Are you working from your spare bedroom, an office at the bottom of the garden or a nearby cafÃ©? For many business owners and freelancers there comes a time when working from home, or using cafes and libraries, is no longer the right environment to run their businesses from. Instead they need somewhere to call their office or workspace.
At this point there are several options. Here in North East Hampshire we're fortunate that there are a variety of different styles of workspace available to hire, many offering flexible rates that don't tie in users for protracted periods of time.
What type of workspace do you need?
Coworking is a good way to find out what type of space you need.
If you're not currently working in a dedicated workspace, it might be an idea to try coworking first to get a feel for your preferred work environment. A coworking space like SiGNAL in Bordon can highlight the pros and cons of other options. For example, you may find working in a busy environment with other people makes you more productive and motivated, in which case an office all by yourself is not the best option for you. Alternatively, you may realise that the majority of your working day is spent on confidential phone calls, in which case you'll need the privacy of your own office.
Other factors that could influence your decision include the overall ambiance and dynamic of the workspace. While you may not want to work alongside lots of other people, you may still want to work somewhere where you come into contact with people from all walks of life. Some managed office spaces can be very lonely places, with each business existing in their own suite and not many opportunities for social interaction.
Some workspaces offer a coworking or business lounge facility, this is a good way to get a feel for the space without committing yourself financially.
BTW coworking at SiGNAL Bordon is free so there's really nothing to lose!
What are your other options?
Dedicated desk hire
A step up from using a coworking space is to hire a dedicated desk. This doesn't have to be every day of the week. Many workspaces in Hampshire offer more flexible packages usually starting at 2 days per week.
As well as a desk you'll get access to kitchen facilities, WiFi, photocopying & printing and often storage facilities such as a locker. You may also get a preferential rate on hiring meeting rooms too.
One of the key benefits of this arrangement, apart from cost, is that you'll share the space with other small business owners. This may present opportunities for collaboration and new business, or simply provide companionship and a positive environment to work in.
Private office hire
If sharing a workspace with other businesses is not an option for you, private office hire is the answer. Although this is a more expensive option, a quick search of Google reveals that you can rent a serviced office in Hampshire for as little as £150 per month. Things to watch out for include whether rents are per person or per office, and what's included (not included) and whether you can access your office 24/7. Expect fees to include a staffed reception (during normal business hours), mail handling, broadband, phone, furniture (although many offices are unfurnished), electricity, heating and cleaning.
If you're looking for a starter style office for one person, I would strongly recommend that you rent somewhere that has an onsite business community. That way you'll get regular opportunities to engage with other people in the workspace and avoid the problems of isolation that working alone (whether at home or in an office) can create.
3 Workspaces in North East Hampshire
In our corner of North East Hampshire there are several workspaces that provide different options for the self-employed. Here are three in Whitehill & Bordon and Alton:
- SiGNAL Workspace Bordon
Surprise, surprise we've put ourselves at the top of the list! That's not to say we're right for everyone but we do offer a range of different spaces including free coworking, dedicated desk hire, private offices and meeting rooms available by the hour. Our USP is that we have a culture of promoting and supporting local small businesses, we're not only providing space we're also helping our users to be more successful though a variety of different initiatives.
To find out more explore our website or come and visit!
- BASE Bordon Innovation Centre
Just around the corner from SiGNAL is BASE another workspace that's opened as part of the Whitehill & Bordon regeneration project. Offering dedicated desk hire, private offices, meeting room hire and a paid for business lounge, this space has a different vibe to SiGNAL's and is targeted at high-growth companies. More details here - www.basebordon.co.uk
- Charwell House Alton
In Alton on Wilsom Road is Charwell House which offers a combination of hot desk hire and office space. They also have meeting rooms available to hire, and storage facilities pallet or loose storage. To find our more - http://www.charwellhouse.com
Of course the above workspaces are not the only ones! There are many serviced offices in and around our towns in North East Hampshire.
Check out local estate agent listings to see what's available.