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    What are the Main Differences Between Coworking Spaces and Traditional Offices?

    When it comes to office rental, business owners have many different choices today. Making decisions about office spaces isn’t an easy task because there are so many different factors to consider. Coworking spaces and traditional offices are two of the options and they both have advantages and disadvantages. Coworking spaces offer a potentially more tailor-made solution in terms of lease requirements and space, whereas traditional offices have more privacy and control over the space. 

     The definitions 

     An advantage of a traditional office is that it is solely yours and only your employees use it. You need to take care of every aspect yourself and make all your own decisions about how to use the space and who will manage it. You have to buy furniture, lease equipment, employ a secretary and much more.

     A coworking space is an umbrella term used to describe a flexible work environment. It may consist of a private office within a shared location but it can also refer to using a dedicated desk in a communal workspace. You can find office space for lease in Jacksonville, or other U.S. cities with fostered coworking environments, with all the necessary facilities such as reception services, high-speed internet, telephones, furniture, etc.

     The lease agreements

     When you lease a traditional office, you have very little flexibility as you usually have to commit to a term of at least five years with the owner of the premises and the upfront costs are expensive. You have complete control over the rental space, but if your business expands and starts bursting at the seams during the lease, the solutions are either impractical or expensive. If the rent becomes too high or you experience operational issues, your only option is to sit it out unless your lease expires.

     Coworking spaces usually have flexible leases. You aren’t locked in for a long-term period with little leeway to make any changes. You can lease for a short term and decide to grow or reduce your physical space requirements depending on your business needs. This flexibility is important in today’s uncertain economic climate as you’re not locked in for a long-term period with little leeway to make changes. 

     The office design

     The hallmarks of traditional office design are cubicles arranged to seat as many people as possible, poor lighting, and greige walls. From a lack of ergonomic furniture to uninspiring layouts, they do little to encourage creativity and collaboration. 

     From big windows that let in natural light to ergonomic furniture, modern technology, and greenery, coworking spaces can help to nourish creativity and offer mental stimulation. 

     The expense

     Setting up a traditional office can be a costly affair. Buying furniture, leasing equipment, building out amenities, and meeting rooms – it can all cost a significant amount and you need to pay it upfront.

     You are responsible for every cost, including utilities. An advantage is that you have more control over the space and you can design it to reflect your company culture. However, managing and running a traditional office can consume resources and pull your focus away from other projects. Financially stable businesses may find it easier to go for long leases and more overheads. 

     When you lease coworking spaces, many of the costs are included. There are no high upfront costs and you can move immediately into a fully-equipped space with ergonomic furniture, high-speed internet, technological equipment, amenities, and on-demand meeting spaces. For startups who want to keep their overheads down, this is a good option. Maintenance is not an issue with coworking spaces, as management handles it for you. 

     The community

     Traditional offices don’t offer much opportunity for collaboration between departments, let alone networking with people from other companies or industries. They are designed with an emphasis on focus and encourage individual work.

     One of the bedrock of coworking spaces is the concept of collaboration. You have the opportunity to network with people from many other companies and industries. Finding others with complementary skills offers an opportunity to join forces and you may even find others who want to use your skills. 

     Conclusion

     Traditional office spaces may offer more privacy to clients and more control but they also come with disadvantages such as the need to manage and make decisions about every aspect that is already taken care of when leasing coworking spaces. Coworking spaces may offer less privacy and branding options but one of the main advantages is the vibrant communities and the opportunities to collaborate and network. They have taken the business world by surprise and offer the type of flexibility that appeals to many professionals who want to embrace change.