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.
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.
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.
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.
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.