Is Coworking or Flexible Office Space the Best Choice for My Client?
As more businesses shift toward a hybrid work model to accommodate uncertainty about what the future holds, they’re increasingly looking for flexible work options like coworking and flex office space.
While the two have many similarities (shorter and more flexible leases, scalability, move-in ready convenience, shared amenities, etc.), they also have some key differences to be aware of as you select spaces to show your client.
Traditional offices also have their place, which only serves to complicate things further. How can you help your client choose the best workspace when there are so many options? Let’s explore the key features of each office type.
What’s the difference between coworking spaces and flexible office spaces?
“Flexible workspace” is an umbrella term that covers multiple types of workspaces, including coworking spaces and on-demand workspace options.
Coworking spaces tend to be open-concept spaces with different types of seating, like single desks, large communal tables, lounge areas, and conference rooms. Though you may be able to reserve rooms, most areas are first come, first served.
The atmosphere in coworking spaces is generally on the casual side, and they’re especially popular with people who would otherwise be working solo from home, but prefer the social aspect of working around others.
Flex offices usually include open-concept spaces, but also offer more private areas for teams to have their own dedicated space. They’re ideal for solo entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even enterprise teams who want a more professional atmosphere.
Addressing your client’s needs: coworking space or flex office space?
Here are some questions to ask your client to help determine the office type that would work best for them:
Would they rather base their office lease on how much space they’ll occupy, or how many people will work there?
Coworking spaces tend to base lease costs on how many individuals will be working there. For teams that need more flexibility (e.g. some days only two people will work there, other days ten people), flex office space might be a better fit, as it is generally based on number of offices or office size.
Do they have a large team?
For individuals and very small teams, a per-person lease at a coworking space may be more cost-effective. Larger teams will get more value from a flex office space.
Do they want their own dedicated space?
Coworking provides communal space where people from different companies can work in the same area. While flexible offices usually have some communal spaces, they also provide private offices dedicated to specific companies.
What kind of community are they looking for?
Both coworking spaces and flex offices come with the benefits of a professional community, like networking opportunities and the ability to work in a social environment. However, flex offices tend to offer more privacy.
Depending on the particular location and office management, both coworking spaces and flex office spaces sometimes offer events like workshops and mixers.
Do they want a more professional atmosphere?
Flexible office spaces tend to have a more professional atmosphere, while coworking spaces tend to be more casual and laid back.
Do they need a meeting space available to them at all times?
In coworking spaces, all amenities are shared, including meeting spaces. While it may be possible to reserve space, scheduling conflicts can complicate things, making last-minute meetings a challenge.
At the right flex office, on the other hand, your client can have their own meeting space available to them at all times.
When are traditional offices the best fit?
Even as flexible workspaces become more popular, there are some clients for whom traditional offices are a better fit.
Traditional may be the way to go if your client’s business:
- Has a high level of certainty about where they will be over the next 5-7 years
- Needs a high level of privacy and/or customization
- Focuses more on individual production rather than team collaboration
- Involves frequent in-person interaction with clients
However, it’s important to remember that traditional office spaces tend to have long-term leases, and therefore don’t allow for much flexibility. With flexible spaces, your client can scale up or down easily, or even decide to try another space if their needs change. Another option is to look for a long-term lease where there is a flexible office opportunity in the building.
Flexible workspaces and coworking can both be great options for your clients, especially if they value flexibility and agility. The specific type of space that will work best for them all depends on their unique business needs and work style.
With on-demand space, private offices for teams of 1-8, flexible suites for teams of 9-25, and enterprise suites for teams of 25+, The Square by Hines addresses the dynamic nature of clients’ real estate needs, with high-quality amenities and services you won’t find in your average office.
To learn more about The Square or schedule a tour, contact us.