Mentor, William Willems

What problems come from sharing office space?

William Willems /

I’ve talked to a couple of businesses about sharing an office space and splitting the cost. Is there anything that commonly goes wrong when sharing?

 

When it comes to sharing space, the old adage should hold as strong as ever: be careful who you get into bed with.

 

The benefits of splitting your workspace costs should be carefully weighed against the risks to your business.

 

As with any business arrangement, a watertight agreement will help. Bear in mind that a landlord will only sign the lease with one company and will therefore only accept one point of contact.

 

So, you’ll need to define who is responsible for what, and particularly keep an eye on the legal risks involved.

 

As a rule of thumb, unless there is a very strong symbiosis and a history of trust between your businesses, it is best to find a company from a different industry to be your office-share.

 

Today’s industry ally is tomorrow’s competitor, and you don’t want to be in a situation where your business could be compromised.

 

Besides the day-to-day issues of sharing space, which can range from small irritants like noise, lack of space and personal privacy, there are more serious issues like information security as well as health and safety.

 

Also important to consider is what happens if either party cannot meet their financial commitments.

 

The last thing you’ll want to be faced with is having to pay their share of rent and operational costs.

 

To avoid the worst, it is often better to find a shared space that has been developed for different companies.

 

There are also a number of alternative independent options such as Inspire9 in Melbourne or Salt House in Brisbane.

 

While these funky spaces are more geared to creative industries and freelancers, there are also professional business co-working spaces available at a number of other, larger workspace providers.

 

We ourselves have built bespoke co-working ‘campus’ spaces at many of our locations for customers who want office facilities without the high cost.

 

Sometimes, when it comes to your businesses bottom line, sharing can be caring, after all.

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