Shared offices, the future of the work environment – or are they?

Shared offices are an innovative idea. Business owners everywhere are eager to experiment different approaches in order to see which work environment best suites their business. Start-up entrepreneurs or home office company owners may find it difficult to invest in a professional looking office, therefore they try to compensate by renting one. And not just renting it – they choose to share it with other similar businesses. However, this shift – from a traditional office to a shared one – cannot happen overnight.

Working in a shared office

Bear in mind that it will take time to familiarize your employees with this approach and seeking professional help from a coach will definitely benefit you and your team to get insights and be more prepared to embrace this major change. Also, you have to take into account that shared offices may not suit your business or your team. Is the business you run a start-up, a small company or is it a big company? Can you afford moving and packing all the time? Do you have numerous people on the team, or is it a small one? Are those people willing and able to change their work habit and adapt to this new approach?

On the other hand, sharing an office has its perks. It creates a more dynamic environment. Yet, you need to establish a clear hierarchy. In this transition, you need to act like a leader, not just a boss. This will facilitate the collaboration between you and your team, between its members and will facilitate idea-sharing. This type of environment offers more opportunities for individual expression and can change the traditional culture.

Protecting your business

Once you start sharing an office, you and your employees must be careful in terms of securing all documentation and private data files. You can never be too cautious. The confidential documents have to be treated accordingly, the conference rooms have to be soundproof and your phone and IP address secured. Your employees must be taught what information they can disclose. Changing the environment will eventually alter some other aspects of their communication processes and various communication techniques could be incorporated: meetings via Skype, group talks via WhatsApp, or sharing information via Google Drive.

Additional implications

Having your own working space can be difficult, especially when the market is overloaded with businesses. Sharing a workplace on the other hand, offers you benefits such as paying a monthly membership fee significantly cheaper than buying or renting your own space. Furthermore, it implies lower costs and fewer responsibilities – cleaning and maintenance for example are accounted by the landlord.

In addition, working in the same building with other businesses and sharing your workplace is an excellent opportunity for networking. You and your employees will become acquainted with people from various domains and implicitly have the chance to start future collaborations.

Besides being a Brand Master and the CEO of my companies, I also do trainings and workshops on various subject matters, including the workplace of the future, managing flexible offices and many others. If you want to start working in such an environment, but you do not know how to approach the idea, or you already started working in a shared office but you think something is missing, do not hesitate to contact me at and I will gladly advise you on how to thrive.

On October 3, 2017

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