Coworking Space Agreement
Coworking has been on the rise since the concept was introduced in 2005. The trend of shared offices has shaken up the world of work. More and more young entrepreneurs and freelancers abandon traditional offices in favor of cozy home-like coworking spaces where they can collaborate, work with increased productivity and participate in exciting social events.
Who are the people comprising the coworking crowd? Usually, those are young, ambitious professionals and startups who choose flexible hours over the run-of-the-mill 9 to 5 jobs. A healthy work-life balance and a social life are also high on the list of their priorities. The sense of collaboration and community, enormous flexibility, thought-out design, free perks such as coffee and tea which coworking spaces provide, upturn the traditional values of the corporate world.
Common Rental Agreement Details
Even the necessary paperwork required for space rental differs from traditional offices. And here is why. Commercial rental agreements are quite complex and usually long-term. They include such details as:
· Leasing fee and increases
· Security deposit
· Length of the lease
· Rented property description
· Options for subletting
· Use clause which might prohibit a tenant from certain activities
· Renewal options
· Whether future modifications are possible and which party is responsible for them
· Termination rights
A commercial contract usually runs for several years, and to terminate it, a tenant might have to pay a fee to the landlord.
With coworking, which is usually understood as a ‘distributed workspace’, an agreement looks different. Instead of a rental agreement, you enter into a service contract. That being said, a co-worker pays not only for space but also for the communal areas, access to networking, Internet connection and special events. Rather than a leasing fee, a co-worker pays an occupancy fee.
Each coworking space is different and can draw up their own contract because such contracts are not regulated by law.
General Points For Coworking Space Agreements
Here below are some of the general points that should not be overlooked in a coworking agreement. It is helpful when the document clearly defines which space can be solely used by a freelancer/startup and which amenities will be shared with other occupants. It can also outline the following information:
· Services provided by the space such as access to office space and workstations, conference space, Internet access, workshops, yoga classes, etc.
· Use of services outlying code of conduct, prohibited activities, inappropriate use of the premises, etc.
· Payment terms
· Price and payment methods
· Renewal and termination. You should take into account that compared to lease agreements, coworking agreements are usually easy to terminate.
· Duration of the contract which could vary from a weekly or a monthly to yearly.
· Coworker’s responsibilities including keeping the place clean, observing the code of conduct and respecting the rights of others.
· Confidentiality. This part is particularly important as the nature of coworking makes it possible that people can overhear or peek into neighbors’ sensitive information.
To sum it up, the main advantage of a coworking contract is that it is more cost-effective and flexible compared to a commercial lease agreement. However, it should contain clauses that reflect the community nature of shared spaces and help establish a positive working climate as well as strengthen performance.