The explosive rise of desk space rental

Small businesses, freelancers and start-ups have really embraced the idea of shared and serviced offices over the past few years, but what’s all the fuss about? Here are five key factors that have triggered the explosion in desk space and serviced office rental.
Less admin and liability
If you’re a small business, or individual, the last thing you need is more paperwork. Leasing an office gives you a massive new list of headaches, but desk rental just gives you one new bill per month. Whoever is leasing or owns the building is responsible for everything from paying the bills to security to dilapidations – all you do is turn up to the office and get on with your work.
Existing infrastructure
This also means everything you need is already in place, so you won’t need to worry about things such as hooking up with an internet supplier. You should also find there will be meeting rooms available, while there could also be a reception and post facilities. And of course your desk will be waiting for you too, along with kitchen facilities etc.
Move in fast, no long-term commitment
Another thing that put people off of leasing an office is the time commitment – you’ll usually be looking at signing on for a lease of at least three years. Rented desk space will usually be paid for on a month by month basis, so you can pretty much come and go when need be. This gives you flexibility in terms of size too, as you should be able to rent more or fewer desks as your business expands and contracts. Also, as everything is already in place in terms of infrastructure, you will normally be able to move in right away.
Out of the house and meet new people
This flexibility means you can try moving out of a home office to see how things go – it can be a daunting step otherwise. Once out of the home, many ‘deskers’ tend to find their business is given a new lease of life as their new working environment can really pay dividends. The likelihood is you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals, probably in similar lines of work – most deskers tend to be creative, in fields such as journalism, design or web development. You may even find new friends, new work opportunities, or solutions to your own work problems.
Professional and respectable
Finally, getting yourself and your colleagues into an office can give your business’ reputation a real boost. You can take a spot in a nearby town or city and have a professional address, as well as appropriate surroundings to meet potential clients. This can really give you an edge over your rivals and add a level of professionalism to your business.
Downsides mirror the upsides
On the negative side, some of these plus sides may not actually suit you. You’ll have no control over who you share with, the kind of d├ęcor the office has, your utilities providers etc. And you have to pay a premium to have these decisions taken out of your hands.

However, you need to keep in sharp focus the fact that you will be on a month-to-month contract, so you can up sticks at any moment and find a new location that better suits your needs. And all that you’ll have to move is your computer!

About the author: Chris Marling writes on behalf of, the UK’s first proper online marketplace for desk space and shared office space.