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What Are The Differences Between Serviced Offices and Coworking Spaces?

As companies adopt distributed and hybrid work models, the demand for professional yet cost-effective office spaces is growing. Serviced offices and coworking spaces are affordable and flexible workspace solutions for remote workers, digital nomads and businesses.

Serviced offices provide dedicated private offices and amenities, while coworking spaces offer shared facilities and a sense of casual community. Although similar in delivering working areas at affordable prices, serviced offices and coworking spaces benefit workers in very different ways.

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This article explores the key differences between each to determine the ideal solution based on an individual or company’s specific needs. From professionalism to partnership, the myriad of possibilities can meet most office space requirements affordably and sustainably.

Benefits of Serviced Offices

Serviced offices provide significant advantages over traditional permanent leases.

Cost Effectiveness

Serviced offices are more cost-effective than long-term commercial leases due to shorter pay periods, all-inclusive pricing, and the lack of build-out costs. Companies pay a simple, transparent fee for a high-quality workspace and services. There are no hidden costs or lock-in clauses, allowing easy expansion or downsizing as needed.


“Serviced offices also offer far more flexibility than traditional leases” mentions Amy Lam from Compass Offices. “Companies can sign short-term rolling contracts as little as a month or three months long. This flexibility allows reacting quickly to changes, testing new locations, or growing or shrinking team sizes.”, she adds. If a company’s needs change, additional space or a move to a new site is simple with minimal disruption.

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Minimal Setup Required

Serviced offices are fully furnished and equipped with high-speed internet and all necessary utilities. Contracts also include access to communal areas and meeting spaces. Everything from desks and chairs to printers, kitchens, and dedicated meeting rooms are included, significantly reducing setup time and costs. Companies can move in, and teams can begin working immediately.


Serviced offices also provide private spaces that isolate companies from shared desks or communal working areas. Private offices provide much-needed privacy, crucial for maintaining professionalism and separation.

Additional Benefits

A range of additional services can benefit companies using serviced offices, including on-site events, meeting rooms, and conference room rentals. Professional business services are also available, from phone answering to mail handling and virtual office packages.

Serviced offices are flexible, ready-to-use spaces tailored to companies’ needs, making them an excellent option for efficient and productive remote teams.

Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces offer unique benefits over traditional offices, including community, networking, flexibility, and affordability.

Networking Opportunities

Networking opportunities abound in coworking spaces. Interacting with fellow members leads to sharing ideas, partnering on projects, gaining client referrals, and collecting new business connections that benefit companies and individual workers. The concentrated community of startups, freelancers, remote employees, and small businesses in one space cultivates endless networking possibilities.

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Flexibility is central to the coworking concept. Companies can easily adjust their office space needs with short-term membership plans, some as short as one month, which offer flexibility on leasing terms. Meeting rooms, lounges, and event spaces can be rented and scheduled easily depending on the day’s needs. Coworking spaces are designed to cater to the evolving requirements of disruptive businesses.


Rental expenses are significantly lower for coworking spaces compared to traditional commercial real estate, which is a boon for small and growing companies. Membership fees cover high-speed internet, 24/7 access, amenities, and shared desk spaces within a professionally curated environment. By sharing resources with a community, companies gain the professionalism of an office setup at a minimal cost of operations.

Additional Benefits

Additional benefits of coworking spaces include collaborative opportunities, mentorship potential, social interactions, and a productive office culture. Interacting and collaborating with other members builds relationships, sparks new ideas, and creates opportunities for partnerships or mentorship. Coworking spaces foster engaging environments inspired by collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and joint initiatives by bringing together like-minded individuals and growing startups.

How To Find The Perfect Office For Your Business

Several key factors must be evaluated to find an office space that maximizes benefits and minimizes costs and pain points.


Working space sizes range from small private offices suited for a few team members to large floor plans ideal for larger groups. For startups with small teams, a basic private office or a few co-working cubicles may suit their needs. More established companies will benefit from larger custom spaces.  When evaluating size, calculate the square footage per employee to determine the ideal dimensions for productivity. Note that larger spaces provide more layout flexibility and opportunities for specialized rooms like assembly halls or conference spaces.


Amenities such as office configuration options, communal areas, internet connectivity and utilities, meeting rooms, printing facilities, phone services, and kitchen areas set coworking and serviced office spaces apart. High-speed internet connectivity, meeting facilities, and a fully equipped kitchen help maximize employee productivity and well-being.

However, if limited amenities satisfy company requirements and lower costs are prioritized, basic spaces may prove worthwhile.  For companies requiring little outside support, an executive suite or virtual office could limit amenity access and decrease overall costs.

Lease Options

Lease options include short-term flexible leases, longer-term commitments, or intermediate options. Rolling leases and hybrid models allow companies to determine the best balance of cost, time, and productivity for their teams. Short-term leases provide the most flexibility with limited commitment, while long-term contracts offer discounted rents and extended stability. The company’s growth stage and industry should be considered to determine the lease options that best suit operational needs and financial goals.

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Other Considerations

Additional elements to consider include collaboration and networking opportunities, professional image through address and brand, and business resources, including on-site providers and partnerships. The culture and connections built within certain spaces support business success and raise company visibility. Some spaces also provide bespoke services for members, including business development assistance, shared administrative resources, event planning support, and more.

Some Final Thoughts

While coworking spaces and serviced offices share a focus on flexibility and affordability, key differences emerge in community and professional image. This is important for expats and digital nomads who are moving abroad and need office space outside their home abroad.

Serviced offices provide high-quality private office space, comprehensive services, and professional credibility through an established business address without long-term commitments, as they are most likely established in premium locations and grade-A buildings. In contrast, coworking spaces offer open shared desks, limited services, and affiliation with a wider community.  For businesses seeking productive workspaces for evolving needs, the tailored solutions, resources, and branding opportunities provided by serviced offices prove superior. Serviced offices allow crafting the perfect solution for unique requirements at a lower cost and risk than traditional leases or coworking spaces.

Whether for startups or established enterprises, serviced offices facilitate success through dedicated space, comprehensive support systems, and cost efficiency with the backing of reputable business centres.

David Tompkins
Author: David Tompkins