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The traditional perception is that those who rent co-working space are often new start-ups with staff strength of 2-4 people or millennials working on flexible hours, looking at shared office space to work alongside likeminded people. The third category was multinational companies who have special projects for 6 months and didn’t want to commit to rent offices on a standard 3 year contract.

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The traditional perception is that those who rent co-working space are often new start-ups with staff strength of 2-4 people or millennials working on flexible hours, looking at shared office space to work alongside likeminded people. The third category was multinational companies who have special projects for 6 months and didn’t want to commit to rent offices on a standard 3 year contract.

Well that much is true but it does seem the co-working concept is gaining traction with larger conventional office space users, for a variety of reasons. In some cases the difference between serviced offices for rent and self-contained co-working space is quite a grey area.

Examples of larger companies moving to rent serviced offices include, Indeed Singapore, which leased a whole floor at Beach Centre through WeWork, US design firm Wilson Associates which leased 10,000 sq ft with JustCo in Marina Square and Walton International took significant space in Manulife Tower through WeWork. The attraction of renting serviced offices for them is they have the flexibility to upsize or downsize at any time and the capital expenditure of fitting out/ reinstating offices is avoided.

Case Study

At first glance, paying the equivalent of $17.00 per sq ft for a dedicated unit in a co-work center sounds astronomical. However, if you look closer at the details you will find some surprises. For starters, who would have thought you could possibly get 30 desks into a 1,750 sq ft unit. Below is a floor plan of such a unit we negotiated for one of our clients recently. Not only did this small unit have room for 30 desks but there was even room to include 3 custom telephone booths, allowing for privacy during skype calls. As a general rule of thumb, traditional office space ratio is around 120 sq ft per person, so this client would normally have required nearly 4,000 sq ft in conventional office space for a 30 staff head count.

$400 - $500 per month
Average cost of a hot desk

$700 - $950 per month.
Average cost of a dedicated desk

12-24 Months
Typical lease term

Outlined below are the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages
1. Cost Savings in capital expenditure – furnished offices for rent.
2. Avoid rent on shared facilities reception, pantry, reception, phone booths and circulation area.
3. Only pay for meeting rooms when needed.
4. Members can use other international centres.


Disadvantages
1. The extra add-on costs can accumulate.
2. Lack of exclusivity / privacy.
3. Need to book busy meeting rooms well in advance.
4. Will the style suit your company culture/ image.
5. Social distancing will be more challenging.

Summary of Typical Costs

Meeting Rooms Per hour Per half Day Per hour
Meeting room 6 people $60 $180 $360
Meeting room 8 people $80 $240 $480
Boardroom 10-20 people $100 $300 $600
Seminar room up to 20 people $140 $420 840
Event Space up to 80 people $350
Video conference Room $240
 
Other Services
Secretarial Service $10/10 mins
Photocopying/printing by page $0.25 BW. $1.00 Color
Scan to email per page $2.00
Internet Static IP $90 per month
Private Internet / phone $180 per month
Additional set of workstations $350 per month
Company Signage/Listing $180 one off
Lockers $60 per month
Co Working Space Sample Floor plan

Sample floor plan

1,750 sq ft unit
30 desks