The rise of co-working offices

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Co-working office spaces provide affordable, short-term working space targeted at freelancers, contractors and start-ups who do not want the commitment of a long-term tenancy agreement. They are called co-working environments because workers from several different organisations work side by side in the same room.

A report by Global Property Securities, published at this month, said that 20% of all office leases in Central London are for co-working spaces. Global predicts that by 2030, 30% of office spaces could be using the co-working model.

These figures still mean that the majority of office space will not be using the co-working space in the near future, but because it is a growing trend, landlords should consider converting their office building to co-working spaces.

Conversion does not have to be expensive. People attracted to the co-working model want desk space and shared facilities such as a receptionist, refreshment areas and lounges. Additional facilities such as gyms and sleep pods can make a co-working space more attractive to workers.

Co-working offices can add extra costs, since co-workers often need 24-hour access and heating and lighting costs can therefore be higher. There are added administration costs involved in dealing with lots of clients rather than one large corporate one. As leases are short, this could affect the valuation of the building when applying for a commercial mortgage.

If a landlord does not want to take on the day-to-day running of a co-working space, there are companies such as WeWork that will lease office buildings for them to set up co-working spaces.

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