Whether you are starting a new business or ready to expand and move into a bigger office, it is worth your time to compare the pros and cons of traditional offices vs shared office spaces. For some businesses, shared offices can be less expensive than traditional offices, while still delivering the same or more benefits.
Cost of Rent
With traditional offices, one of the major considerations is how much the office space is going to cost. You are fully responsible to pay for the entire space you occupy, regardless of how often you utilize all the space. Additionally, you could be locked into a long-term lease agreement of three to five years.
On the other hand, with shared office spaces, the leases are replaced with license agreements which are much more flexible and allow you to choose a monthly agreement and work space that best suits your needs. You are able to rent a private office, a dedicated desk, or for a daily rental rate based on how often you are actually in the office. There are even options to rent meeting and conference rooms on an “as-needed” basis.
Additional Monthly Expenses
If you rent a traditional office space, you are responsible to pay the total costs associated with running that space. You will likely need to hire an office manager and staff to greet your guests. If you don’t hire those staff you will have to take on those tasks taking you away from your core business. You may have to hire a contractor to reconfigure/improve your office space and review a plethora of furniture options to determine the best fit for both your space and your budget.
With shared office space, the provider has done that work for you. That said, not all shared office spaces are created equal, so choose the aesthetic and atmosphere which is best suited to you/your team and your working style.
Something that may business owners to not realize, is that starting up and maintaining an office is very much like starting and running a business. Those with enough capital hire a great office/operations manager to handle those tasks. Others take time from their core business to focus on it. Both options are very expensive and can affect both revenue and expense line items.
Maintenance and Repairs
When you rent a traditional office space, certain types of building maintenance and repairs are normally covered by the building owner. However, other types are your responsibility, such as fixing broken office equipment, maintaining the cleanliness of the office, certain electrical, telephone, and Internet wiring, and so on.
With shared office spaces, the provider typically will take care of most maintenance and repairs, including those for office equipment, janitorial services, and more. Again, since you are sharing the space with other people, each one only pays a small fraction of repair and maintenance costs which are already included as part of the monthly agreement.
The costs of Internet and telephone lines, as well as office equipment, like copiers, scanners, and fax machines, are your responsibility in a traditional office environment. In a shared office, these services are offered at a substantially discounted price.
As you can see, the costs for a traditional office rental can be significantly higher, since you are responsible to pay the full costs for rent, utilities, Internet, staffing and other such expenses. Before you sign a long-term lease, it is worth your time to consider a shared work environment. Not only will it be less expensive, you will find you have more resources left each month to reinvest into your business. Plus, there are no lengthy commitments with shared office agreements, so you can try one out with minimal risks, to see if a shared environment will meet your needs.
For more information about shared office rental solutions in prime Downtown Toronto locations, call iQ Office Suites at 416.238.1111 today to learn more and request a free tour of one of our state-of-the-art buildings.