Flex Space vs. Coworking Space: What's the Difference? | Davinci Meeting Rooms

What is Flex Space?

Flex space is defined in different ways. Some identify flex space as “any building that has some sort of combination of warehouse space and office/retail space.” These units often have high ceilings of 14 feet or higher and a loading dock. Flex spaces are often used by businesses seeking to consolidate operations into one location. Whereas in the past a business may have maintained research, logistics, and manufacturing operations in one location and corporate and administrative functions in another location, flex spaces enable them to consolidate both into one location.

Others define flex space differently: “smaller units grouped around shared facilities such as conference rooms and kitchens” Flex spaces are inclusive and allow a business to build their own office culture, something that is difficult to do with coworking or day offices where a business must interact and share workspace with 10, 20, or 30 other businesses. Flex spaces are also advantageous because they provide businesses with a lot of flexibility on the lease—anywhere from one month to three years.

What is the difference between coworking and flexible space?

Regardless of how flex space is defined, it is different from coworking space in a number of ways. The following are some of the ways they differ:

  1. Commitment timeframes.

    Coworking space can be reserved on-demand at an hourly, daily, or weekly rate. Many coworking spaces also offer monthly rates. Flex spaces require at least a one-month commitment and normally longer.
  2. Kitchen space.

    Flex spaces typically have dedicated kitchen areas, whereas coworking spaces have shared kitchen areas.
  3. Lobby greeter.

    A flex space does not have a lobby greeter to help manage the flow of workers in and out of the building, to assign them workspaces, answer questions, and provide guidance. Coworking spaces come with a lobby greeter. As many anticipate the entrance of offices to evolve into a “mud room” as offices begin to reopen, the role of the lobby greeter will transform. They will suddenly be responsible for gating the office and ensuring those entering are healthy (conducting temperature checks, making sure everyone washes their hands before entering and wears a mask, etc.). But as flex spaces do not come with lobby greeters, businesses will need to hire someone to assume that responsibility (an additional cost).
  4. Office furnishings and equipment.

    Flex spaces normally do not come with office furniture and equipment. Occupants are expected to supply their own workspaces, conference tables and chairs, artwork, and more. They also don’t come with preconfigured high-speed internet and phone systems. Coworking spaces come fully equipped with all of the above.
  5. Company culture.

    It is difficult to create a unique and distinct company culture in a coworking space where there are normally 10 or more companies occupying the same space. Flex spaces enable businesses to hang their own artwork, configure workspaces a certain way, and purchase specific food and beverages. This makes it easier to build a company culture.
  6. Workspace availability.

    Workspace for workers in a coworking space must be reserved, and normally there is no dedicated space for individual workers. It changes every day—or even more frequently. The same is true of conference rooms. Companies do not have a dedicated conference room but rather must share them with other businesses in the coworking space. Flex spaces allow businesses to reserve workspaces for designated workers as well as to have a dedicated conference room or set of conference rooms for the company.

Evaluating the Benefits of Flex Spaces and the Benefits of Coworking Spaces

Both flex spaces and coworking spaces have their own pros and cons. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for businesses. Each business  must evaluate their requirements and determine which one is most suitable for their business requirements. Below are the benfits of flex spaces and coworking spaces:

Benefits of Flex Spaces

Flex spaces are good for businesses with the following needs:

  1. Have a long term commitment that will allow them to establish a company presence and distinctly branded location.
  2. Need to retain a high level of privacy due to IP or other business-related issues provided by a dedicated office space (contra a coworking space).
  3. Seek to create a unique company culture that will not be diluted by other companies sharing the same office space.

Benefits of Coworking Space

  1. Have a hybrid workforce that sometimes works from an office workspace, sometimes from their home office, and/or from different locations.
  2. Are not prepared to make a longer term commitment but rather only need workspace for a few weeks or months or will not need the space on a daily basis.
  3. Don't want to deal with the headache of purchasing office equipment, services, and furnishings (coworking space comes with all of these).
  4. Do not have the budget to hire a greeter for the office but need to have one—whether for the purpose of professional impression or for health and safety reasons due to the pandemic.
  5. Do not have the budget or time to worry about sanitization of office space; coworking spaces have the protocols, budget, and equipment in place to sanitize workspace and conference rooms on a regular basis.

Deciding What to Use: Flex Space or Coworking Space?

There are a lot of different options available to small and midsize businesses when it comes to office space. Sorting through these and determining which one is the best fit based on your business requirements is important. The wrong office space can cause a lot of problems—a situation that is exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flex spaces may be the right fit for some companies, while coworking space is a better fit for others.

Whatever you decide to go with, consider using Davinci Meeting Rooms. We offer coworking spaces, meeting rooms, and event space for you and your business to use at your convenience. We have locations across the globe to ensure you and your clients can meet in a place that's convenient for you. contact us today for a live quote or to get more information.


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