Shared office space has been on the rise for a long time, with growth in the sector accelerating over the past few years.
While the global health crisis has slowed it down for now, once the worst of the pandemic is over, shared office space will bounce back stronger than ever.
It is perfect for those who want to work in great locations but don’t have the huge funds necessary to lease traditional office space in these top locations. It’s also great for those flexible workers who are looking to work together with other professionals in shared office space.
So let’s get into it.
What is a shared office space?
Shared office space is a term we use for an office that has more than just one occupant. Usually, there are many different people working in the space.
These workspaces can accommodate a wide range of clientele from medium-sized business’ to sole freelancers or entrepreneurs.
There are two main types, each with slightly different pros and cons, so let’s go through them both.
A shared office space that is dedicated simply means that it was designed and built to be shared.
In dedicated spaces, you are more likely to find a setup similar to what we see in coworking spaces today. With open-plan designs and desks for sole workers, they have been created with a community feel and collaboration as the most important factors.
These dedicated shared offices often have space for small companies or large companies looking to open satellite offices, whilst also accommodating entrepreneurs and freelancers in a coworking style environment with individual desks.
The second type of shared office space is sublet space which is pretty much what it says on the tin.
It is where a company with too much office space sublets their extra space out to individual companies or to a company that will transform the space to accommodate individuals in need of a workspace.
The sublet shared office sector is likely to grow quickly over the next few years. With large companies locked into long-term leases, and their employees demanding remote working more and more. They will likely have more space to sublet to smaller companies and individuals.
Shared office space and coworking
Shared office space and coworking are often seen as the same thing. However, there is a subtle difference between the two. Coworking spaces are always shared offices, yet shared offices are not always coworking spaces.
While we now know shared offices can come in a variety of forms, coworking space is by far the most common.
The pros and cons of shared office space
It is instantly available, you can move in the next day if you want. A shared office is also a serviced office, meaning that it comes furnished. So if you’re in desperate need of office space you can move into straight away, no waiting around.
Dedicated spacess are designed with collaboration and the community in mind and are perfect for remote workers. There are many benefits of remote working, and shared office space delivers these same benefits.
Cheap office space is one of the great benefits that shared offices also provide. Sharing office space with other business’ or individuals makes it far cheaper for you. When compared with leasing a similar sized traditional office space, they are considerably cheaper. The lower costs allow you to access better locations for less money.
Another benefit with shared office space is the simple and flexible contracts. As opposed to traditional office leases that tie you in for multiple years and are difficult to get your head around, the terms on a shared office lease are ultra-simple. All costs are bundled into one monthly fee, and there is no minimum contract length.
If you’re currently working from home and enjoy not having to commute then having to get to a shared office space could be a drawback. Spending time commuting is inefficient and it can be particularly annoying if your commute is a long one.
However, if you still want to try it you can choose the closest one to you (there’s plenty of choice), reducing the commute time as much as possible.
Sublet shared offices can have a couple of drawbacks as well. The terms of the contract will be dictated by the company that is subletting the space, you won’t have any say in it.
This means the contracts could be less flexible, reduce your access to amenities, or just be far more expensive. Of course, if the terms aren’t favourable then you can always just choose a different space.
Shared office space vs traditional office space
The differences between shared office space and traditional office space are important in understanding why shared spaces are a much greater option.
Traditional office space is going out of fashion and these are the reasons why.
As I’ve said before, a shared office is much more cost-effective than traditional office space. You not only share the space, but you share the costs too.
This means you can get access to great locations for less money, it’s a win-win.
Shared offices offer far greater flexibility than traditional office space. Firstly the terms of the lease are flexible and don’t tie you into a long term contract. Second, they are perfect for flexible workers (remote workers). Most shared office space is open 24/7 so you can pick and choose your hours and structure your workweek any way you want.
Shared space is great if you are an expanding business. If you need more space then you can simply ask for it as and when you need it. You can grow your office as your company grows.
On the other hand, with traditional office space, you would have to either find an office with lots of growing room from the start (and overpay for it) or duck out of a long term contract (at high cost) to lease a larger one.
Who uses shared office space the most?
There are two types of occupants that use shared office space, businesses and individual workers.
Businesses are the most common occupants.
Shared offices are perfect for small businesses and startups who need a low-cost office but in great locations. They are also ideal for expansion which is extremely important for small businesses.
Large corporations don’t often use shared office space directly. However, some of their remote employees do, usually in the form of a coworking space.
Individual workers make up the rest of the shared office space. This includes freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups and more. The low cost and flexibility make them attractive to these individual workers.
Shared office space overview
A shared office is an office that is shared between two or more businesses/individuals.
There are two main types, dedicated and sublet. Both of these have some great benefits, including low-cost and flexible contracts.
Anyone can work in a shared office space, however, you are likely to find a dynamic community filled with small businesses and individuals working alongside each other. This creates a great environment that is ideal for networking and collaboration.