Guide to Co-Working Spaces and Alternative Office Spaces

by Derrick Kwa on April 27, 2015

Leasing an office space comes with quite a high cost. Rental rates in central Hong Kong average HKD 88.5 per square foot per month. To reduce your business expenses, you might want to consider moving into a co-working space.

Co-working spaces offer entrepreneurs and small business owners affordable venues to set up shop in a collaborative environment. Typically open-concept workspaces, they offer members a dedicated desk, Wi-Fi, fax services, conference rooms and kitchens, and some even have office administrators and secretaries who support members.

The Benefits of Co-Working

Savings

You reduce overhead costs on rent, electricity, internet and even things like water, coffee and snacks.

Social Motivation

If you are a one-man or -woman show, working from home can be lonely, especially if you’re an extrovert who enjoys the company of others. Working around other similar-minded people can inspire and motivate you.

Collaboration

You’ll have the opportunity to network and collaborate with other small business owners. Those people can be great resources with whom to discuss problems, toss around concepts or to vet ideas. Some co-working spaces have specific themes (for example, tech or fashion), which allow you to build connections with others in your industry. Additionally, most co-working spaces offer special events and training opportunities that make it even easier for you to connect with others and gain skills in a classroom setting.

Flexibility

You can work how and when you want. Plus, most co-working spaces offer month-to-month contracts, so you aren’t locked into a long lease. You can leave and move into a more permanent office space when the time is right for you.

Work/life separation

If you’ve been working out of your home, you know that work often overlaps your personal life because you can never quite leave it behind. A co-working space allows you to separate your home life from your work life for relatively cheap—and that can do wonders for your morale and productivity.

Finding a Co-Working Space

Finding co-working spaces in your area is just a few clicks away. If you’re looking for a space that fits your needs, try searching at ShareDesk. You might also want to check out JumpStart’s complete list of co-working spaces in Hong Kong.

Alternatives

Co-working isn’t ideal for everyone, and for some, it may feel a little crowded. Some people feel co-working leads to less privacy, a noisier office space, more resource hoarding and food theft. If co-working doesn’t sound like the best bet for you, here are some alternatives to consider:

Small business incubators

These programs are sponsored by private companies, investors and public institutions with the goal of growing young businesses by providing owners with space and other essential resources.

Executive office suites

Essentially, a company sublets you a set of offices from its suite of offices, renting as much or as little space as you need and can afford. You will probably share a kitchen or bathroom, but your office space itself will be your own.

Shared office

If you know another small business owner who is also in need of a space (and whose work habits are compatible with yours), go together on a lease and share the space.

Telecommuting

Technology makes it possible and easy to work from just about anywhere. You and your employees can work from home and still find it easy to collaborate online with free resources like Skype, Google Drive and Google Docs.

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