Modern offices come in many different forms. There are solutions for businesses in every industry and at every level of growth.
As a small business, start-up or freelancer, you may find yourself searching for non-traditional office space. Space that is more flexible, affordable and innovative than a fixed contract leasehold space.
When you aren’t looking for a long-term rental of private office space, and you know working from home won’t cut it anymore, you have two main options. Serviced office space and coworking offices.
Serviced offices are usually fully furnished, private office space you can rent for a set contract. They are more flexible than traditional office spaces as you will usually have a notice period of 1 to 3 months and you are not responsible for managing the utilities, cleaning or maintaining the space.
Coworking offices are the most flexible option, allowing you to book space by the month, week or day when you need it. Depending on the type of membership you choose, you may have either a fixed desk or a flexible desk in a fully furnished, open plan office shared with other businesses.
If you’re unsure about which route to take when it comes to flexible office solutions, we’ve put together this handy comparison.
In terms of price, serviced offices can be relatively expensive, and at first glance may appear to cost more than a traditional leasehold office. As the all inclusive cost will cover not only the space, but also the utilities, facilities and other services, they can still be a cost-effective way to rent space.
Coworking is usually a more affordable way for start-ups and small businesses to get set up in an office space quickly. Usually you will pay a fixed rate per desk and can choose a membership option that gives you access on as many days per month as you need.
You can then pay extra to use things like meeting rooms or other private areas (some memberships will include a certain number of hours for free), but you will often find that the necessities, such as Wi-Fi and refreshments, are included.
Both serviced offices and coworking spaces provide you with a ready-to-go office solution that you can begin using straight away.
With coworking spaces, it is normally possible to turn up on the day, get registered and begin working, whereas it will probably take slightly longer to view and secure a contract at a serviced office.
Serviced offices offer more in the way of privacy, with the likelihood that your main office space will be occupied by just your own company. However, meeting rooms and other communal areas will need to be reserved and will often be used by several other companies, so could be busy.
Coworking spaces tend to be open plan, with the office space shared by many companies across many different industries. Most will offer private areas that you can rent, such as phone booths and meeting rooms.
Coworking centre’s around flexibility, allowing you to customise how much you use the space and with no minimum reservation period.
Because contracts typically renew on a monthly basis, coworking is also the easiest solution to scale up and down with your businesses, providing the ability to adjust how many desks you want to reserve at any point. Similarly, if you have staff who are only in the office occasionally or travel a lot, you only need to pay for their desk space when they are in.
Although you may have the chance to meet other businesses in the communal areas of a serviced office, it does not offer the same scope for networking that a coworking office does.
Coworking spaces put a large amount of emphasis on encouraging their members to network. They will usually have a community manager who will make introductions and will also hold events in the space that bring members together.
This is why coworking appeals to so many freelancers and entrepreneurs, as it offers them the chance to incorporate networking into their everyday routine.
Find out more
If you’d like to learn more about coworking offices, why not come and take a look around SO Fourteen.
SO Fourteen is a vibrant new coworking space in the centre of Southampton. It offers its members the chance to work in a professional and productive setting at an affordable rate, which includes high speed Wi-Fi and unlimited refreshments, as well as several local discounts and other benefits.
You can book a tour now with our dedicated community manager, Oksana, and discover whether coworking could be the right solution for your business.