Chances are if you’re reading this article, you’re either considering opening up your own business or you already have one. So now the question becomes, where will your business be based?
The answer to that question depends on which type of office space you choose: shared or private. This article explains the differences between the two and helps you decide which one’s right for your new business.
An Overview of Private Office Space & Shared Office Space
Shared office space and private office space each have their pros and cons, and what one person finds valuable may not be true of someone else. If you’re just starting out and your business needs are simple, shared office space may be perfect.
But, as your company grows and you find that you need more privacy and less noise from other companies sharing the same space, you may want to consider private office space instead.
Both have their perks, but the choice between shared and private office space can be difficult to make. To help you decide which one will work best for your company’s unique needs, here’s an overview of both options so you can compare them side-by-side and make the right choice.
Advantages of shared office spaces
If you’re a small business owner just starting out, shared office spaces may be your best bet. They can save you money and hassle and get you up and running much faster than leasing private office space.
Most have minimal start-up costs and low monthly fees, are professionally designed with startup businesses in mind, and come fully equipped with all furnishings, utilities, WiFi, and more — even accounting services — to help run your business smoothly.
You also don’t need to worry about maintaining them; they’re cleaned regularly and maintained by professional building staff.
Another perk: You get access to an established network of other professionals who might become future clients or partners. Plus, many offer perks like free coffee, snacks, and events that bring people together for networking opportunities outside of work hours.
Disadvantages of shared office spaces
While sharing office space has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. First, you may not feel as productive if you’re constantly distracted by other people working around you. This can easily turn into wasted time if you find yourself spending too much time socializing rather than getting work done.
Second, depending on how busy your office gets, it could sometimes feel as though there isn’t enough room to breathe when everyone wants their own desk but there aren’t enough desks to go around.
Finally, some shared offices require long-term leases (anywhere from one year to five years), which means you won’t be able to move if things don’t work out.
Advantages of private office spaces
When you rent a private office space, you have complete control over everything inside it. Not only do you get to choose what goes in there (including furniture and decor), but you also determine how your employees will interact with each other within those walls. And since you lease it for as long as you want, you can move if something better comes along.
Disadvantages of private office spaces
However, unlike shared office spaces, renting a private office space doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it can cost anywhere from $400 to $2,000 per month depending on where you live and how big your space is. Most landlords require long-term leases ranging from six months to two years to make matters worse.
So if you decide to leave before your lease ends, you’ll likely have to pay hefty penalties — sometimes even losing several months’ worth of rent payments.
Also, while most shared office spaces include basic amenities such as internet and cleaning services, these usually aren’t included in private office rental agreements.
The questions you need to ask yourself when choosing an office
You can save a lot of money by sharing an office space with other businesses. Is it worth it, though? For many start-ups and small business owners, it’s ideal to have a separate office, especially in their early days. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself when choosing an office space.
1) What type of client do I want to attract?
2) How much money do I want to spend on rent each month?
3) Do I plan on hiring employees in the future?
4) How important is my privacy and independence from others?
5) Will clients expect me to be located in a certain part of town or neighborhood that would necessitate driving or commuting from further away than I would like?
6) Do I want to run a storefront, restaurant, shop, salon, etc. with my office space that would require my business to be on-site during operating hours?
7) Will my clients need to visit me at my office regularly and will they expect privacy when doing so?
8) Is it important for me to have an address that’s recognized by others as being in a particular neighborhood or area of town?
Other considerations when choosing an office space for you!
There are a few things to consider when deciding whether to work from a shared or private office space. Cost, flexibility, and environment are a few factors that can influence your decision, as well as your industry.
Make sure you read through these six points so you know what to look out for. For example, if you’re in an industry where confidentiality is key, working from home might not be an option.
In addition, make sure to check with your landlord before signing a lease; they may not allow clients into their building during business hours. If you’re in an industry like law or accounting, it might make sense to stay away from a shared workspace because of client confidentiality concerns.