Office sharing started as a way to provide affordable office space to small businesses and entrepreneurs while relieving some of the financial burden felt by companies already saddled with leases.
Since the rise of the sharing economy, however, the concept has has evolved into a flexible and widely used marketplace system being embraced by all sorts of businesses—from startups and creative shops to law firms and major corporations.
Why the shift? The fact is, businesses from all industries can benefit from embracing flexibility over simply choosing the traditional path.
So, if you thought office sharing wasn’t for your business, you may want to take a second look.
Here are some of the ways unexpected businesses are incorporating office sharing into their business plan.
#1: Medium to large sized teams
When businesses “graduate” from coworking with the hopes of renting their own space, they often struggle with finding dedicated spaces with flexible lease terms. In fact, most brokers are hesitant to work these smaller deals. An alternative to leasing, office sharing can serve as the shrewd next step. While these 15+ person teams undoubtedly need their own space to build company culture and focus on innovation, they don’t need to lock into a lease or sublease to find it.
To accommodate larger teams, PivotDesk host companies will often set aside an entire section or floor to office sharing. This gives larger teams a dedicated and fully equipped office space of their own that they pay for on a month-to-month basis. When guests need more space, they can expand within their existing host space, find a larger PivotDesk office space, or enter into a traditional commercial lease or sublease and PivotDesk the excess space.
#2: Big name brands
Major corporations are office sharing too—offering smaller companies professional space in which they can grow their businesses.
Why? Because it simply makes good business sense. For example, as a host company, AOL used PivotDesk to add energy to their space. Team building and event company, Tough Mudder’s urban office space is built around the belief that with teamwork no challenge is impossible, and ad-tech company, Collective has a corporate campus in midtown Manhattan that is supremely located and focused on the work-hard, play-hard mantra. These companies are actively looking for like-minded companies to share their space and boost their office atmosphere while reducing real estate costs.
#3: Conservative industries
Some think that office sharing is only for hip and trendy companies that are able to work in open work spaces with bustling office environments, but more traditional and conservative companies are choosing office sharing from a financial and efficiency standpoint as well.
We’ve got plenty of private offices available for businesses that require discretion such as lawyers, investment bankers, mediators, accountants and architects. By bundling in professional amenities like kitchens, office management and meeting spaces, the trend is moving towards practicality and financial prowess rather than doing what has always been done.
#4: Rapid growth businesses
Some businesses like event planning agencies and advertising firms are unpredictable in team size by nature. As a result, office space can be a constant burden.
Flexible office sharing allows these businesses to increase or reduce booked seats as needed. So, if your team suddenly grows by 25%, you can easily increase the number of seats at that location. Conversely, if you need to reduce headcount, you can simply decrease the number of seats online. And if you have a lease on a space, you can use the same office sharing model to monetize your extra space. Then, as your team grows, you can offer fewer seats or more as the space permits.
#5: Businesses in between leases
Planning your next move? Office sharing can be a great interim solution. If your lease expired, you’re soon to be graduating from a coworking space, or you’re simply evaluating your needs, office sharing can serve as an affordable bridge until you have figured out your next step.
But month-to-month office sharing doesn’t have to be a temporary solution. Look at popular subscription based services like Netflix. Haven’t you been paying a monthly fee for years—upgrading or downgrading as your needs changed? Office space works in the same way. As long as the space meets the needs of your business, office sharing can be a great long term solution for both parties.
#6: Multi-location businesses
Office sharing makes it incredibly easy to expand your business’s presence nationwide without juggling multiple leases.
After all, finding office space in your own city can be challenging. Trying to set up shop across the country can feel impossible. PivotDesk allows you to browse shared office spaces online before setting up tours, leaving less room for unpleasant surprises. And all bookings can be managed online. The best part? Your remote team gets to be part of a fully functioning office, making it way easier to avoid the feeling of isolation that often comes with working outside of the HQ.
We get it—navigating the world of commercial real estate is a daunting endeavor. The good news? You have more options than you may have thought. Embracing flexibility can help businesses at all phases cut costs and risk while enjoying the benefits of a productive work environment.
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