Shared office space can preserve scarce cash

Smart cash flow management is critical to any business, but especially so for startups. Leasing the building, furnishing it, maintaining it, equipping it with phone and computer systems and networks… These are significant costs that startups would do well to avoid for as long as possible.

So it was with great interest that I read about the Indoor Playground, “a next generation co-working environment … for the entrepreneur who needs an office space on occasion as well as a community centre for collaboration.” They’re even using Ning for their web presence!

It sounds pretty cool. They have 14 smaller meeting rooms averaging 100 square feet, four larger shared meeting spaces, and a breakfast bar with shared room for working.

There’s an article in BusinessWeek.com about the phenomenon called co-working that features Indoor Playground:

One of the newest co-working facilities, for-profit Indoor Playground, opened in Toronto on Feb. 1 with a mission statement focused solely on supporting local entrepreneurial activity. The space’s hanging dividers and movable desks allow for reconfigurable work areas that can accommodate growing businesses as well as community events. Those events are planned by members themselves, both in person and through wikis.

I’ve toyed with the idea of setting up an accounting firm in a similar manner, with both private and shared working areas, but no assigned cubicles or desks. It’s not that far out, since work tends to come in somewhat “discrete units” in the accounting business. It would encourage employees to move around and enable more interaction amongst departments that wouldn’t normally be situated together.

Tell me in the comments what you think of the idea.

(Via Maple Leaf 2.0.)

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