If the new year has inspired you to finally move out of your garden office into a real one, or to relocate your business, or even to downsize to maximise profits, then you could be trying to decide between a private office and a shared space. Both options have a lot going for them, so this quick guide might help you to decide.
Room – and money – to grow
If you’re a startup, growth is one of your main priorities so you’ll need an office that doesn’t demand a huge upfront payment or deposit, or a long contract that could cost you a small fortune to get out of. In addition, shared office premises usually include utility bills, insurance and even stationery supplies in the monthly fee, which means you can predict your expenses from month to month. Another benefit to shared space is that you can easily rent another suite or couple of desks if you need more space.
More networking opportunities
A major draw for start-ups and young companies is the fact that shared spaces mean networking with and meeting similar people. This makes work fun, as well as more productive as you can bounce ideas off each other and even do a bit of word-of-mouth advertising. The sense of community spirit can also offer a lot of encouragement and purpose.
Shared spaces are often cooler
If you’re on a smaller budget, you probably won’t be able to afford a cool-looking office space in London by yourself. Even if you could, would you be able to afford the coffee machine, secretary service, furniture and broadband?
You can still have a bit of privacy
You won’t be completely open plan in a shared office. There’ll still be private facilities like meeting rooms and quieter areas so you can have meetings or be able to work without interruptions.
You’ll have more control
Having more control over your workplace is one of the big advantages of a private office. You can change the internal layout and environment to your needs – right down to the colour scheme and the signage.
You’ll have more privacy
A private office is a better idea for companies that deal with sensitive information or data, or with nondisclosure agreements. You can talk freely and can offer clients more security. Think about it – you’re sharing your printer and broadband with several other companies. You know they’re OK, but your clients will be right to be circumspect.
That networking you do in a shared office space can soon turn into a quick drink, then a weekly party. This is great, but when do you get any work done? It’s difficult to concentrate when there’s gossip to catch up on, or you know your favourite neighbour just won a big contract. There’s also an increased risk of poaching…
A private office = gravitas
Shared office space is more popular by the month, but having a private office says you’re serious, you’re a going concern and you’re in it for the long-term. There’s something reassuring about having your own office that employees and clients respond well to.