Shared office space is all the rage, but it’s not a “one size fits all”

Shared office space is all the rage, but it’s not a “one size fits all”

Every business, regardless of size, needs an office space of some description to run its operations.

Having an office space whether it’s a home office or a commercial set up, provides a business with the much needed physical address that authenticates its existence to prospective clients and customers, not to mention provides clarity to where work life ends and home life starts. (Sounds good in theory!)

Besides this, having an office facility should provide employees not only with a sense of belonging but also a suitable environment to complete their job efficiently.

Having an office to run all the necessary business operations though, can come at a hefty cost that not every business can afford.

A cost-effective solution that many companies use in their infancy, is a virtual office.

With a minimal outlay, you can have a business address, access to meeting rooms, giving a more professional image than meeting in a coffee shop. Some centres also offer the use of a virtual assistant to greet clients, receive calls, forward messages and other basic administrative tasks. This is a great option for a new start-up, as it can actually give the impression that a business is more established than it is.

Another cost-effective solution is shared space.

This initiative seems to be all the rage at the moment and it’s not only cash-strapped start-ups that are getting on board.

Large corporate entities are also opting for a more collaborative solution. Some are enjoying the benefits of a less hierarchical approach, which allows for a much a more fluid communication strategy amongst employees. Financial institutions are also benefiting by locating themselves within the communal office space of a tech hub. This genius move enables them to have their ear to the ground on any up and coming technological advances leaving them in the prime investing position ahead of their competitors.

Obviously, there are many other benefits that come with sharing an office space, one of the biggest, of course, is cost. As a new start-up venture, keeping costs down is critical to the success of your company. Once there is an established client base and a regular income stream then a new office befitting the nature of your business is, of course, a possibility.

Another benefit is the environment. Behaviour breeds behaviour and if you are lucky enough to share an office with a successful company, making strides in its industry, with an impressive leader at the helm, the chances are, you and your employees will also be inspired.

Likewise, it is a great opportunity to learn from the mistakes of businesses that aren’t thriving and adopt differing practices.

In today’s booming market of collaborative space, there are several options available. Let’s take a look.

Business centre shared office space

This can be a great introduction to shared space. Often you can sign up for this type of set up, on a plug and play basis where you literally go along with your laptop and other business paraphernalia and begin working. It can be as structured or as flexible as your business dictates, which is great given that the changing dynamics of a working week.

This solution will usually come equipped with phones, reception areas, kitchens, break out areas and also conference facilities and meeting rooms which you are able to hire on an ad-hoc basis.

Business incubators

These types of shared office spaces are specifically designed for start-ups often involved in technology, light manufacturing and service industries. The office space is generally shared between 15 to 20 other start-ups which enter into a business incubation program which can typically last for a few years. The biggest advantage of such shared office space is that start-ups get hands-on training from already established and successful businessmen and women. They will also receive access to financial, business and technical support, as well as networking opportunities. These programs are set up and often government incentivised to get as many successful entrepreneurs businesses off the ground as possible. Obviously booming business means more jobs and a buoyant economy.

Coworking communities

These types of shared office space generally have a very creative and professional environment. These co-working communities promote networking, collaboration and social interaction between all the members. This type of shared office space is ideal for freelancers, independents, writers, software developers, start-ups, social media consultants and other creative or tech professionals. Facilities like fast internet connectivity, free coffee/beverages, networked printing, shared kitchen, IT support, projectors, whiteboards, fax/copy/scan, social events are generally offered.

Whilst all of these options hold many benefits, shared office space is by no means for everyone.

If your business demands that your environment is quiet, or if you have to study long contractual legal documents, you may find an open plan space too distracting. Likewise, if you deal in sensitive information or need to speak with clients about their personal accounts etc, it may not be the solution for you. Another difficult scenario is if you work in a highly competitive industry, such as recruitment. You may wish to avoid sharing an office with someone that could potentially steal your candidates and clients, or even worse poach your staff!

If you are in the market for a new office, definitely explore a few options, but I would always advise a trial first before you sign the dotted line!

About the Author: Clare Jones – Officespace.com.au

At Officespace.com.au we understand that choosing the right office solution can dramatically determine the success and prosperity of your business and as such, we go into each enquiry contemplating, “what would I do if this was my business?”

Our location specific consultants will actually take the time to learn about your business.

  • What kind of image do you want to portray to your clients?
  • Does your business need footfall to flourish?
  • What are your future growth plans?
  • Where are your competitors located?
  • How accessible are you for your clients?
  • What would be the unique selling point of your new location that can help you attract the best candidates in your industry?

They will drill down to the very essence of your company and the amenities that are essential for your business to succeed.

We will organise viewings at a time to suit you and once we have helped you identify a shortlist of suitable solutions, we can provide you with service and cost comparisons and even assist with negotiations.  Signing the contracts can be nerve wracking, we will make sure you understand any industry jargon, so you are confident there will be no hidden surprises or charges once you have moved in.

We are absolutely thorough in our approach, whether you are looking for a virtual office or you need space for a team of 100.

There is nothing more rewarding to us than when our clients return, because business is booming so much that they have outgrown their space.

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