Regus, Spaces, WeWork, or Airbnb?

 

Last updated on September 24, 2020 by Chad Tennant

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How you present yourself is critical in business. Clients and customers evaluate your website, business card, and everything in between. In my previous role as a financial advisor, I created a virtual office in which I paid to use a commercial address for my business. Mail handling came with the service, and I could rent a private room by the hour and on-demand to meet clients.

My needs as a digital nomad and online marketer are much different compared to my previous profession. For example, I don’t need mail handling services or a business address. However, I occasionally want to work outside of my home and interact with like-minded people in person (not only online). I recently spent an afternoon at a co-working space and the experience was excellent. I met a few ambitious individuals, and we had lunch together. It was a nice change of pace.

Entrepreneurs, small business owners, self-employed professionals, freelancers, global citizens, and frequent travelers have similar and different needs. We all need to make money, be productive, find work/life balance, and so on. On the other hand, some of us must meet with clients while others seek to network. Some of us want to work in office environments whereas others want to work from home. Some of us want to replace working in hotels, hostels, libraries, and coffee shops with something else. In this post, I’ll cover some ideas and options to meet your goals.

Co-Working & Office Spaces

Co-working spaces are challenging traditional work environments. Many people thrive in co-working spaces because they’re convenient, flexible, and community-driven. Other benefits include networking, flexible pricing, memberships, and cost savings. The following terms describe the services and products associated with co-working and office space providers.

  • Co-working involves individuals working independently or collaboratively in a shared space and communal setting. A co-working location will typically have different work arrangements, such as a workstation or private office. Co-working companies range from one location to multiple locations in a city, state, country, or countries.
  • serviced office is an office or office building that is fully equipped and managed by a facility management company, which then rents individual offices or floors to other companies. It often has office furniture, equipment, internet, and lunchroom facilities. Also, the premise is maintained and cleaned by the facility management staff.
  • virtual office (or virtual company) refers to a business that likely doesn’t have a fixed location, address, or phone number. The business or individual relies mostly on the internet to operate, for example, an online store owner who uses dropshipping.
  • A private office is a room for an individual or team and nobody else. The office is not shared.
  • A workstation, workspace, or “hot desk” is for one person to use. It can be on a shared surface or separate.
  • A meeting/conference room facilitates communication between multiple people.
  • Call-answering services feature an onsite receptionist who will manage incoming phone calls for an individual or business.
  • Mail handling services supports the management of incoming and outgoing mail for individuals and businesses.

Global Co-Working Companies

Office space and co-working companies operate in most cities around the world. An online search will reveal plenty of options. However, there are only a handful of companies that operate globally, including Regus, Spaces, and WeWork. These companies provide hundreds of locations for members to use locally and abroad. They offer the same services, benefits, and pricing across their locations for consistency. Although Airbnb is not a co-working company, it does provide co-working and co-living opportunities. Therefore, let’s review it as well.

Regus

Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions. Its network includes almost 3,000 business centers in 800+ cities across 100+ countries. Through its range of office formats, it enables individuals and companies to work where they want, when they want, and how they want at different price points. Regus is part of IWG, a multinational corporation that provides workspaces globally under different brands. Its customers include professionals, remote workers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and businesses of all sizes.

  • Founded in 1989
  • Professional and classic office layouts
  • Co-working, virtual offices, and dedicated/shared workspaces
  • Private offices and meeting rooms
  • Office equipment, furniture, supplies, internet, private phones, and lunchrooms on-site
  • Must pay separately for consumables, such as coffee, photocopies, and calls
  • Mail handling services: yes
  • Call-answering services: yes
  • Get admin support for various tasks
  • Access business lounges around the world
  • Members get exclusive offers and discounts
  • Regular events and activities

Spaces

Spaces was built on the idea that success breeds more success. That’s why it has cultivated a community of members who are thinkers and achievers. It provides workspaces that suit your every need. Spaces has locations in 40+ countries and nearly 200 cities. IWG acquired them in 2015, and of the IWG brands, it competes directly with WeWork. Its customers include entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, digital nomads, artists, small businesses, and companies.

  • Founded in 2008
  • Modern and trendy office layouts
  • Co-working, virtual offices, and dedicated/shared workspaces
  • Private offices and meeting rooms
  • 24/7 office access
  • Office equipment, furniture, supplies, internet, private phones, kitchen, and free coffee on-site
  • Catering packages
  • Mail handling services: yes
  • Call-answering services: no
  • Members get exclusive offers and discounts
  • Networking/social events and fitness classes

WeWork

WeWork transforms buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces and provides on-site services, events, and technology so members can focus on doing what they love. WeWork offers a global network of serviced office spaces, community, and physical and virtual services to enable companies to grow. It’s present in more than 20 countries and 80 cities. Its membership base of 260,000+ individuals includes entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, digital nomads, artists, small businesses, and large companies.

  • Founded in 2010
  • Modern and trendy office layouts
  • Co-working, virtual offices, and dedicated/shared workspaces
  • Private offices and meeting rooms
  • 24/7 office access
  • Office equipment, furniture, supplies, internet, private phones, kitchen, and free refreshments on-site
  • Mail handling services: yes, but limited to incoming mail and package handling only
  • Call-answering services: no
  • Enterprise: WeWork works with clients to build and manage office spaces
  • Members get exclusive offers and discounts
  • Networking/social events and fitness classes

Airbnb

Airbnb is an online marketplace for people to list, discover, and book accommodations worldwide. It connects hosts and guests in more than 30,000+ cities and 190+ countries. Airbnb is primarily known for short-term rental accommodations. However, it does promote business travel for individuals and teams, extended stay, relocation, and travel expense tools. Airbnb for Work now accounts for 15 percent of its bookings. Co-working and co-living are available through shared housing.

  • Founded in 2008
  • A wide range of living spaces for different budgets and needs
  • Co-working, virtual offices, and dedicated/shared workspaces within a home
  • Private offices and meeting rooms within a home
  • 24/7 home access
  • Fully furnished accommodations
  • Ability to filter for amenities, facilities, property types, house rules, and more
  • Mail handling services: at best it would be limited to incoming mail in a condo or apartment building
  • Call-answering services: no
  • Option to book local experiences, adventures, and restaurants

As a digital nomad, I prefer to work from home. I’ve been using Airbnb to book entire places (not private or shared accommodations). When searching for a home, I filter for Wi-Fi and inquire with the host about internet connectivity, reliability, and speed. I typically purchase an office chair, which I sell upon leaving. Working in solitude is not for everyone and doesn’t come with the benefits of office space and co-working environments. That said, Airbnb is a good option for me because I don’t need a business address, mail handling, call answering, or a meeting room. However, many condo buildings support limited mail handling (mail delivery) and may have private rooms available.

Comparison

RegusSpacesWeWorkAirbnb
Multiple locationsYesYesYesYes
Fully furnishedYesYesYesYes
Serviced office/homeYesYesYesAvailable
Co-workingYesYesYesAvailable
Dedicated/shared workspaceYesYesYesYes
Virtual/private officeYesYesYesYes
Meeting roomYesYesYesYes
Business addressYesYesYesA
24/7 accessNoYesYesYes
Mail handlingYesYesLimitedAvailable
Call-answeringYesNoNoNo
Exclusive offers/discountsYesYesYesNo
Events/fitness classesYesYesYesNo
Co-livingNoNoYesYes
Local bookingsNoNoNoYes
Flexible pricingYesYesYesYes

Final Word

Spaces and WeWork are alike, and Regus raises the bar with mail handling and call answering services. Airbnb is a robust alternative for people who prefer to work from home, especially if traveling or living abroad. Some people argue that WeWork charges too much. Those same people see WeWork as an expensive, unnecessary cost. Therefore, doing a cost-benefit analysis across your options will help determine what’s right for you.

There are more affordable and free co-working options entering local markets daily. Many of them are excellent for people who don’t need to tap global networks of co-working locations. For example, in parts of Latin America, Santander Bank offers free co-working at its Work Café locations.

 

Chad Tennant

Chad is a digital marketer, consultant, and publisher. At Digital Fodder, he offers insights and strategies concerning online marketing, ecommerce, working online, YouTube, and more. At Partnercade, he helps companies grow their affiliate program revenues and partnerships. Connect or start a conversation with Chad on LinkedIn.

 
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