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Are sublet offices or shared office spaces better for your business?

The concept of agile workspaces has gradually infiltrated the world of work, with the recent global shift into remote working accelerating the movement towards more flexible working arrangements. Workspace transformation has accelerated at a rate of knots, challenging the traditional notion of the office, with 94% of ANZ businesses already having a strategy in place. The pandemic has forced businesses to recalibrate their working environment – with cost, mobility, flexibility and collaboration at the core of their endeavour.

That said, many businesses are caught in a quandary between the two solutions on their radars: shared office spaces and sublet offices. Before diving into a plan of action, understanding the key differences between the two is imperative.

Sublet offices vs shared office spaces

A sublet office refers to a portion of a commercial workspace owned by an existing company. The workspace – be it an entire floor or an unused portion – is subleased to a secondary party, with the freeholder’s full consent.

Unlike traditional leasing, you get to pay for only what you need with subleasing. Therefore, businesses ride on the wave in hopes to cut down on operational expenses.

However, despite its merits, subleasing comes with a fair amount of drawbacks, complexities and risks. These include:

  • Risk of sublessor default: The most significant downside that needs to be addressed is the possibility of your sublessor defaulting or breaching the terms of the original lease, also known as the master lease. When this occurs, you will likely lose immediate access and all lawful rights to the premises. In today’s volatile climate, this would only further disrupt your business when not tackled at the onset.
  • Unfavourable lease terms: When subleasing, negotiating a sweet deal does not come easy. If the sublessor has agreed to less than favourable terms with their landlord such as ‘no access to End-of-Trip (EoT) facilities’ or ‘cleaning of common areas is excluded’, chances are – these will be reflected in your lease terms as well.
  • Limitations in workspace customisation: Having to share a space including bathrooms, kitchens and other areas with an existing tenant also means that the level of flexibility – in terms of space customisation and design – needs to be compromised. With sublet offices, there is less room when it comes to tailoring your space to meet your unique brand and business needs.
  • Maintenance delays: Without direct access to the landlord, you will have to raise an alert through your sublessor should you face issues with facilities, such as air conditioner and lighting of sorts. This comes with a likelihood of your sublessor not acting in proportion to the urgency – if act at all. Not only will this cause inconvenience to your daily operations, but it will also result in productivity slowdown.

That said, it appears that subleasing isn’t always the best option for companies looking for a long-term solution.

Here’s where shared office spaces come in. By that, we mean – coworking.

Defined as membership-based workspaces, coworking allows organisations, solopreneurs and freelancers across the country to assemble in a shared space and work independently or collaboratively. They are designed to provide a productive environment, just like a traditional office, but without the corporate constraints and rigidity of one. Beyond its open and no-barrier culture, there is a lot more value to coworking.

1. A cost-effective solution

Absorbing your operational costs at an easy-on-the-pocket monthly fee without having to give up any forthright capital expenses, coworking is an extremely financially-savvy and hassle-free proposition for businesses and individuals. For teams with less than 30 members – believe it or not – coworking spaces are  60% to 70% more cost-effective, as compared to its long-established counterpart.

What your employees gain is access to a host of shared amenities including meeting rooms, event spaces, breakout areas, telephone booths, plus onsite business, reception and IT support, whenever needed. All these, while still providing you with the option to upgrade to a dedicated studio.

If privacy is a concern, all JustCo serviced offices accommodate swipe card access, company branding, high-density office partitions, and dedicated receptions, offering you the degree of seclusion you need.

2. Rendering flexibility

Synonymous with flexible space, coworking promises flexibility in lease terms, office size and locations. Your employees are not bound to a location and will receive access to all five locations in Australia, and more than 40 centres across the Asia-Pacific.

3. Stabilise your outgoings & boost bottom-line growth

When you rent a sublet office, you will have to pay for general expenses such as water, electricity bills, office furniture and internet connection. These are non-negotiable necessities for business operation – so doing without them isn’t an option.

By leveraging a coworking space, all utilities are included in your monthly membership fee, so you can utilise the savings on other aspects of your business. On top of that, rolling all monthly outgoings into one membership fee helps businesses to plan budgets more effectively and stabilise monthly expenditure.

JustCo offices also come fully-furnished and move-in ready with ergonomic office furniture and modern facilities that are sure to impress your clientele.

4. Opportunities for networking

Regardless of the sector you are in, the success of a business is largely attributed to its investment in relationships. A powerful network is equivalent to powerful opportunities. Sublet offices cannot offer the same opportunities for forging connections that coworking spaces are renowned for. With breakout and entertainment areas for respite as well as curated business or social events, the opportunities for interaction with the like-minded are virtually endless.

Up until now, it is clear that coworking is shaping the way tomorrow’s workforce will operate. To reinvent your workspace or not, the ball is in your court.

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