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Shared Workspace Vs Traditional Office Space

Shared Workspace Vs Traditional Office space

Shared workspaces are quickly becoming the new norm in the office landscape. Initially popular with creatives and start-ups, shared workspaces have evolved to offer a wide spectrum of services supporting various types of businesses. Compared to a stand-alone office lease, shared workspaces offer many benefits such as cost savings, flexibility and networking opportunities. They also offer a communal environment that may not be as diverse or deliberately inclusive as a traditional industry specific workplace. In the shared workspace, Individuals or businesses can work alongside each other. This means they can share resources and ideas as these workspaces can foster inclusion, diversity and in turn creativity. 

Traditional Office Space

Historically, a traditional office space is a physical office space that is leased or owned by a company. These spaces typically have a fixed layout with dedicated workstations and hot desk space for employees. These are generally located in commercial buildings or office complexes. Stability and customizability is the main benefit of this type of workspace, as the company will generally commit to a lease for the long term and has control over the design and layout. They can instill their own branding in the office design and sometimes even on the building itself by installing signage and displays. Traditional workspaces offer a sense of security because the company can restrict access and install security systems. A traditional lease gives a business their own office with all the amenities they desire including kitchens, bathrooms showers, changerooms, reception areas, breakout space, meeting space and of course desk space. 

There are some less advantageous aspects when it comes to the traditional office model. Often leases are fixed for a long term and the tenant will have to make significant time and cost investments in the office fit-out. This can be time consuming and offers limited flexibility in the long term. Investing in a fit out can be particularly challenging for start ups or small businesses as it eats into their limited cash flow. In addition to the rent, there are ongoing additional costs such as new furniture, equipment, utilities, Internet and IT Infrastructure and so on. Not to mention that the office needs to be managed. You could be working on growing your business instead of arranging services, maintenance and repairs. 

Once you commit to an office you will be locked into this space for at least a few years. If your company grows faster than expected your office can quickly become inadequate and limit your growth. Equally, when you are unable to achieve the projected growth you may be stuck with an office space that is too large or too expensive with no options to downsize. 

Shared Workspace

A shared workspace is a flexible office space that is shared by multiple organizations. These spaces can be typically rented on an ad hoc basis, short or long term. In addition to the office or coworking spaces, shared workspaces generally offer access to various communal workspaces and a range of amenities that members can access throughout their workday. Most shared workspaces will offer meeting rooms and break out spaces. Some workspaces will offer other amenities too such as games and table tennis, a gym, a meditation space and a parent’s room. Your team will have ample space available for team collaboration resulting in more creativity and better productivity. There will be a community manager that supports you throughout your workday and organizes community events such as seminars and end-of-month drinks. During these community events, you will have opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals and expand your network. Members will have opportunities to learn and develop themselves professionally. A shared workspace will provide you and your employees with access to a wide network of professionals in a range of different industries. The experiences individuals share help build synergies and community engagement. 

Read More about Shared Workspace vs Leasing Office Space. What is Right For Your Business?

Benefits of a Shared Workspace

Cost savings

When it comes to a shared workspace, cost saving is the most obvious benefit. A shared workspace can be more cost effective than the traditional office lease, as businesses can share office resources such as office equipment, meeting rooms, high speed internet access to name a few. It can be hard for businesses to set-up and maintain high quality amenities.  When you lease a traditional office space there are numerous costs associated such as utility bills, maintenance fees, internet and cleaning on top of some unexpected increased or unforeseen expenses. Some of these expenses can be shared and provide a cost saving to the individual organization in the shared workspace. 


Shared workspaces often offer flexible rental options, allowing a business to rent a workspace on a short-term or as-needed basis. This is massively beneficial for companies looking to reduce their costs while maintaining a high quality workspace for their team. If you are a small business or an established business expanding into new territories you will benefit from the flexibility to expand your workspace without moving to a different location. Utilizing the various ad hoc meetings and workspace gives you access to a variety of different amenities that could not possibly incorporate in your own office space. Most shared workspace offers 24/7 access allowing you and your team to work flexible hours, which is particularly beneficial for businesses that have a hybrid model. 

Increased Productivity

Having access to a wide range of workspaces, break out and meeting spaces provide people with choice. We can find a space that suits our individual needs at the time. Whether it is space to concentrate, collaborate or finding a moment to relax and meditate. Advanced technology is available to ensure you get the most out of your workday and helps increase productivity. Operating your business in a fully serviced environment will save you time, which you can spend on managing your team and growing your business. 

Reduced Isolation

For freelancers or remote workers, a shared workspace can provide a sense of community and belonging. Being around others who are working will make you feel more motivated. Having access to a quality workspace will enhance productivity and creativity alike. As a business owner you may have a wide network of suppliers, customers and other business owners that you can tap into. Employees in smaller businesses often don’t have a large network and they may feel isolated if they don’t have many colleagues to share experiences with and learn from. A shared workspace may provide them with opportunities to connect and expand their professional network. 

Networking opportunities, collaboration, idea sharing and feeling a sense of belonging can have significant benefits for an individual’s mental-health and wellbeing. It can also enhance their professional development and growth in the workplace.

Access to Amenities

Shared workspaces provide premium amenities such as free coffee and tea, snacks, fitness facilities, quiet rooms, various break out spaces, secure bicycle storage, showers and end-of-trip facilities, which help employees stay motivated and productive. You may not be able to incorporate all these facilities in your own dedicated office space. Offering quality workspace amenities will help you attract and retain talent in your organization. 

Professional Environment

Shared workspaces offer a professional environment with high quality amenities no matter the size of your business. You can book a boardroom to impress and win new clients. Having a reputable address on a large main street will make your business look more established and credible. 

Inclusion of Shared Workspaces

Inclusion in the workplace is essential for creating a diverse and welcoming environment where employees can thrive. One aspect of inclusion is ensuring accessibility and inclusivity. This means making sure that every employee regardless of their abilities, feels comfortable and supported in their work environment. Accessibility may include providing accommodation facilities like wheelchair accessibility, ramps, and perhaps assistive technology to allow employees with disabilities to participate fully in their roles in the workplace. Inclusivity may involve fostering a work environment where all employees feel respected and valued. By prioritizing accessibility and inclusion, businesses can create a workplace culture that celebrates diversity and empowers their employees to thrive in the workplace.

More Innovative Workspace

In short, a shared workspace offers a more innovative approach to the workspace. One that is more adaptable and creates a highly engaging workplace experience. 

Additionally, shared workspaces will often host events and workshops which can be extremely valuable for professional development and community engagement. Shared workspaces are home to numerous and diverse professionals which can lead to networking opportunities, exchange of ideas and collaboration. You will enjoy a wide range of high quality amenities while saving time and costs. You won’t have to make large capital expenses for a fit-out, furnishings and IT Infrastructure. 

Shared Workspace at United Co.

United Co. is a shared workspace in Melbourne offering world-class workspace amenities to members and their guests. No matter the type or size of your business. United Co. offers a flexible solution to suit your needs. With workspaces ranging from 1-150+ desks, you will have ample space to grow your business. Our goal at United Co. is to enhance and bring joy to the work experience by creating spaces that prioritize work-life balance. We foster community, facilitate connections, encourage collaboration and support members throughout their workday.

If you are looking for flexible workspace options in Melbourne, get in touch with us today!