With the increased cost of workspaces, shared office space is becoming very popular, but is it right for your business? These spaces can be short term, often cost less than leasing, and are collaborative work spaces but there are some factors to consider before determining if it’s the right move for your business. 

Here are a few things to consider when looking at a coworking office space:

1. Privacy

Is it an open workspace or does it have walls for seperation? Does it matter if the person next to you can hear your phone conversations? Intellectual property and industry secrets can be easily overheard over casual conversations at the water cooler, and this may be information you may not want shared. More risk management is required in shared spaces that involves ensuring that employees are aware of confidentiality agreements and sensitive information. 


2. Confidentiality

Shared work spaces offer bigger areas to conduct business in shared group environments, but you should consider the type of information your company deals with. Do you work with sensitive or confidential information? Generally, co-working spaces share utilities like printers and networks. If a shared printer or network poses a liability for your company, your small business may not be a fit for a shared office space.

3. Long-term security

Co-sharing agreements do not contain the protections commercial tenants have. With a lease, there can be strict termination provisions. At a coworking space, the licensor can often terminate with short notice. If it would be difficult or very costly to move your business in a quick manner, you may want to consider leasing rather than co-sharing your office space.

4. Future planning 

How much do you intend your business to grow and what extra provisions might your business require? You may need faster internet service, more electricity or more space to run your operations. Additional utilities and access to these resources may not be available in shared spaces, as they typically have a set standard to what is offered. In general lease agreements, these are often negotiable with the landlord. 

5. Company 

Co-working office spaces often accept tenants within certain niches, which fit their culture. On the other hand, commercial leases may not be as particular about culture, but may employ limitations on the type of business that can occupy the space. Your best approach to decide which model fits your business better in this regard is to ask the landlord or the administrator of the space what their policy is, so you know what type of business may move in next door – a direct competitor, a loud operation, or a business that does not align with your values, for example. 


If you are considering leasing space for your small business, here is everything you need to know about signing a commercial lease.