office-spaceIn an economy where the markets are swinging up and down, one of the most valuable commodities you can possess is space, especially in and around cities and towns.

But all too often we waste space, not really using every spare foot to its maximum capacity. If you have an office the chances are you have lots of extra room, even if you don’t realize it yet. Take a step back and ask yourself: How full is my office, really?

Research has suggested that every desk is only fully utilized for around 45 percent of the time. So whether you have a whole office to rent or just want to make use of empty desks, we show you how to make money from your spare space.

Why is demand for rentable desks so high?

If it’s not an area you have previously explored you may be unaware of the demand for good quality office spaces.

The double dip recession and on-going fragility in the global economy is seeing an increasing number of people opting to strike out on their own and set up their own business. With scores of jobseekers applying for every position and high levels of risk in even the most secure of organizations, more people than ever are looking to become self-employed on either a full- or part-time basis.

And whilst working from home might be OK at first, it’s not the greatest arrangement in the world. Being in the right environment to focus is critical to success and when the neighbor’s dog is barking, the car alarm is going off and the kids are traipsing in and out, it’s tough to concentrate.

For the above reasons, many small businesses and sole traders prefer to work in an office. But signing a lease for a building is a big financial gamble and one that not everyone can afford.

So, by renting out either just a small space (such as a spare desk in your office) or something larger (such as a separate unit in your building), you can provide the right environment for sole traders and small businesses. A professional environment with no financial risk involved, it’s the perfect option. Better still, with companies offering mailbox and registered office addressees, those looking to rent a portion of your office space can do so and use it as simply a base and not have to worry about setting up their new business correspondence to redirect to your business address.

The market for desk and office rentals already exists

If you’re wondering how realistic the idea actually is, it might help you to know that the concept is rapidly gaining popularity in countries all around the world!

So much so that websites are being set up solely dedicated to building up a database of office space which is available for rent.

One of the more recent companies to hit the market is ShareDesk, a website which helps those with space and those looking for it to find each other.

It’s a hot idea in the business community right now. The subject was recently featured on Forbes’ website, which recommended it as the way for small businesses to succeed.

The really interesting part of this new trend is that much of the space being rented out is relatively small. Of course it’s possible to find firms who are offering whole units for small businesses to rent, but there’s an equally high number of companies offering ‘hot desk’ facilities. This means that even if you only have a few spare seats, you could be raking in extra income for no more effort.

When is an office not an office?

The concept of renting a place to work has become so popular that it’s not just traditional office spaces which are being advertised.

Some entrepreneurial souls with large apartments or houses have converted spare rooms into dedicated offices and are renting these out too. This works particularly well if you live close to a city center or a train station.

As long as the premises are clean, uncluttered, quiet and offer all the necessary amenities there really is no limit on what could be advertised as office space.

You can offer more than just office space

Offering a spare seat or few is just half the story, if you want to really squeeze as much profit out of your office, it’s worth considering whether you want to provide additional services as well.

For example, the chances are that you already have a mail system in place, so why not include this as part of the deal? Or you could go one step further and offer full secretarial support or even equipment hire, such as a desktop computer.

Making your office space rental particularly attractive will help you not only pull in tenants quickly, you will also be able to charge top dollar. And if you have these services or facilities already, it won’t have any impact on your business or cost you an extra penny!

How to reach renters

The idea is to make extra money from space you aren’t using, not to tie you up in endless paperwork and create more hassle. So even though you could pretty easily advertise the space yourself on Craigslist or in the paper, using a company (like the aforementioned ShareDesk) that streamlines the process can be a major time-saver.

Whether you have an empty desk, a vacant office in your building or even a dedicated room in your house, don’t sit on valuable space when you could be making it work for you. It’s an idea that requires virtually no effort, and after all, having a full office creates a far better atmosphere than one which is only half-full.

[ Image via Onarchitecturesite ]

AvatarTom Reynolds

Tom has a passion for writing and his clients include The Workstation and transcription services business Alphabet Secreterial.