launching / member experience

Hot Desk vs. Dedicated Desk

. 5 min read . Written by Michelle Cadieux
Hot Desk vs. Dedicated Desk

Coworking has been around for over 20 years now.

As a result, we can learn from the mistakes of early coworking spaces. And - hopefully, not repeat them...

That said, over these past 20 years, coworking spaces have tested a wide range of product types and offerings, otherwise known as “membership options.”  

No matter what’s on your menu, one fact always remains: Commitment is scary.

Would you lock yourself into a yearly membership at a brand new gym you’ve never tried it? Probably not.

That’s why successful coworking is built on offering options that not only appeal to a potential customer's lifestyle, business, and budget but also offers varying degrees of commitment and flexibility.

Offering memberships with varying degrees of flexibility allows members to get a taste of your space without breaking the bank or fully committing; opening up the possibility for more committed member down the line.  

Pro Tip: Find a coworking space management software like Archie which will allow you to track the popularity of each of your membership plans.

That said, here are the seven most common membership plans offered by modern coworking spaces.

Most Common Coworking Membership Types

  1. Virtual Office
  2. Weekender membership plan
  3. Community membership
  4. Hot Desk
  5. Dedicated Desk
  6. Private office membership plan
  7. Hourly rate membership plan

Virtual Office

Who it benefits: This membership plan caters to those entrepreneurs or business owners who are looking to have a business address but don’t yet have the capital to finance full-time access to your space.

This membership gives them an address to send mail, a place to host meetings, and access to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and professionals.

Typically includes:

  • Business address & mail service
  • Discounts on meeting rooms
  • Access to the digital community weekender membership plan

Weekender Membership

Who it benefits: This type of membership plan is perfect for side hustlers that are working on a project outside of their daily 9-5. Or for full-time entrepreneurs on a budget.

This membership sometimes includes the use of a desk in your space outside of peak hours.

Typically includes:

  • Unlimited access to a hot desk on weekends (during non-peak hours as well)
  • Discounts on other services, including meeting rooms

Community Membership

Who it benefits: A community membership is an entry-level offering that appeals to people who are interested in your space, but not necessarily ready to commit - or who can’t yet afford - a full access membership yet.

Typically includes:

  • 1-5 days of hot desk access per month + discounted fee for additional day passes
  • Access to the digital community
  • Discounts on meeting rooms
  • Discounts on events

Hot Desk

Who it benefits: Hot desk membership gives people full access to the space and amenities, but not to an assigned or “dedicated” desk.

However, members can still enjoy the same basic benefits of a dedicated membership. This is a great option for flexible workers who need a full-time space but are looking for a more serious work environment than a coffee shop.

Typically includes:

  • Unlimited monthly access, but with no assigned seat
  • Allotted access to meeting rooms
  • Access to the digital community
  • Discounts on events

Dedicated Desk

Who it benefits: This membership plan is for the committed full-time worker.

It offers a dedicated desk in your space they can return to every day. This membership plan is perfect for people who are ready to use your space on a full-time basis and who are looking for more personal and secured storage space.

Typically includes:

  • Unlimited access to an assigned desk
  • Allotted access to meeting rooms
  • Access to the digital community
  • Locked personal storage

Private Office Membership Plan

Who it benefits: This membership option offers the highest level of commitment. These private offices are best for either multiple people or established businesses that require their own physical and private space.

Pricing plans differ based on the size of the office.

Typically includes:

  • Unlimited access to a private and secured office space
  • Allotted access to meeting rooms
  • Access to the digital community
  • Discount on events

Hourly Rate Membership Plan

Who it benefits: This is the most flexible membership plan.

It offers access to your space for prospective clients who are looking for an affordable way to test your space. Alternatively, it can accommodate those who are traveling through town and need a space to get some serious work done in a short amount of time.

Typically includes:

  • Access to the space and amenities on an hourly rate
  • Discounts on meeting rooms
  • Discounts on events

Coworking Membership Pricing

Potential members will be attracted to competitive pricing on plans in your coworking space.

Competitive pricing not only attracts new members but keeps them around.

In short, membership price is an important contributing factor to member churn.

So I bet you’re asking yourself, “what’s a fair price?”

Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered so directly or simply.

This is because the coworking market is vast.

Pricing for the same membership changes drastically based on space’s location, amenities, design, and services offered.

For example, in New York City, a dedicated desk from WeWork will cost you $450/month in Brooklyn.

However, in swanky Midtown Manhattan, the same membership will cost 650$. And on Lexington Avenue, near the iconic Grand Central Station shown below, the same monthly membership costs up to $700!

With that in mind, it’s difficult to give an average or estimate of what a new coworking business should charge, as several factors influence pricing. And pricing will also vary based on your costs.

So where should you start? With a competitive benchmarking exercise.

In other words, you want to get a sense of what other coworking spaces of a similar scale are charging for memberships in your area.

You can also benchmark high profile spaces like WeWork in your area to get an idea of what the ceiling for pricing should be.  

After this exercise, you should have a solid understanding of the market and where your business stands.

After that, you’ll be one step closer to determining a fair price to charge for memberships in your space.

Allow the coworking management tool Archie, to automate all your membership, and scheduling needs.

Archie has the ability to seamlessly integrate with your space's coworking options, be they: Hot Desking, Dedicated Desks, Room Bookings, and any degree of membership you allow.

Spaces need flexibility in how they operate, and Archie can handle that.

Click here to connect with an Archie product specialist, and learn more about Archie.