Do you own a very small business or start-up? Do you feel isolated or distracted working at home but hate fighting for a table at your local coffee shop? When it’s time to meet with potential clients, do you struggle to find meeting spots that project a professional image? It might be time to look into a shared business space.
Shared office spaces, or coworking spaces, allow small businesses and freelancers to enjoy the benefits of a traditional office without the expense and loss of flexibility that comes with being locked into a lease.
But one of the biggest benefits of coworking is that you’ll spend your days working alongside fellow entrepreneurs in many different industries and with a wide variety of skills. This creates opportunities for idea-sharing and partnerships that aren’t possible in traditional office settings.
Sound like the boost your business needs? Let’s get started.
Most office space sharing arrangements have similar features. When you buy a membership, you’ll generally get:
Despite those common perks, there are several types of shared office spaces to choose from.
Sometimes businesses end up with more office space than they really need, from a couple unused conference rooms to a floor their team hasn’t filled yet. In these situations, businesses often rent their extra space to start-ups and freelancers for a daily, weekly or monthly rate.
The ins-and-outs of using this type of shared space will depend on the specific business you use. Some may offer perks like the free coffee and amenities they provide their own staff, but this isn’t guaranteed.
Start your search for this type of shared office space on a site like LiquidSpace.
In many cities, restaurants and bars that are only open in the evening are partnering with entrepreneurs to operate as temporary office spaces during the day. This arrangement typically comes with extras like free coffee or tea, and you’ll often get a discount to eat at the restaurant once it opens for the day.
A major advantage of this version of office sharing is that your monthly membership typically extends to multiple restaurants managed by the same coworking service. This gives you the flexibility to work out of a different location whenever you want a change of scenery.
Start your search for this type of coworking arrangement with:
As more people freelance or work remotely and start-ups continue to flourish, formal shared office spaces are popping up all over the country. They’re usually designed to mimic a traditional office building, with a mix of open desks, conference rooms and common areas. You have the option to rent a desk without reserving a specific spot, securing a specific desk or even keeping a private office. Each option is generally available on a weekly or monthly basis.
The building owners almost always provide basic amenities like coffee, tea and snacks. Many also offer services such as mail handling and phone service that can help you present a polished image to clients.
Luxury shared office spaces feature beautiful, modern designs and commonly have community managers on-site to trouble-shoot any issues as they come up. They primarily cater to well-funded start-ups and successful established businesses with a small staff. Nearly all offer phone and mail services and put on regular events for members, which provide valuable opportunities to network with area businesspeople.
While these high-end spaces provide an aesthetic and amenities to impress high-profile clients, that image does come with a steeper price tag than other coworking spaces.
Now that you know your options, you can spend more time working productively and less time scrounging for outlets at the nearest Starbucks. Have experience using shared office spaces? Was it beneficial for your business?