5 Easy Ways to Turn your Office into a Coworking Space
Demand for flexible office space
The rise in popularity of the serviced office model, coworking, and flexible office space has given business owners around the world another option when it comes to finding the perfect place to work, and it has also impacted traditional leases.
Even though you are likely to see a lot more traditional offices than flexible offices right now, the trends indicate that flex spaces are going to become more abundant over time. According to JLL, the average annual rate of growth for flex spaces has been around 22% since 2010. And, whether your business is located in the the U.S., U.K., Europe, or Australia, the amount of flexible office space available is expected to continue growing in the years to come.
So why are businesses renting desks in a shared office?
Businesses love renting shared office space as it saves them managing their own offices, locking in for 3-year leases, and tying up capital with bonds and advances. In many cases, it also gives them access to premium shared facilities such as break-out areas, meeting rooms, reception services, and much more. It has also become a popular solution for smaller businesses to take space in local coworking offices, rather than a large coworking provider.
Reasons for choosing local coworking spaces over large Coworking Providers:
- Many Guests are looking for a permanent place to work where they know the locals
- It's in a convenient location other than in the city
- Located in their local area, saving the transport time and costs
It's not just large coworking operators who can make money from renting out office space, if you've got spare desks you could be earning around $450 / month per desk!
Whilst the checklist we will discuss is a simple guide to getting your office suited for sharing with others, it is important to consider a number of other factors beforehand, such as:
- Your objectives and decide what your motivation is for renting out your space.
- What type of guests you want.
- Create a checklist of all your outgoings, e.g. rent, land tax, council rates, fit-out costs, furnishings, cleaning (just to name a few!)
Internet! Very important when updating your office to accommodate others. Guests expect reliable, fast internet! How many people can the office fit? Be realistic! Below we consider the overall footprint of the property as the total square meterage and then divide by the number of desks to get the square feet/person ratio.
150 sq. ft. per person is regarded as the US standard. That's very generous and spacious.
- 100 sq. ft. per person is what we have in our office. It feels very comfortable and is about the norm for most businesses that share space.
- 50 sq. ft. per person is starting to feel a little cramped.
Here's our 5 step guide to help transform your office into a coworking space
Minimalism is key when sharing your space with other businesses!
One of the easiest ways to make your office shareable is by having only the main office necessities such as desks, chairs, printers, and storage space in the office. By keeping the office clutter-free not only encourages Guests to keep their own space tidy but also enhances the overall feel of the space and can help to boost productivity.
Before we turned the Rubberdesk HQ into our very own coworking space, we purchased brand new desks, chairs, lamps, kitchen appliances, and even outdoor furniture. We're now sharing our space with multiple other businesses so know first hand what to provide to keep our Guests happy!
To help you get your coworking space up and running, here's a checklist to get you started.
- Desks and Chairs - Furnish your space with a well-sized desk and comfortable chair.
- Lamps: Providing lamps to your guest's desks is a great way to let them control their space a bit more.
- Plants: Not only are they a great stress reliever, but it's also an easy way to add a bit of colour into the office.
- Artwork: Add a unique touch to your space and brighten up the office.
- Extra furniture: E.g. meeting room table and chairs, Outdoor furniture, lounges.
Cleaning is an absolute necessity, both before you rent the space out and throughout the period in which you are sharing the space. You as the Host are in charge of making sure all Guests feel comfortable within the space, making sure everything is up to date, the heating or cooling system is adequate. Even the smaller details such as providing cutlery, kitchen appliances, hand wash, and personal bins for each Guest makes a huge difference when sharing office space.
Regular cleaning is key for maintaining a happy, comfortable office space.
4. Get permission from your landlord
Before turning your office into a coworking space, write to your landlord and get their permission to license on short-term basis for the use of the space.
For more information on leasing out your office space, read: Should I sublease or license my spare office space?
5. Get your listing up on Rubberdesk
Once your space is ready for Guests, take some gorgeous photos of the office and get your listing up on Rubberdesk. Listing your space on Rubberdesk is a free and easy way to find the right business to share your space with. Not only do we provide a free license agreement, but we also handle all payments to help make sharing office space easy!
To have the best chance of renting out your space, make sure to thoroughly fill out your listing description, what's included / not included? Who is the space most suitable for? What size team and what industry?