The way we work is changing, and with it, the spaces we work in are changing too. While people aren’t predicting the extinction of traditional offices just yet, more and more individuals and organisations are being drawn to the idea of a shared workspace. Called a coworking space, these are buildings or parts of buildings designed for entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers to get their work done sharing a purpose-built space, surrounded by likeminded people.
The concept of shared office spaces isn’t new: Berlin’s C-Base, founded in 1995, is considered one of the earliest models of coworking. But it’s been the rise in freelancers and remote workers in the last decade that has allowed the idea to really take off. As more people run their own business or work remotely (away from their company’s office), the coworking model has become increasingly popular. Instead of working from home or in the back of a friend’s office, the coworking space provides people with what is essentially a ‘worker’s hub’, where they have a community of ambitious professionals to bounce ideas off, in a setting much more conducive to working than sitting with their laptop at their dining room table.
Currently Australia has hundreds of coworking spaces scattered across metropolitan areas such as Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. But while the idea is now widespread, there is still some confusion in the different terms related to coworking: hot desking, coworking spaces, and serviced offices. Here we give you a rundown on what means what so you know the lingo when you’re looking for a shared office space yourself.
What is coworking?
The word coworking is used as a general term to describe the concept of being co-located in an office with people who aren’t part of your team or business. A coworking space is a space in which any form of coworking (hot desking or serviced offices) can take place. That is to say, rather than being a permanent office space, it is a space to work from that is temporarily hired out to unassociated individuals, members of a team, or a small business.
What is hot desking?
The term hot desking applies to the use of shared facilities. A coworking space might supply multiple desks, work areas and meeting rooms. When hot desking, you can use the facilities you need, when you need. You may do individual work at a private desk space, collaborate with people in a purpose-built area, or hold meetings in a private meeting room.
Businesses are also latching onto this idea for their employees, although this hasn’t taken off with the quite the same popularity as it has in a traditional coworking space. Hot desking within a company means employees share facilities, which can be great for efficiency and to encourage collaboration in project-based work, but businesses do need to manage it properly to get positive results.
What is a serviced office?
Serviced offices use the idea of a coworking space, but instead of sharing facilities like hot deskers do, its tenants get an entire area or floor to themselves, usually already setup with everything they need such as desks and printers. They are popular with startup businesses, who need a space of their own, but aren’t ready to take out a long-term lease or buy a lot of equipment. Serviced offices are usually leased out by businesses who have a section of their building that they aren’t using, so it’s beneficial to both parties.
Are you ready to hire a coworking space?
Whether you’re looking for hot desking facilities or a serviced office, our Find a Desk tool makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. With a wide range of listings across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, we’re bound to have the best coworking space to suit location, facility requirements and budget.