More and more businesses from startups to established companies are using flexible office space for their employees to provide a lower cost alternative and more user-friendly space to the traditional office setting. Building owners are increasingly embracing the concept of flexible office space and leaving behind preconceived views on leasing office space. They are becoming curators of building community and facilitating workplace experiences.
“For owners, dealing with small tenants has never been something that you wanted to focus on,” said Atlanta-based SharedSpace principal Daniel Levison. “To do a 500 square foot deal takes as much effort as a 2,500 square foot deal. But coworking has changed this to focus on building communities in office space as opposed to just leasing space.”
Companies like SharedSpace focus on building community for small entrepreneurial businesses, and design workspaces to facilitate collaboration and networking. Flexible office space also allows more established companies in other parts of the building to lease shared space like conference rooms only when needed.
“We have been able to do some deals because our tenants don’t need to put two conference rooms in their space, they can use our coworking space with six conference rooms upstairs,” said Levison. “Or folks can come upstairs and work in the open environment, as they can in our case without an additional charge. It becomes an amenity of the building. The whole building becomes a community.”
Larger companies are embracing this trend to have flexible office space. Over 44 percent of companies have looked to use some type of flexible office space as a solution to workplace needs. One of the driving factors is due to new accounting rules for real estate investments that require leases longer than a year to be documented on the company’s balance sheet. Flexible office space with short term or monthly leases may enable larger companies to work around this new accounting requirement.
Building owners who have embraced this latest trend in leasing flexible office space have seen an increased return on investment said Levison. “The margins in the coworking business are better than they are in the rest of the building,” he said. “It really makes some good sense for building owners to partner with these providers.”
Carolina Services Inc. (CSI) is Charleston’s premier community space planning and improvement company. Contact CSI at http://carolinaservicesinc.com/ to see how we can help design, manage and implement innovative and cost-effective solutions to your commercial space.