by Fiona Shipsey May-16-2019 in Property

With co-working spaces becoming increasingly popular across the country, Fiona Shipsey points out the pros and cons to this type of arrangement.

Co-working is no longer just a buzzword amongst start-ups as many workers across different professions are now drawn to the idea of working in a shared space. There are many attractions to such a set-up but before moving to this type of office space, one needs to consider the following:


1.  How long will you use the space for?

Standard leases for a traditional office space are often for a minimum term of 4 years 9 months and this can deter those who are unsure how big their business will grow in that time period. The major benefit to a co-working arrangement is that you can use a desk or office space for as little as a day or a month. This is great for those who do not wish to be tied down to a lengthy agreement.


2.  Do you want a fixed rent?

Another potential benefit to the co-working arrangement is that the rent is not fixed for a year (or 5 year) period and so you can pay month to month and then vacate the space if you do not wish to pay for another month. On the other hand, if you know that you will need the space for a longer period of time, it can often work out more cost-efficient to execute a traditional lease as your rent will be fixed for that time with no potential unknown increases and this certainty can bring comfort to those looking to plan longer term.


3.  Will you increase the size of the space?

If you are starting up a business with a hope to grow the business over the course of a few years, it probably does not make sense for you to lease an office space that is too big in the hope that you may fill it. It often works out more cost-efficient to gradually hire more desks in a co-working space as your office grows. On the other hand, if you are a big team already, taking an office space of your own may work out more cost-efficient longer term.


4.   Is confidentiality vital?

Prior to deciding the best type of arrangement for you, you should consider whether your type of business is suited to sharing office space. Will you be using confidential client information on phone calls that your neighbours could hear? Would your client be willing to have meetings in such a space or would your business be more suited to a private office?


5.   Are there policies to obey?

Whilst certain co-working spaces require you comply with house rules, you need to bear in mind that you may not be able to enact your own company policies to the best of your ability amongst your own staff while you share office space. Therefore if there are certain policies that are vital for your business, a traditional office may suit your needs better.


6.   Are you happy to share with neighbours?

One of the major perks to co-working office spaces is the sense of community amongst the users of the space. Those who use the service can share ideas and learnings with each other. If you are starting up a business on your own, it can often be a great comfort to know that there are others around you doing the same thing who are potentially able to assist you when problems arise. Bearing that in mind, the sharing of ideas can lead to an increased noise level in the office. While most users of such co-working spaces are cognisant of keeping noise to a minimum, this cannot always be feasible. Therefore if noise is something that would be detrimental to your business, you need to keep this in mind.


In conclusion, whilst co-working spaces are becoming an increasing trend; before you take the leap, do your homework on whether it is right for you.

For further information, please contact Fiona Shipsey at Hayes solicitors. 

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