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05.11.2020 Back to Blog articles

Are Shared Offices The Same As Hot Desking Offices?

2020 will go down in history as a year which has transformed how most of us view workplaces. For some employees, they have been able to try something which they have only previously dreamt about by working from home. However, for others, being thrust into working from home was more of a nightmare than a dream!

Getting Back To Normal?

There is no denying that as we look to get back work and our everyday lives we question “what is our new normal?” For many, working from home has been far from ideal but this recent experience has opened some of our eyes into different ways of working other than a traditional office. With this in mind, more employees are looking at alternative working environments such as shared offices and coworking spaces but what exactly is the difference?

There are many variations in shared and coworking office spaces so if you are looking to establish or use a shared office space you need to do your research. Make sure you know what you are prepared to offer or what facilities you are looking for before you start looking.

Don’t Assume

One of the most common assumptions people make when it comes to shared offices is that they always take the form of large impersonal open plan offices or a glorified hot desking space. However, this couldn't be further from the truth! Sharing an office space does not have to mean using a ramshackle desk in the corner of someone's office. Shared offices can take a wide range of formats including:

  • Shared office space with dedicated desks
  • Private office space within another office
  • Shared office space with communal ‘break out’ spaces
  • Shared office space with shared ‘bookable’ private spaces such as meeting rooms

With the advances in technology the options are always changing which is why you should do your research to identify what you need and what you want.

So What Is The Difference Between Hot Desking and Sharing An Office?

Typically hot desking is an open office space which offers users ultimate flexibility when it comes to their working environment. Hot desking commonly offers users multiple geographical locations with no dedicated desk space which users can access for everything from an hour to a year depending on their contract. This can be ideal for contract consultants who need to travel a lot with work but still need that professional work environment.

In contrast, a shared office offers a user dedicated desk space which they can make their own. This can be a great alternative for someone after a more traditional office set up without the massive financial commitment of renting a full office as well as smaller companies hoping to collaborate and learn from larger, more established companies. Sharing office space has a range of benefits for all parties involved. The company leasing their spare office space finds a new form of income and access to smaller or more specialised companies which they might be able to collaborate with. Similarly, smaller companies or contractors sharing office space with larger or similar companies are able to establish an office in a professional environment with less ties and financial restrictions which also opens up opportunities of collaboration and outsourcing between the companies in the office space.

How Will Covid 19 Impact Office Sharing?

As we try to return to normal many employees and employers are left asking “what is now normal?” With the continued importance of elements such as social distancing, where possible, will we ever be able to get back to our ‘traditional’ office space and can shared and coworking offices survive? The simple answer to this is yes….with a few changes.

Shared offices and coworking spaces will see changes regarding operating procedures, staffing levels and office layout. However, the demand for shared office space is expected to soar. Between redundancies, lost contracts and general economical turbulence companies need to cut overheads and find new ways of working. By working together both small and larger companies can benefit and this relationship can be encouraged and supported through office sharing.

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