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The Differences Between Co-working and Serviced Offices and the Misunderstanding in the Marketplace
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You may relish the days of casual coffee meetings in bustling metropolitan cafés, yet there comes a time in every business’s life that demands a professional space. Enter co-working & serviced offices. In less than a day, you can pick up your MacBook Pro and plug it into the wall of a fully furnished office space right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Whether you’re a small creative team looking for a co-working hot-spot, or an established company in search of an executive suite, quality serviced office spaces offer tailored solutions that nurture a wholly dynamic work experience. In this article, we explain the difference between co-working and serviced offices, and debunk the most common misconceptions about them in the marketplace.

“…there comes a time in every business’s life that demands a professional space.”

So when do you know it’s the right time to take the leap from home-grown to professionally-known? The tell-tale sign is usually productivity, or lack thereof. Ask yourself, “Is my business reaching its maximum potential in my current space?” If the answer is no, don’t rest on your laurels, stay focussed on growing your business and challenge your competitors with a professional working environment. A designated place to conduct business will also establish:

  • Face-to-face consolidation with both clients and co-workers
  • Increased team rapport
  • Increased workflow due to more efficient management, and
  • Stronger relationships with clients

“So what’s the difference between co-working and serviced offices?”

A serviced office or executive suite is a fully-furnished office space which houses small to medium corporate businesses, equipped with a wide range of 21st century office essentials such as telephone access, Internet, mail services, printers and the like. You might consider a serviced office if your primary goal is to increase productivity in a distraction-free space which simultaneously grants face-to-face consolidation when necessary. There are a number of serviced office spaces available across Melbourne, however, seldom will you chance upon a location as convenient as Collins Street Business Centre, located along Melbourne’s tree-lined hub of corporate affairs. This ‘top-end’ product in the serviced office market caters for small to medium businesses with a range of bespoke office spaces and regular networking events, allowing businesses from varying industries to pitch their services to neighbouring companies. The concept, as CEO Michael Benson states, is “share what you want to share”.

“But my colleague told me serviced offices were a waste of money…?”

There are indeed a number of preconceptions that exist about the value of serviced offices. For example, many believe serviced offices are unprofessional in appearance and quality, limited in accessibility, and fail to build corporate identity. On the contrary, Melbourne’s premier serviced offices are built with style and sophistication in mind, featuring modern furnishings, and state-of-the-art technology. What’s more, Melbourne’s best service centres have unlimited access to their spaces and facilities, with the added benefit of high grade security systems so your productivity isn’t deterred by feelings of unsafety.

“Sounds good, but I need something a little more social that caters for my small creative team”

Consider co-working spaces. These bespoke offices are the traditional go-to for small creative teams, techie entrepreneurs and freelancers who require a designated work space that increases productivity, whilst simultaneously demanding a creative atmosphere that facilitates the cross-pollination of ideas. For some, the most attractive feature of co-working spaces is that they are incredibly flexible, allowing you to rent only as long as you need to. For others, the physical design of the space is the most important aspect. Co-working offices are designed with dynamism in mind, tailoring layouts to suit a high-energy atmosphere. Many modern business centres in Melbourne employ architects to designs their spaces to reflect the city’s contemporary-meets-cool aesthetic, creating a setting that encourages the free-flow of ideas.

“Can’t I do that at Starbucks?”

This is a common misconception about co-working spaces – but unless your corner coffee shop houses an entire network of creators on a daily basis, or printing/ scanning capabilities next to the sugar station, then allow us to debunk this myth here and now. With this theory comes the notion that co-working spaces are also too noisy, and therefore too distracting. However, many, if not all, co-working spaces offer segmented ‘zones’ that facilitate a quiet working experience, such as phone booths, chat rooms, or simply, designated quiet areas. Lastly, co-working spaces have a reputation as a turnstile for start-ups. However, you might be surprised to discover established businesses such as architect firms, real estate agents, renowned bloggers and even law firms conducting business in this environment; the benefits don’t exclusively apply to the independent workforce, freelancers and small business.

With the rise of flexible business sectors, business centres in Melbourne are moving from strength-to-strength. Lease your own instant office in a co-working space, serviced office or executive suite for an inexpensive solution to establishing a productive work environment.

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