5 Easy Ways to Turn your Office into a Coworking Space

5 Easy Ways to Turn your Office into a Coworking Space

Turn your spare office space into a coworking space and earn extra income from our 5 step guide.

Demand for flexible office space

Coworking has taken off and more and more businesses are looking to rent office space by the month, on 3, 6 or 12- month terms, demonstrating the strong demand for flexible office space. The trend in coworking is expected to hit 30% of all commercial office space within the next 15-20 years. To put the enormity of this industry in perspective, in 2018 alone, the number of coworking spaces increased by approximately a fifth. On top of this, According to DeskMag's 2019 Coworking Forecast, there is estimated to be an astounding 22,400 spaces worldwide with 2.2 million members by the end of this year!

So why are businesses renting desks in a shared office?

Businesses love renting shared office space as it saves them managing their own offices, locking in for 3 year leases and tying up capital with bonds and advances. In many cases it also gives them access to premium shared facilities such as break out areas, meeting rooms, reception services and much more. It has also become a popular solution for smaller businesses to take space in local coworking offices, rather than a large coworking provider.

Altitude Cowork New Space

Reasons for choosing local coworking spaces over a large office space providers:

  • Many Guests are looking for a permanent place to work where they know the locals,
  • It's in a convenient location other then in the CBD,
  • Located in their local area, saving them transport time and costs.

It's not just large coworking operators who can make money from renting out office space, if you've got spare desks you could be earning around $500 / month per desk!

Whilst the checklist we will discuss is a simple guide to getting your office suited for sharing with others, it is important to consider a number of other factors beforehand, such as:

  • Your objectives and decide what your motivation is for renting out your space.
  • What type of guests you want.
  • Create a check list of all your outgoings, e.g. rent, land tax, council rates, fitout costs, furnishings, cleaning (just to name a few!)
  • Internet! Very important when updating your office to accomodate others. Guests expect reliable, fast internet! How many people can the office fit? Be realistic! Below we consider the overall foot print of the property as the total square meterage, and then divide by number of desks to get the sqm/person ratio.

  • 10 sqm per person is regarded as the Australian standard. That's very generous and spacious.

  • 7.5 sqm per person is what we have in our office. It feels very comfortable and is about the norm for most businesses that share space.
  • 5 sqm per person is starting to feel a little cramped.

Here's our 5 step guide to help transform your office into a coworking space

1. Declutter

Minimalism is key when sharing your space with other businesses!

One of the easiest ways to make your office shareable, is by having only the main office necessities such as desks, chairs, printers and storage space in the office. By keeping the office clutter free not only encourages Guests to keep their own space tidy, it enhance the overall feel to the space and can help to boost productivity.

2. Furniture

Before we turned the Rubberdesk HQ into our very own coworking space, we purchased brand new desks, chairs, lamps, kitchen appliances and even outdoor furniture! We're now sharing our space with multiple other businesses so know first hand what to provide to keep our Guests happy! (See photos below of our coworking office.)

To help you get your coworking space up and running, here's a checklist to get you started.

  • Desks and Chairs - Furnish your space with a well sized desk and comfortable chair.
  • Lamps: Providing lamps to your guests desks is a great way to let them control their space a bit more.
  • Plants: Not only are they a great stress reliever, but it's also an easy way to add a bit of colour into the office.
  • Artwork: Add a unique touch to your space and brighten up the office.
  • Extra furniture: E.g. meeting room table and chairs, Outdoor furniture, lounges.

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3. Cleaning

Cleaning is an absolute necessity, both before you rent the space out and throughout the period in which you are sharing the space. You as the Host are in charge of making sure all Guests feel comfortable within the space, making sure everything is up to date, the heating or cooling system is adequate. Even the smaller details such as providing cutlery, kitchen appliances, hand wash and personal bins for each Guest makes a huge difference when sharing office space.

Regular cleaning is key for maintaining a happy, comfortable office space.

4. Get permission from your landlord

Before turning your office into a coworking space, write to your landlord and get their permission to licence on short term basis for the use of the space.

For more information on leasing out your office space, read: Should I sublease or license my spare office space?

5. Get your listing up on Rubberdesk

Once your space is ready for Guests, take some gorgeous photos of the office and get your listing up on Rubberdesk. Listing your space on Rubberdesk is a free and easy way to find the right business to share your space with. Not only do we provide a free license agreement, we also handle all payments to help make sharing office space easy!

To have the best chance of renting out your space, make sure to thoroughly fill out your listing description, what's included / not included? Who is the space most suitable for? What size team and what industry?

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