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5 Alternatives to Traditional Offices that Save Money

In the past, business owners used to have a traditional office with a secretary and cleaning service. 

However, as businesses adapt to changing work environments, physical office spaces are no longer the only option available. 

With top companies such as Basecamp, Hubstaff, and Gitlab leading the way, the traditional office is fast becoming a thing of the past.

The best part?

You don’t have to break the bank to keep up with the trend. In this article, we’ve got you covered with the most affordable alternatives to the traditional office setup. 

Keep reading to find out how you can take your business to the next level with a flexible alternative to the fixed office. 

Table of contents: 

  1. Co-working hub
  2. Virtual office
  3. Hot desking 
  4. Serviced office
  5. Small-business incubator

1. Co-working Hub

Working in a Co-Working Space in Melbourne

A co-working hub is basically a working space, usually with a modern and creative interior design, that’s designed to accommodate people who work independently on different projects. 

According to Mordor Intelligence, there are over 374 coworking spaces in Australia, with increasing demand from freelancers, startups, and small businesses. 

With a coworking space, you typically pay a daily, weekly, or monthly fee, without the need to commit to a long-term commercial lease. 

Opting for a coworking space for your business can offer numerous advantages, including saving on overhead expenses, fostering networking opportunities, and providing a more adaptable workspace for your employees.

One caveat, though. 

Typically, co-working hubs are noisy environments with phones ringing, people talking, and keyboards tapping. 

These distractions can be challenging to deal with, but some people don’t mind them, especially if they provide an opportunity to interact with others and make genuine connections. 

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and how much disruption you’re willing to tolerate.

In Australia, a coworking space may cost up to $600 per month, depending on the location and amenities you opt for. 

2. Virtual Office

Working in a Virtual Office in Melbourne

If the majority of work in your business is done remotely, there’s no reason you can’t try a virtual office

With a virtual office, you can register your business with ASIC and Google Maps without using your home address. 

This allows you to receive mail at a designated location and get other benefits as well.   

Depending on your provider, a virtual office may come with all the tools your business needs to build a professional image, including a business address, mail-handling services, local landline plans, and a virtual receptionist to manage customer calls. 

Many virtual offices also provide meeting rooms and boardrooms, whether it’s for weekly catch-up meetings or important client meetings you want to hold in a professional office setup.   

At B2B HQ, our virtual offices come with a range of benefits. You get your own mailbox, individual office address (unique only to your business), and keyless entry 24/7. 

Plus, we won’t lock you in a contract. We’re here for our customers, so you have complete flexibility to customise your office package and stay with us as long as you want. 

For as little as $57.5 per month + GST with the annual plan or $69 per month + GST with the monthly plan, you can sign up for our virtual office package.

As a general rule, the average cost to hire a virtual office in Australia varies between $50 and $100 per month. 

3. Hot Desking

Working in a Hot Desk in Melbourne

Hot desking is a workplace system in which desks are used by different people on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Some hot desking arrangements also enable employees to use a mobile app to book a desk or shared table for a day or even a few hours. 

The term “hot desking” is said to have derived from the practice of sailors sharing the same bunk on different shifts, which was called “hot racking”. 

While it’s certainly not a new concept, hot desking is a great alternative to the traditional office setup now embraced by lots of businesses looking to maximise space utilisation and reduce overhead costs. 

This is especially true for businesses offering hybrid work policies where employees work on different schedules.  

With a hot desking system in place, you can guarantee that there will be enough workstations available for those who are in the office on any given day.   

However, you must remember that hot desking requires an adequate desk booking system. 

It is your responsibility as a leader to ensure that the right booking system is made available and that your team members are trained on how to use it effectively.

Across Australia, the cost of a hot desk can range from $100 to $400 per month. Hot desk rates for a day can range from $40 to $90, while hourly rates can range from $15 to $30. 

4. Serviced Office

Working in a Serviced Office in Melbourne

A serviced office is an office space managed by a third-party provider. It is already fully equipped and fully furnished and ready for you to move it and get to work. 

At first glance, it may not seem a big difference between a traditional office and a serviced office, but there are actually a few key differences between them. 

First and foremost, a serviced office means that the provider takes care of all administrative and operational tasks (e.g., reception services, cleaning, maintenance, etc.), leaving you free to focus on your core business.

On the other hand, a traditional office means that you are responsible for maintaining and managing the space. 

Additionally, serviced offices work on short-term, flexible leases, while traditional offices are typically secured through a long-term lease from a landlord. 

Usually, businesses are charged for serviced office usage in two different ways: either a flat fee for the space they occupy or a monthly rate based on the number of desks or amenities they require. 

The cost of renting serviced office space in Australia depends on various factors, such as the size of the business, the intended rental duration, and any additional services required. 

In major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, serviced office rates can range from approximately $800 to $2,000 per month for a single desk. However, the rates may be lower in smaller cities and regional areas.

5. Small-Business Incubator

Small Business Incubator in Australia

Business incubators are organisations that help startups to develop by providing them with the right guidance and support. 

Typically, a business incubator provides free or low-cost workspace, access to investors, networking opportunities, mentorship, administrative support, etc. 

These programs were created by the government in order to foster business growth and create employment opportunities in the local economy. 

For nascent businesses, this is a great way to minimise the risk of failure and lay a solid foundation for scalability. 

However, it is important to do your research before committing to a business incubator. 

While they’re a great resource for fledgling businesses, the application process can be time-consuming and highly selective. 

Some incubators may also charge fees for access to their training programs or take a portion of your equity. 

Once your business has moved from the startup phase to the growth phase, you can also access funding and mentorship by applying for a startup accelerator program. 

While there is some overlap in the services provided by incubators and accelerators, they are designed for startups that are at different stages. Put simply, accelerators “accelerate” business growth, whereas incubators “incubate”very early-stage businesses.

The Bottom Line

Using A Virtual Office as an Alternative to a Traditional Office

While the office as we know it is slowly dying out, more flexible office alternatives are now available for businesses of all sizes. 

Co-working hubs, virtual offices, hot desking, serviced offices, and small-business incubators provide businesses with various office alternatives for more affordable prices. 

Whether you’re a startup looking for a cost-effective office solution or a more established business seeking to provide more flexible work arrangements, an alternative to the traditional office space can meet your needs and budgets.  

At B2B HQ, we can help you find the office package that best fits your business. Our professional virtual office space in Melbourne and wide range of services, combined with the expertise of our dedicated team, ensure that we’ll find the ideal package that meets your business needs. Contact us at 1800 861 761 or info@b2bhq.com.au to get started.

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