Now that it’s a little more mainstream, the term “coworking” might conjure up images of a dynamic workspace, hip entrepreneurs, and of course, excellent coffee. And the phrase “shared office space,” may do the same.

But wait: a shared office is different from a coworking space, and it’s important you understand the differences. 

How are Shared Offices and Coworking Spaces the Same?

Of course, it’s easy to understand how someone just starting to explore flexible office space options might think coworking and shared offices are the same – both offer refreshing flexibility compared to traditional office spaces, which can be appealing to emerging companies not ready to have a space of their own. 

Both shared offices and coworking spaces also help lower costs: leases are typically short-term agreements that allowing growing or transforming businesses to sign up to stay only as long as it makes sense – without facing hefty fines for breaking a lease. 

Finally, coworking spaces and shared offices both allow members to enjoy access to premium infrastructure (picture: speedy business Internet, cutting-edge technology, and more basic necessities like printers) as part of the agreements, freeing members from having to front the cash for these generally expensive items. 

But just because a flexible space is less traditional doesn’t mean it isn’t home to traditional business. In fact, an estimated 35% of corporate organizations will use flexible real estate in the next three years, according to Forbes

Shared Offices vs. Coworking Spaces: What’s the Difference? 

When it comes down to it, the key difference between shared office space and coworking space is the goal. 

Coworking spaces strive to foster community, cultivate collaboration, and improve sustainability and accessibility. 

Shared office spaces seek to create professional, even executive-level, environments separate from one another within a shared building. 

In shared office spaces, the goal is generally to support established businesses in traditional ways: establishing a professional office décor, providing fax machines, copiers, and video equipment. 

Coworking office design is typically much less traditional and intended more to be inspirational. More casual office environments coupled with facilities that can support members as a whole individual, like garden spaces and gyms, aim to spark community more than present power.

While both do typically offer flexible lease options, shared spaces tend to be closer to 12 months, while coworking spaces can be much shorter.

Shared office spaces often offer more privacy throughout the space, which may be important if your customers expect traditional offices for meetings or your work is highly confidential.

Coworking spaces can provide the camaraderie and collaboration remote employees or sole entrepreneurs wouldn’t otherwise have, as well as unlock new innovation is members with all different backgrounds work together. Close to half (40%) of participants in a recent study conducted by Coworker reported having launched a project with someone they met through the coworking space. 

Coworking spaces can also offer connections for global expansion, connecting entrepreneurs with their network to grow beyond just the single space.

So, now that you know the difference between shared office space and coworking, you can determine which space meets your business needs. But don’t just take our word for it that our space is vibrant – come by and see for yourself what makes HEXA a coworking space that can inspire people by supporting overall well-being. Book your tour today, or learn more about our memberships by contacting