A guide to different types of office spaces

Posted on: 15th November 2022

Reading time:  9 mins

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There are many different types of office spaces. Each type offers unique benefits to employees, freelancers, and employers alike.

Typically, when we think of an ‘office space’ our minds may lead us to a serviced office space packed with nine-to-five workers. While that type of office is very much alive today, there are now many more workspace options for companies to choose from.

From open-plan shared coworking spaces to more focused, individual private offices, it’s important to pick the right type of office space that suits you. This includes accommodating your business goals, the makeup of your team, and the kind of company culture you're aiming for.

Below, we explore the different types of office spaces, discussing the various advantages each type brings.

What is an office space?

An office space is often considered an HQ of sorts for a business. However, as the world of work is changing, with many adopting hybrid working, the term ‘office space’ is also evolving.

Put simply, an office space is a self-contained space that has the sole purpose of accommodating people doing desk-based work. It’s a space for employees to come together and share a workspace. This includes featuring essentials such as WiFi, printing facilities, and other amenities.

These office spaces are usually privately owned by a single company or shared between multiple users.

Different types of office spaces

Once you've decided that you want office space, you now need to work out what type to choose.

Consider whether you’re looking for a flexible workspace, or if you’re after something more traditional. You can also opt for a hybrid of the two office spaces, making use of one of the less traditional office spaces available.

We explore the most popular types of office spaces, below.

Traditional office space

The traditional office is any workplace used by a single company, where each employee has a dedicated desk that they use every day. If an employee is on annual leave, is off sick, or is away on business, their desk will be empty.

This model often also features a desktop PC or laptop set aside per employee, with all their local files contained on it. It also usually features the likes of a cupboard or storage space dedicated to whatever they need for work, such as stationary or notepads.

Large corporates usually have this model, as it has traditionally been difficult to share digital resources and personal storage in an accessible way. However, cloud storage or keeping data on a local server offers greater flexibility. This can open up other workspace options and bring more efficiency.

Many traditional offices are moving with the times and often serve as a base camp of sorts for a business that works on a hybrid model. These changes can take the form of mixing with coworking, making use of hot desking, or staff working from home.

Creative office space

Creative office spaces are like traditional spaces, yet are designed more with collaboration in mind rather than privacy and quietness.

They are usually more open-plan and don't have separators. They will feature communal areas, breakout spaces, meeting rooms, and other features to encourage collaboration and productivity.

Hybrid office space

hybrid office consists of employees who have the flexibility to work both remotely and in-office. Thanks to this, employees often enjoy more freedom over when and where work is completed.

A hybrid office space can describe essentially any type of office space. It’s merely how a team divides their time between it and other locations that determines whether it’s a hybrid office.

Contiguous office space

contiguous office is two or more office spaces used by a single company but adjacent to each other. Each space usually has a workforce, department, or purpose, but it could simply be dictated by the available layout of the building.

If a company has a contract for a whole floor of a tower block, it's probably contiguous.

Private office space

Privacy is important in business, especially when working on confidential plans, discussing personal information, or viewing and storing sensitive files or paperwork. Private offices tend to be smaller, with lockable doors, blinds on windows, soundproof walls, and buzzer access.

Of course, some managers just like to have their own office because it's quiet or more prestigious, and that's their choice. Either way, a private office is exactly as it sounds.

Customisable offices

Most of the time, the property owner determines the furniture arrangement and décor of a leased office. With a customizable office, the tenant has a little more flexibility.

This means they can rearrange desks and seating and even create break-out spaces. Sometimes, customizable offices allow some semi-permanent features, such as having the company’s branding on the walls.

In most cases, tenants pick the furniture from the owner's collection. However, sometimes they must provide their own.

Shared offices

When it comes to the flexible workspace, there's nothing that quite matches the shared office. In this arrangement, workers are sharing the space with other people who may or may not work for their own company.

Often called coworking spaces, they are popular with creatives, freelancers, digital nomads, startups, and entrepreneurs who pop in and out throughout the day.

Nowadays, large companies also rent a few desks in shared offices and offer employees access to coworking as part of a flexible employment package.

Shared offices frequently occupy prestigious parts of city centers and are housed within well-designed, efficient buildings. This can range from refurbished buildings to brand-new office spaces built for the job.

Many shared offices feature pods, sofas, breakfast bars, beanbags, standing desks, and other places to sit (or stand). They'll also have their own reception and concierge services and often come with additional specialized rooms. These can include meeting rooms, conference rooms, showers, canteens, and sometimes even bars and games rooms.

With so many types of coworking spaces to choose from, it's always a good idea to explore different spaces to see if your business would be a good fit.

Day office

The day office is a flexible place to do work, as you can hire it for just a day. Some providers even let you hire it by the hour.

Unlike a coworking space, this has the benefits of a private office or a small traditional office. It can be useful to rent an office for a day if you're working out of town, or if you're only working one day a week. Under these circumstances, it can be a very cost-effective workplace.

Serviced office space

serviced office is managed by a third party, which takes care of furnishings, connectivity, services, and shared spaces such as receptions and corridors, cleaning, and maintenance.

It's often thought of as a landlord-and-tenant arrangement, with the company taking out a long-term lease on the real estate. In practice, most types of offices in this list are also serviced.

The alternative is a company-owned property, where they have to deal with every aspect of its day-to-day running, even if they contract much of it out to third parties.

How to choose an office space which is right for you

Whether you choose a traditional or flexible office space will depend on how much flexibility you and your workforce need.

If you want all your team in the same place so it's easier to communicate, share resources and break out for meetings, there's nothing wrong with a traditional office space. You can still combine it with hot desk facilities and hybrid working if you choose.

If you need to be more flexible, or if your typical workforce expects flexibility, then a blend of the office types above can work. Many businesses get by perfectly well with a small head office housing two or three people, and a large, global workforce using coworking spaces or working from home.

There's no right or wrong office space, but some types just make the whole process of running a particular business that much easier.

If you’re looking for office spaces, you can explore our office spaces all over the world. Or you reach out to us for some expert advice on which type of office space would work best for you and your business.


Regus offers office spaces all across America. From office space solutions in Alabama to collaborative coworking opportunities in Wisconsin, you’ll find different office spaces to fit your business across the country. Work your way with Regus.

Topics in this article

  • Productivity


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