Last Updated on Oct 27, 2022 by James W

Photo: TheStandingDesk / Unsplash

With technology allowing people to work from anywhere these days, managed offices and coworking spaces are more popular than ever. Although these two options present a similar solution for businesses and workers needing an office setting, they are quite different on several fronts. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between a managed office and a coworking space. 

1. Design and Layout

A managed office is leased by a single business for use only by that business. The room(s) are customized to fit your needs, and you’ll generally have all the equipment, tools, and amenities you want. This makes managed offices an effective way to conduct business without the long-term commitment of a traditional office lease. 

Coworking spaces, on the other hand, cater to collaboration, with an open floor plan that accommodates entrepreneurs from many different businesses. This environment encourages creativity and enables users to share amenities that would otherwise be too expensive to purchase themselves. 

2. Customization

Managed offices are empty rooms waiting to be customized to a client’s specific needs. This means each managed office is unique and may contain specialized equipment based on the type of business that occupies it. 

Coworking spaces offer no real customization options as they already contain all the common equipment most offices need to operate. If the workstations are dedicated, users will not be able to move them, but if the coworking space has floating desks, workers may be able to push them together to form collab stations. In a coworking space, though, what you see is usually what you get. 

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3. Price

Since a managed office is customized to suit a client’s needs, the rental costs are usually higher than those you’ll enjoy at a coworking space. The setup costs are built into the rent for a managed office, but the tenant will likely pay a security deposit of up to six months’ worth of rent as well as costs for the furnishings. 

Coworking space prices are a set amount deemed acceptable by the operator, which is usually quite a bit less than the rent for a managed office. 

4. Privacy

In a shared coworking space, privacy is virtually impossible. With so many people from different companies working in the same area, the atmosphere is often noisy and chaotic. It’s not uncommon to hear what’s going on at the workstation next to you. 

Managed offices, however, offer complete privacy as they are occupied by a single company. This is a plus when a project requires confidentiality. 

5. Atmosphere

Managed offices are professional environments that mimic a traditional office setting. The atmosphere is formal, with mature businesses being better suited for this space. 

The shared nature of a coworking space, by contrast, gives the environment a more laid-back ambiance that draws freelancers, start-ups, and evolving brands. 

6. Move-in Ready

Moving into and using a coworking space is as simple as signing the contract and paying the first month’s rent. You simply show up and begin working as all the equipment and furnishings are supplied for you. 

It may take 4-6 weeks for a managed office to be ready for you to move in as it has to be furnished and set up to your specifications. 

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From layout, customization, and atmosphere to price, privacy, and move-in readiness, there are several differences between managed offices and coworking spaces. Now that you understand these differences better, you can decide which option suits your needs and your budget best. 


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