Having your own business front door requires commitment and long contracts, writes Katie Roche
WITH a host of commercial properties on offer, looking for an office is not easy, and it's even harder if you're a small business. For start-ups and independent workers, renting an office requires a lengthy commitment with contracts and bills. The idea of sharing offices and co-working is booming in Ireland, could it be a good option for people interested in visiting the country with an Ireland Business Visa?
"When businesses are starting up, and you want your own front door, you're going to be faced with a lot of costs", says architect Ciaran Ferrie, who's co-founder of The Fumbally Exchange, a co-working space in Dublin.
Getting your own front-door office can cost between €500-€1,000 a month, depending on the quality, upkeep of the building, and the number of desks sought. Then, you're faced with bills, year-long utility contracts and at least a six-month lease.
Old-fashioned cubicles are outnumbered by open-plan office shares – and without the dividers. The Fumbally Exchange, who have just opened a new premises in Dublin, has a 60-man capacity over three floors. The 10,000sq ft space is purposely planned to foster collaborations and informal chats.
Sitting there are copywriters, app developers, website and graphic designers; there are 35 people renting desks since they moved into their new premises. But there is one catch: this is a community.
"We're looking for people who are ambitious with what they want to achieve, who can work well in teams, and are doing something new and fresh, and are open to collaborations," explains Ferrie.
Instead of employing staff, independent workers like Ferrie can hire the skills of co-workers around them. This will help anyone who wants to employ people in their business. It can even be a first step for people visiting the country with an Ireland Business Visa.
There's even a weekly 'speed dating' event, where workers meet one-to-one to learn about another person in the group.
"Often we form an opinion of what someone does but then they demonstrate it and you find there are aspects of it you haven't realised," says Ferrie.
"Some people have ideas and don't know how to implement them – they can find people in here who can help them do that. Interesting projects have arisen and that's what we're trying to generate and promote."
At The Fumbally a desk costs €369 a month. On a monthly lease, the cost covers kitchen facilities, rates, utility costs, and cleaning.
Other shared office spaces with a focus on co-working include Gate House Design in Cork, The Joinery in Dublin, and WeCreate Workspace in Tipperary.