Weighing up shared office vs private office space considerations will likely play an important role when choosing your next workplace.

Unprecedented circumstances in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic have meant that up to 49% of the UK workforce worked from home according to ONS data.

Now, many are clamouring for a return to the office and an end to months of what has, for some, been a lonely working experience. 

Staff will pick different sides in shared office vs private office space debates - but making the right call on their behalf can have long-term benefits.

Let’s explore the differences to help you work out which is best for your business - a shared office space or a private office?

Shared office space

Working in a shared office space lets your company rent workstations or spaces in a flexible manner.

This arrangement can offer staff shared use of various amenities which they may not otherwise have had access to, e.g. breakout or leisure areas.

Other practical conveniences could include shared utilities, common equipment, refreshments and a parcel acceptance service.

For short-term desk rentals especially, the overall fees may be lower than for office leases. However, shared amenities access will likely be factored into costs.

There are wide-ranging networking opportunities in a shared office space, with several businesses all working in the same place.

For employees, this can create a dynamic atmosphere to work in, as well as greater potential for social opportunities.

And a shared office space also tends to provide efficiency via shared functions - such as IT, security, or reception.

Private office

In contrast to a shared office space, your employees can enjoy having a private office all to themselves.

While shared amenities are attractive features of a shared office space, a well-serviced private office may also have these. This would also offer more exclusive use for your staff.

With fewer competing interests for the space, a private office can be quieter (if you want it to be), which can boost productivity and concentration.

This could suit staff who may now be used to working in near silence at home since the Coronavirus lockdown.

Having access to workspaces whenever you want them, without needing to share with other companies, also helps ensure deadlines are met without compromise.

It may also be a better arrangement regarding privacy agreements with clients, or for working on sensitive and confidential projects.

Without other business’ staff nearby, there could be more opportunities for team-building and fostering strong working relationships amongst colleagues in a private office.

A private office also offers more control over decision-making. For example, you can design an on-brand workspace to suit your company’s style and impress customers.

shared office vs private office space

Shared office vs private office space: which should I choose?

The shared office vs private office space decision ultimately comes down to which choice makes most sense for your business.

A shared office space is often a popular choice for companies with short-term location plans, in particular when planning to stay for just a few months.

Shared offices are also common workspaces for independent contractors or firms with a low headcount.

In contrast, companies with longer-term plans and needing more desks may prefer to lease a private office.

And businesses seeking the atmosphere and networking opportunities of a shared office in private spaces may be able to find the best of both worlds.

In fact, some private offices are available in coworking spaces, while some are situated in buildings with other like-minded companies happy to network or socialise.

Shared office vs private office space: advantages and disadvantages

A shared office provides a wide range of efficiency advantages, such as communal amenities and resources.

The dynamic ambience and networking potential of several companies working close together may appeal to start-ups looking to make connections.

The right private office may also offer similar benefits, but with more exclusive access to spaces.

Working in a private office offers potential for a quieter environment, which could improve staff concentration and productivity.

Relationship-building and team spirit can be nurtured without competing influences from other companies’ workers.

Moreover it is easier to adhere to client NDAs by keeping confidential work secure from third parties.

Exclusivity also grants senior management more control over the look and feel of the workspace.

Choosing a private office is particularly attractive if you’re supported by an inexpensive property company offering costs all-inclusive of service charge and insurance.

Also look for a property company which can provide legal assistance, since this is often expensive otherwise.

And if they provide flexibility to move within their portfolio mid-lease, your business could move to a new private office if it outgrows the first one.

Shared office vs private office space: which should I choose? Conclusion

Shared offices and private offices both have a wealth of advantages for your business.

If you’re planning to return to an office after lockdown, check the latest government guidance on how to work safely.

And if you have any queries about shared office vs private office space considerations, or would like to enquire about available offices, please contact us.

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