For small to medium-sized businesses looking for short-term office space opportunities, the prevalence and marketing behind coworking alternatives brings them to top of mind. Some coworking providers offer square footage and benefits competitive with local market costs, but these providers need to pay rent as primary tenants and draw a profit. For this reason, “square footage” is seldom mentioned in the realm of coworking—measures of office space are abstracted to “headcount” in order to prevent obvious cost comparisons. Additionally, coworking providers disallow major changes in furnishing and limit branding opportunity.

One of the best alternatives for any business considering coworking is a short-term sublease. Businesses that need to leave an office space prior to lease expiration may look for a subtenant to occupy the space until the end of the term. This typically entails a move-in ready, fully furnished space with the freedom to brand and modify furniture as deemed fit. To complement these perks, spaces on the market for sublease are offered at below-market costs.

Making the most informed decision

Crucially, subleases are still signed agreements with a minimum term. For extremely small businesses unwilling to risk commitment for two years or more, coworking offers greater flexibility and management services at a premium. One of the most salient challenges facing small businesses is misinformation—often, decision makers will be unaware of how to discover sublease opportunities or incorrectly assume there are costs present in working with a broker. Because landlords are responsible for broker fees, there is no risk or cost involved in consulting a knowledgeable brokerage for information regarding the most optimal availabilities and discovering your newest office space.

Your broker should consider the fine details in your business’s office space requirements. Do your needs call for a coworking space, a sublease, or a direct lease with the greatest amount of flexibility? Are there local market trends that can be leveraged to secure the best deal? What types of local amenities and business partners would benefit your business the most?

Talk to an experienced broker and start the office space discovery journey.