Shared office space refers to the practice of two or more businesses sharing a commercially leased office. While the term can refer to a managed coworking office or a serviced office, it is more commonly used when the tenant of a privately leased office rents out their unused space to another business. This means that both parties benefit from sharing the cost of the rent, bills and overheads. Think Airbnb for office space – you get to use an awesome office, without the commitment or concern of your own long-term lease.
The rental terms and inclusions of a shared office space are decided by the two parties who plan to share the office. Typically, the host will offer the space fully furnished and equipped with everything the incoming business might need like furniture, internet, phone lines and printers. Most hosts use license agreements which grants the use of the space without providing the tenant protections that a lease does; they also allow for the flexibility of a short-term agreement rather than the typical multi-year lease. Using a license, the host can bundle in the cost of the extras to create a simple, flexible and cost-effective package for the new tenant.
Sharing office space with a synergistic business means you can explore aligned opportunities, collaborate on projects and share learnings to grow both your success. Shared and coworking offices are also shown to heighten employee engagement by providing an interesting dynamic and exciting culture within the workspace.
There are plenty of operational benefits too. You gain instant use of an office space and everything that comes with it while freeing yourself of the long-term commitment and large costs associated with renting a commercial office. You only pay for the square meterage you use rather than covering the cost of the whole floor plan and most agreements are highly flexible to allow you to rent space on a monthly basis. Shared workspaces also enhance your business image as they suggest you have the resources to lease your own commercial property.
Depending on the particular office and occupying tenants, a shared office space typically include dedicated desks and/or private office suites. The number of desks and sizes of the private offices can also differentiate with everything from a single dedicated desk to a private office space suitable for a team of up to 100+.
A dedicated desk is exactly what is sounds like – a workstation dedicated to you and only you! Set within the open plan area, you’ll share the common areas with the other members, but the desk and chair are exclusively yours, often including a lockable storage cabinet. The convenient thing about a dedicated desk is that you can leave your belongings for the duration of your membership, rather than packing everything up at the end of the day. This makes a dedicated desk a little pricier than a hot desk, but it’s the more popular option as most people prefer having a secure spot to work every day.
A private office can range from a single person office, to a whole floor with multiple offices, meeting rooms and open plan areas within. The key thing is that the space, however big it is, is lockable and exclusively accessed by you. Private office space is great for confidentiality and security, plus you still get access to the communal facilities so you never feel isolated. At the moment this type of workspace is increasingly in demand, as Office Hub recorded 80 percent of enquiries in FY 2019 sought private office space opposed to open plan.
A shared office differs from a serviced space in that it is a self-managed environment normally presenting a more traditional layout. While the different serviced office spaces all include similar amenities and facilities, shared office spaces will often vary in offering. Let’s return to the Airbnb example; when you rent a hotel room you usually have a pretty good idea what comes with it; towels are included, beds are made, you’ll have your own bathroom along with a cleaning service every morning. On the other hand, every Airbnb is different and you’ll need to make sure exactly what is included in your stay. The same goes for shared office space. The tenant will rent the unused space in another business’ lease, which means that you’ll need to ensure that it includes the type of amenities you’re after.
At Office Hub we make the process of sourcing and considering your options as easy and smooth as possible - you can browse shared office space and sort it by amenities so you’ll only be presented the best options based on your criteria.
If you’re in doubt about what to look for or simply need some assistance, our experts are just a call away and is able to help you every step of the way with impartial advice and guidance.
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