Whether you already have an office or are looking at renting an office for your growing team - this is for you. Businesses just like yours are growing, managing costs and creating fantastic places to work that motivate their staff - and it's all part of the sharing economy and coworking.
This is Our Story not just our business, and it started with us working from home. We then moved to coworking spaces, then shared an office and now we lease our own office and rent it out to other like minded businesses who we love.
We're like your typical company going through startup and growth phase. Ok, we're actually a peer to peer marketplace for office space - so we should know a thing or two about this, but that's why we built Rubberdesk - to make it easy for others, just like you, to share your office space.
We started out working from home, moved into a coworking space, went onto rent office space from another like minded business, and then came full circle by taking a three year lease on an office that's far too big for us today, but gives us room to grow into.
We've rented our own spare desks on Rubberdesk and it covers all our rent and outgoings.
We're now rent free
All our costs are covered by renting our spare office space out. Yep, all our on-going costs including rent, land tax, water, electricity, internet, cleaning and office supplies (yes we even factored toilet rolls into our calculations) are covered by the rent earned through renting our spare office space out on Rubberdesk.
And what's more the businesses who rent office space from us are getting a great deal and are frankly the loveliest bunch of people we could wish for.
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The Sharing Handbook
1. What's Your Motivation and Ideal Outcome?
Understanding your motivation behind renting out office space will drive many of the decisions you make along the way and result in the best outcome.
- To help with rent while we grow
- To cover costs and allow me to stay in this fantastic space
- To create an ecosystem of like minded businesses
- To create a fun and vibrant place to work
The benefits of sharing a space go well beyond purely financial, but it's good to keep an eye on and manage the financials.
Our goal was to be rent free, in our dream office space, with meeting room, out door space and room to grow. We achieved that before the first rent was due using Rubberdesk.
2. What Kind of Guests do you Want?
The one thing we consistently hear from Hosts who have had success achieveing their ideal outcome is finding the right Guest. With the right Guest:
- It's more enjoyable coming to work
- They are more likely to stay renting longer
- The relationship becomes more like workmates without the office politics
- There are more opportunities for collaboration or just sharing a fresh perspective on a problem while the kettle boils
An office feels better when it's shared with the right people, and there's a good vibe that everyone feeds off. Conversations are easy and productive, and this week in ours included:
Anyone know a good sign writer? (Followed by anyone got a good Web Developer contact?)
What are you using for CRM? Any good?
Who fancies grabbing a drink on the last Thursday of the month?
The Right Guest for You
Finding the right Guest for our Hosts was at the front of our minds when we built Rubberdesk, so we
- Integrated with Linkedin as our trust network
- Curate our listings to make it easy to find the right people, place and environment to be happy in
- Keep the rental period flexible on rolling monthly terms
3. A Checklist of Your Office Outgoings
Understanding your outgoings is important so you can manage your costs. So, here's a quick checklist to make sure you're counting all your office outgoings. This will help when it comes to understanding the returns and meeting your objectives:
- Land Tax
- Council Rates
- Professional Fees
- Fitout Costs
- Make-good costs on your way out
Yep, it gets a section all of it's own! Unfortunately speeds, bandwidth and costs of internet access in Australia is generally pretty poor.
Guests expect to have good internet access, and this will require a couple of things. Make sure your service has suitable bandwidth for the number of people using it and that the wifi router can handle the number of people and the size of the office.
It doesn't have to be super fast access to be good - consistent and reliable is good too. For instance we chose a fixed wireless unconstrained 20MBps up & down connection with a powerful Wifi router that covers the office well and fast. This consistently delivers great speeds up and down and is perfect for 6 different businesses and 11 people sharing the space uploading and downloading video.
There are lots of service providers out there and it's worth sitting down to consider how many people will be sharing the network and what the impact will be.
5. How Many People Can Fit in an Office?
This is a question we're often asked and it's sometimes a tricky one to answer.
Firstly, there's quite a wide spread of sizes of square metres per person out there.
Secondly, you have to be clear on what is being measured - does the sqm/person include just the office space in which they sit or does it also include the shared areas. Obviously when you include the shared areas the space increases, but you need to consider the space in which you're sat for the majority of time and whether that's big enough.
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.
Funnily enough most Coworking operators don't publish stats on the floor space per person, especially when discussing the size of the enclosed offices as this wouldn't then also consider the shared area.
You Focus on your Business - We'll Take Care of Renting the Space
You're focused on your business, and you're not interested in running a "coworking space". That's why we built Rubberdesk: to make it easy for businesses to share office space. You can rent any number of desks or offices and have the same Guests who rent month by month for the long term.
At Rubberdesk, we
- introduce people who are a good fit
- arrange tours
- make it easy and hassle free to get paid
- give you a licence agreement
And it's it's free to list
So, maybe you've outgrown your current office space, and are eagerly eyeing up your next office space, but you don't want to out grow that within the year and so you need room to grow.
You might have downsized and have a raft of space around you.
Or like us, you might just want to be around like minded businesses to share a story with.
The reasons businesses share office space are many and varied, but the point is that spare space is a valuable commodity.
Shared office space is more than just desks and chairs, it's about people and creating great places to be.
List for free, it's super easy