Coworking - Not a One Size Fits All Business Model

Coworking - Not a One Size Fits All Business Model

Your definitive guide to all the Coworking and Serviced Offices in the UK

What started as a trickle during the dotcom craze in the late 90s and a trend in the 2010s has grown exponentially in the past decade. With entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes starting to ditch traditional offices post-pandemic, coworking spaces have started to gain traction. Every year, they draw more and more attention from individuals and big corporations alike. Although initially attracting millennials almost exclusively, serviced office providers have expanded their horizons and started catering to companies from a multitude of industries and sizes.

Most serviced office operators share the same basic concept. They offer communal areas, meeting rooms, mail handling, free activities, flexible working conditions, and more. However, some provide additional benefits for specific niches. Imagine attending your daily status meeting in the morning, squeezing in a quick yoga session before lunch, answering some business emails, and ending your day with an industry workshop, all under the same roof! ‌

Whether you're a freelancer or own a 500+ person organisation, there's a shared workspace conceived and designed to fit your specific business needs.

Pretty much anything is fair game — from hourly hot desks at multiple locations across the country to dedicated private spaces and full floors with your own private meeting and event spaces. And if what you need is a more versatile setting, hospitality venues are also adapting their spaces for coworking. ‌

Regardless of your needs, coworking is definitely not a one-size-fits-all business model.

Nowadays, you can certainly find an alternative that works for you and your team. While some offer vibrant, loud, and joyful settings for the social butterflies, other operators offer some much-needed isolation for those who perform better in calm, quiet spaces. You can find it all — from spaces with a basic setting to one-of-kind layouts in unique and unexpected locations.

If you're looking for the best choice to finally dump the lease and take the plunge into a more flexible option, this comprehensive guide will help shed some light on the type of space options available today.

Global Powerhouses

Global Powerhouses

In recent years, the coworking community has grown more than ever. Sharing an office provides many unparalleled benefits. Today, companies like Regus and WeWork are often the first ones that come to mind when talking about serviced workspaces. ‌ These spaces can be an excellent alternative for local entrepreneurs, freelancers, and more. They are also the perfect match for those corporations that do business in multiple cities in every corner of the world. Their clients enjoy the many perks of networking within a global business community. That said, let's break down what these intercontinental workplaces bring to the table. ‌

Regus

As of 2021, Regus has over 3,000 locations worldwide. Regus provides professional support, high-speed WiFi, use of the business address, and mail handling. Their memberships also include utilities, maintenance, cleaning, common areas, meeting rooms, and unlimited access to their global network. Their prices start at £50 per month. ‌

WeWork

With over 800 locations, this coworking company offers a modern approach to the shared space concept. Founded in 2010, WeWork is a born-and-raised New Yorker that's revolutionized the industry in its short life. This coworking alternative offers a laidback workspace to a mostly millennial audience. While they provide an on-demand plan for only £34, their standard membership starts at £200. ‌

National Chains

Like their global counterparts, the national coworking and serviced office operators such as Work.Life and Landmark provide a rank of options for businesses with a UK only business focus. Suppose your company's workforce is scattered all over London or at several locations within the UK. In that case, these national players will allow you — or any large corporation — to unify your business using a single workspace provider. In the long run, this simple decision will save you time and money. ‌ You and your employees will be able to choose the most convenient location for each member or group and even gather at the same spot for special events. With that in mind, here's what companies like Work.Life and Landmark have to offer. ‌

Work.Life

Work.Life values the importance of both personal and professional growth. They offer different exciting activities to keep you motivated each day of the week. They also regularly host wellness events and industry workshops. As for prices, their on-the-go plan starts at a whopping £4 +VAT per hour. ‌

Landmark

With locations all across the UK, this company promises office spaces where work doesn't feel as such. Landmark's monthly packages range from £50 to £250. Those prices include fully furnished rooms, access to common areas, high-speed WiFi, unlimited tea and coffee, bike storage, and even shower facilities. ‌

Incubators/Accelerators

Incubators

Business incubators and business accelerators offer mentorship and guidance to startups and small companies to promote their growth. They provide various forms of support during critical developmental stages in a business. ‌ Business accelerators exponentiate the expansion factor of companies that are past the startup phase. They help entrepreneurs hit the ground running and accelerate their growth. Business incubators, on the other hand, help germinate startups from scratch. They nurture them and look after them so that they can develop organically. ‌ Incubator/accelerator coworking spaces are perfect for small businesses and startups to thrive. Check out some of the many perks the following options provide for their clients. ‌

Codebase

If you're serious about growing your startup, coworking at Codebase is a great place to start. They have over 21 locations and have been helping entrepreneurs reach their goals since 2014. Codebase offers mentoring, professional advice, and funding options to those who need it the most. Their monthly packages start at £50. ‌

The Assembly

The Assembly offers a relaxed workspace that's — in their own words — in the heart of the action. Besides free sweets and more than the recommended daily caffeine dose, this shared workspace offers all you need to reach your full potential. Their virtual office rates start at £30, while their physical desks range from £10 a day to £180 a month. ‌

Tramshed Tech

When starting your own company, you need as much support as you can get. That's where Tramshed Tech comes in. This startup-specialized coworking space wants you to be the best version of yourself. They offer plans to cover every budgetary need, from Flexi Desk at £20 per day to Full Time at £250 per month. These fees include desk space, high-speed WiFi, community events, and more. ‌

Launch It

Launch It has several locations all over London and works with sister organizations across the UK. If you're under 30 years old and have a brilliant business idea, Launch It will help you develop it. They provide expert advice, training workshops and safe coworking spaces for free. All they ask in return is that you spread the word and contribute to the community.‌ ‌

Educational Operators

Educational Operators

Some shared office spaces offer so much more than just a place to work. Some even help you grow your skills and advance in your career path. Don't miss out on all the opportunities an educational coworking pad can give you. ‌

Galvanize

Through active educational programs, Galvanize has helped over 8,000 alumni reach their career goals. Some of them have even moved on to work at companies like Google, Amazon, Tesla, and more. This coworking company offers a remote alternative for virtual coworking. All of their members receive the flexibility they need to succeed in a tech ecosystem. If you're not sold yet, take advantage of their free one-week trial. ‌

Industry-Specific Operators

What better way to thrive in your career path than working and collaborating with people in your industry? Before, you would only have been able to do so by working in big corporate offices. Nowadays, you can get the same experience — if not better— from a shared office space. ‌

Tech

‌An industry-specific workspace is an excellent place to collaborate and exchange ideas with like-minded people. If you're a Data Scientist, Software Developer, Sales Engineer, IT Manager, or have any type of STEM background, Space4 might just be perfect for you. Space4 is an affordable option for technology activists and social innovators. They offer a free trial, and their prices go from £20 +VAT per day to £1,500 +VAT per month. ‌

Training

Professional training is often focused on developing business skills. If you'd like to learn more about media and the creative industry, here's a potential shared workspace for you. Since 1999, CreativeWorks has provided all members with unique tools to reach their professional goals. Their plans start at £70 +VAT per month and they offer a free one-week trial and 10% off your first three months. ‌

Creators

You deserve a coworking setting that encourages your creativity. Designers, Animators, Software Developers, Interior Designers, Photographers, Filmmakers, Architects, Illustrators, and more, are welcome in this serviced office space. One such option for creators is Duke Studios. Since 2011, it has been an inclusive and empowering community for all sorts of creators. Their mission is to nurture talent and encourage collaboration and networking among like-minded individuals. Their prices start at £130 per month. ‌

Space-as-a-Service / Managed Landlord Agreement

Space as a Service (SPaaS) is a relatively new business model that allows property owners and landlords to reclaim spare spaces, turning them into totally functional coworking locations. But rather than going it alone, they team up with professions like Orega, Citibase & Bruntwood to build out the spaces. ‌ SPaaS is taking the real estate industry by storm. They're finding more ingenious uses for privately-owned properties. Landlords gain a foothold into the growing coworking space without having to go it alone. Have a look at the shared workspace alternatives that are breaking the norm. ‌

Orega

This SPaaS option allows you to have a coworking space that feels a little bit more like your own. Orega frees you from all the inconveniences associated with looking for a full-time lease. The prices for their serviced offices vary depending on the desired location. For example, a London workspace can cost up to £375 per month. ‌

Citibase

The motto of this company is "freedom at work." That's why they offer flexible short-term agreements that suit their customers' needs. Working with them, all you'll ever need to worry about is running your business. Citibase has a nifty office-finder tool on their site. Prices and fees vary from one location to another. ‌

Bruntwood

This real estate business is focused on building a community and helping its customers grow. Aside from offering superb workspace alternatives, they also go the extra mile by hosting workshops and exclusive industry events. Bruntwood prides themselves on their sustainable practices and their cultural vibrancy. Their membership fees vary, some starting as low as £95 per month. ‌

The Office Group

Space design can make or break your SPaaS shared office experience. The Office Group strives to create unique professional spaces to fit their clients' specific requirements. Their prices for coworking options range from £125 to £600 a month. ‌

Real Estate Companies

It’s not just landlords who see value in coworking these days. Recently, global property management company, Newmark jumped headfirst into the coworking space taking a controlling interest in US based Knotel.

Knotel has been around since 2015. Since then, they have provided tailor-made office spaces for businesses of all sorts. This innovative platform hit a wall during the COVID-19 crisis. However, Newmark acquired the company earlier this year. Thanks to this, Knotel keeps offering flexible arrangements that give their customers peace of mind. ‌

Boutique Providers

The concept of "boutique as a business" offers several advantages that the bigger corporate options often don't bring to the table. By providing specialised services for a particular niche, the smaller coworking businesses are giving chains a run for their money. ‌ Boutique providers are more flexible and affordable than chains and franchises. Besides, they make you feel like you're part of a whole and give you a more personalised experience. They go the extra mile to stand out from the fierce competition in the coworking industry. Here are some shared workspace businesses that are killing it. ‌

The Ministry

If you're looking to find the perfect work-life balance, The Ministry might interest you. They're lightyears ahead of the old-school coworking options. Not only do they offer beautiful serviced offices, but a gym, bar, café, terrace, cinema, sound studio, and events space are all part of the package. The £70 per month membership fee only makes this cool pad that much more attractive. ‌

Hotel Elephant

Becoming part of an ever-growing creative community comes easy when working at Hotel Elephant. In 2016 they created Spare Street, an Enterprise hub with a unique concept. Hotel Elephant features 24 coworking spaces and fuels their customers every day with unlimited barista coffee. They promise a creative and relaxed work environment with affordable prices. ‌

Franchises

Like many food and service-based industries, the franchise model has found a home in coworking. For those entrepreneurs looking to break into the serviced office space without having to start from scratch, the option to buy a franchise license, complete with the brand, fit-out, real estate services and processes ready to go is a growing option. Here are just a few of the options to buy a shared workspace franchise. ‌

VentureX

According to CNBC, this company is the fastest-growing coworking company in America. They make owning a serviced office space a lot easier than it looks. VentureX provides their customers with the tools they need to become business owners in this promising niche market. Their packages include market research, floor plan design, lease negotiation, cost analysis, and more. ‌

Office Evolution

This entrepreneurial coworking company treats their customers like they are part of the team. Office Evolution aids those who want to make their stake in the coworking industry. Moreover, they set them up for success with incredible business insights. Their coworking spaces are simple and efficient with fair pricing. ‌

BeeHive

Founded in Bangalore, India, this innovative PropTech company offers functional coworking spaces and a startup program. BeeHive has vast real estate expertise. They give their customers professional training and let them invest in real estate property as part of the BeeHive community. Their entrepreneurial boot camp is a steal at only £24 per month. ‌

Hotels/Cafes/Restaurants

The coworking community is starting to work hand-in-hand with the hospitality industry. These days, it's more and more common to see hotels, cafes, and restaurants double as shared workspaces. ‌ All hospitality venues have rush hours followed by some dead time. With the coworking boom, the service industry has found a way to maximise the use of their space when things get slow. These are only some examples. ‌

The Hoxton Hotel

Even before coworking spaces became hip, people were taking their personal computers into hotel lobbies and cafeterias. The Hoxton Hotel just decided to make it much more comfortable for their guests. They created a membership for locals and digital nomads that require a nice spot to take care of business. Their prices start from £30 per day. ‌

Workspott

This company doesn't offer its own facilities. Instead, they provide access to numerous drop-in locations across London. For only £139 a month, Workspott matches you with one of their partners, depending on your location. Some other perks are free WiFi, menu discounts, coaching, and weekly personal development sessions. ‌

Spacemize @Mamounia Lounge

Much like Workspott, Spacemize allows you to reserve your ideal shared workspace from their platform. And now they've partnered with the Mamounia Lounge in London to give their many clients a one-of-a-kind shared space experience. The complimentary tea and coffee and the 40% discount on menu items are just some of the many perks they offer. You can sign up for £19.99 a month. ‌

Corporate

These days, coworking spaces can be where you least expect them. In fact, companies from a myriad of different backgrounds are getting on board with the trend as it grows. They are coming up with their own shared workplace locations and offering their services to startups and freelancers along with other industry-specific niches.

Primarily thought to be for startups, Google Campus can actually hold small to medium teams in their facilities. They provide mentorship and immersion programs to allow all members to thrive in their particular field. Google Campus currently offers two types of memberships with unlimited access to their exclusive industry events. ‌

Family Friendly

Unlike many traditional office settings, many coworking companies provide flexibility for parents. Now, mom and dad can focus on their business for a few hours knowing their kids are in excellent hands. ‌ One coworking alternative in North America offers child care and early learning for all members. The service has flexible schedules that somewhat adapt to regular business hours. All KidcoWork Kids and Company centres take infants and school-aged children up to six years old. ‌

Councils/Government

Some governmental entities across the UK are starting to give shared office spaces the credit they deserve. That's why they are funding coworking programs for local entrepreneurs and freelance workers to have a safe space to perform business. ‌ Thanks to the Scottish Library and Information Council, several communities now have proper coworking sites that cater to startups and freelancers. For as low as £35 a month, the Scottish Coworking Network provides you with desk space and a flexible subscription.

Top Coworking Locations

Finding the right coworking location is easy with Rubberdesk. Start your search today.

The Future of Coworking is Now!

In recent years, there's been a significant spike in demand for coworking spaces. However, the pandemic restrictions have strained our relationship with public spaces. Although rules might look somewhat different for operators and landlords moving forward, eventually, things will settle, and we'll go back to our shared offices. ‌ Did you know any business with unused office space can set up their own coworking site? Rubberdesk’s marketplace is an excellent tool to advertise your spare offices. Listing your property on our site is entirely free. We want you to succeed, so we'll refer you to potential tenants and won't take any money from you until you get paid.

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