Small Business

Is a shared office space right for you?

Employees in a shared work space

Entrepreneurial-focused co-working spaces can help startups get going faster.

A startup might decide to lease shared office space for several reasons. The office space doesn't require a years-long lease and could be a good way to limit costs. Other benefits: networking with other entrepreneurs, guidance from other startups and a space that can grow as your business grows.

Benefits include networking with other entrepreneurs, guidance from other startups and a space that can grow as your business grows.

Here's what you should know when considering such an arrangement.


Leasing office space certainly isn't new, but shared office environments go far beyond simple square footage. The collaborative workspaces also provide infrastructure, services, events and technology.

Many shared office environments offer amenities such as fresh coffee, beer, relaxation rooms, game rooms and production suites. At WeWork (which has shared office spaces in New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Chicago; London; and Dubnov, Israel) services include everything from IT, printing, cleaning and wireless connectivity to credit card processing, transportation, healthcare coverage and much more.

A variety of businesses opt for the shared office environment. Freelancers, startups and small businesses – even large multinationals seeking to house a remote office – can all find the collaborative atmosphere in the close-knit community invigorating. Industries represented range from fashion, fitness and finance to technology, public relations and human resources.


Moving into a shared office environment is simple. The office space is already equipped with all the furniture (desks, chairs, desk lamps, filing cabinets, bookshelves and conference rooms) and technology (reliable Internet, printers and scanners) a business needs, and providers will typically help make any needed changes to the standard setup.

Entrepreneurs or businesses don't have to tie up a lot of cash to move in. For instance, WeWork requires a deposit equal to the service fee for six weeks and a $100 setup charge per office. Once a business moves in, it isn't tied down by an extended lease or service agreement. A flexible 30-day, month-to-month membership agreement is all WeWork requires. When a business is ready to move out, it simply gives 30-days written notice.


Businesses turn to the shared office environment for a variety of reasons. It's a cost-effective way to work in an aesthetically pleasing office space with all the necessary services rolled into the monthly fee, and many shared office spaces also offer reduced prices on additional services such as web hosting and analytics, marketing and advertising, or design and development. But the real perk of many of these startup-focused shared offices spaces is the sense of community.

Being a part of a powerful community helps businesses achieve much more together than they could individually, according to WeWork. The company reports that 57 percent of its clients have collaborated with one another, while 63 percent report that their businesses have grown since joining the innovative environment. In fact, almost three-quarters of those businesses reporting growth said they grew by more than 25 percent.


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