The term shared space and share office space can sometimes have different meanings to different people, depending on the context of the type of office facility you are thinking of. According to Wikipedia “Office sharing” is a concept that allows companies who own or manage an office (that have redundant office space) to share or rent workstations or self-contained units to smaller companies looking for flexible workspace.”
To some businesses, sharing an office space may mean sharing a traditional office facility with one or more businesses – as well as having their own office furniture, phone system, printers and even their own fax machine and photocopier. In this case, they are just sharing physical space. This typically means higher rental costs and capital expenses. These types of arrangements do not often happen in the downtown area or in a building with a prestigious business address. When they do, they are rare and expensive.
A shared office facility is commonly called an office business centre or just a business centre. Shared office space in a business centre works on the hot-desk concept whereby a business having shared office space has access to a desk and the IT infrastructure of the business centre at a prestigious business address. They also have access to a professional receptionist who answers their calls, as well as boardrooms, meeting rooms and other amenities of an office business centre (such as network printers and photocopiers).
Starting at $225 per month, shared office clients can use the available desk as much as they like during regular business hours. They can use the shared space for a few hours each day or for the full day several times a week, depending on their needs. Many of the users of shared space offices are people such as territory sales representatives who work on the road and need a professional space to do their research, client telephone calls, faxing, paperwork and meetings with clients. The downside of this arrangement is that the business tenant does not have a dedicated work space or storage for files or other personal items at the office – and must to carry their files with them each time they go into the office.
For other small businesses, having an office that is only shared with one other person is what they call a “shared office.” At Telsec Business Centres, we call this type of shared space a semi-private office. Just like shared office tenants (for $350 per month) semi-private office tenants have an office location with a prestigious business address, with a professional receptionist and access to boardrooms and other amenities offered by the business centre. The other advantages of having a semi-private office is that they have 24 hour access 7 days a week, as well as file storage and the ability to keep a computer on-site without having to take it with them every time they leave the office.
Because of the low rental cost, some businesses would consider a private office for $495 per month a shared space – because they are sharing the hallways, receptionist and office amenities with other businesses and saving money by doing so. The best part is that they do not need to share the capital costs of the network printers or photocopiers, because they only pay for what they use.