Sharing is caring, even in the realm of office space.
Owning and/or using the entirety of a space for your business is certainly beneficial, but the associated costs might make it a bit outside your current price range. Sharing office space with another business (or multiple businesses) is a solid way to keep those costs down while still providing your employees with a place to work and meet.
Here’s a guide to the ins, outs, important facts and general considerations of shared office space.
Cost of Sharing
As mentioned above, keeping costs down is one of the big reasons to consider sharing your workspace. Splitting the lease with a second tenant will knock your expenses down by 50% (or more, if three or more companies are using the space) and keep things even between each party. If the facilities aren’t being used in a perfect 50/50 manner, creating a more specific breakdown is another option. If, for example, you’re occupying 40% of the space and using the facilities less than your co-tenant, a formula for payments based on usage will keep things fair.
Every business needs its privacy, and this is doubly important when you’re sharing office space. Each company will need room to work, meet and plan without stepping on the toes of the other company using the office. While it’s likely that any community spaces (including parking, common areas and restrooms) will be shared between you, be sure to consider the private space each business will need to function at full steam.
Any amenities your office building offers will need to be shared to some degree. Does your building of choice have enough space for multiple businesses to park, warm up their lunch, use the restroom or receive their mail? Will the Wi-Fi have the bandwidth to support every user, and how will that be paid for between you and your fellow tenants? Answering these questions will help keep everyone on the same page.
Sharing office space might mean contending with operating hours for a second business that don’t align with your own. They might close up shop later than you every day, or open for business earlier. You’ll need to know what everyone’s hours are and how they might affect your own. After-hour or weekend access might also be an issue, so be sure to coordinate with the building owner and any other tenants.
Insurance & Liability
If you’re sharing space with a business that’s already established in a specific location, you’ll need to know about any insurance requirements and how they might affect your lease. If a landlord or another business is hosting you in their space, you will likely be covered under their insurance, but remember to ask about the specifics before signing on any dotted lines.
Etiquette Tips for Shared Office Space
Sharing space means being respectful of everyone and everything beyond the confines of your work area. Here are some general etiquette reminders:
Respect Boundaries: Don’t make a habit of wandering into someone else’s space. Don’t interrupt anyone’s work or swipe their sticky notes or pens. Be respectful of their space and, in all likelihood, they’ll respect your space in return.
Keep Things Clean: Don’t leave personal belongings, food remnants or office paraphernalia laying around, especially in community spaces. Wash any dishes you use and wipe any surface you might leave dirty.
Mind Your Volume: Don’t be too noisy while working, chatting or meeting. If the business sharing your space has a noise policy, give it a read and be courteous of their needs.
Stay Home if You’re Ill: If you’re feeling under the weather, stay home and don’t risk getting anyone sick. This is a good rule of thumb for coworkers in general, but working with another company in the building makes it even more important to consider.
Benefits of Shared Office Space
At the end of the day, sharing office space is a beneficial move for reasons beyond simply saving cash. Here are a few positives to consider:
Networking Opportunities: Working near another business can open doors for collaboration, networking and making connections that might not have been possible in a single-business office.
Extra Creativity: Aside from networking, exposure to other businesses can lead to increased motivation and creativity. As long as you’re respecting the boundaries of the other company in the space, chatting about what you each do and learning from each other can be a huge benefit.
Small Business Benefits: In addition to keeping costs down, sharing office space can be a great way to give your employees a legitimate place to work. Rather than meeting out of a house or another temporary setting, a fixed location where your company can come together is important for morale and productivity.
Looking for the ideal office space? The experts at DRK are here to answer your questions, give you feedback, and help you find the ideal space to share or occupy entirely.
Take a look at the properties available in the Columbus, Ohio, area right here.
Until next time,