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With a sharp increase in the number of start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises, the market is rife with companies jumping on the bandwagon with cost-effective service offerings for budget office space. These co-working offices are rented to companies and individuals that cannot justify the expense of soul rental occupancy of a commercial property.  According to the Centre for Entrepreneurs(CFE), 2016 saw the formation of 650,000 new business.

So what exactly is co-working?

In simple terms, it is an innovative working style whereby you share an environment, usually an office and meeting space, with others from the same, or another organisation.

Co-working offices are a serviced space where you can freely pop in and out, depending on what your monthly service agreement might be. These properties offer a variety of services and facilities, from hot desks, private meeting room hire, tea, coffee, wifi, manned reception to greet and announce your visitors and use of their postal address. These modern and stylish venues can be found in major cities around the UK and make an ideal, cost-effective base for busy individuals who are often out and about, spending minimal time in an office.

WeWork is just one example of a co-working office space. A global network of workspaces where companies and people grow together. We transform buildings into dynamic environments for creativity, focus, and connection.

Benefits of Co-Working Space

Aesthetics

When it comes to co-working offices, there is an abundance of building and venue types. From modern converted warehouses to grade listed properties, it is really easy to choose an environment that fits your brand and identity. A digital design start-up may choose to work from a busy, funky fit-out, located in a bright glass loft space. Whilst a freelance financial writer may choose a much more subdued space that mimics a library or university.

Location

The location of your co-working space will be very dependent on what is important to you and can be chosen accordingly.

If you are someone who is always popping out for coffee meetings, then a city location with good rail and road links is a good choice. However, if you are someone who appreciates a peaceful environment for creative thinking, then spaces such as farm buildings and barns would be a more suitable option.

It is also worth noting that a property located in the heart of a city, will be a costly option.  However, a property situated further out of town will be a much more cost-effective solution.

Networking

Working in an office where you do not have a fixed desk can be very useful. Basing yourself in different areas at a co-working office will introduce you to all sorts of new and interesting people. Random conversations can often turn into a business opportunity as individuals start to collaborate with one another, after the discovery of a mutual interest or business contact. Many of the co-working properties also run regular networking events, where a subject matter expert is invited to speak. These events are a great way to to get to know the people and businesses you work alongside, in a much more relaxed and informal scenario.

Cost

As a small business or start-up, keeping a handle on your overheads is key to the success of your business. Co-sharing offices are a much more cost-effective option. The majority of services you pay for in these properties are on a pay as you go basis. So for example, if you require ad-hoc printing services, or to hire a meeting room for a few hours, you will simply be billed for what you use. Likewise, during periods of annual leave, the only cost a member would incur is the basic membership fee.

Co-working spaces really do seem to be an on-trend, talk of the small business and freelance community. Every day, more and more people and businesses are discovering the flexibility of this innovative business model.

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