What are your Desk Options?

Just before Easter Mariana Ashley made some suggestions on How to Create the Perfect Remote Workspace. Not all of us have a perfect space at home and there are occasions when looking elsewhere might be a better option. Hot desks and instant offices (or remote offices) are a couple of possible scenarios. I have touched on some of the options in a previous post on The Office of the Future.

Simon Crisp works for Office Genie, the UK’s first proper online marketplace for desk space and shared office space and has written a post for us on why many remote workers are looking at different desk space options and what these options could be.


It’s a fact of life that remote workers face a multitude of distractions when trying to work from home, from daytime TV to that bowl of washing up which needs doing.

And all of this can eat into your working day – which is one of the reasons an increasing number of remote workers and freelancers are choosing to rent office or desk space where they can work from.

In this post I’d like to take a look at why more and more remote workers are choosing to rent professional desk space, the benefits that doing so can provide and the different options out there.

Moveable Pod, Northern Lights, University of Central Lancashire, photo by JISC InfoNet

Photo above: These portable business incubation pods have everything that a young start-up business needs – they’re self-contained with a PC. phone and storage space, and offering some privacy. Northern Lights offers 24/7 access to PC and telephones in a self-contained unit are available on a hot-desk basis for free then additional desks are available for a monthly fee. The pods are hinged and can be closed and moved around easily providing a space-saving solution.

JISC Info Net have created a Flickr collection of photos of innovative working spaces.

Why rent desk space?

Increased productivity – Almost all remote workers and freelancers start off their career by telling themselves that they’ll be just as productive at home as they ever were in a traditional office.

Unfortunately, many find that’s not the case and they’re simply not able to get as much done at home as they would have liked. Renting desk space, which feels more like a traditional work environment, can give their productivity a boost.

Professionalism – Freelancers, by their nature, often have to meet a variety of clients and discussing work over the kitchen table doesn’t normally go down too well.

Many desk space rentals also come with access to shared meeting rooms and other services (post, IT support and receptionists) which can make your freelancing business more professional.

Improved working environment – In the same way as some remote workers say they are able to get more done when sitting at a desk in a traditional work environment, many people say they are unable to do their best work unless then are in similar setting.

Networking – Renting office or desk space also brings you into contact with like-minded people who are often in a similar situation or profession, this can be a great advantage.

Not only does it mean you can replicate the classic office chit-chat and banter (if you want to) but also learn from each other and even develop your businesses and gain clients.

What are the different types of desk space rental?

Desk rental – Many organisations now rent out serviced desk space to start-up businesses and freelancers, it’s a cost-effective solution and allows you to have a permanent and professional base from where to run your business.

You normally pay a monthly fee and for this you get not only your desk space, but also access to professional services which can include receptionists, IT support and postal services along with the latest office equipment.

Co-working – There are more and more co-working spaces cropping up across the UK, these are shared office space buildings with where desk space is rented out to a community of freelancers and remote workers.

There are normally plenty of shared facilities which can be used by renters, usually including things such as conference rooms, broadband Internet services, projectors, IT support and even a kitchen.

However, one of the biggest advantaged of co-working is probably the social and networking events. Co-working centres often have a strong work community which can be a great benefit to any freelancer.

Hot desking – Hot desking is one of the newer ways of renting office or desk space and involves workers using shared office facilities in much the same way you would exercise equipment at a gym.

After paying either a monthly fee (or sometimes a daily/hourly pay as you go rate) you are given access to the hot desking office and all of the services therein – in some cases you will be assigned a cubicle with storage space, in others it is a more open plan set-up.

As with the other forms of desk space rental, hot desk options frequently include full access to telecoms, computer services and printers – meaning there are considerable savings in not having to fork out for this yourself.