Everything you need to know about coworking in Australia
There are a lot of terms for describing Coworking and people often use them interchangeably, so let's start off with some basics, to get us all talking the same language.
Coworking or Co-working
To hyphenate or not to hyphenate, that's... neither here nor there. Grammatically, hyphenated is correct, but more commonly the noble hypen is dropped.
Coworking is the generic, catch-all term for any use of office space where someone else is the headlease holder and you licence use of the space under a contract... see our article on Lease Versus Licence.
Coworking is what people say when they often mean "Serviced" or "Managed" offices or at places like WeWork.
Here at Rubberdesk we refer to Coworking Desks as desks that are rentable by the month in open plan offices amongst people
Coworking Desks tend to be permanent desks where you can leave your belongings at the end of the day, often with a cabinet you can store things in.
You'll bring your own devices, and leave them there overnight.
Coworking spaces bring a sense of permanence, without having to commit to a long tem rental agreement.
While Coworking desks tend to be rented by the month, most customers stay using them for years at a time, which does create great familiarity with "work mates" sharing an office.
While Coworking is rising in popularity, the opposite is true of Hot Desking, which, like a fad from the nineties has gone out of fashion.
Hot Desking provides no sense of permanence, as renters leave a clean desk at the end of each day.
Most Coworking Operators have dramatically reduced the numbers of Hot Desks available, to make room for a more reliable and manageable demand of permanent desks.
At Rubberdesk we offer very limited Hot Desk spaces. Purely based on demand.
Permanent Desks are just another way of saying Coworking desks that aren't Hot Desks.
Often in shared offices, you can leave your belongings, the desk is dedicated to you.
Available to be from month to month on a rolling basis.
When a traditional business has spare office space, they can earn by renting out desks to other businesses by the month. These are shared offices.
Think of it like Airbnb for office space - where businesses earn from spare desk space instead of spare beds.
While Airbnb is a great analogy, there are a couple of key differences:
offices tend to be rented out for months and years at a time, and
every Host meets their Guest before they rent, to make sure they are a good fit for eachother.
Rubberdesk started out in a Shared Office with a Learning and Development Company, and we built it for traditional businesses sharing their spare office space.
Serviced or Managed Offices
Serviced Offices are private office spaces available to rent by the month and without the leasehold agreement.
When you rent a Serviced Office, all the setup and installation is done for you - there are no refurbishment costs. It's a turnkey office solution that's just ready for you to go.
You'll take your devices, and you can furnish the space with your own furniture if you like, but this is often taken care of for you.
The same businesses that run Coworking Desk space provide Managed Offices, and this is where they tend to do most of their business.
The sweet spot for many operators is 3-5 desks in each private office, however, the bigger players are now realising that large corporates want managed offices for teams of up to 100 staff.
Businesses such as Google, Amazon, DropBox and Microsoft all use Serviced and Managed Offices run by Coworking Operators.