“Coworking space” and “shared office space” are, as they say in the Far East, the “same-same but different”. How similar they are is largely definitional, and most office space professionals define both terms differently. As perhaps most widely understood, the main similarity is that both are very cost effective and provide a great value versus traditional office leasing.
Office Sublease and Office Rentals in NYC
“Shared office space” is used by many companies to manage commercial real estate risks and to defray many expenses such as space build-out and dedicated staffing. Most high quality office business centers emphasize privacy and carefully mix public areas with a lot of secure 24×7 dedicated office space. There is a receptionist who answers calls. The Internet is secure and enterprise-grade. Clients host private meetings in dedicated meeting rooms. There is frequent interaction with other clients in the pantry and also at social events hosted by the suite operator, yet, fundamental business development can be protected and controlled if that is desired.
As it has developed “coworking space” has become basically a no-frills version of “shared office space”. The concept of shared office space is very old, so “coworking” is an industry rebranding effort. The attempt is to link workspace to social media trends. What does no-frills mean in this context? The space is not professionally furnished. There is no meaningful security. There is noise pollution. There is little privacy and rampant intellectual property theft. There is a lack of space because workstations are frequently oversold, and yet, the space is furnished with groups in mind (e.g. long picnic tables). The Internet is advertised as being rock-solid, although it usually suffers from massive underinvestment behind the curtain and is neither as fast nor reliable as claimed.
Deciding on an Office Space
Everyone has a low budget in this tight business environment. Often, however, small businesses seeking the flexible office option find that, as in so many things, you get what you pay for. For the serious professional, shared office space is a great value. Those small business customers on a “lean” budget can “share the shared office space” through virtual office space, and prove out the good value for themselves.