The platform allows landlords to upload property details and tenants to browse and book workspace. Tenancy is on a rolling monthly basis offering complete flexibility for the landlord and tenant. Desk Union takes care of all the necessary paperwork and collect the rents from the tenants.
Desk Union is aimed primarily at small businesses, freelancers, consultants and independent professionals looking for cost-effective office space. For example, someone who is currently based in a home office but looking to move into a more corporate environment without the expense of renting an office.
Among Desk Union’s latest tenants David Burns runs an online business called HelpingWithMath.comwhich helps parents who want to help their children with mathematics. For the past six years he has operated from a home office.
He said: “While I really enjoyed the ease, freedom and flexibility of working from home, I found that this enjoyment was becoming a bit of a problem. I needed more structure to my working day and I wanted to be less isolated.
I found DeskUnion through their Twitter feed. I had checked out small office spaces before. They were quite a bit more expensive than my current space and they required a minimum year-long lease plus I would have needed to set up Internet access among other things.”
He added: “I spotted a shared office space on the Desk Union website and filled in the contact form. That same day I got a call back and viewed the space. I took the weekend to think about it and it was a done deal. Now I am in a shared office space right in the centre of Glasgow. The people that were already there are very friendly and made me welcome from the start.”
The service is the brainchild of (left) Victoria Arnold, a young award-winning entrepreneur. She commented: “The traditional commercial property market is archaic and does not cater for the needs of the micro business community who make up 94% of all Scottish businesses. Between Glasgow and Edinburgh alone it is estimated that there are 32,000 microbusinesses.
In addition, by 2050 it is estimated that 50% of the global workforce will be independent meaning they will have no official company space from which to work.”
She adds: “I felt that there should be an easy way to link up individuals with companies who have spare desk space and the seeds of Desk Union were sown. Not only do users secure flexible and cost-effective work space, but they get all the benefits of collaboration and interaction with the host business and other tenants.”
Desk Union currently active in three cities, plans to expand UK-wide. The typical all-inclusive rent for a desk averages £200 per month, from which Desk Union takes 50% of the first month’s rent and 12.5% of the monthly rent thereafter.