What is Shared Office Space?

What is shared office space

Shared office space is one of the most cost-effective office options for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but do you know why?

For a number of reasons, entrepreneurs and small businesses tend to share office space. Particularly those in large urban areas like New York, Boston or DC, where rents can be very expensive. These professionals will share office space with one another in lieu of getting their own leased office space directly from a commercial landlord.

Now we are beginning to see this same model in smaller cities and towns. This isn’t because the cost to rent an office has shot up nationwide, but because people are discovering all of the other benefits that come with sharing office space.

Why do professionals choose shared office space?

For the average entrepreneur, there is significant economic value in sharing office space with other professionals. Every office needs certain equipment or personnel to run efficiently. Such items can include a high-speed internet, copy/scanner, phone system or even a receptionist. However, much of that equipment or personnel can be leveraged across many people as opposed to one person. A shared office solution creates economies of scale and greater efficiencies than any one business could create on its own.

Also, entrepreneurs are smart and very informed, but everyone has questions or uncertainties when it comes to running a business?

Shared office space helps answer those questions because you’re surrounded by other successful entrepreneurs. Giving you the opportunity to find a peer within the space who can help or collaborate.

A shared space means you’re no longer stuck trying to figure things out on your own. Putting networking and collaborative opportunities in close proximity means you look like and even greater rock star to your clients. 

Professionals generally find shared office space one of three ways:

  1. Sublet Office Space

Larger businesses with their own commercial leases often sublet extra offices to entrepreneurs and small businesses to offset their expenses. These companies will often advertise on online lists, like New York based Lookingforspace.com, or in local publications, such as various business journals.

  1. A “Co-op”

Sometimes, several entrepreneurs or small business owners will lease a commercial office space directly from the building’s landlord. The lease will be in their own name or sometimes through a company that they form for this purpose.

  1. Executive Office Suites

An executive office suite is essentially a professionally run Co-Op.  Ripple Coworking is considered an executive office suite right here in Flagler Beach, Florida.

Most executive suites are composed of several different types of businesses and clientele. For example, at Ripple Coworking we have an architect, real estate agents, lawyers, graphic designers and much more!

What kind of facilities and services can you expect in a shared office?

Shared office space comes in many variations, sizes and term length commitments. In most executive office suites there is typically a suitable option for every potential shared office client and budget.

The options can range from something utilitarian – think four walls and a door with nothing else – to an opulent, professionally operated facility that provides unexpected amenities, such as daily continental breakfast, and everything in between.

Sublets and co-ops can be more on the utilitarian side (and thus cost less), while executive office suites tend to offer professional grade amenities, such as a full-time staffed receptionist to greet prospective clients, dedicated call answering services, professional grade telecommunication services and conference room access.

What type of experience can you expect in a shared office space?

At its best, a shared office space will have a community that works similar to that of a being in a large organization. Colleagues often come to each other for;

  • business advice,
  • to exchange referrals,
  • and work on projects together.

A good office share community can yield substantial value to an entrepreneur or small business, often more than paying for the cost of the rental.

Yet this type of collegiality may not be found in all office shares. Sometimes, the suite has a “stick to yourself” type of vibe, which you may be looking for.

Understanding the culture in a shared office space (and finding one that fits your needs best) would be something that every professional would want to know before signing a sublease or office license.