How we work and where we work are set for huge changes, thanks to the explosive growth in co-working spaces. By 2022, the number of worldwide flexible or shared office spaces is expected to double to nearly 50,000.
Co-working spaces come in all shapes and sizes. Some are in open, loft-like buildings, while others contain individual offices. Many shared work space buildings are owned as part of a chain, with locations in select cities or across the nation. And the setup, amenities and options differ, too (with an impact on the lease price). For example, you might have a designated desk that’s yours no matter what days you are in the office, or you might be given a hot desk — meaning you choose from whatever work surface is available on that day.
Before agreeing to rent a co-working space, it’s important to investigate what’s part of the contract and what’s not. Rent may include a variety of things, such as a dedicated desk. It’s key to ask about maintenance and repairs as well as security, especially if you intend to bring expensive equipment such as a printer into a co-working space. Cybersecurity should be top of mind as well; the office space manager should provide a secure network that’s accessible only with a password. You may also want to investigate insurance coverage and competitor clauses — are you the only business in your specialty that can lease space?
For more on what to consider and why you might like a co-working space, take a look at our graphic.