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Leasing office space vs using coworking areas: Pros and cons

By Greg Bell

Coworking spaces continue to be popular in Australia, with a 105 per cent rise in the number of large businesses now looking for flexible office space, according to research by Office Hub. The report cites speed and flexibility as the top reasons for businesses turning to shared offices. Companies can move in quickly, and don't have to commit to long-term leases.

However, there are still some drawbacks to coworking areas, and leasing a private office space is still the best option for some businesses. What are the pros and cons of using shared office spaces compared to leasing?

The pros and cons of coworking spaces

Coworking spaces bring plenty of freedom. However, the environment is out of your control in terms of location, the noise level and access.

Pros:

  • Lower rent – Typically, shared working spaces are much cheaper than a leased office.
  • Office equipment and provisions – When you use a coworking space, all you need to bring is your laptop. You get a desk, usually a kitchen area or cafe, and everything else you'd normally find in an office as part of the deal. They take care of security and utilities too.
  • Networking opportunities – Often coworking spaces are geared towards certain types of businesses, which means they can provide an excellent opportunity for networking with like-minded people.

Cons:

  • Noise control – In your own office, you have more control over the working environment. You can create spaces for group meetings to keep the general volume down. In a coworking space, you may have to put up with noisy neighbours.
  • Location – While you can find a normal office almost anywhere, coworking spaces are not yet so popular on the Gold Coast that you have a huge choice of location. That means you may have to travel further than you'd like in your daily commute, or to meet your clients.
  • Access – In your own office, you may have keys or access cards to get in whenever you like. You can pop in at the weekend if you need to, or after hours if you forgot an important document. With coworking spaces you're restricted to their opening hours.

The pros and cons of leasing an office

When you lease your own commercial office space, it makes an impression on your clients, allowing you to present your business however you want to. The flip side, is that you're entirely responsible for the premises.

Pros:

  • Professional appearance: If you need to impress clients and show that you're an established, independent company, your own office space and reception sets the right tone.
  • Complete control: With privately leased office space, you can make it your own. Get your company name and logo on the outside of the building to aid marketing efforts. Decorate the interior according to your corporate style and colour scheme.
  • Confidentiality: Depending on your industry, you may value confidentiality. Whether it's ensuring your conversations aren't overheard by people outside your business, or if you want to protect your clients privacy, this can be difficult in a shared space.

Cons:

  • Increased costs – When you lease an office, you have to buy all the equipment and furnishings you need. Over time you may need to replace equipment like printers or chairs, so your costs are not a one-off. You'll also be responsible for local council rates and utilities.
  • Long-term leases – Commercial leases are typically years long, which means you're tied into making payments even if your circumstances change and you no longer need that type of space.

Looking for a new commercial space to help your business grow? Talk to the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise today and we'll find the perfect property for you.

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