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    2021 will continue to accelerate the emergence of hybrid and flexible workspaces as the post-pandemic office world looks to decentralize. These non-traditional office environments come in many different shapes and sizes. Yet, the dichotomy between traditional office space and its counterpart is not as clear as night and day. Non-traditional workspaces cannot be collectively grouped under one nomenclature because these offerings are so flexible that they aim to accomplish different objectives entirely. Flexible office space is not co-working, and co-working is not hot desking, yet these offerings are often grouped under the non-traditional office space label.

    Finding the right solution for you comes with knowing how to navigate the expanding world of offerings, and that starts here, as we explain the differences between flexible office space and co-working. In this blog, we outline the aspects of design, availability, furnishings, culture, commitment, and hospitality that differentiate flexible office space from co-working.


    Flexible Office Space
    Flexible office space often accommodates growing businesses looking to expand through a turnkey and move-in ready solution. This is reflected in the pricing, as flexible workspace solutions, like WaveOffice, charge on a per square foot basis.

    Co-working accommodates individual users looking for an environment to work and co-exist with other users despite the fact they are working independent from them. Consequently, pricing is charged on a per person basis through a subscription model. 


    Flexible Office Space
    Flexible office space offers short-term leases that accommodate companies looking for a yearly solution. These leases forgo the hefty commitment of five to 10 years that typically come with traditional office leases, while still supplying the user with a personalized office environment that can promote company culture.

    Co-working spaces operate on a per-person subscription-based model where users can opt-in to the space for a day, week, month, or year. While this offers users true flexibility, this level of commitment also translates to the design, which is fixed for each user with a “one-service-fits-all” approach.


    Flexible Office Space
    As briefly mentioned above, flexible office space, like WaveOffice, utilizes a creative desk layout that includes both open offices and collaborative shared spaces. Customers can customize their individual suites to ensure their space best accommodates their needs, yet reservable conference rooms and dedicated kitchen space allow for users to expand outward from their suite. Flexible office space allows for companies to choose their own artwork and design their own layout. Shared common spaces encourage collaboration, while personalized suites ensure a company’s culture can thrive, providing a more stable environment than co-working spaces.  

    Co-working spaces are a one-size-fits-all model – the focus is not to grow a company’s brand and culture, but rather to supply an environment that encourages productivity. This is ideal for the freelancer but may present troubles for a group of colleagues looking to convene. The layouts are fixed, and allspaces are shared, which can translate to availability issues. A subscription to a co-working space does not automatically reserve a desk in that space, forcing users to anticipate their work-related needs ahead of time, so desks can be reserved.


    Flexible Office Space
    Some flexible office space solutions do not come with furnishings or equipment, letting users design their space with their own vision and brand in mind. Other flexible office space solutions, such as WaveOffice, offer pre-selected furnishings in move-in ready suites, yet still allow customers to re-configure and re-design their spaces, if desired.

    Co-working spaces are always work-ready, supplying their users with fully equipped, fixed layouts. However, there is no guarantee that a particular desk will be available upon arrival, even with a reservation. If you want a desk with a view, you might need to arrive early to claim it. Plus, with more co-working spaces incorporating a minimalistic-inspired design, the style of the space might not be the most inspiring setting for you. Yet, this model works great for users simply looking to grab a desk on the fly and get some work done – just be prepared to be limited in your desk options.


    Flexible Office Space
    Some flexible office space offerings, like WaveOffice, are positioned in Class-A buildings that offer concierge services, state-of-the-art fitness centers, activated rooftops, expansive libraries, reservable conference centers, and on-site cafés. Customers of these flexible office spaces often have access to all their building’s amenities, offering an inclusive experience centered around wellness, sustainability, and convenience.

    The amenities offered to co-working users are often limited to what is offered in the space and does not expand outward into the building. Some co-working spaces are conveniently located within gyms, restaurants, and hotels to engage customers beyond the desk, but they are inherently limited by the nature of the building they are housed in. While a co-working space in a gym is ideal for workers looking to seriously enhance their fitness regimen, it limits their ability to explore the offerings of a rooftop or café, for example.

    With so many options in the market, a solution exists for every company as offices adopt a hybrid approach. Co-working spaces are meant for the lone worker looking to co-exist with other individuals in a work-ready space. In contrast, flexible office spaces are meant for companies looking to expand into surge space and grow their brand in a move-in ready, customizable layout. Rest assured, there is plenty of space to decentralize in the upcoming year, the question is simply: where?

    Explore the flexible office space that WaveOffice has to offer by taking a virtual tour of available suites on VTS Marketplace today:

    Tour The Hub
    Tour Clarendon Square
    Tour 2001 Penn