The modern workplace is shifting. There are no longer just two options (work from a company office or work from home). Today there’s a third major option: shared office space. But what does this mean? And why is it so appealing? (Image Credit: Imagine Maw/Pixabay)
What is Shared Office Space?
A shared office space is basically a location where individuals from different businesses can come together to work independently on their own businesses, while sharing some of the same physical rooms and resources.
Think of it like a gym. Members of a gym pay a monthly fee for access to a bunch of workout equipment and other resources. And while they share the treadmills and weights with other members, they aren’t necessarily doing the same workouts. Each member comes for their own distinct reasons, yet they all have very similar aspirations and goals.
The same is true with shared office spaces – also known as coworking spaces. Members are like-minded yet independent. They pay a monthly fee for different accessibility. For example, one person can pay for a private office, whereas another member might only pay the base fee – meaning they can only use shared desks on a first-come first-serve basis.
In some cases, shared office space can even be rented out by small companies. This allows them to forgo the expensive, long-term nature of corporate leases.
The Key Benefits of Shared Office Space
Shared office spaces are growing at a rapid rate. Here are a few of the benefits of coworking spaces and why they’ll continue to eat up market share for years to come:
In large cities and urban areas, office space is outrageously expensive. For small businesses and entrepreneurs, an office lease alone can eat up the majority of the company’s monthly revenue. But shared office space can save the day.
Companies like Novel Coworking offer shared office space for as low as $399 per month for a private office. (Don’t need a private office? You can get a dedicated desk for significantly less.) It really is a cost-effective option for those who need a more affordable choice than the traditional marketplace offers.
For extroverted individuals, working from home can be lonely and isolating. It can feel as if you’re ostracized from the rest of the world. Shared office space eliminates this frustration by allowing individuals to work in close proximity to others.
There’s something about being near other people – even if you don’t directly interact – that’s comforting. It helps individuals maximize their productivity and output.
In addition to rubbing shoulders with other people, there are more tangible benefits – like networking and collaboration. Many business partnerships and deals actually originate from within the walls of a coworking space. People meet, see each other’s work, and forge relationships. It’s the exciting new frontier of business networking!
There’s something very convenient about shared office space. It allows people to live and work in the same community – as opposed to driving in/out of town to go to work and then reversing course after clocking out. And as more shared workspaces emerge, it’ll become increasingly convenient for a larger percentage of the workforce.
5. Access to Resources
In most coworking spaces, you get more than just a desk or an office. There are also amenities – business and non-business related – included in varying levels of memberships.
Common amenities include snacks, coffee, beverages, phone and meeting rooms, printers and copiers, basic office supplies, and even gyms or wellness areas.
With a traditional corporate lease, you typically have to lock in a six to 24-month lease agreement up front. As a freelancer or startup founder, trying to project this far out is unrealistic and expensive. The beauty of shared office spaces is that most will allow you to go month-to-month. On top of that, you can upgrade or downgrade your membership based on growth or contraction.
The Office of the Future
It’s hard to imagine a situation where corporate offices no longer exist, but it’s certainly possible that a majority of the workforce will transition to remote working in the coming years. And as this comes to fruition, shared office spaces will become the norm. They serve as hybrid environments where remote workers enjoy flexibility within a structured setting. Keep an eye on this niche, because it’s about to explode!