Co-Working Offices Guide
Traditionally, businesses have relied on renting individual office spaces to host their operations, which depending on the location and business size, can sometimes prove to be costly. This has led to the rise of co-working spaces that enables start-ups and smaller enterprises to use a fixed base at a fraction of the cost. Below we go into more detail about co-working office spaces to highlight how they can be a great alternative to traditional office space.
WHAT IS A CO-WORKING OFFICE?
A co-working office is essentially a commercial space where a number of different businesses share the office and associated facilities. It offers a cost effective alternative to paying for individual office space. Not only does it mean lower expenditure on rent but using a range of other benefits. Co-working offices are usually split into three groups:
- Hot Desk: This works on a rotational basis allowing multiple people to use the same desk/workstation for agreed time periods.
- Fixed Desk: You pay for sole use of the desk/workstation for an agreed period and can store your work-related items there for as long as you rent it.
- Private Office: A separate space for your company that is not shared with anyone else and will vary in size depending on how large the business is.
WHY RENT A CO-WORKING OFFICE?
If you are wondering why you should consider renting a co-working office, you may want to give the following some consideration:
- Permanent address: Rather than using a PO Box or home address, having an official business address can do wonders for your company’s image – especially for smaller firms.
- Businesses facilities: Using a co-working space also gives you access to a range of useful business facilities. This will vary from building to building, but it could include things like Wi-Fi, office furniture, kitchen and dining areas, meeting rooms, AV equipment and more.
- Flexibility: Depending on the type of business you run, you may not always need a fixed office space. Co-working offers a flexible range of rental options from a single day, through to a month or longer.
- Cost effective: Using a shared workspace is cheaper than paying for an entire office. You pay one price for the space you use and access to all the basic facilities needed to run your business.
- Growth opportunities: Every business wants to grow and using a co-working space allows you to start small and quickly expand – or downsize – to meet your demands.
- Business community: It can be tough running a business on your own, but using a co-working space places you in an active business centre surrounded by likeminded individuals. It could also lead to new business opportunities and potential partnerships.
While start-ups and entrepreneurs gravitate towards co-working spaces for the reasons stated above, they are also appealing to many other types of businesses.
For example, remote workers employed by larger companies use these spaces to maintain their productivity and a fixed working space. Freelancers in search of a more structured environment hire co-working desks, while non-profit organisations benefit from the low overheads.
Students and travellers hire these spaces for short term use, while organisations that will only be in operation for small periods also prefer to work in co-working offices.
When renting a co-working space, you should usually expect to have access to the following, although it may vary depending on the provider:
- Space to work: Either a fixed desk, hot desk or private office, depending on your rental agreement.
- Meeting rooms: This will usually be booked on a first-come-first-serve basis, although larger companies may be given more preference.
- Wi-Fi: Access to the building Wi-Fi to connect to the internet and use your smartphone on the building network.
- Business services: Things like shared printing, photocopying, faxing/scanning facilities.
- Communal areas: This varies depending on the size of the building, but there are usually communal kitchens, eating areas/lounges and toilets available.
There may also be additional facilities available such as courier services, stationery supplies, reception areas – although these will likely be on a pay-as-you-go basis.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN SEARCHING FOR A CO-WORKING OFFICE?
In order to find the right co-working office for your business, be sure to incorporate the following:
- Location: Where the office is location wise will not only dictate rental price, but also any additional travel costs you may incur when travelling to and from the office.
- Budget: Find out the full costs involved with hiring the space and any additional charges attached to the rental and use of additional facilities in the building.
- Community: See what other businesses are currently working in the office (especially any potential competitors), and depending on what your offer, if there are any networking opportunities.
- Environment: Even if you are only spending one day a week in the office, you want to make sure it is the type of atmosphere you feel comfortable working in on a frequent basis.
- Facilities: Does the building offer all the basics you need to be operational and more? Is there parking availability for yourself and visiting clients? How easy is it to book meeting rooms and use additional equipment?
HOW DO I PAY FOR A CO-WORKING OFFICE?
The cost of how and when you pay for a co-working office depends on the type of space you are renting. Either way, all bills and rates are included within a single price, making it much easier to manage your budget.
For example, if you are only using a desk on a one-off basis, you would pay for the hours it is used during that time. Whether that is settled on the day, or invoiced separately, will depend on the provider.
Similarly, there are also monthly agreements for ongoing usage, along with yearly, weekly or daily rates, which are billed based on the individual contracts agreed with each business.
This sort of flexibility is one of the main reasons why co-working office spaces have become so popular, as not only does it give businesses more control, but it also leaves the door open to expand or downsize the scale of their operations very quickly.
Looking for co-working office space? At Prime Office Search we have a variety of flexible office spaces available to suit all business sizes and requirements. Browse our office spaces online or call us on 08004337888 and one of our experienced consultants will help you find the ideal office space for your business.