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03.11.2021 Back to Blog articles

What Is The Difference Between Shared Offices, Subletting Offices and Serviced Offices

Whether you are based in a bustling city like London or an idyllic rural location in Cornwall, choosing to share your office can be a great choice for both you and your business!

There are a number of reasons why you should consider sharing your existing office space but here are our top 3:

  1. It can give you that always appreciated financial boost
  2. Keep and build a vibrant and buzzing atmosphere in your office - For example, if you have staff who have chosen to continue to work remotely on a full or part-time basis
  3. Open up potential networking, skill-sharing and collaborative opportunities

Remember, these are only our top 3, there are plenty of other opportunities and advantages which come with sharing office space. So what is the difference between sharing your office space, subletting your office and running a serviced office? While there are a few key differences there also are a lot of similarities and all three are a lot easier to do than you may think providing you follow our simple steps below. However, it is important not to get these muddled up with establishing a coworking space which commonly opperates on a different membership basis.

So What Do I Need To Do To Share My Office?

Before you choose to advertise your spare office space there are a few questions you must first ask yourself, these include:

Can I share my office?

Do you own your office or are you renting? If you own your office you do not need to do anything, if you are renting your office space you will need to check with the leasing agent to ensure they are happy with you sharing your spare office space as technically this would be subletting.

How much space are you willing to share?

How much office space do you have to share? Would you prefer to rent it out to one company or would you be willing to rent it on a desk by desk basis?

What facilities would you consider offering?

Most companies, when sharing office space, choose to offer an inclusive rent which covers basic amenities like electricity/gas, office cleaning, security, wifi and basic kitchen (tea and coffee making facilities). It is also important to consider whether you want to rent the space furnished or unfurnished.

However, if you are looking to establish collaborative opportunities or share your office space with someone in the same or a complimentary industry there may be other facilities and resources you could share from specialist equipment like video editing technology and software to access to resources such as market research, the cost of which can then be shared.

If you are interested in advertising your spare office space as serviced office space it is also common to offer additional services such as a receptionist, PO Box and franking, office furniture, building insurance and any maintenance needs.

How much do you want to charge?

How much you charge is totally up to you! If you are not sure how much you want to charge it is always worth looking at other offices for rent in your area to use as a baseline.
You may also choose to offer a reduced rate for those in similar or complementary services where there is the option to collaborate, skillshare or share the cost of facilities and resources.

What type of office do you want to offer?

So what exactly is the difference between the different types of offices which promote coworking?

Shared Vs Subletting Vs Serviced

There is a key difference between the 2 terms "shared office' and 'sublet office' and that is whether you own your office space or not. If you own your office then you dont have to worry about anything other than your wants and needs when it comes to sharing your office space. However if you do not own your office space (regardless of whether this is on a long or short term lease, part of a serviced office or coworking space membership) they space is not 100% yours and it is essential to check with your letting agent if you can share your office space and what conditions they may impose from the terms of the contract to the addition of a small subletting fee.

When it comes to the difference between a shared office space, subletting and a serviced office the key differentiating factor is the type of relationship there is and dynamic between the company leasing their space as opposed to those who are looking to rent. A shared office typically promotes a more relaxed and collaborative atmposphere where people are seen as equals or colleagues, whereas more traditional forms of subleasing or a full serviced office have a much more hands-off, supplier-client approach. As mentioned above, a serviced office may also have a wider range of facilities included in the agreement. With that said it is totally up to you what you want to offer, and once you know what this is make sure that you define it clearly in writing in your service agreement.

Service Agreement

Once you have asked yourself these questions you can draw up a service agreement. Put simply a service agreement puts everything on a more formal footing, establishing in writing what is included in the rent, what facilities can be accessed, the cost of any additional facilities if there are any, alongside standard information such as when rent is due, how it is to be paid and other basics such as lease period, notice period and conditions when terminating or renewing the contract.

Finally, it’s time to list your office

There are lots of options available to you if you are interested in sharing your office with letting agents and various website platforms around. Needless to say, it is always beneficial to do a little research as to which options are going to best suit your wants and needs.

Letting agents will commonly handle all discussions, negotiations and paperwork but they will often charge a monthly fee or take a commission. However, if you want to take more control, there are a variety of websites which you can use. Some of these sites can be free such as Gumtree while others may charge a small listing fee which can be better if you are looking for a more professional and formal arrangement.

Ultimately when it comes to sharing your spare office space you should be in charge, do your research and define your needs and wants before you list; therefore giving you the best possible outcome!

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