Is hot-desking the future for small business?

funky office

As a regular commuter to London I often find myself searching for somewhere to work between meetings. Thankfully the rise of hot-desking means I no longer have to wield my laptop across the coffee stained tables of Starbucks ever again.

There are now shared workspaces springing up at business centres all over the capital – and in all our major cities. Here are a few of their best features:

Stylish: Firstly, they look great. Some of the major office providers have invested serious money making their business lounges look and feel fantastic. Research has shown that a modern stylish business environment can really boost productivity so they get a huge tick from me on this one.

Location: Providers have been careful to build their shared spaces close to transport hubs making them easily accessible for business commuters.

Networking: Sharing workspace is a great way to make new business contacts. Many have excellent meetings facilities as well so it’s even possible to entertain clients – all without the costly overheads fixed offices bring.

Service: The best shared spaces offer excellent service from well trained staff who are willing to lend a hand with everything from photocopying to a lunch order.

Convenience: There’s zero hassle. Simply plug-in the laptop and you’re ready to start work in the matter of just a few minutes.

Private work space: Hot desks are generally designed for working collaboratively but the centres also offer cleverly designed alcoves for those seeking extra privacy.

Affordable: I’ve saved the best until last. This is probably the biggest plus of all especially for cash strapped start-ups. Shared spaces don’t require hefty up-front fees and lengthy contracts. Instead costs are arranged very similar to the gym model allowing users to buy varying levels of membership depending on how frequently they need access.

Serviced office providers are changing their business model and the small units they used to offer for one and two man businesses are quickly disappearing. Instead they are being replaced with smart shared work spaces which offer great benefits to users.

The gym payment model – with users paying a monthly subscription for an agreed amount of use – also makes great business sense for providers as they are able to sell a finite amount of space to a large number of users.

I’m convinced shared space is the future for small UK businesses and use it for my own business.