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Renting Out Spare Office Space. Is this the Biggest 'No-Brainer' of All Time?

Office space, like property, is a sought-after commodity right now. And if yours sits in a prime location, it could have the same earning potential as a London bedroom. So whether your office has full-time spare space or some of your employees only work in the office part-time, why aren’t your desks collecting money instead of dust?

Compare prices locally

Firstly, it’s important to know the price of your spare desk or space. If it sits in a good neighbourhood, near public transport, with parking or even just a desk with a view, you could be charging more than you think. List the correct value by looking at the price of other offices in your area and make sure you state everything that comes with it, such as private meeting rooms, community spaces, and equipment.

Adding value

Also, think about the different services you could offer with your space. One of the main reasons people choose to rent an office is to have a professional postal address and phone line. If you can offer both as well as receptionist services, your desk becomes even more valuable.

Trust is so important

Finding a trustworthy person to share your office space with is vital as it could lead to a regular, secure income. But it’s not just the money that could benefit you. If you choose a complementary business or freelancer to work alongside you – rather than a competitor – you could use each other’s services at a discounted rate. What’s more, it’s typically entrepreneurs and start-ups who are the ones looking to rent a desk or office space and having these types of people around could give you fresh insights and ideas. At the very least, it’s a networking opportunity and you’ll make a contact.

Attracting the right people

Start-ups usually don’t want to get tied down to long leases because of the financial risk. If you can offer a rolling monthly agreement, you could attract the right people and it means you’re not contracted to anything long-term. Also, if it works better for your business, you could only rent during peak times.

Letters of agreement

Before you rent out office space, check the terms and conditions with your landlord and consider creating a letter of agreement between you and those renting from you. It’s also important to assess how private your files and network needs to be. Renting means giving non-personnel access to both and so you will need to reassess your security measures. However, here at Share My Office, we can help you find the right person to share with.

And even if you can’t see a spare desk in your office right now, think about how much you are really utilising your space. Can you fit in one extra desk? Are some of your employees working from home part-time? The market right now is extremely valuable, and we can help you turn that spare space into extra cash, creativity and contacts!

The Dos and Don'ts of Office Space Sharing: Office Sharing Etiquette 

Sharing an office space can be great for creativity, it can save you money, and you can meet people who complement your business. However, when it comes to sharing your workspace, if you don’t do it right it could lead to an invasion of privacy, arguments and workplace tension. Therefore, we have produced a simple guide of dos and don’ts, to help your sharing experience become a productive one!

Do:

Be considerate. Your co-workers might be the type of people who need a quiet space so respect this while you’re working. If you know you talk loudly on the phone, go outside to take private calls and keep your phone on silent. Getting a text every five minutes might mean you’re popular with your friends, but you certainly won’t be in the office.

Don’t:

Be messy. This ties in with being considerate and applies to both your desk and communal areas. Some people might have a real problem with messiness and can’t concentrate if they’re looking at your stacks of papers and last week’s lunch.

Do:

Talk to people. One of the biggest benefits of office sharing is the collaborative environment it promotes. You can bounce ideas off of other workers, get second opinions and make some friends.

Don’t:

Talk too much. Yes, you can discuss last night’s episode of that TV show, but keep social talk to a professional minimum and on a quiet level – no one likes spoilers. Also, assess who wants to be talked to. If someone has their headphones in or they look like they’re stuck into some work, save the chat for later.

Do:

Personalise your space. You need to be able to work in your environment so make your space feel like your own. Check the company policy on this and make sure any photographs are suitable for a workspace. Personalising also applies to smells. You might love the smell of your perfume or cologne, but a co-worker might detest it (and you for spraying it).

Don’t:

Just sit at your desk. Make use of all the facilities within the office, whether this is space outside, a conference room, or a more social environment. If you need to speak to someone privately, either in person or on the phone, use a meeting room instead of your desk. Both the client and your co-workers will benefit from this.

Do:

Contribute to the tea fund. This again depends on company policy, but if you use the last tea bag, buy some more! And while you’re making yourself a brew, offer to make some of your co-workers one, too. You don’t have to whip around the whole office, but the person next to you might appreciate a tea break.

This list will help you be a considerate co-worker, but it also works both ways. If you are unfortunate enough to have a colleague who doesn’t abide by these basic rules, don’t be passive aggressive, making your office a place of conflict. Try talking to them, quietly and subtly. Or maybe you could e-mail them a link to this article?

Key Things to Consider when Renting Out Office Space

An office space isn’t just somewhere to work. It can be the first impression of your company image and is vital for your staff morale. This article explores the key things to consider when renting out office space, to make your decision a little easier.

Location

Location. Location. There’s a reason this is stressed so much throughout the property market, and it’s no different with office space. Firstly look at the neighbourhood; does it give the right impression? Is the building secure? Even in a great area, you will still need security measures. Next, look at what is around you and who your neighbours are. You might not want to be too close to competitors but you should assess the amenities in the area such as public transport, cafes, and a place for after-work drinks. And though you won’t be able to please everyone, you may want to consider how far your key employees will have to travel to reach the office.

Space

There are regulations you have to abide by in regards to office space but you should also consider how you and your employees work. Perhaps a standard desk size isn’t big enough, or private meeting rooms are essential. Look at the size of all the rooms you will be given, such as the kitchen and social areas.

Price

Check prices of other offices in the area to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Then know exactly what you’ll be paying, when and what is included. Ask about parking, if the utility costs are covered, and what your internet and phone access will be. Be aware of any potential hidden costs and whether your landlord can increase the price after a certain time.

Does the lease match your business?

Most landlords prefer a longer lease, so make sure the space fits the needs of your business. You don’t want to be tied down to something if you’re likely to outgrow it in a few months. If you can’t afford to pay for the extra growth room, try to negotiate a shorter lease on a smaller place. Also, consider whether it is likely you will sell your business in the contracted time.

Parking and post

Your clients and employees will thank you if they’re able to park easily and for free. It’s also important to know whether the building has its own postal address and if it’s accessible for disabled users.

Appearance

Your office needs to give the right impression on the inside and outside. The landlord should deal with general maintenance issues, but ask what condition the building will be given to you in and if you’re able to decorate. If you’re allowed to personalise the office, keep your clients in mind. Anything too lavish may give the impression you’re being paid too much. Also, ask the advice of your employees as their workplace environment is vital for their productivity.

When choosing an office space, you need to have your business, employees and clients in mind, and it can hard to find a fit for all three. At Share My Office, we can help you find the right space for you!

Why Office Sharing is Not 'Just a Phase'

Office space sharing is sometimes considered a generational phenomenon, with start-ups and young entrepreneurs wanting to share a desk or part of an office while they build their empire. But whether you have an office to rent out, or are looking for a space to set up your laptop, it looks like office sharing is here to stay. And for good reasons...

Offering more than a desk

If you have space to rent, the money you could earn is a massive draw to office sharing. And if you’re offering more than just a desk, your space increases in value. Facilities such as private meeting rooms, social spaces, and access to public transport are highly sought-after, and so you need to assess the worth of your office. But if you’re the one looking to rent, don’t be deterred by prices. Look at different offices in the area to make sure you are getting the best deal, but sharing office space will almost always be cheaper than renting a private office, and those with kitchen facilities will save you a huge amount of lunch expenses, too.

But it’s not just money that has people choosing to share their office…

SO many benefits to office sharing

Whether you are the one renting or the one looking to rent, if you choose the right business to share with it could be hugely beneficial from the contacts made. It’s a natural networking process and the social atmosphere can help boost your creativity. Choosing a company that complements yours means you could potentially use each other’s services at a discounted rate and it’s also an opportunity to get fresh ideas from fellow business-minded people.

It is this atmosphere that shows why office space sharing is so popular. Working in solitude can be detrimental to both physical and mental health, and so by moving to a social environment, your work day could be happier and more productive. If you have chosen to work from home to look after a pet, don’t let this stop you, as there are plenty of pet-friendly offices.

A flexible option

Unlike landlords, if you are sharing an office space with a business you are more likely to be able to get a short-term lease. This presents less of a financial risk as you’re not tied to renting over a long period. And, with some employees choosing to work only part-time in the office, you don’t have to rent for the full working week. There are plenty of options for you to obtain a flexible lease so you can utilise the peak times to suit the needs of your business.

Office space sharing may still feel like somewhat of a new concept. But comparing it with the cost of renting a private office, and given that it presents the opportunity to work with fellow business-driven people, sharing your office space could be the most rewarding career move you make!

Office Space. What's Better: Cubicles or Open Plan? Hmm...

Your office layout is extremely important. Choose correctly, and it can boost creativity and productiveness. But choose incorrectly, and it could be detrimental to the office morale. We are comparing open plan vs. cubicles, so you can decide which works best for your business.

Open Plan

Often seen as the ‘modern layout’, open plan is more favoured but isn’t necessarily right for every business. You need to consider how you work and recognise who makes up your team. If you have more introverts, an open plan layout might be their worst nightmare. But if your business is a creative one, an open plan office could work wonders! It can encourage communication and is a great way for your employees to bounce ideas off each other and come up with fresh concepts. It not only promotes collaboration, it can also improve camaraderie within your team.

However, it means a severe lack of privacy, which in turn could decrease productivity. If your business is one that requires a lot of private conversations or meetings, then consider how this would work in an exposed environment. Your staff may feel they can’t talk to clients as openly as they would like, so, at the very least, ensure you have private meeting rooms for such occasions. It’s also important to evaluate your company policies on features such as headphones. These can be used as great cues to let staff know when others want to be left alone.

In this technological era, it’s too easy to only talk via phone or e-mail, but an open plan office promotes face-to-face interaction and encourages teamwork. However, teamwork also means that agreement is imperative. Things like air conditioning and having the blinds up or down may seem small but can be the gateway to inter-office tension.

Cubicles

Businesses often choose an open plan layout because it looks better in photographs and can give a more pleasing first impression to clients. Though cubicles look cramped and are a more expensive option, it’s your employees who have to work in this setting day in, day out, and they might need their own space.

Open plan also presents the distraction of noise, and not just the case of too much of it. Yes, it can promote unnecessary chatter, but it can also highlight deadly silence, which can be just as detrimental to productivity. Again, consider how your staff work and how this might translate into an open office environment.

You also have to think about the managerial structure in your office. Having an open plan could eliminate promotional advantages, such as getting your own office, which some staff may be unhappy about. It also lays all duties out in the open. This could be great for staff morale as workers might appreciate each other’s workloads more, or it could do the complete opposite and highlight the differences between roles.

Best of Both

There is the option for a hybrid-type layout. Private, workspace cubicles for day-to-day activities teamed with open-plan creative spaces for discussions could be a great solution for your business. Alternatively, you could have an open plan office with access to private meeting rooms, or the option to wheel in cubicle desks, if needed. If you still can’t decide, start by asking your employees how they prefer to work and then judge whether your office layout can serve both your staff and your clients.

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