What is Shared Office Space?

Cathy Rogers

Shared office space refers to fully equipped and furnished offices ready for quick setup for a branch office or entrepreneur who doesn’t want to work from home. Also knows as business centers and executive suites, these facilities provide mail, telephone and Internet services. Sharing office space can provide professional facilities at a lower cost than traditional office rents and even offer the possibility for outside input and referrals from others that utilize the same arrangement.

Individuals working in a shared office space environment may also share a receptionist.
Individuals working in a shared office space environment may also share a receptionist.

Many shared office space arrangements include business equipment, such as copiers and fax machines, office furniture and receptionist and mail services. Some offer conference room accessibility, delivery or publishing services and other amenities. The leases on these types of offices are generally six to 12 months, with some offering three-month options.

Many shared office spaces come with office furniture.
Many shared office spaces come with office furniture.

Another type of shared office space involves leasing a small space from a company or business that has excess office space. This compares to subleasing. In this type of situation, an individual or business can potentially rent a single desk space or possibly a group of offices within another company's larger space. Often, the renter shares common conference rooms, kitchen areas and other facilities with the leasing business.

Shared copy machines are generally seen as an advantage in shared office spaces.
Shared copy machines are generally seen as an advantage in shared office spaces.

A similar type of shared office situation might be used for telecommuters when they come in to the office to work. The desk, phone and equipment are theirs only for the work period and typically used by others at other times. This situation is good for complementary types of businesses; for example, a health professional sharing space with another medical professional with a different specialty. In this type of arrangement, the lessee is less likely to benefit from secretarial or other services. The advantage to the company providing the shared space is that it is a quick, inexpensive way to recoup expenses for excess space.

Renters often share conference rooms with the leasing business, although these rooms are not always available for use at all times.
Renters often share conference rooms with the leasing business, although these rooms are not always available for use at all times.

Either of these types of shared office space offers advantages including reduced need for support staff, all-inclusive monthly costs and quick occupancy. The arrangement is especially attractive to small business owners and start-up companies. These arrangements also require no great outlay of capital for equipment and furniture. When choosing a shared workspace, consider the same types of issues you would if you were leasing a traditional office space: site, other tenants and the contract.

Shared workspace aids collaboration and allows workers to share resources.
Shared workspace aids collaboration and allows workers to share resources.
Supplies may be shared by employees in a shared office space.
Supplies may be shared by employees in a shared office space.
Shared office space arrangements often include business equipment and office furniture.
Shared office space arrangements often include business equipment and office furniture.

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Discussion Comments

CheeryOne

My husband works in a large maintenance yard for a municipality. In the main building they have a section leased out to a small construction firm’s office staff. Although the staff consists of three older women, the maintenance teams feel inconvenienced sometimes.

The women do yoga in the shared break room during lunchtime every day. Well the men are too uncomfortable to eat while they’re exercising, so they eat in their work trucks. How would you politely explain to the women their yoga an issue with your teams and what could be a possible solution?

Sio

I wish to know if the shared office conception, or idea, is a successful one, if there are many offices working this way in EUA.

Thanks, Sio

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