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Alternative Working Spaces: What’s the Difference and Which is Right for You


Our series of Work IQ surveys have shown that modern workers not only want to work with more flexibility, but that they increasingly want the freedom to take their work to alternative locations. As a result, the workplace has been and is undergoing an important shift, one that is fueled by individual workers’ reliance on technology and their desire for greater control over their time, as well as employers’ need to reduce overhead costs. 

More and more companies today are embracing this new modern worker by supporting work-from-home or non-traditional options that increase employees’ flexibility as well as their productivity. When the employee is in the office, he or she is there for relationship and team building, working in groups, collaboration, and face-to-face communication with others, not independent work that can otherwise be done at alternative locations. 

The demands of the modern worker are changing – and that’s changing traditional office space. This growing desire to break with convention is leading to a rapidly growing number of virtual offices, co-working spaces, and other alternative office spaces. So what do all of these options mean, what do they provide, and most importantly, which of them is right for you? 

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options for alternative spaces and what each has to offer: 

Virtual Offices: Virtual Offices, arguably the most comprehensive of the options out there today, are not really virtual at all. Businesses and individuals who need to not only maintain a professional office space, but need amenities like meeting spaces, live receptionists and mail services, are increasingly turning to virtual offices to meet their business needs. By utilizing the services of a virtual office, both established and growing businesses are able to maintain a professional presence at a fraction of the cost of rent and additional employee expenses. Although called “virtual offices”, this type of business often includes full-time dedicated executive office space, as well as fully-furnished office space available by the hour, day, or week 

Co-working Spaces: Co-working spaces have become something of a buzzword word in recent months. While they lack the additional services of a virtual office, they are affordable, they’re often used by creative professionals and entrepreneurs, and they often give you a chance to work in a space much nicer than anything you could afford on your own. Those only needing space for a month, week, or even just a day, and those wanting to work in a more communal environment may use co-working spaces. 

Shared Workspaces: Shared Workspaces are just that – companies that share their workspaces with outside employees. These businesses offer private office space, workstations, or desk rentals, all within their already established office space. In addition to the reasonable rent rates, shared workspaces usually come with additional bonuses that co-working spaces don’t offer, like conference rooms, a shared kitchen or break room, and a shared reception area. Copy and mail services as well as a shared receptionist are often available for an additional cost. 

Business Incubators: One of the more unique options available, business incubators were created to help start-ups specializing in technology, service, and light manufacturing. The spaces are often shared with as many as 20 other start-ups, and companies typically join for an incubation period that lasts several years. Because of the unique and creative environment, the competition is stiff and you must apply for admission. Start-ups who are accepted are offered a very affordable rent and the opportunity to be given hands-on management assistance, financing assistance, networking opportunities, and access to business services, all designed to give companies in their infancy a chance for lasting success. 

So whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to carry minimal costs, a company in need of professional services with a limited budget, or a start-up looking to create long-term success, thinking outside the box with your office space not only offers you a variety of alternatives, it gives you efficiency and value.

Infographic: No One Wants to Be a Corporate Executive

Intelligent Office today released an infographic following their Work IQ survey, showing that modern workers want a new work style, and that the desire to climb the corporate ladder may have been replaced with the desire to be an entrepreneur.



IntelligentNews

 

Wall Street Journal: More Americans Working Remotely

3/22/2013 12:00:00 AM

More American employees are working from home at least one day a week—a trend that could lower companies' costs and boost productivity. Read more here.
 
 

Top Benefits of a Virtual Office

3/6/2013 12:00:00 AM

Need to lower overhead costs? Many are turning to virtual offices to save on space and for the flexibility that they offer. Read more here.
 

Do we need office space?

2/22/2013 12:00:00 AM

In a world increasingly dominated by smartphones, it seems natural that the workforce is developing into a mobile one. No longer do workers need to go to the office to accomplish their daily tasks. They can answer emails, conduct meetings, take notes and ... Read more here.
 

San Francisco Chronicle: How Cloud Computing May Change the Way You Do Business

2/12/2013 12:00:00 AM

Today's market is a demanding one, but cloud-based services can help your business provide customers with a stunning web experience that never misses a beat. Read more here.
 

Entrepreneur: 3 Types of Rent-Free Workspaces for Entrepreneurs

2/5/2013 12:00:00 AM

Office costs can be a major hurdle for entrepreneurs, but these days more startups are finding rent-free workspaces. Read more here.
 

Yahoo: Tech trends to transform small business in 2013

1/28/2013 12:00:00 AM

Which tech trends should small business owners check out to enhance their productivity in 2013? Read more here.

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(617) 963-5280

Wes Walker Owner/President

Intelligent Office, Boston (Financial District)

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