Business Tips » Chicago Shared Office Space Checklist

Chicago Shared Office Space Checklist

Chicago Shared Office Space Checklist

If you’ve been looking for office space for rent in Chicago, no doubt you’ve heard about the growing trend in virtual office space. Whether you’re a solo practitioner, small business owner or decision maker for a national or international company, there are fiscal as well as social benefits in working with an office suites provider of flexible and/or virtual office space. But, before signing on the dotted line, you shoud know that not all virtual office suites providers offer the same services and amenities.

To help in your search for new shared office space, our Amata staff put together this list of questions to ensure you find the best space and services necessary to help you grow your business.

1. What is included in the monthly fee?

While some Chicago shared office providers offer a low base fee, most services may be billed as an additional cost. Ask whether a live receptionist, voicemail, unlimited high-speed internet, conference room time and other office amenities are part of your contract.

2. How is the space branded? Can I decorate my own office?

You want to leave an impression of your brand with your clients, not the brand of your shared office suites provider. Look closely at how the common areas and conference rooms are decorated. Branding can even pop up in unexpected places, like water bottle labels or pens, so check that out, too. And ask whether you can paint your office or bring in your own furnishings to make your virtual office space your own.

3. Can I bring my own phone number and take it with me when I move?

Whether you’re an established practitioner or a new start-up business in Chicago, it’s imperative your clients are able to reach you. So be sure you’ll be allowed to use your existing phone number and/or take your new number with you when you move.

4. Can I adjust my contract as my business needs evolve?

Flexibility is key when considering an office rental in Chicago. So find out whether you’ll be able to adjust your contract as your business grows. Also ask whether the office suites provider has any programs or a commercial real estate brokerage arm to help transition from virtual office space to leasing or buying office space.

5. What value-added perks or additional services and amenities are available?

Just as you strive to create value for your clients, so should your office suites provider. Consider the following:

  • How convenient is the shared office space location to public transportation? Is discounted or free parking or valet available?

  • Are there cafeteria services? How are those billed?

  • Are there places to meet with my clients or team members besides a conference room?

  • When reserving a conference room, is coffee and water service available? How is that billed?

  • What professional services are available (e.g. court filing and private deposition rooms for the legal community)?

  • Are there opportunities to network within the shared office space community, such as a happy hour with other professionals with offices in the same space?

Have you recently leased space from an office suites provider? What features did you find most appealing? Let our readers know in the comments below.

In our next blog post, Ron weighs in on a recent Harvard Business Review article discussing the link between workplace design and productivity. In the meantime, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Until next time,

Frank Chalupa

President and Co-founder


Image By: Howard Lifshitz