The idea of co-working office appeared 10 years ago. It is assumed that the first office of this type was opened in 2005 in San Francisco. According to data of desmag.com – a service engaged in the subject of co-working, ca. 3 thousand people were working in almost 6 thousand co-working offices located all over the world at the end of last year. The phenomenon of co-working is quite new in Poland, however, there are a lot of companies on the native market which offer a possibility of renting a desk.
Co-working – what is it?
In short, co-working means sharing one office room with other people, however, a certain person rents only a desk intended for work on a specified period of time and not the whole room. This solution is mainly used by freelancers who do not want to work at home or by beginner entrepreneurs who start their enterprises with own business activities. In case of fledgling owners of companies, the renting of a desk for hours instead of the whole office room allows to limit the costs at the beginning stage of their business activity. Additionally, such solutions provide a place to work and establishment of business relations with other tenants, gaining some connections and they may constitute the beginning of joint business projects.
How does the offer look like?
There are many active companies in the area of co-working on the Polish market. The analysis of offers concerning offices for rent in Cracow, Warsaw, Wrocław and Poznań shows that potential tenants has hour, monthly and daily subscription packages at their disposal. For instance, a monthly subscription for renting an office in case of the market in Cracow oscillates between 350 zlotys and 600 zlotys net. The prices offered by Warsaw companies are quite different in comparison to Cracow – from 450 zlotys to 700 zlotys net. In the last two cities, that is Wrocław and Poznań, one month of benefitting from a mentioned service amounts to respectively 450-753 zlotys net and 299-450 zlotys net – the great majority of analyzed offers included a certain limit of visits in the office. The great variances in the area of monthly subscriptions mainly result from differences concerning a settled frequency of visits within a subscription and package of additional services. The cheapest offer of a company from Poznań for 299 zlotys net includes an address to a company’s registration, unlimited access to rented places, office service, the Internet, receive of correspondence and two free hours of using a conference hall. The most expensive offer for 754 zlotys per month includes: three days within a week for working in an office, access to the Internet, printer and expert consultancy, however, it is particularly aimed at parents and child care is provided within this option.
A potential tenant has a possibility of using office devices (scanner, printer, photocopier), kitchenette, and – depending on an offer – hourly unlimited or limited access to a conference hall within a letting of a desk. It is 50 per cent discount concerning using that room in one of the surveyed cases. However, there is no specified target group in the area of provided services in most offers. The exception is one the Wrocław companies which divided offered packages due to receiver of a certain service, i.a. freelancers, copywriters and beginner companies. The other entity which functions on the Wrocław market dedicates their services for parents.
Diversification of services
Apart from an offer in the area of desk for rent, the co-working companies also offer a wide range of other services which include training/conference rooms, virtual office, that is an address for registration of business activity or correspondence, accounting, law, advisory and secretary services. Besides letting of a co-working desk, one of the Warsaw companies offers AdWords campaigns and creating as well as hosting of websites. Diversification of the offer in the area of delivered services enables a complex service of i.a. clients in the area of their business activity. Moreover, the important issue is location of an office because, for instance, a great distance to the city center or long time of commuting may effectively discourage a potential client.
A good start
There are many benefits of such a solution. First and foremost, the companies entering the market do not have to rent costly office area at the stage of their business development. The founders are not also forced to work at home which may be sometimes a problem for people who start their own business activity. A sudden detachment from people and lonely work may be a great disadvantage for a new enterprise.