Any profit-making business looks for ways to cut down its costs, and especially those overhead costs. Rent is one particular overhead cost that has always being difficult to bring down without compromising on the image of the company, the comfort and safety of the staff, as well as the safety of your business equipment. As a result, companies have had to look elsewhere to find ways to reduce their overheads. Well, not any more.
It can be done!
Companies and individuals are increasingly adopting the idea of paying for office space if and when needed, rather than as a permanent overhead expense. One such way of doing this has been dubbed co-working. This is a different kind of office formatting where two or more companies share one working space and use them whenever the need arises.
The concept of co-working is not necessarily a new one. All over the world, freelancers, independent contractors, work-at-home professionals, as well as firms and companies, have found the concept of co-working beneficial financially as well as helping to build communities and mutually beneficial partnerships.
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A growing trend
In Singapore, co-working has certainly been gaining a lot of popularity in the past couple of years. There are currently more than 20 providers of this service including companies like Work Central, The Hub and The Co. These companies provide the collaborative work areas for either companies or individuals; this has the advantage of helping the companies avoid long-term lease while keeping their overheads low.
SLP International, a property research firm, estimates that this trend will continue to grow. There are new offices being constructed around the city fringe that could work as excellent co-working spaces, especially for start-ups that have a limited budget and a higher failure risk. Being in the city fringe also means that the rents will be cheaper than if the offices were located in the CBD.
As of last month, Work Central registered ten members who are part of its various co-working spaces. The company notes the added advantages of collaborative opportunities created by having different businesses and individuals sharing the same space. While the different member companies may not be in the same industry, there could be services that one could offer to the other. This can be quite convenient since all you have to do to get the service, is simply walk over to the specific company’s desk and ask for it. This reduces on time used finding a service provider and arranging meetings, and so boosts outputs for both businesses.