EXECUTIVE OFFICE SUITES: This is the old standard that started the fractional office space market. The concept was for an entity to lease or a large space from a Landlord, with permission to sub-sublease many individual offices to a diverse group of businesses. It really was a great idea and it took of at warp speed because there were plenty of small businesses that just needed 1 office. The concept of a "serviced office suite" was also very appealing because it meant that there would be third party management of all of the services that the subtenant consumes. This includes the professional receptionist, shared conference room use, management of the IT and Telephone infrastructure, provision of office supplies, availability of copy/scan/fax and more. The point being that the tenant can use all of the amenities provided by the executive suite management - and can then focus on their own business as opposed to focusing on managing the real estate platform their business uses. In this environment, everything is taken care of.
LEGAL OFFICE SUITES: This is a subset of the Executive Office Suite, usually operated by an attorney or law firm that rents offices and groups of offices to other attorneys and small law firms. We know that "birds of a feather flock together" and this is certainly the case when it comes to attorneys. A small, solo practitioner can rent space in an environment that "feels" like a larger law firm and very often the tenancies lead to sharing of business and referrals between the attorneys in the suite. We've seen Law Office Suites all over the US - and it is a very popular subset in the suite business. We take special care to list spaces that are in legal office suites because they are totally in line with our business effort to support small legal tenants in their search for shared office space.
CO WORKING SPACE: This is a more updated executive suite with a different type of layout - usually open space with a high concentration of desks (or benches) where people work in a wide open space, with some private offices around the perimeter. All of the amenities can be provided in a Co Working Suite in the same fashion as an Executive Office Suite, but the differentiating factor here is that the former caters to tech and creative firms, and the latter caters to a more traditional office user like an attorney or accountant. The Co Working space also usually offers very flexible lease terms where the space can be rented by the day, week or month. This actually allows for immediate expansion as a company grows, and the opposite when space needs to be reduced. It is perfect for a young company that wants a feeling of collaboration and community.
TECH SPACE: When creative companies grow out of the co working or executive office suite space, they generally take "private" space that has many of the same open design characteristics. Often the core of the space is a collection of desks and benches and there are collaborative meeting areas or lounges throughout. Usually a well stocked kitchen and coffee bar is an important area, and often they have private phone booths for conversations that can't be had in the open space. Often we see these spaces with exposed ducts, high ceilings, polished concrete floors, exposed metal doors. We've seen a lot of "old school" businesses transitioning to this type of space as the younger workforce becomes a more significant part of the working population.
TRADITIONAL "PRIVATE" OFFICE SPACE: Separately demised units of private space that are generally built with a high concentration of perimeter private offices of various sizes relative to the position of the occupant in the corporate hierarchy. We see reception areas with couches and chairs for waiting visitors, and usually several conference rooms proximate to the entrance. The core of the space is often utility use like kitchen, Lunch Room, Copy Room, File Storage Room, IT & Telephone room, mechanical equipment etc. The space is generally used for "rooms" for various uses. The main trend we are seeing here is that the rooms tend to get smaller across the board, each time a traditional firm builds out a new space.
Of all the space types, it appears that the Co Working Space segment has had the most profound effect on the commercial real estate market in the past few years because of the sheer bulk of space that is being leased for this use. Co-Working should also include INCUBATOR SPACE where a start-up company can get space along with the advice of mentors and Angel investors. The commercial office landscape is changing - and Co Working is a major factor, which interestingly enough is going to develop an offshoot called Co Living - which is the same shared concept only with bedrooms instead of desk space. This is a new, evolving trend that could be as huge as Co Working if the idea takes off and translates to a sustainable business model