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Shared Office Space – Your Options

3 min read
Shared Office Space – Your Options

Thanks to the Internet, cell phones, and executive suites, serviced offices and the virtual office, working space alternatives we could have never imagined even ten years ago are evolving at an exponential rate. Four of the options are detailed below.

Standard shared office space

Space details: Usually situated within another business’s existing office, this type of shared space includes private offices, cubicles and/of workstations. This setup is good for companies and startups that have regular need of a conference room, multiple phone lines require privacy for their employees.

Conveniences: Often these shared offices offer services at no additional cost, such as a shared break room and/or kitchen, use of a shared conference room, and a shared reception area. Use of a documents, copying and mailing center as well as shared receptionists are sometimes included for a prorated share of the cost.

Rates: Typically between $250-1,000 per month, and flexible lease terms are usually available for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small business owners. The rent is frequently determined by how much space a company needs.

Coworking Communities

Out of all of the options we’re investigating, coworking communities, while not new, are certainly the newest. Coworking spaces are about offering more pleasant places to work as well as community building. They are also based on the shared values of the members, like collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.

Space details: These communities typically have a combination of common areas, community desk space, some private offices and shared use of a conference room. While this environment is great for creative types and extroverts, it’s not ideal for those with privacy needs or who spend a good part of the day on the phone and need quiet.

Conveniences: May include broadband Internet, networked printing, free coffee, IT support, use of shared kitchen, fax/copy/scanning, white boards, projectors, social events, and networking events within the coworking space.

Rates: These vary based on your usage of the space, usually on an hourly basis, including how much conference room time you need and how much desk or private office time you require. Visit the coworking wiki at coworking.pbworks.com.

Business incubators

Space details: A business incubator is an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies.Fifteen to twenty startup companies typically share these spaces, following a rigorous, competitive admissions process.

Conveniences: One of the most attractive features of an incubator is affordable rent, but the amenities include an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections.

Rates: Rental rates vary based on location and program. Go to National Business Incubation Association for a detailed explanation of incubators and to find one in your area.

Executive Suites

Space details: It’s a fully furnished and equipped office or office building, managed by a facilities-management company. The company rents individual offices or even entire floors to other companies. This shared office space typically has a traditional and professional atmosphere, often in Class A office buildings in city centers, offering more impressive and well-known addresses than small start-ups can usually afford. If you need a high-profile address to enhance your credibility, this is the option for you. It’s also a great choice for companies who need branch offices in other cities or states.

Conveniences: Features of executive suites often include shared services, such as reception, catering, meeting, conference and training rooms and courier services. It also may include access to business equipment such as broadband, WIFI, copiers, printers, telecommunications (phone number, fax, answering services and lines). Kitchen facilities are often part of the deal, as well as common areas and parking spaces. Sometimes extra services cost extra fees, but they still are usually a fraction of what you’d pay for permanent full-time services.

Rates: Rent is usually lower than typical office space since it is often shared. Renters save money on furnishings, office equipment and salaries for support people, since a shared receptionist may come with the space. Like most options, rates vary based on location and how much time each month you’ll use the space.

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