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Sharing Office Space: Is It Worth It?

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Looking for ways to cut down on your office expenses? One of the best ways could be to move into some shared office space. As rent prices are going up all the time, many small companies and startups are looking at renting out alternative offices. It’s not only the lower cost that is attractive to many businesses. Sharing your workspace with professionals in the same industry could be very advantageous for you. Just think of all the contacts you could share with each other!

When it comes to sharing an office, there are lots of things that you need to think about. So if you are starting to consider moving into a new workspace, here are the main things that you need to consider.

Sharing Costs

The main motivation behind sharing an office is sharing the costs. You won’t be paying the full rental price, as you have another company to share it with. There are also so many costs you can share with our new co-workers. For example, if you have always wanted a receptionist but don’t have the budget, you could share one with the neighboring company. Sharing a reception with at least one other business can help you bring the overall price down. There are loads of other services that you can go halves on with another company. Why pay full price for an office cleaning service when you can share the costs with the other companies in the building?

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Parking

Ideally, you should look for an office building or complex that offers free parking. Try not to rent an office that requires employees to pay each day for their parking. If you have to rent it alongside the office, make sure the price is added onto the rent. It is also worth checking that you are paying the same as all the other companies in the building. If possible, try and find an office building that offers a secure parking garage with smart sensor parking guidance. All your employees will appreciate the peace of mind at knowing that their vehicles have been safely and securely parked. One of the downsides about parking at a shared office complex is that the spaces can often become gold dust. With so many people working in a building, there might be a scramble for the spaces each morning! So when you are viewing different offices, try and prioritize ones with plentiful parking.

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Location

As many co-working spaces and shared offices have been converted from the likes of warehouses, they can often be fairly out of the way. This could make them tricky to get to, especially for employees who don’t drive and will be taking public transport to work. You should also consider potential clients who could be coming to your office for meetings. Clients might spend too long trying to find your location on the Google Maps website. If this happens, they could give up and arrange a meeting with a centrally located competitor. It is also important to try and find a location that fits your company’s image. Are you a trendy startup? Then you should look for office space in one of your city’s hip districts. Whereas professional firms such as lawyers and broker should aim for an office in the city’s main business district.

Co-Workers

Before you sign on the dotted line for an office space, it is important to find out who else is sharing the office with you. The ideal co-workers would be professionals in the same industry as you but who are not direct competitors. You will then be able to share ideas and business contacts. This could be exceptionally beneficial to your business. Because the shared ideas and inspiration could help both companies flourish. However, if your competitors are currently working in a potential shared office, you should move on and look elsewhere. But it isn’t just the kind of work that your new co-workers do that you need to consider. When you are viewing an office, make a mental note of its overall appearance. Do they appear to be a neat and tidy company? Don’t move into an office that appears grungy or untidy. Sure, you want the other company to be relaxed, but not too relaxed. Otherwise, this could give your clients and visitors a bad impression of your business.

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Meeting Room

You will need a quiet meeting room away from all the office hubbub where you can hold your conferences and interviews. The chances are that you will have to share this with a few of the neighboring businesses in the office. However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you have a set routine and are able to book hour-long slots for the room well in advance. One of the best ways to organize the meeting room is on Google Calendar. Create a calendar using Google’s free service and share it with the other companies who use the meeting room. When someone books an hour, it will show up on everyone else’s copy of the calendar. You don’t have to do this online. You could also write up a paper version and stick it on the door of the meeting room. If someone wants to book some time in the room, they can simply pencil it in.

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Shared Responsibility Of Facilities

Most offices have many facilities other than those needed for work. There should be a kitchen and lounge or break room. Each company who uses these extra spaces should share the responsibility of them. So that means everyone needs to chip in to ensure that they stay clean and tidy. Especially the kitchen. If there are lots of employees using the kitchen, it can quickly get grimy. The best way to organize the cleaning of it is to set up a weekly rotation of tasks. The best way to do this is to give each company responsibility on a rotating schedule. If dirty pots and pans build up, they should see to them. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else can just dump their dirty dishes in the kitchen. Ideally, everyone should see to their own stuff, so it never gets too dirty or messy.

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Flexibility

Before you sign the lease for the office space, make sure the contract is flexible. You should try and negotiate a contract that allows for a quick exit if possible. It should also be easy for you to upgrade to a better office space if you need to. Rather than just moving out of a new office if your business expands, look for one now that could offer you extra office space if needed. You should also consider the duration of the contract. Most of the time it is best to stick to short-term contracts. This will help you get out better if your business hits a rocky patch. However, if you intend on staying in the office for a while, it might be worth signing a long contract. But only if you are getting a great deal!

This blog post should have given you plenty of food for thought when it comes to considering a shared office space. There are many benefits of sharing your workspace with another company. But often, the other company can be the major downside if you don’t choose wisely! So make sure you do your research and view as many shared office spaces as possible before making up your mind. It can really pay off and will be of benefit to you, your employees, and your whole company!

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