The benefits of using a co-working office
- Credit: Mantle Business Centres
Thinking about starting a business? Here, Jo Hart from Mantle Business Centres shares some of the key benefits of shared workspaces and explains why they are a great option for new and small companies.
Although commonly associated with freelancers, shared workspaces are becoming increasingly popular with start-ups and small businesses.
The UK has seen a rise in co-working offices in recent years — and with flexible leases, free amenities and the chance to collaborate with like-minded professionals, it’s easy to understand why they are in such high demand.
So, what are the main benefits?
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One of the main benefits of a shared office is the flexibility it offers. For new companies, taking on a long-term lease for an office can be daunting, especially if you are unsure what the future holds.
Most co-working offices offer short-term membership plans that range from daily desk hire to year-long contracts. Many also offer flexible office space and may even allow you to change location (if they have a number of options in the area) with minimal hassle.
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This added freedom allows companies to rent a workspace that adapts with their changing needs, which can be useful if your team suddenly grows, or if you decide that you will be spending less time in the office and want to switch to a daily desk membership.
Flexibility at work has also been positively linked to employee satisfaction. A recent study by financial advisor Drewberry found that flexible working was the top benefit that employees look for at small to medium enterprises.
One of the most important considerations for new and small businesses is cost. Keeping outgoings to a minimum is a priority for most start-ups, and it can be difficult to predict how much money you will make in the coming months and years.
Renting an office space is often the biggest expense for a business, not to mention utilities and other operational costs that come with it. For new companies, renting a shared workspace is a far more cost-effective option as they are priced per desk rather than paying for an entire office that you won’t necessarily use.
Many co-working spaces also offer daily payment options, so you won’t have to fork out a large amount at the beginning. You also have the added peace of mind that you are not tied down to a long-term lease if you do downsize or choose to work from home more often.
Another advantage is that many co-working spaces have a good location in the centre of towns and cities with easy transport links, which you might not have been able to afford if you were renting a private office.
Collaboration and networking
Whether you want to rent a desk for a few hours or have a space full time, the collaborative element of shared workspaces can be highly beneficial for a new company. If you usually work from home, this can be a great way to get into a routine when you are starting your own business. It can also help to remove the feeling of isolation, enhance productivity and lead to more effective communication. If you are a small team, it allows you to bring employees together in a professional and quiet environment.
Signing up to a shared office also offers the opportunity to network. Surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs and business owners can be a great support system when trying to get your business off the ground, and it gives you access to a range of skill-sets and expertise.
Collaborative workspaces offer a sense of camaraderie and can be a great way to meet new people and for sharing business ideas, which can be invaluable when trying to grow a business. Many of these types of workspaces also host networking events free of charge for tenants, where you can find contacts and learn from other professionals.
Amenities and services
When setting up a business in a atraditional office, there is usually a lot of effort and cost that goes into the initial set-up. In most cases, you will be required to furnish the space, set up a landline and internet access and find parking spaces. There is also ongoing maintenance to think about. What if the phone line goes down, or you lose internet connection?
Most shared offices are serviced and the set-up has already been taken care of, so you can just show up and get to work straight away. Utilities such as water and electricity are part of your membership, and the office will be equipped with chairs, desks and conference facilities. Free high-speed wifi is also included. Members can benefit from a range of amenities such as use of kitchen supplies, meeting rooms and parking for an additional cost.
Another popular option for start-ups and small businesses is a virtual office. As the name suggests, this involves renting office-style services, which can be useful if having a physical office is not financially or practically feasible. With a virtual office, you can continue to work from home or a remote location while still having some of the benefits of a traditional office.
Virtual office amenities can include a business address and phone number which forwards calls to your mobile, as well as reception desk services. You can also hire meeting rooms.
As well as helping to keep costs down, it also gives your business a more professional, credible image.
Mantle Business Centres
Mantle Business Centres offer fully serviced, state-of-the-art office spaces for small and growing companies in Hertfordshire, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Each of their centres are professionally managed with 24/7 access and a range of modern amenities.
Conveniently located in the heart of Stevenage, their King’s Court business centre offers a spacious and comfortable working environment with fully serviced offices for one to 30 people. Desks are available for daily hire for as little as £10, with private offices and virtual office services also available.
Mantle Business Centres are currently offering one month free rent when you sign up to a 12-month fixed contract at King’s Court, with no deposit required.
For more information, visit mantlebusinesscentres.co.uk or call 0333 00 66 330 to talk to a member of the team.