How to Choose Between Coworking and Renting Office Space

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The era of flexible working is here. Businesses around the world, of all kinds, are increasingly able to do their jobs from the locations that they find most comfortable and productive. While working from home or out of cafes might work in the short run, workers are finding it isn’t feasible over the long haul: navigating crowds, searching for outlets, dealing with distractions, noise and bad WiFi connections… If leaders want their teams to be their most productive, access to professional, connected workspace is vital. And it doesn’t mean sacrificing the freedom of choice.

Most startups and freelancers opt for either coworking spaces or rented office spaces. That is because those in the early stages of business development prefer something flexible, smaller, and more economical. In most cases, it means deciding between these two options.

But how does one make a responsible choice between them? Here is a list of vital factors to consider before when between a coworking space and a rented office space. First, the basics:

What is a coworking space?

A coworking space is any location where unconnected people or groups work in close proximity. These people share common areas and services. An affordable option for workers, such a space allows you to network and mingle with like-minded individuals. Besides, it gives you freedom from administrative chores like hiring a receptionist or cleaning staff.

What is a rented office space?

Rented office spaces refer to properties occupied by an individual or a company that doesn’t own them. The people who rent out the space pay the property owner for a mutually agreed-upon period of time. In most cases, such spaces come fully furnished with an internet facility.

Renting an office space provides the freedom of relocation at one’s convenience and choice. Plus, it gives startups privacy from outsiders and a space they can truly call their own.

Choose Between Coworking and Renting Office Space

Five things to consider before choosing between coworking and renting office space

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing between coworking space and renting an office:

1. Cost 

The foremost thing to consider when it comes to weighing coworking versus rented office space is cost. How do these options measure up to your company’s workspace budget?

Your coworking space rent is determined by how much space you need. Does your company only require hot desks for the occasional off-site independent worker? Do you have whole teams regularly renting meeting rooms for group collaboration? Does your company host all-hands off-sites with a regular need for larger, private flex space?

Renting office space can give you constant access to all these things, whether or not it is in use. And that can be costly. Moreover, you might have to bring in much of your own furniture and minor amenities. It does, however, allow companies to plan ahead. Beyond set-up and move-in costs, office rent is predictable whereas, in the past, coworking memberships not only add various additional agreements and invoices each month, but space usage can fluctuate, which makes pinning down a monthly office space spend tough.

Upflex is bringing companies the best of both worlds: Accessing coworking space through a provider like Upflex means you have access to thousands of spaces around the world from hundreds of flex space brands, and hot desks, meeting rooms, and private office space on demand, with the benefits of budgeting by setting up a monthly flex space spend and dividing it between employees everywhere you do business.

2. Time period

The rental-period flexibility is a significant advantage of coworking spaces. Did you know that lease agreements for rented office spaces sometimes require a year-long contract before you can make alterations?

Coworking spaces offer flexible terms of usage. Plus, it’s far easier to rent such places for shorter durations and end leases before being bound to pay. However, if you’re definite about a location and plan on setting up a permanent residence, renting an office space isn’t a bad decision.

3. Amenities offered

As someone who is getting a service, you must aim to get value for money. Thus, first and foremost, consider the amenities and resources available. Make a list of the resources you’ll require and compare it with the offerings of coworking spaces and rented offices.

In most cases, you’d have basic amenities in your rental agreement. But while rented office spaces only offer basics like power backup and air conditioning, coworking spaces also provide refreshments, WiFi, lockers, printers, a coffee bar, and music.

With miscellaneous tasks covered, coworking spaces allow you to focus on your business. It’s also vital to emphasize the requirements of your business. That is why you must compare the variety and quantity of rooms you’re getting in both cases.

4. Terms and conditions

Don’t forget to consider terms and conditions of your agreements. If your team is signing individual membership agreements with various coworking spaces, go through the agreement in detail and consider the terms and cancellation policies.

To spare the hassle of individual agreements, consider a single-vendor solution like Upflex, which offers access to coworking spaces by different providers around the world, all under a single contract and a single monthly invoice.

5. Location 

In the era of hybrid work, “the perfect location” means something different altogether than it did just two or three years ago. Office hubs in bustling downtown areas near public transportation used to be optimal. Today, with lower downtown office utilization rates, more employees living outside of major cities, borderless hiring and a resistance to long commutes, that new perfect location is going to be as near as possible to the homes of as many team members as possible. Sometimes this geography benefit is just not achievable in a single location, which has companies increasingly considering distributing their office budget among smaller spaces in various locales, rather than one big, higher-priced central location.

Ready to future-proof your office strategy

While every workspace is different and has its own pros and cons, some are better suited for the vast majority of people. Coworking spaces have something in store for everyone. They provide more growth opportunities and facilitate work-life balance. And, they can be more cost-effective when managed thoughtfully.

Browse available coworking locations near your employees on Upflex’s global network of thousands of coworking spaces.