Wed Apr 19 2023
As businesses around the globe have made a shift from traditional offices to hybrid work models, flexible workspace solutions such as serviced offices and shared office spaces are becoming popular alternatives. This is no exception for Hong Kong, where many companies are selecting either serviced offices or shared offices across the city, from Kowloon to Hong Kong island.
Although the two appear to be very similar, they do have their differences, and along with that different benefits, pros, and cons. If you're wondering which office space model best fits your bill, read on to understand the key differences between serviced and shared offices before making your decision.
Serviced offices are fully-equipped spaces that are ready for businesses to move in and start using right away. They come all-inclusive of the necessary workplace facilities such as desks, high-speed internet, printing service, meeting rooms, and other utilities such as IT support and reception services.
Shared offices are any type of office space occupied by more than one company in any shape or form. This can include companies working in different private offices, open-plan offices with dedicated desks or hot desks, meeting rooms, or other office setups. They typically come with a range of workplace amenities and business support, but the extent of these offerings can vary from space to space.
A major difference between these flexible workspace solutions is the pricing structure. Serviced offices are usually the more expensive option, given they come ready-to-use with all the essential equipment and facilities in place that are included in the rental fee. On the other hand, shared office spaces can be more affordable as potential tenants will have more options to choose from depending on their specific workspace needs - for example, only paying for a dedicated desk or a hot desk.
Because of the polished, all-inclusive nature of serviced office providers, businesses can usually expect to be bound to longer, fixed leasing terms to ensure optimal usage of the space. Although shared offices may offer some options for longer-term leases, particularly for private office setups, there tends to be more room for flexibility in the form of monthly or even weekly contracts.
The amenities available in a serviced office will typically be more upscale than those in a shared office because they are designed to give off a very professional, refined atmosphere. Tenants can expect receptionist services, fully-equipped meeting rooms, conference rooms or boardrooms, kitchen or pantry areas, cleaning services, technical and admin support, along with all the usual necessities such as printing and WiFi.
Shared offices have been steadily developing in terms of their offerings with membership plans that may include some of the facilities mentioned above, but these services might be slightly more basic or less attentive as they need to be shared amongst a range of companies. However, one of the main benefits of shared workspace environments is the regular opportunity to network and collaborate with other members of the community.
An office that is privately leased offers more room for personal customisation, where the serviced office provider is usually able to accommodate requests such as installing additional partitions or desks if desired. It may be more difficult to personalise a shared workspace rental, where the overall design and layout is already decided.
Lastly, those who select serviced offices can expect to enjoy more privacy than within a shared office. This is self-explanatory, where individual offices should come with a lockable door, a set of soundproof walls, or even private meeting rooms.
Due to a shared office's open-plan layout, businesses typically work in close proximity to one another. Private areas also might not be as well-insulated against sound, which make it easy to overhear other people's conversations or phone calls.
The biggest pros of a serviced office are their readiness for businesses to move in and get started right away, along with their administrative support services and additional facilities included in the pricing. However, the higher cost and lack of flexibility in leasing terms may be a drawback for some businesses.
In contrast, a shared workspace rental can offer a more affordable solution for businesses with many options available depending on specific needs. These flexible workspace providers may also be more attractive for companies looking to network and make new connections. Yet, lack of privacy and limited office or desk customisation options might be two main drawbacks.
Hopefully now you feel more informed to start your search for the perfect workspace solution in Hong Kong. Whether you are looking for a shared office in Tsim Sha Tsui, a coworking space in Admiralty, or a virtual office in Kowloon, FlexFinder is here to help. Contact us today to get started.