The flexible workspace sector is home to different types of workspace accommodations. Within the flexible workspace sector, you will see coworking spaces and business centres. Although there are a few similarities between coworking spaces and business centres, the main differences can be seen in how they operate and the perks they can offer small businesses.
The types of Office Space
Business centre office solutions offer a wide range of office spaces for businesses to choose from. The types of office spaces can range from:
- Coworking spaces
- Private office rentals
- Daily office space rentals
- Meeting room and boardroom rentals
- Executive office suits
- Commercial office rentals
- Team spaces
As you have probably noticed from the list above, business centres also offer coworking accommodations. Whereas a stand-alone coworking office will only be able to offer coworking space, and will not include as much variety for different types of office space.
Cost and Hourly Access
Many will tell you that cost is the biggest difference, but in fact, some coworking plans will cost you upwards of $300 per month. Yet, you can get a shared office space at an office business centre for as low as $225 per month. More importantly, an office business centre that offers shared office space, can give you 24-hour access 365 days a year. There are few coworking centres that can offer that.
Those who evangelize coworking spaces will probably sound like a broken record when they try to tell you that “it’s not just a shared office” and claim that they offer more of an entrepreneurial vibe, a sense of community, a sharing of knowledge, a chance to learn from those around you. But the same can be said about a shared office environment in a professional business centre with hundreds of other businesses. Office business centres simply have more choices regarding office solutions. When the time comes to take more private office space, the community of other businesses remains the same. However, it might be just down the hall or in the next office over. You will still see many of the same people in the coffee room and maybe some new faces too.
Additionally, business office centres can have organized networking events so people have more opportunities to meet one another and build relationships.
What about professionalism? It is true that coworking centres can offer a great place to work and allow for more collaborations and interactions, but what do your customers think of this type of “coffee-shop-like” place you are working from? Most coworking spaces do offer at least one meeting room for members to have a private meeting with clients. But very few have 7 or more meeting rooms and boardrooms of various sizes. This means you are less likely to gain access to a meeting room when you need it, and there is even less opportunity to accommodate for those last-minute meetings.
At a business centre, you might be sharing a workspace with several other businesses, but your clients and customers do not need to know that. When your clients presents themselves at the reception area of an office business centre, you are informed of their arrival and can take them to the meeting room you booked without them seeing the actual office space that you work in. Additionally, with business centres you will have access to a wider variety of meeting room spaces, meaning you are more likely to reserve a spot when you need it and will be able to accommodate more attendees.
Overall, business centre office solutions offer a higher degree of professionalism for your business.
Your location is important to your clients, as it will affect how they perceive your business. But what if you are in a non-central location that isn’t known for being a place of business – this may have a negative impact on your image. Coworking centres can be great, but they often do not have prestigious and professional business addresses. Whereas Telsec’s business centre is located in the Financial District, where we offer office rentals in Toronto.
Some coworking spaces offer a great place to work, but they are not set up to receive your business mail or courier deliveries. An office business centre not only gives you a prime business address, but the employees there can receive your mail and courier packages even when you are not physically present.
While your business matures, it makes sense to review your location periodically. As your growth progresses you may be better suited to a private office or a private team space. Unfortunately, these types of spaces are not normally offered by a coworking office.
If you start out at a coworking office and find yourself needing an upgrade, you will be presented with the challenge of moving your office to a new location. This will not only be costly and time-consuming but will cause confusion to your clients in terms of changing your business address.
If your business is in its early stages, choosing a coworking space inside a business centre will offer more flexibility when the time comes to upgrade. Since business centres offer a variety of office spaces, you can easily transition into a more private office space without needing to change your business address.
Amenities to Consider
There is a range of facilities that should be on your checklist when considering whether to put your business in a coworking space or a business centre. Whichever you choose, you want to make sure you have access to all of these amenities:
- On-site parking available free or nearby at a small fee for your visitors.
- A professional receptionist to greet your guests and direct them to your meeting.
- High-speed Wi-Fi for quick, uninterrupted internet usage.
- Phone and postal services.
- Meeting facilities in the form of bookable boardrooms and small meeting rooms.
- Access to a kitchen, with filtered water, tea and coffee-making equipment and a fridge and microwave oven.
- Modern, well maintained bathroom amenities that reflect the standard of your business environment.
Besides available amenities at your coworking or business centre, you might also want to learn what other services are available to you as a member or client. Often times, when a business is considering where they want to work, they forget about some of the services that they may need to be done on an a-la-carte basis. A shared office in a professional business centre will often offer things like secretarial services on demand, network printing, colour photocopiers, binding services, mail forwarding, live professional receptionist answering your business calls, video conferencing, VoIP telephones that allow you to receive and make calls when you are not in your office, as well as other concierge-style services that are not offered by stand-alone coworking centres.
Book a tour at Telsec Business Centre and see all the workspace solutions that are available for your business.