What Is Shared Office Space? thumbnail picture
  16 Jan 2022

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What Is Shared Office Space?

Shared office space, also known as a coworking space, is a workstation rented by people working remotely. Users of shared office space include startup owners, freelancers, consultants, remote employees, and gig workers without a central office space.

It is also referred to as a managed coworking office or a serviced office. It is a much bigger workplace that many people rent. The space comes with available facilities that are factored into the rent. Also, while the shared space owner gets paid for the rented Corporate Office space, the remote worker gets every perk an office space comes with.

The shared office space comes equipped and fully furnished with everything needed like internet, printers, furniture and phone lines. In addition, the host often uses a licensing agreement that allows users to use the space without providing the tenant protections that a lease does. It also provides the flexibility of short-term contracts.

What is the concept of a coworking space?

A shared office space operates on membership-based subscriptions that allow people to subscribe to the number of periods they would love to use the space. This is different from a traditional office where all users come from and work for the same company.

Instead, in coworking spaces, users are professionals from different backgrounds and companies and work for various companies. They also pay membership fees to access the shared workspace.

Read more: How Coworking Membership Works: Complete Guide

Is there a difference between a traditional office and a coworking space?

With the future of work, many traditional office spaces give way to a modern coworking space. The differences between the two are as follows:

  • A traditional office setting allows for individual desks and increases privacy and focus.

  • Also, many coworking spaces have different work desks and spaces to help change the scenery of workers.

  • A traditional office space uses a 9-5 schedule that allows for more familiarity and structure. This is different for a coworking space with a very flexible working schedule and grants more autonomy to the user.

  • Traditional working space limits the interactions of workers. A modern coworking space naturally leads to more conversations in the office, thereby promoting networking.

  • A traditional working space is more expensive to run and maintain. On the other hand, shared office space is cheaper as you only pay for what you use.

What are the different types of shared office space?

There are different types of shared office spaces. Deciding on what to go for should result from the kind of work and the ambience you need.

The different types of shared office space include:

Dedicated Desk/Workstation

Depending on each office space and the tenants, each shared space includes a desk and/or private suites. However, the number of furniture available and private offices differentiates the type of shared space available.

Also, a dedicateddesk is given to users, who then turn it into their workstation. Most times, these desks come with a lockable storage cabinet for your personal use.

You can leave your belongings on your desk and space for the duration of your membership and remove them as it expires.

The dedicated desk is a popular type of shared office space and is also pricier. However, you get to share other common areas in the office and enjoy other facilities.

This is a more popular option as most people truly want a secured spot for their work-life than shuttling desks and spaces every day.

Private Office

On the other hand, a private office can accommodate a single person office, down to a whole floor with different offices, board/conference rooms, meeting rooms, and open plan areas.

A private office gives you the privacy you need for your work and can only be accessed by you. So if you seek confidentiality and security, private office space is better. This is becoming very popular too, as you also get to use the communal facilities.

Who should use a coworking space?

Looking at the future of work and what it holds for professionals, people from different walks of life can use a coworking space. From freelancers to small teams, start-ups and entrepreneurs, even those working remotely.

However, the types of people using a coworking space are expanding, from activists to artists, tech professionals to non-profit.

As the advantages of coworking spaces continue to stare large companies in the eye, they are also embracing this trend. Many large companies are moving some of their remote workers into these spaces.

What are the things to consider before opting for a coworking space?

You might be wondering if a shared office space is ideal for you. Well, you can't conclude until you've weighed in on several factors.

You need to know why you need a coworking space

You must ask yourself questions to understand why you need a shared office space to opt for one. Knowing your basic work needs will help you know the type of coworking space you should opt for.

Are you concerned about networking

One great advantage of a coworking space is that it gives you the opportunity to meet and network with professionals from different walks of life.

This means that whilst choosing a coworking space, you should factor in greatly the types of members they have.

Many shared office spaces have members from different professions whilst others are just from a particular sector. So be sure to confirm before narrowing down on a choice.

What is the cost involved

You have your budget and what you're willing to spend in getting a coworking space. Next, you should ask and confirm the price tag for the space(s) you are considering.

You may confirm these by checking out the website or calling/emailing them.

These prices vary from one workspace to the other and from one facility/type of shared office space. Some subscriptions give you unlimited access to your own private office space and the capacity to house up to 8 people.

You should check the plans available and stick to what works best for you.

What facilities do you need

There are basic amenities in every shared office space that are a must, while others come based on your subscription plan. These are add-ons that enable you to function better. The must-haves/standard amenities include:

  • Hot desks

  • Dedicated desks

  • Hi-speed internet

  • Computer equipment

  • Meeting rooms

  • Kitchen

  • Receptionist

  • Lounge area

Other additions include:

  • Large event areas

  • Private offices

  • Storage space

  • Business coaching programmes

  • Some specialized equipment like special software

  • Health insurance plans

Do consider the facilities before making a final pick.

Consider these if Shared Office space design is essential to you

If you consider an excellent first impression, you should check out the location, design and what the design communicates.

If these aesthetics are important to you, you need to check out spaces with designs that match your needs.

Some designs and amenities come with higher price tags. Understanding this helps you make a reasonable choice.

But, should you just need a place to work, you can save quite a good sum by choosing a space based on its amenities rather than appearance.

Read more: Coworking Space Design Ideas To Succeed

What are the shared workspace benefits to employees?

Using a coworking space takes you away from home and gives you much more ambience than working in a corporate office.

As an employee, you benefit from the following:

  • First, you get a ready-to-use office space that allows you to work faster.

  • You enjoy the freedom of flexibility as you're not concerned about getting amenities to run your daily schedule.

  • You enjoy a community of professionals where you network and build meaningful connections with very like-minded people.

  • You can explore opportunities and collaborate with the network you meet to help push your work further or make it easier.

  • It heightens employee engagement by providing dynamic work culture within the space.

  • You save money by paying only for what use rather than covering the entire cost of the space. These very flexible plans fit directly to your needs.

Pros of a coworking space

Subscribing for a coworking space plan comes with various advantages. If you're wondering what they are, stick around.

There's a Community, so you don't feel isolated

Working from home can be lonely, isolating and limits the zeal to brainstorm and interact with your team. A coworking space gives you these. In addition, it avails you of a community of professionals who may be from your field and helps you brainstorm ideas.

Read more: What is Community Building In Coworking: A Simple Guide

Lower cost for your business

Using a coworking space helps you share the cost of running your startup or business. For example, it takes away the full cost of renting an apartment or office space.

This helps you minimize your budget by paying just for the space you would be using.

Your business gets a more professional outlook

There's a psychology that comes with a shared office space. It gives your business a professional touch. This means if you need to meet with clients regularly and physically, your professional appearance changes significantly for them.

This perceived image might help you close more deals.

There is flexibility in your routine

You can enjoy the flexibility that comes with renting an office space than building one. There is no need to sign year-long leases and run helter-skelter in acquiring equipment.

Enjoy flexible cancellations for memberships

You can cancel any subscriptions anytime without incurring a penalty fee for your modern office space.

You get a collaborative workspace

Use the workspace to stage big projects and brainstorm ideas with others. The shared Workspace allows you to work on your terms.

It also allows you to access workspace resources in a professional setting.

This is a beautiful model. With collaborative workspaces, companies benefit by retaining their real estate. This increases space utilization.

What are the Cons of a coworking space?

You're not sure of the Workplace culture you would meet

Sharing a co-working space exposes you to other businesses. Unfortunately, this exposure means having face-to-face interaction with different business work cultures that may not be ideal for you.

To avoid this, learn about the work culture of the shared office space you intend to subscribe to before making your decision.

You have to fight the distraction

The potential to be distracted by other coworking space users is high.

This is especially true when you have no idea about the type of work or businesses other users of the space are doing.

You may have to opt for a private office which is more expensive than just a personal desk.

There is always a Logistics-based issue

Using a coworking space may limit the collaboration your team members need.

They may not always sit together to brainstorm ideas, making it hard to do specific work together.

Also, if you need to discuss a sudden idea, they may have to move to a different environment for this to happen.

Many shared office spaces do not offer substantial storage spaces. This limits the number of things you keep at work and may be forced to carry extra bags for other events immediately after work.

Accessing the shared space may be time consuming

You may not always find a coworking space in a central/prime area, making it difficult to commute to and fro work.

This can have a significant impact on your overall productivity and work life.

Should you co-work or not co-work?

If you are unsure if to use a coworking space or not, note the following:

  • People using coworking spaces can easily make an ideal and flexible routine.

  • They have more control over their time and resources.

  • They easily meet people from all walks of life.

  • They can quickly brainstorm ideas to help them work better and scale up their business.

  • They find it a sustainable venture as it promotes environmental sustainability and the longevity of employees.

Shared office space is the Future of Work

Coworking spaces scream the future of work following their attraction and flexibility. The world is gradually embracing this as many love the casual and informal setting the shared office space provides.

Many freelancers are also embracing coworking spaces as they want freedom from the emotional demands of a corporate office.

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