As traditional office rents become increasingly expensive and technological advances allow many employees to work remotely, there has been something of a revolution taking place within the realm of office based work. A wide range of companies, large and small, have been encouraging and even enforcing remote working practices amongst their staff. However, persuasion is rarely required, as most workers welcome the option of flexible working and even seek out employers who are willing to allow them to work from home from time to time.
Freelancers on the increase
The ranks of mobile office workers are bolstered by the huge swathes of freelancers and individuals starting their own businesses in response to unemployment problems brought about by the recession. This has led to a vast array of workers – employed and self-employed – who do not have a dedicated office. Whilst many of them spend time working from home or coffee bars, sometimes an office is required or simply preferred. But the cost of renting an entire office is usually prohibitive – and this is where space sharing comes into its own.
What is space sharing?
If you own an office, you will often have more space than you need just for yourself and your own staff. It’s often a good idea to rent out some of this additional space to other small businesses or individual workers using an office sharing agreement, thereby earning a bit of extra money and occasionally making some valuable contacts in the process.
If you own a home and run a limited company, it can also be possible to rent out a room in your own house to your business with a home office rental agreement (subject to HMRC requirements). If you’re a tenant yourself but would like to sub-let space within your office or home, this is also sometimes possible, although you do need to check your lease and ensure that you get consent from your landlord.
Some considerations when sharing space
If you decide to rent your space out, you’ll need to make sure that you agree on what (if anything) is included in the rental. Electricity, heating, internet, phone lines and photocopying services can all generate additional costs so you should either take these into account when setting a price, or agree to split the expenses. Finally, make sure you have a professionally written home sharing or office sharing agreement in place, so both parties understand their rights and obligations from the outset.
Rocket Lawyer offers a range of up to date business documents relating to licences and leases and other property lettings which can help you when it comes to space sharing. For more information, take a look at our hub for renting out property which contains various useful Quick Guides.