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Sharing an Office with Friends: The New Kind of Co-Working

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A new kind of co-working is popping up, small business owners who need an office outside of their house but don't want to go at it alone. From bloggers like this "Moffice" (mom office) to freelancers and small business owners-most people don't want to work alone. Co-working has been around for a while but usually that means you go to a shared space like Sandbox Suites VS. actually setting up an office space that is for you and your friends. I decided to jump on the bandwagon before I even knew this was becoming a trend and its been a great experience so far.
 

When I expanded into the office I have now, I decided to share it with my publicist who also happens to be a close friend of mine. I was already on the hunt for a new office space and brought up the idea of her being a part of the space instead of working from home and she loved it. I'm one of many lucky people that gets to decide how, when and where I want to work and that meant I didn't want to work alone. As a business owner, I find that it can be somewhat lonely. Sure, I have an assistant so its not just me in my office by myself but it still can get lonely. We've been in this office together a year now and it has been a blast. We focus on our work, bounce ideas off of each other and even do themed days, holiday decorations and anything else that makes the office fun. 
 

Thinking of trying this new version of co-working? Here are a few quick tips of you're thinking of co-working with friends:
 

  • Be sure to choose someone who is serious about their business, the last thing you need is a distracting friend to share an office with.
  • Treat it as if you would treat the office, you wouldn't show up in pajamas at 2 in the afternoon to start work right?
  • Choose functional and stylish furniture that fits within your style.

  • Set proper boundaries and generally policies, it will come in handy later.
  • Respect each other's space and time, its easy to get too comfortable with each other.

Turnstone has some really stylish, function and easy setup options if you're not really sure where to start.  The folks at Sandbox Suites co-working spot has a great setup with awesome pieces from Turnstone that can give you some office ideas if you're stuck.
 


Would any of you try this new version of co-working? Let me know in the comments below!

-Sayeh, The Office Stylist

Comments

Nathan Smith November 8, 2012

What I have found is that many people are interested in this however someone has to put their name on the lease…....and gettting that one person to commit to that is tough.  Most Landlords ask for personal guarantees and a lot of small business owners are hesitant to do that.

Sayeh, The Office Stylist November 8, 2012

Hi Nathan,

You have a great point and one that should definitely be considered before committing to an office together as a group. The best thing to do is look for an office that offers a short term lease option in case things don’t work out so that the one person is not trapped in a 1 year lease by themselves. There are a lot of smaller buildings that offer even month to month lease options.

You can also always set yourself as the person who is on the lease, then you are subletting to the others and you can always rent out a single office if someone chooses to leave.  The perk of that is that YOUR name is on the door, parking spaces, etc VS. someone else’s name or business name.

Its worth a try either way and nothing is set in stone or permanent smile

Let me know how it works out!

Sayeh, The Office Stylist

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