How can shared office space boost a business?

When the recession hit, office sharing emerged as a fantastic way for businesses to avoid downsizing following redundancies. By renting out empty desks, an organisation can afford to stay in a larger space and even get a little bit of extra cash to help with the monthly rent.

Here at Office Genie (in our initial incarnation as Desk Space Genie) we were the first site in the UK (we think) to allow people to list and rent out shared office space completely free of charge. Just as we do today. Thousands of businesses have advertised with us, so if you want to search for a shared office you’ve come to the right place.

So what exactly is shared office space? Why can it be a particularly great option and how could it benefit you? Read on…

If you’re looking for space to rent…

...there are a whole host of reasons to lease shared office space:

  • It's flexible: Rolling month-to-month contracts make them a great option if you’re looking for temporary space, you’re unsure what the future may hold or you just want to try out office life.
  • Room to expand: This means you can often change the number of desks you rent, often with little more than a month’s notice; handy if you want to expand or downsize quickly.
  • All-inclusive: All your broadband, utility and general management fees will be included in your monthly bill. You don’t have to spend any extra time or money!
  • What you get: Generally a fairly basic package, usually inclusive of a desk, chair, all broadband and utility fees and perhaps meeting room access. This might well be all you need though. If you want a cheap all-inclusive package shared offices are perhaps a better option than the more expensive serviced offices.
  • Be inspired: Shared offices are often really exciting places in which to work. Working alongside another dynamic organisation can be an inspirational experience, one which could help move your own business to the next level.

If you’ve got spare desks and want to share your space…

…putting these up for rent can offer a whole host of benefits to your business:

  • Money, money, money: First and foremost, the money you can make renting out your spare space can really help when it comes to paying rent and utility bills.
  • Freshen things up: A few new faces in the office can help bring some diversity and generally energise your workspace.
  • Get some quality feedback: You never know, your ‘deskers’ might even be able to offer some quality feedback, a new idea or two or even some skills you require; meaning you could hire them on a freelance basis.

How do I advertise the spare desks in my offices?

Like the sound of this and want to rent out your space? To do so sign up and follow our step-by-step wizard which will have your space up and ready to rent on Office Genie in no time.

If you’d like to find out a little more before committing then you’ll find the key questions answered in our desk rental faqs. If you have any concerns about any potential legal matters, we’ve got you covered in our guide to understanding the legal issues of desk rental. If these don’t answer your question, we’d love to help. Just give us a call on 01223 501344.

Finally, how much should you charge for renting your desk? It depends on a large number of things: location, office/desk size, available facilities and so on. However, as a general rule, around £250-350 would be a competitive price for a desk with a basic package of features (desk, chair, all broadband and utilities) in central London.

Before you sign up for a shared office…

...make sure none of the items on the list below would be a problem for you:

  • You won’t have a huge amount of control over your workspace or indeed your workmates. This means you won’t get to manage things such as décor or broadband speeds. It also means you might be sharing with people you just don’t work well with.
  • You often won’t get to lock up the offices at night and if you’ve got any sensitive data be aware this will be being sent through a shared network.
  • There’s also the chance your hosts may want the desks you occupy, so you might be asked to leave.

If these sound like they could be an issue, then you might want to consider an office on a long term lease. You’d have total control over your own property, and if you want a cheap space, these are often the best way to go. Of course, managing your own space comes with its own problems; it can be a lot of hassle and could also end up being more expensive than you first thought. If you’d like to read more about the traditional rental then we’ve covered everything in our guide to office leasing.

If you still want to search for flexible, all-inclusive package, perhaps one that offers more than you’d get in a shared office, but are worried about a few of the above issues then you could consider serviced offices. In one of these purpose-built centres you’d generally get your own room; giving you a little more privacy and perhaps even the opportunity to decorate. If these sound like what you need, why not check out Office Genie’s guide to serviced offices?

Before you rent out your spare space…

...a couple of quick things to bear in mind:

  • Check with your landlord that renting your spare space is OK.
  • Always check what field your ‘deskers’ work in so they don’t turn out to be a competitor.
  • Also just generally check you work well together. If your office is fairly quiet you may not want to share with another company who uses the phone a lot for example.
  • Ensure both parties have signed an agreement.

If these don’t sound like issues, then you’re probably ready to rent out your space. Most importantly, embrace your guests. Invite them on staff trips to the pub and generally include them as you would a colleague. That way everyone has a great time!

As featured in