Coworking Space or Shared Office Space, What’s the Difference?

Written By: offix_admin


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All small businesses must start out somewhere. Quite often, that somewhere is a basement, garage, or small office space inside the home. At some point, hopefully, your start-up will start to grow, and you will need to investigate a better alternative for a workplace. What an exciting time! But when that day comes, the choices can seem daunting. For most, the solution is to either find a coworking space or a shared office space. But what is the difference between the 2, and how do you know which choice is best for you?

Shared Office Space

Before we look at the differences in shared office space and coworking space, let’s get a better understanding of what each one is. Shared office space is an office building where various established businesses or even start-ups rent out space to conduct their business instead of renting or buying an entire building for themselves. Often there are many amenities, such as utilities, maid services, fest internet, meeting rooms, video conference rooms, kitchen areas, break rooms, and more. A shared office space can be more costly, but they offer more privacy and more of these amenities that a coworking space normally would have. Shared office spaces usually have private offices available and locked areas to keep equipment and paperwork secure.

Coworking Space

Coworking space is very similar to shared office space, which can sometimes cause one to be confused between the 2. According to NYC Office Suites, these workplaces are gaining popularity among this generation of entrepreneurs and business people. In fact, almost 1.3 million people use coworking spaces across the globe. A coworking space is usually more open, offers less privacy and is great for businesses and start-ups for which working in larger groups or “coworking” is more prevalent. In coworking spaces, there are a lot more large tables for group projects than private desks for personal work.

How are They Similar?

Office Freedom explains that with both shared office spaces and coworking spaces, your start-up or small business will have access to your own work area 24/7. They are both usually rented under contract, sometimes month-to-month, and other times for a longer period of time. Both coworking spaces and shared office spaces usually come with all the needed office furniture, high-speed internet, and utilities, and at times, the building may even come with its own receptionist.

What Makes Them Different?

With all these similarities, there are still differences between shared office space and coworking space. In a coworking space, each worker usually spends the workday with at least 10 others in close proximity for the entire day. They work together at large tables in a great open space, and bounce ideas off of each other in order to complete a project. Coworking spaces are usually best for those companies that encourage a community approach to getting things done. In a shared office space, there are much smaller group, usually no more than 5 who work together, and more private desk areas for individual work.

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