Renting an office can be a costly expense for any business. When you combine the cost of business rates, electricity, telephone lines and the internet, everything starts to mount up. You will also need to consider a good office layout which should be both furnished and illuminated ergonomically. Once you have found a suitable office space, you then need to keep up with the numerous bills that pile in each month.
The great news is that it doesn't need to be this difficult. By renting a shared serviced office you can ease the stress of running your own business whilst cutting down on unnecessary costs. Harry Arnold explores why co-working spaces have become more and more popular amongst SMEs in the past decade, and considers the benefits of shared workspaces for SMEs.
What is a shared workspace?
Shared workspaces, also known as co-working spaces, are offices that are occupied by multiple organisations. Businesses come together in open plan offices with shared desks and communal break out areas. Shared workspaces are home to a wide range of workers from freelancers and startups to SMEs. These co-working offices allow companies to reduce business costs whilst boosting productivity.
The workplace is static, but the occupants are ever-changing. Many SMEs start off in shared office space and then move on to their own office space or building when they are confident enough to invest. Renting a shared office space is also a great way for multiple SMEs to come together and work collaboratively in the same space. For example, a recruitment freelancer might be interested to use the services of a marketing consultant renting in the same space. This enables businesses to share their services and grow into stronger organisations.
Why are shared workspaces good for SMEs?
The shared workplace market has grown significantly in the last ten years, and more and more SME owners are beginning to take the plunge.
Shared workspace emerged onto the market at the same time as millennials entered the professional world. Those becoming entrepreneurs, creating startups and merging smaller companies needed a suitable but cost-friendly place to work, join forces and collaborate. Co-working spaces were able to tick all of these boxes, and more. Specifically, benefits of co-working spaces include:
One benefit of renting a shared workspace is that workers can rent desk space for as long or as short as they need. Workers get the freedom to use shared workspaces on their own terms, while companies unburden themselves of costly commercial leases. SMEs aren’t tied down to office space as is true in a leased office, so as the business grows their office can grow too.
Co-working spaces generally cost a lot less than leasing and furnishing your own office space, so you’re likely to see a big drop in your business costs whilst still receiving the same (if not more) benefits for your business. By opting for a shared office, SMEs can afford prime central locations which not only attracts top talent but also builds a strong reputation for your brand.
The opportunities to network are endless - you'll have a number of businesses around you that you can utilize at a discounted price or even offer out your own services to improve their business. The opportunity for development and collaboration is endless, with many shared workspaces hosting events and workshops offering learning opportunities and advise on how to help grow your business.
Co-working spaces include both access to meeting rooms and reception services. So, whether you’re meeting a prospective client or employee, your office presents your business in a professional way. Workspaces also offer wi-fi, communal areas and cleaning services to allow your business to run smoothly.
Another great aspect is that most shared workspaces come fully furnished and decorated. They are fresh, unique, stylish and give a great first impression to both clients and employees.
6. Less stress
Fewer responsibilities will mean you have less to worry about and more time to focus on your business. Gone are the days of worrying about what you need to pay out at the end of the month. With shared office space, all of your bills are consolidated into one monthly payment.
7. Quick move in
When renting shared office space, there is not a lot that needs to be set up. The space is already fitted with furniture, internet and phone lines. SMEs can move in and get to work straight away.
For remote workers, entrepreneurs, SMEs, and growing companies, shared offices provide a solution for both growth and development. They are rapidly becoming the go-to option for many startups, especially those who want to get up and running quickly.
About the Author
Harry Arnold is the Public Relations Executive at Free Office Finder, an online commercial property broker that specializes in matching organisations with serviced offices across the UK. Since 2002, they've been successful in finding office space for thousands of organisations of all sizes, from startups to blue chip organisations. The business is independently-operated, ensuring service is completely impartial, driven by the needs of clients, and free to use.