There’s nothing cheap about running a business in today’s climate. While a typical company incurs dozens of costs, office space is often one of the most expensive line items on the budget.
Thankfully, there’s an alternative to renting traditional office space and there are a myriad of benefits associated with it.
What is Shared Office Space?
It’s quite common for entrepreneurs to launch startups out of their homes, work there for a few months or couple of years, and then begin looking for office space as the company scales.
It’s at this point that most are shocked to find out just how expensive commercial office space is – especially in big cities. In many cases, it’s enough to sink an entire budget and run the business off course.
Don’t worry, though. There are some alternative solutions to traditional office space.
One such option is shared office space. Once considered peculiar, shared office space has risen to prominence as a viable option for businesses across many different sectors and industries.
“Shared office space, also known as serviced office space, business centers, or executive suites are a turn-key office solution providing an office space shared by other companies or professionals,” business expert and successful entrepreneur Darrell Zahorsky writes.
“These offices often come fully equipped and furnished, a ready-made solution for establishing a branch office or saving limited time and money for start-ups.”
Shared office space has become increasingly popular over the years. While you’ll certainly find an array of options in big cities, this unique setup is also spilling over into smaller markets and towns. Across the board, it’s an attractive option that garners serious consideration.
The 6 Biggest Benefits
Why would you consider shared office space? In other words, what are the specific benefits and advantages when compared to a traditional setup? While every business will discover a unique set of advantages, here are some of the biggest benefits:
1. Cost Savings
Utilizing shared office space is exponentially cheaper and more cost-effective than building your own office space or entering into a traditional lease.
According to Jay Suites, which has seven different shared office space locations throughout New York City, the cost savings are enormous. Their numbers suggest that startup costs are just $2,295 (compared to $50,000), while monthly costs start at $1,199 (compared to $15,000).
This is also the case in Europe where sharing a rental office in Paris is very normal because the rent for traditional office spaces is too high.
The numbers will obviously be unique to your city, but this provides a good idea of just how cost-effective shared office space is.
When you sign a lease for a traditional office space, you might get locked into a one-, two-, or even five-year lease agreement. With a shared office space, you typically go month-to-month.
This gives you the flexibility to switch things up and scale according to your business needs.
3. Access to Amenities
“If you lease your own office space, you’re responsible for paying for utilities, supplies and amenities. With shared offices, utilities such as water and Internet are included, as are other amenities including coffee and kitchen supplies,” entrepreneur Emily Starbuck Crone explains.
“This reduces costs and some of the details you have to tackle day to day.”
These might seem like small things, but the simple fact that you don’t have to worry about arriving early and making the coffee, or remembering to stop by the office supply store over the weekend to get ink for the printer, lifts a huge weight off your shoulders.
4. Existing IT Infrastructure
In case you haven’t noticed, IT infrastructure is expensive to build out. When you use a shared office space, you immediately gain access to an established system.
5. Convenient Location
Location is a huge benefit. When you rent shared office space, it suddenly becomes possible for you to gain access to prime real estate at a fraction of the cost.
Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars a month for an office in the middle of a big city, you can go month-to-month for just a couple thousand dollars. It’s like a video game cheat code for real estate.
6. Networking Opportunities
One underrated benefit is the networking opportunities you get when you work in a shared office space.
You’re literally rubbing shoulders with other entrepreneurs and business owners, which naturally provides an opportunity to build valuable and profitable professional relationships that can benefit you now, as well as down the road.
Consider Ditching Your Traditional Setup
As you give serious weight to the idea of ditching your traditional setup and pursuing shared office space for your business or startup, there are some different things you’ll need to consider.
Location is one of the more important factors for most businesses. You want to make sure it’s within a nice commuting distance and has convenient/affordable parking.
The brand reputation of the office space also matters. Is the company a chain with a positive reputation for professionally managing different office spaces all over the state, region, or country? Or is it a standalone office space with no reputation at all?
You’ll also want to consider things like pricing, amenities, existing tenants, and the contract terms. Because shared office spaces typically take pride in no-nonsense transparency, this information should be readily available.
If, after doing your due diligence, you find that a shared office space makes more sense than your existing setup, consider giving it a try.