for you – so make sure any co-working space is set up so you can focus – ping pong tables and beer pumps might seem a great idea but when you’re working to a deadline, they can be a (perhaps annoying) distraction. A trendy converted warehouse might seem swish – but if noises echo and huge windows cause screen glare, it may be all show and no go!

Similarly, check out the other users of the space, and if the management has rules around the types of businesses who can join and the kind of work they do. Terms around reasonable noise should be something in the contracts people sign up to.

Meeting Space

The co-working space you choose won’t just be where you work, it should also serve as a good place to meet colleagues and clients. Are there places to meet informally? What about private meeting rooms? Will you have to pay extra for those spaces or are they included in your contract? Will there be enough space to go around? When you choose a space check the meeting options on offer and if they will suit you.

Don’t forget the AV kit. Some places will offer a nice meeting room for free, but will charge for using a screen, or might have some equipment that is a bit on the ancient side… it’s worth a check before you sign on the dotted line.

Businesses mapping ideas in coworking space Nottingham

Summary – finding the right fit

Book a tour of any co-working space to get a feel for what’s on offer. Places might have a cracking website and virtual tours, but you’ll get a proper feel for how you might fit into the space if you see it in real life. Check out reviews too, and see if you can say hello to anyone who might already work there and get their honest feedback on the space and how they find working there.

Don’t forget your checklist for a 10/10 co-working space Nottingham:

  • Staffed Reception
  • 24/7 Secure Access
  • Good Wi-Fi
  • Accessible
  • Quality Workspace
  • Meeting Space

Another really useful check is to see who owns the space, and what kind of business they are. Venture capital organisations are keen to make a profit, so might squeeze as many businesses as possible into a space to get more cold hard cash. Something like a local authority or university will be more focussed on things like job creation so could offer additional support on top of their space – win!

Why not try the Dryden Enterprise Centre?

We mentioned at the start the team at Nottingham Trent University has just completed a £9m build of a co-working space in Nottingham, here’s the good news – you can work there too!

The Dryden Enterprise Centre has all the key things you need in a space to work, collaborate and take 5 – and we’re super keen on helping you and your business to grow. If you’d like more information or to book a tour and take a look at the space get in touch – we’d love to see you.

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