As times are changing and more ways of working are introduced, there comes some confusion surrounding the terminology of shared workspaces. There are different variants that people may use interchangeably, but knowing the real definition of all of them can allow everyone to visualize and understand the systems better.
Shared workspace, collaborative workspace, and shared office spaces
There are a few differences between shared workspaces, collaborative workspaces, and shared office spaces that are worth knowing. The more you are familiar with each term, the more you can figure out what is the best option for every situation.
A shared workspace (or coworking space) is a space that is shared by many people at different times. Often, many confuse shared office spaces with collaborative workspaces, which are workspaces that people use for the purpose of working together and collaborating. A shared workspace is made for the purpose of being used consistently. When one person is using it and leaves, the next can go ahead and come and use the space as they wish. They are usually spaces that are rented out for small startups, freelancers, or anyone else without a central office space.
A collaborative workspace is, as mentioned above, a workspace that people can come and share in order to work together on projects or simply to collaborate with each other. This can include many things such as shared common areas where people can brainstorm together, conference rooms, or even an event space where you can hold an event like a conference. anything.
A shared office space is similar to a shared workspace, only much bigger, for the purpose of holding many different companies together in one building where they can share the office space with each other. Shared office spaces also tend to have more amenities and features for the companies to use, but the price for them will also be higher than the regular shared workspace.
Benefits of each
There are plenty of benefits for each type of workspace. Each is different in its own right and has a different purpose and audience. To understand which type best fits your needs, it’s best to get the right idea of all and understand your audience and their needs.
- Great for individuals: Shared workspace or coworking spaces are great places for individuals. They will have the autonomy to come in whenever they feel like it and take advantage of everything they can and that’s at their disposal in order to get their work done and work productively.
- More freedom: In a shared workspace people will have more freedom to do whatever works best for them. They will be able to get a desk or a room and work however they prefer to, without the burden of having to work on company hours or terms.
- Less expensive: A shared workspace is a much cheaper option than renting out an office space. It is a great option for freelancers and anyone who may not have a dedicated workspace.
- Great for teams: Collaborative workspaces are fantastic for teams of people or groups and companies who want to work together in a space or area that fits those needs. People can meet in various areas and use all the amenities in order to achieve their team goals.
- Resources: Collaborative workspaces are great for teams that need a lot of resources at their disposal, such as conference rooms with TVs where they can meet and discuss in areas with many resources and amenities.
- An extra perk: Collaborative workspaces are great if a company doesn’t have a big office, to begin with but would still like to keep it and instead of expanding it, renting out a collaborative workspace with bigger rooms for designated meetings and projects.
Shared office space:
- Great for smaller companies: Shared office spaces are great for smaller companies such as startups who are too small to invest in an office space of their own but would like some more privacy than they would get at a coworking space.
- Cheaper than regular office spaces: If a company would still like their own office space, but doesn’t want to invest in a regular one, a shared office space is a great option, as they will still get all the perks and benefits of being in an office space, but at a lesser price.
- Amenities: Shared office spaces are bound to have higher quality technology or amenities, as most companies that will be there will require the best tech.
The importance of terminology
With all the different types of workspaces, it is important to understand the differences between all of them in order to have them be widely and properly used. Many people use shared workspaces, collaborative workspaces and shared office spaces interchangeably without actually knowing that they are different types of spaces.
In a world where the different types of shared workspaces are becoming more and more popular, it is crucial to understand and respect the definitions of each in order to legitimize them. This will add to the vast and evolving world of coworking and make create or spread awareness of the many possibilities for the working world, allowing people more choices.
Understanding and setting certain terminology for the many types of work spaces also allows for a clearer view across industries, which translates to more individuals and companies knowing what they are looking for, and for more spaces knowing what exactly to offer.
While a shared workspace may be the general term most people use, there are actually other terms that fall under that category. It is important to understand the difference between shared workspace, collaborative workspace, and shared office space in order to understand the needs of the members of your space.