What office sharing can do for your venture

Written on 21 August 2013

Office sharing is a phenomenon that has been on the rise since the start of the economic downturn. With businesses having to make redundancies, sharing their office space meant they did not have to downsize. These otherwise-empty desks have proven to be a great option for small businesses and freelancers; everyone benefits!  Want to know more? Guest blogger, Peter Ames from Office Genie, explains how it could benefit your business.

…if you are looking for office space

If you are looking for office space that is flexible, great value, and that is set up and ready to go shared offices might be a great option for you. For one monthly fee you will generally get access to the following features:

·        A desk and a chair

·        All utilities included in your rental costs

·        Broadband

·        Some may even offer meeting room access and phone lines

With all of this included, you will not really have to worry about managing an office yourself. All you have to do is focus on your business.

The real beauty of shared offices are the flexible, month-to-month contracts. Life for a small business can be unpredictable and this flexibility can be a real bonus. It also means that if you are working from home you can try out office life for a little while and decide if it is for you.

There are a couple of possible downsides. On the security front; you will not get to lock up at night and you will probably be sending all your data through a shared network. If this sounds like it could be an issue, read a bit more about business broadband security on Broadband Genie's guideYou also will not get a huge amount of control over your workplace; whether this be décor or choosing broadband speeds. Finally, you might just not work well with the business you are sharing with, but such cases are pretty rare!

…if you’ve got spare desks

Spare space in your office? It does not have to go to waste – you could make some really useful money from it by renting it out. There are a whole host of great reasons to do so:

·        Any money you raise can be a real help towards your rent at the end of the month

·        New faces can bring real vibrancy and diversity to the office

·       Your ‘deskers’ may offer great feedback, a new idea or two or they could even have just the skills you are looking for in your company

The downsides mirror those mentioned above. You will have another business sharing your space and your network; so do bear these security concerns in mind.

Do also make sure they are not a potential rival either. Get a good idea of what a potential guest business does when they come to view your space to avoid this potentially awkward situation (and make sure you’ll work well together).

Peter Ames is web editor of www.officegenie.co.uk, the first site in the UK that enabled people to list their spare desk space for free.