Flexible working is on the rise in the UK, and there are people looking for more flexible approaches to renting office space. Co-working and hotdesking are two options in demand, but what do these options mean and how do they work?
What is co-working?
Co-working is where you – as a business – share a building, facilities, and access with a number of other businesses, as opposed to renting an office unit separately, where you’re responsible for your own bills, rates, and repairs. The advantages are clear – you hire a working environment with non of the additional extra costs that usually come with setting up a business workplace, and non of the stress of building maintenance. You are also within the same building as a number of other businesses with the opportunity to network and collaborate.
Within this, the term ‘co-working’ covers a multitude of scenarios. In some instances, it can mean just having your own allocated desk, cubicle, or booth in a large room of professionals – your own dedicated space to work. This is a situation that is more ideal for freelancers or businesses of one. Small and medium-sized businesses often want their own contained space, but still want to take advantage of the co-working approach.
This is when SMEs can hire serviced office spaces, where they get their own room with a shared space but sharing facilities such as parking, access, and sometimes toilets, meeting rooms, and kitchen facilities.
What is hotdesking?
Hotdesking is a lot less self-contained and a lot more open. It is much more suited to those freelancing and not needing an office all of the time. Freelancers that work from home often appreciate a hotdesking approach as it gets them out of the house a couple of times a week, but for a business looking for a regular base, it’s not necessarily an ideal option.
The advantages of co-working or hotdesking
Both options are great in terms of flexibility and have no added costs to worry about. They are often better value because there are none of the sneaky costs such as utilities, business rates, repairs, and parking.
You can get flexible and/or rolling contracts, and you can build a real sense of community with other businesses. There are often shared facilities onsite including meeting rooms, which means you can temporarily use features instead of having dead space the rest of the time.