The PivotDesk Blog

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The Office Manager’s Guide to Office Sharing

Office managers excel at promoting office culture, eliminating barriers to employee productivity, streamlining administrative tasks and making everyone’s lives just a bit easier. 

If you’re an office manager, give yourself a high-five — you deserve it. Managing a physical space is no easy task, let alone keeping everyone inside of it happy.

Anyone who has been tasked with organizing an office party or even ordering snacks knows it’s damn near impossible to make an entire company happy — no matter how many gluten/sugar/dairy/conflict free goodie-alternatives you identify.

One of the most burdensome tasks often placed on the shoulders of the office manager is managing any tenants or guest companies within a shared office space.

Luckily, there are tools and tricks to help make the lives of all you heroes office managers easier, so you can impress your team and just get more sh*t done.

We’ve gathered some of our best advice for managing a shared office space with PivotDesk:

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Deciding if office sharing is right for your team

Office managers’ responsibilities often include helping the business save on overhead costs like office rent by finding creative solutions for offsetting costs. Setting your business up with an office sharing platform like PivotDesk is a great way to help your company make extra money on the unused space you’re paying for anyways. We’re talking real money — many hosts on PivotDesk earn $100,000 or more per year.

Before jumping on board, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

It’s a good idea to start by making sure that you know your own company’s needs and work habits. Observe the employees in action, and make note of areas that get the heaviest use, or those that sit empty. Make sure that the office includes zones for meeting and collaboration as well as more quiet and individual work. Use this information to determine whether your office has enough space for guests to feel comfortable, without hindering the workflow of your team. 

Most host companies report blending seamlessly with their guest companies almost immediately, so there’s no need to partition off an entirely separate space, just ensure there’s room for both teams to be productive.

Making your guest company feel ‘at home’

Once you’ve made the leap and started hosting, creating a welcoming and professional atmosphere is important in helping your guests get the most out of the shared office. To start, consider introducing new guest team members to your team the way you might welcome a new employee. Send an email or walk them around to meet everyone. The sooner your guest company meets the rest of the office, the quicker they will feel integrated into your work environment, which is essential to having a positive office sharing experience.

We also recommend encouraging guests to personalize their space to make it functional and comfortable. At PivotDesk, we display our guest company’s logo on the office door, right alongside ours. They’ve also brought in their own custom art and office furniture to differentiate their portion of the office as their own.

Designing your office for collaboration (and quiet)

Interacting with guest team members in a relaxed common area helps foster goodwill and often sparks collaborative conversation and big ideas. Plan to give guests access to lounge or break room space in which they will bump into host employees. It’s a natural way for people to connect and get comfortable more quickly.

We recommend designing your office to include a mix of quiet and collaborative space. For example, in our office we have a lounge area up front where anyone can sit or meet throughout the day, as well as a casual meeting room with soundproof doors for private meetings or heads-down work sessions.

Creating a sense of community

Inviting your guests to office happy hours or even company parties can be a great way to bond in a fun, informal setting. At the PivotDesk office, we hold a standing office happy hour every other Thursday, and love getting to joke around with our guest companies after work hours. 

By integrating your guest company into your company’s events, not only will your team benefit from the added energy, you will be expanding your network and opening up the opportunity for collaboration.

Keeping the peace

As tenants settle in, there can occasionally be clashes of etiquette. Why not provide them with clear guidelines from the outset, to avoid that? Chances are, your company has its standards for office courtesy — just summarize this for new tenants upon move-in to get things off to a great start. It will make them feel more confident about using the space and make the transition smoother for everyone.

Office sharing works because the benefits go both ways. Your PivotDesk posting helps ensure that guests’ expectations and style are a close match to those of their hosts.  Office managers can help by planning ahead, anticipating needs, and providing responsive support for guests.

For more ways you can incorporate office sharing into your business, check out our services page. 

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