When looking for office rental space, there are different options to choose from including traditional office space vs. shared, or co-working space. But, which one is right for you?
Shared offices (or coworking spaces) are growing at a rapid pace, filling an important niche that traditional office spaces can’t, and offering a service that is quite obviously in dire demand. The forecasted growth for coworking spaces appears to be huge, and there are plenty of other markets overseas where coworking has only just begun to catch on.
However, that doesn’t mean that the coworking model will replace the traditional private office. Rather, it’s important to recognize the two as very different, and both equally necessary. Yet when looking for a space to grow your own enterprise, it’s important to ask yourself to choose, and pick your best option. Whether that’s a coworking space/shared office or a traditional office depends on a number of different factors.
1. Needs and Commitment
The first thing to consider is how far you are willing to commit to your enterprise. While it’s important to believe in your work, not all teams or projects need to last for years. If what you need is a space to work with a small team in a collaborative effort for no longer than a few months, a shared office is your best bet.
The economics are very important here – upfront, as well as in the immediate future, a shared office or coworking space will often be far more economical than a traditional office in the same neighborhood. But if you’re in it for the long haul and already have a small business that has become relatively stable with solid prospects for the next five years, then it may be worth looking into a space of your own.
While the benefits of coworking spaces are overwhelming for small businesses, they’re also mostly short-term – if this is something you have the means to invest in and the intention to commit towards, then looking for affordable and valuable office space can be helpful.
- If, however, your business is little more than an idea, then a traditional office may simply be too much. Most office spaces lease for no fewer than three years, which can be both costly and difficult to justify on an unproven business.
- Shared offices and coworking spaces usually let you make use of their space on a monthly basis. Much like a gym membership, you can choose whether to renew every month. While some coworking spaces do call for slightly longer commitments, of upwards of three months, they’re often the exception.
2. Options for Amenities and Utilities
A traditional office space may or may not come with its own furniture, but you aren’t likely to find any workstations, printers, or other equipment already installed by the time you first lease the space.
That means investing significantly in setting up your own office, getting the backbone of the operation going, not to mention the layout, branding, design, decoration, and art. For larger companies with an established clientele, a bigger team, and serious capital, all of these initial investments might not be too difficult to swing and can net some significant potential for growth.
However, if you’re still a young company or are in the process of building your business, these are all costs you can do without. Coworking spaces come prepared with several amenities, workstations, and utilities.
Workers can bring their laptops and share communal equipment such as printers and coffee machines. Furniture often accommodates a large variety of different work arrangements, from workers who prefer their own space, to small groups sitting around a coffee table, to large teams tackling a new project in a big meeting or conference room.
3. Creating and Preserving Workplace Culture
One of the benefits of having your own office space is that you control the design and layout of the office, and as manager, you can control the office culture. Office culture accounts for a number of things, including:
- How your workers behave
- What is and isn’t appropriate
- How morale is boosted at work
Consider your office’s culture the culmination of its personality, the sum of everyone working together, displaying their strengths independently yet also contributing to a greater total.
Office culture can be a good thing, or it can be a bad thing. When managed properly, a workspace can develop a positive culture that greatly impacts worker productivity by keeping workers happy and motivated. When managed poorly, an office culture can contribute towards acts of bullying, intimidation, burnout, and a high turnover.
Coworking spaces generally have a positive workspace culture, as it’s their purpose to attract many companies and independent workers, yet this might not always mesh or vibe with your organization.
4. Learning from Coworking
At the end of the day, even though the coworking model won’t replace private offices entirely, its popularity still serves to help inform many office managers and business owners on how better to design their offices in order to take advantage of the factors in coworking spaces that promote productivity and worker contentment.
There’s a lot to learn from the design of these spaces, from approaching the office as a more worker-centric environment that doesn’t focus on hierarchies or management control, to providing a greater degree of freedom on where and when to work, as well as how and where to take breaks.
From a variety of amenities to a more lax and open environment to help encourage communication and cooperation, these spaces help workers:
- Better flex their creative muscles
- Mingle with others
- Still find quiet spaces to withdraw when it’s time to call upon an inner focus and concentrate on the task at hand
So, Shared or Traditional Office Space?
Shared offices do their best to be appealing spaces to work in. To heavily advertise their function as a communal space for work and cooperation, they generalize and try to home in on a non-specific, community-driven work culture.
Private offices have the luxury of developing their own work culture, but companies must be wary of developing a culture that promotes gatekeeping or ranking.
A lack of inclusivity can push newcomers away and keep them from fully unleashing their potential, simply because they aren’t interested in going through a harsh welcoming period before finally being a part of something bigger.
In coworking spaces, workers immediately feel welcomed into a larger group, and can start immediately working with others to develop new projects and discover new ideas. An environment that encourages newer employees to open up and be enthusiastic about their work is far healthier than a toxic environment.
Common Questions About Office Rentals
1. What is the difference between traditional and shared offices?
Traditional private offices typically have a longer lease term, usually no less than three years while our shared offices can be rented on a monthly basis.
2. Which type of office is best for you?
This depends on many factors including: economical and financial factors, needs and commitment, necessary amenities and utilities, workplace culture and more.
3. Does The Collection offer both types of office?
Yes, we offer monthly-lease terms along with traditional creative offices.
The Collection offers a variety of both monthly office rentals and traditional office space. If you are looking for a place to grow your business, contact us today!