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Why Rent Shared Office Space?

The recent surge in the popularity of shared office renting is down to brute economics. The last recession brought a wave of redundancies. This had two effects: there were more freelancers looking for cheap office space and more companies with space left empty after 'downsizing'.

Desk Space Genie founder Ciaron Dunne started up in March 2009 with just 50 desks. Their website currently offers more than 7,000.

"We first had the idea when we were letting out own spare desks in our Cambridge office. We had real trouble because there was nowhere that listed spaces online so we decided to do it ourselves."

"Hot-desking by the day or even the hour is getting more popular, so I think it's going to one of the big growth areas," says Mr Dunne. "We could even see some of the larger corporate companies getting involved, such as BT, which encourages flexible working for its employees at home". (Source: independent.co.uk)

Giles Kendrick, also in Cambridge, who runs a desk space scheme said:
"We've let six spare desks in our office over the past two years, and it's made a real difference to our small business. The income from the desks covers our office overheads and allows us to invest more money in our actual business. Over and above that, the guys who rent desks have been a really positive influence in our office environment; the scheme has helped to create a buzzy atmosphere and we actually now use several of the deskers as contractors to our own business."

(Source: newbusiness.co.uk)

What Are The benefits?

  • Prestige - You have an office in a nice area of town. It looks better on your literature and clients are more comfortable meeting you there.
  • Flexibility - You rent month-to-month. If you need to upscale or downsize or change location, you can do it easily. You can't do that with a 5 year lease!
  • Networking - You meet people who become valuable contacts. You can bounce ideas off them or just catch up on business gossip.
  • Costs - Your outgoings are predictable: it's all in the monthly fee. You don't have to pay for this or that office expense, like repairs to the fax machine.
  • Speed - You can start up quickly. Just sign the deal and turn up at 9am next day with your laptop.
  • Nicer environment - You're not at home staring at your own clutter.
  • Fewer distractions - No kids, pets or TV buzzing in the corner.
  • Separation of home and office - You can go home and switch off and come to work and switch on.

Desk, broadband, heating and kitchen facilities are included. You get an instant office with insurance and security. Prices are low and likely to stay that way. This lets you spend money on more important things, like marketing.

Any Other Reasons?

The most common reason that renters give is that they just don't like working from home!

So What's The Downside?

  • No fixed phone like. You either have to install your own or use your mobile or Skype.
  • No fixed desk. If the company you're renting it from wants it back, you're in trouble.
  • No control. You can't control the people, the environment or what you can do in the office.

Who Rents A Desk These Days?

Web developers, web designers, translators, journalists, entrepreneurs, IT consultants and architects. People for whom their locations doesn't matter too much.
"When I moved to a shared office from working at home, I found I easily got enough extra work done to cover the cost of being in the office. I was less stressed as I had been working out of my bedroom, probably the worst place to work from at home  I found working from the lounge at my previous apartment much better. Moving from cramped conditions to a small shared office and being around other people made me much more productive, and getting to and from the office meant I was getting some extra exercise too. The only downside was I caught more colds, as I would usually go to the office on the bus".

Paul Silver, Web Developer.  (Source: paulsilver.co.uk)

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About the author

T. O' Donnell
T. O' Donnell is staffer for HotDeskingClub.com.
He has a B. A. in Philosophy and Sociology and dabbles in web design.

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