Private vs. Shared Office Workspaces

 Private vs. Shared Office Workspaces

These days, many new businesses have a difficult decision to make when it comes to the office workspace they will be operating from. Private or shared? While traditional office workspaces are still popular, there is an increasing demand for shared workspaces, which provide an interesting new set of benefits (and naturally, some downsides as well). Let’s explore the differences between the two to help you make the best decision for your business.

What is a Private Office Workspace?

A private office workspace refers to an office that is rented out exclusively by your company. The company pays a fixed monthly rental, including water and lights, and your team has access to the entire property, including boardrooms, rec rooms, and private bathrooms. Depending on location and proximity to other businesses, prices will vary, and agents usually lease these properties for extended periods at a time. Many corporations opt for private office workspaces, and often it is more difficult for a startup business to manage the overheads of a private space initially, so the latter tend to look for other options that may be a more viable solution for them.

What is a Shared Office Workspace?

A shared office workspace still refers to a traditional “brick and mortar” space, with the only difference being that it is occupied by multiple businesses at any given time. Think of it as a large office space with all facilities being used (and paid for) by everyone. This has a host of benefits and also some downfalls, which we will explore later. In this economic climate, shared office spaces are becoming increasingly more popular, especially with a boom of startups sprouting up in Africa as a whole.

The Benefits of a Private Workspace

Private workspaces carry a certain amount of gravitas, regardless of the growing popularity of shared spaces. Any business is perceived as more established and professional if it has its own space to host guests and potential clients. How would you feel if you met someone at a shared workspace for a meeting, and you didn’t have the privacy of a boardroom (which may have been booked by another team)? Would you feel comfortable discussing business in this environment? Private spaces mean you don’t have to worry about privacy, or about the focus of your employees. Private office spaces offer more of an element of control and stability, though it is important to consider that this may also be stifling to your employees, depending on the type of company culture present in your business.

The Perks of a Shared Workspace

A shared workspace is a relatively new concept, but it has grown exponentially in relevance in the last five years. It’s rare to find an entrepreneur the days who hasn’t had a meeting in one of these spaces yet. A primary benefit of a shared workspace is the financial consideration: overheads are lower, and you pay a lot less than what you would pay for a private space. Contracts are shorter-term (sometimes even month-to-month) and easier to get out of than traditional rental agreements. Day-to-day, shared office space may be noisier and with less privacy, but the upside is that there are many opportunities for networking and collaboration with the other businesses you’re sharing the space with. Let’s also not forget about “the cool factor”. Showcasing yourself as a business ‘getting with the times’, leaning towards the future and remaining adaptable and flexible to the demands of modernity, you are able to improve the clout of your business, especially if you’re trying to market yourself as edgier than your competitors.

Deciding on the Best Option for You

Perhaps, the decision is less about the best option for you, and more about the best option for your team. Carefully consider what works for you not only in terms of budget and sustainability of the business, but the effect it will have on your employees. Consider what you’re selling (products or services) and whether your team consists of introverts or extroverts. These should play an important role in the decision-making process. At the end of the day, you’ll know more once you’re in the space, which, regardless, you should make sure it is properly furnished. Ixaxa Office Furniture provides affordable solutions for shared or private workspaces in the greater Gauteng area. Get in touch with them if you have any questions about furnishing these spaces, once you’ve got a few ideas from your team, of course.

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