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Decoding Coworking: A Flexible Workspace Glossary

Helga Moreno
Helga Moreno
Decoding Coworking: A Flexible Workspace Glossary

The coworking space industry is developing and more new terminology is coming into use. There are not too many places on the internet where you can find all unknown definitions and explanations of the terms related to flexible workspace business.

This is the idea behind this page creation — compile a glossary of workspace terms to refer to. The work is still in progress, which means I am adding new definitions as soon as they appear on my radar. So, I encourage you to come here regularly to fill in the terminology gaps. Your additions to this glossary are also more than welcome.



Accelerator | Business Accelerator | Startup Accelerator | Seed Accelerator

An accelerator is a program for developing companies. It gives them the required support such as access to mentorship and investors, logistical and technical resources, and shared office space which helps them become stable, self-sufficient businesses. An accelerator connects companies to networks of peers so that they could learn from their experience.

The business accelerator program is intended for startups that have already moved through the earliest stages of getting established and entered the phase where they mostly need guidance and peer support to “grow muscles” and gain strength.

Accelerator doesn’t fit for less developed “newborn” companies. They require extensive care and support from a business incubator.

The duration of an accelerator program is from two to six months. The main goal for the companies in the program is to get ready to run on their own, build strong positioning, and develop strategies to establish themselves in the target markets.

Accelerator: This type of companies are micro startup-ecosystems to help startups grow faster. They offer funding and a consulting team so help the founders address the business opportunity correctly. Their objective is to reach the exit-stage of the firm in a period of 5 to 7 years to obtain the maximum profit as investors. - Vocabulary startup guide

Accommodation Address

An accommodation address is a service similar to post office boxes to deliver mail in the name of a person or business for retrieval. Small businesses that have no fixed business address use accommodation addresses instead of post office boxes because such a proper address helps them build a credible business image.

Agile Workspace

A typical agile workspace strays away from the desk setting and allows residents to work anywhere in the coworking space. This could be a comfortable soft seating, meeting room, or a standing desk.

The idea is to allow members to get into their comfort zones and create a distraction-free environment that enables them to bring their best self out to work. With fewer restrictions, it enables people to choose where they want to work and when.

The members can work in any part of the working space, which generally has a lot of room to move around and carry out daily activities. They can choose the best setting fit for a particular task.

It strikes a balance between collaboration and privacy, ensuring the workers feel energized and productive in both settings. This ultimately allows the coworking members to move much freely and work how they want, without any rigid boundaries.


Amenities at a coworking space are the facilities and services provided to enhance the working environment. They include workstations, meeting rooms, community spaces, productivity-enhancing features, business support services, tech infrastructure, wellness facilities, and networking opportunities.


Baby Boomer

Baby boomer term (first used in 1970 in a Washington Post article) refers to people born between 1946 and 1964 during the post–World War II baby boom. This demographic cohort follows Silent Generation and precedes Generation X.

Baby boomers make up a large part of the global population. People belonging to the baby boomer generation are especially numerous in developed nations (as of 2019, 23.5% of the US population are baby boomers.) Being the largest generational group in US history, baby boomers make a great impact on the economy, which makes them a target group of many marketing campaigns.


A broker is a third-party agent in the tenant/landlord or client/operator agreement process that helps to match businesses or individual entrepreneurs with available flexible workspaces worldwide. When a contract is signed, a broker will charge the operator a fee.

Business Center

A business center is a professionally managed commercial facility that offers an end-to-end business infrastructure for short, medium, and long term durations. In other words, it’s a building or a part of it in which serviced offices are housed. Companies can choose from a wide range of flexible options based on their specific space and infrastructural requirements.

A business center offers everything required to run a business: copiers, fax, printers, scanners, contemporary furniture, and decor, high-speed internet connectivity, and more. You can also get trained staff to answer phone calls and meet your administrative needs.

Business centers also provide conference and meeting rooms to clients and tend to work on a long-term lease model.

Business Continuity

Business continuity is a service offered by most business centre locations. This is actually emergency planning and assistance should a disaster occur to a company. They can provide a business in trouble with an office, internet access, telephones, and help to keep it running.

Business Lounge

A business longe is a purpose-built facility (like a room at an airport for business class passengers) in a flexible space environment. Business lounges are ideal for people that don't require a fixed workspace, or due to work travel all the time. They are generally situated in or close to city and transport hub locations and include comfortable chairs, a coffee bar, sometimes computers, fax machines, and secretaries.


Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, such as data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet.

Large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations from central servers. Clouds may be limited to a single organization (enterprise cloud) or be available to multiple organizations (public cloud).

Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale. Cloud computing allows companies to avoid or minimize up-front IT infrastructure costs. Besides, cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, which enables IT teams to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable demand, providing the burst computing capability: high computing power at certain periods of peak demand.

The concept incorporates infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) as well as Web 2.0 and other recent technology trends that have the common theme of reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users.

The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on how the Internet is depicted in computer network diagrams and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.


Co-living is a residential community living model that accommodates three or more biologically unrelated people. It is a type of intentional community that provides shared housing for people with similar values or intentions. The coliving experience may include group discussions in common areas or weekly meals, although will oftentimes extend to shared workspace and collective endeavors such as living more sustainably.

An increasing number of people across the world are turning to coliving in order to unlock the same benefits as other communal living models (such as communes or cohousing), including “comfort, affordability, and a greater sense of social belonging.”

Coliving in its contemporary form has gained prominence in recent years due to a combination of factors including increased urbanization rates, a lack of affordable housing options, and a growing interest in lifestyles not dependent upon long-term contracts.


A community is a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives, and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings. Community members have a feeling of fellowship with one another, which is a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

In the coworking and flexible workspace industry, the community is one of the key values. It includes all members of a particular network together with managers and operators. The community of coworkers makes workspace sustainable and adds value to membership.

Belonging to a coworking community is beneficial for all members as there is no competition where one person wins while others lose. Here every personal gain becomes the gain of the entire community.

The coworking community is about relationships and trust. Community members not only work under the same roof, but they also share experiences, responsibilities, and participate in all sorts of events, which keeps the community alive and develops a sense of belonging and commitment in each person.

Community Manager

A community manager is a person responsible for building and maintaining a brand's community, both online and offline, and public perception. This position requires engaging audiences on a variety of outlets to reach all audiences wherever they are, including in-person groups, online forums, social media platforms, and more.

Community managers use consistent tone and voice across all platforms they use to engage members to promote brand culture and recognition.

Facility managers at coworking and flexible workspaces facilitate interactions between members, organize and host events, welcome guests, take care of coffee and cookies, in a word, keep everyone comfortable and happy. They are in charge of the hospitality aspect.

Conference Call | ATC (Audio Teleconference)

A conference call is a telephone call in which one person talks to several people at the same time. The conference call may be designed to allow the called party to participate during the call or set up so that the called party merely listens to the call and cannot speak.

Conference calls can be designed so that the calling party calls the other participants and adds them to the call; however, participants are usually able to call into the conference call themselves by dialing a telephone number that connects to a "conference bridge," which is a specialized type of equipment that links telephone lines.

Companies use a specialized service provider who maintains the conference bridge, or who provides the phone numbers and PIN codes that participants dial to access the meeting or conference call.

Coworking | Co-working

Coworking is a state of being, a methodology whereby people and/or groups of people that don’t belong to the same organization or project work alongside one another.

When somebody says they are “coworking,” they basically mean they are working in a building where multiple tenants (such as entrepreneurs, start-ups, or nonprofits) rent working space (such as desks or offices) and have the use of communal facilities

Coworking Contract | Agreement | Lease

A coworking contract is a paperwork required for coworking rentals. Coworking contracts are way simpler than traditional office rental agreements.

Operating a coworking space instead of a rental agreement, you enter into a service contract with your clients. Coworkers pay not only for space but also for the communal areas, access to networking, internet connection, and special events. Rather than a leasing fee, a co-worker pays an occupancy fee. Each coworking space is different and free to draw its own contract because such contracts are not regulated by law.

Between enterprise agreements and coworking agreements, it is the latter that wades deeper into the grey area of whether a lease exists. The terms of an enterprise agreement are comparably more defined with tenants having a dedicated space for a specific period of time with space itself being customizable. As a result, these agreements are more likely to be considered leases.

Coworking Software | Coworking Space Software | Coworking Space Management Software | Coworking App

Coworking software is a technology combining a set of solutions aimed at simplifying coworking space management, improving members’ experience, and increasing workspace revenue.

Coworking space software can be divided into two classes — technologies developed for members, and applications developed for managers.

  • Coworking space management software designed for administrators is mainly used by community managers, sales representatives, accountants, and other workspace team members and employees. Ideally, the technology should save the management team's time by automating routine tasks such as invoice issuance and payments, customer relationship management, and more.
  • Coworking space software for members is created to help a shared workspace keep its focus on tenants. It puts workspace customers on top of it all. First and foremost this type of technology prioritizes user experience. Its main goal is to pack all flexible workspace services (meeting rooms, desks, community, support, perks, etc.) into an easily accessible application where tenants can discover them and obtain anything they need.

Generate recurring revenue and offer exceptional customer experience at your shared or coworking space

Coworking Space | Hub

According to Wikipedia, a coworking space is an arrangement in which workers of different companies share an office space, allowing cost savings and convenience through the use of common infrastructures, such as equipment, utilities, and receptionist and custodial services, and in some cases refreshments and parcel acceptance services. It is attractive to independent contractors, independent scientists, telecommuting and work-at-home professionals, and people who travel frequently.

Working at coworking spaces helps entrepreneurs avoid the feeling of isolation they may experience while telecommuting, traveling, or working at home alone, and eliminate distractions. Most coworking spaces charge membership dues.

Coworking spaces offer their residents a variety of amenities like shared workstations in an open-plan ‘office’ environment, private desk space, ‘hot-desking’ options, private offices, and meeting rooms. They are community-oriented and work on a flexible pay-as-you-go membership model. Coworkers typically pay a monthly club membership or subscription fee which includes access to the hub, a hotdesk, internet & meeting rooms.

Shared office spaces are oriented toward creating a community spirit among members. Their set up is designed to encourage interaction and a sense of community. Coworking hubs run social & networking events. Besides, they offer business support, professional advice drop-ins & investor meetings.

Flexible workspaces gather collaborative communities of like-minded freelancers, start-ups, and SMEs. Even Google has embraced coworking to reduce office costs while at the same time boosting employee performance & satisfaction.

Coworking Trip

A coworking trip is a type of travel where people work remotely from various locations, often using shared workspace facilities or coworking spaces. It is a way for people to combine work and travel, allowing them to experience new places while still being able to earn a living. Coworking trips can be taken independently or as part of a group, and they can last for a few days or several weeks, or months. Coworking spaces are typically equipped with desks, chairs, and other office equipment, and they often provide additional amenities such as high-speed internet, printing facilities, and meeting rooms. Many people find that coworking trips are a great way to boost productivity, meet new people, and experience new cultures.


Day Pass

A day pass at a coworking space refers to a temporary access option that allows individuals to use the facilities and amenities of the coworking space for a single day without committing to a long-term membership. It provides flexibility for those who require a workspace on a short-term basis or want to experience the coworking environment before deciding on a more extended arrangement. With a day pass, individuals can typically enjoy the benefits of the coworking space, including access to workstations, common areas, amenities, and sometimes even participate in networking events or workshops scheduled for that day.

Dedicated Desk | Fixed Desk | Permanent Desk

A dedicated desk is a personal desk in a shared workspace environment. The option is offered by coworking spaces at a higher price than shared desks. Having a dedicated desk guarantees that a member can find the same spot available every day.

A dedicated desk is an option for members that value the security of having their own desk, chair, and filing cabinet, though, they don't mind sharing the same office space with several other like-minded professionals. Dedicated desks add a little bit more structure to the regular coworking routine.

Demo Day

Demo Day refers to an event typically held in a coworking space or startup accelerator where entrepreneurs, founders, or teams present their business ideas, prototypes, or products to potential investors, mentors, and the wider community. It is an opportunity for startups to showcase their progress, achievements, and future plans in a concise and compelling manner, often through pitches, presentations, or product demonstrations.

Demo Days aim to generate interest, secure funding or partnerships, and gain valuable feedback and exposure for the participating startups. These events are often organized by coworking spaces or accelerator programs to provide a platform for startups to connect with potential investors and collaborators, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation within the coworking ecosystem.


Economics Agglomeration

Economies of agglomeration or agglomeration effects are cost savings arising from urban agglomeration. The term economies of agglomeration is used in urban economics to describe the benefits that firms obtain by locating near each other ('agglomerating').

This concept relates to the idea of economies of scale and network effects. In simple words, as more firms in related fields of business cluster together, their costs of production may decline significantly

Enterprise Coworking

Enterprise coworking refers to the practice of larger companies or organizations using coworking spaces to accommodate their teams or departments. It involves leasing or renting a significant portion of a coworking space or even an entire floor or building to create a dedicated workspace for their employees. Enterprise coworking offers companies the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of coworking, such as flexible and collaborative environments, access to shared amenities, and a vibrant community, while still maintaining a level of control and customization to meet their specific needs. It allows enterprises to tap into the advantages of coworking, such as cost-efficiency, scalability, and access to a network of professionals, without having to establish and manage their own traditional office spaces.

Event Space

Event space is a space for rent provided by operators both to members and non-members. Event space is an extra source of profit for flexible workspace managers. It has all the benefits of a meeting room but the event space is usually larger and can fit more people (10+).

Event space can be an open area, which allows arranging a custom experience for large groups. Event spaces are perfect for town halls, product presentations, forums, and talks. The price for using an event space may vary depending on the number of attendees as well as amenities and services required for the particular event (prompters, lights, video equipment, catering, or custom design.)


Flexible Office | Serviced Office | Managed Office | Executive Suite

A flexible office is a private office suite within a business center or a coworking space. It’s separated from other offices to maintain privacy. A serviced office comes fitted-out with cabling, desks, chairs, storage cupboards, electrical outlets, and desk telephones, as agreed between the operator and the client. Managed offices are available to rent on short, flexible terms, typically from one month up to several years.

Flexible offices can be rented by the month without the leasehold agreement. It’s a turnkey solution, so no setup and installation from the tenant are required. Tenants only need to bring their devices.

More benefits of flexible offices are that workspaces or business centers they are located at are supported by a range of inclusive services such as telephone, IT, lighting and heating plus reception, kitchen, security, office cleaning, meeting rooms, shared staff, and amenities. Besides, tenants get flexible offices in premium office buildings that they could not otherwise afford.

Flexible Workspace | Flex Space | Space

Flexible workspace is a fully serviced office with dedicated workspaces, amenities, and furnishings available to companies and professionals via flexible lease terms that can run from monthly memberships to short-term and longer-term leases.

Flex space is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of office solutions that include coworking spaces, private offices, on-demand meeting rooms, and executive suites. These office solutions often include amenities and perks with everything from Wi-Fi to coffee.

Different flexible workspace providers offer different mixes and product compositions but all of them can be tied together by one defining attribute: flexibility from long-term leases.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the European Union (EU). Since the Regulation applies regardless of where websites are based, it must be heeded by all sites that attract European visitors, even if they don't specifically market goods or services to EU residents.

The GDPR mandates that EU visitors be given a number of data disclosures. The site must also take steps to facilitate such EU consumer rights as a timely notification in the event of personal data being breached.

Generation X

Generation X or Gen X or the "MTV generation" is the name given to the generation of Americans born in the early 1960s and the early 1980s. This demographic cohort is following the baby boomers and preceding the millennials. Members of this group are approaching the middle of their working careers and potential peak-earning years.

The name "Generation X" comes from a novel by Douglas Coupland, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, published in 1991.

Generation Y

Generation Y also known as millennials, are the demographic cohort following Generation X and preceding Generation Z born between 1980 and 2000. Generation Y is the latest in a series of demographic cohorts which have been given slightly odd names in a bid to define them as a collective cultural group. Millennials largely came of age at the outset of a global financial crisis, but also amid a vast acceleration in digital technology.

Generation Z

Generation Z or Gen Z is the demographic cohort after the millennials — generation Y. Generation Z, colloquially known as Zoomers, is the demographic cohort preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Those born since the millennium and have been dubbed Generation Z or the "digital natives" have no recollection of a world without smart devices and broadband internet.


Hackerspace | Hacklab | Hackspace | Makerspace

A hackerspace is a community-operated physical place, often "not for profit" in the United States, where people share their interest in tinkering with technology, meet and work on their projects, and learn from each other. In other words, it’s a workspace where people with common interests, such as computers, machining, technology, science, digital art, or electronic art, can meet, socialize, and collaborate.


Hospitality is the relationship between a guest and a host, where the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, food and drink service, event planning, theme parks, and transportation. It includes hotels, workspaces, restaurants, and bars.

In terms of a flexible workspace, hospitality is the ability to make guests, members, and clients feel welcome. In the coworking space industry hospitality may refer to the services provided to members, as well as the treatment from the staff that helps keep members feel happy and makes them a part of your community.

Hot Desking | Hot Desk

Hot desking is an office organization system that involves multiple workers using a single physical workstation or surface during different time periods. The trend of hot-desking arose around the 1990s. In offices or workspaces, workers take whatever desk is available instead of having one assigned fixed or dedicated desk.

The term may have derived from “hot racking”, which is a concept referring to sailors taking different shifts sharing the same bunk.

A hot desk at a coworking space is a workstation with a telephone and Internet connection that allows you to turn up, plugin, and start work. Hot desks are usually available by the hour, or by day. Hot desking is popular among people who are constantly on the move but need 'quality time' in a professional working environment with access to full office support services.

Today, hot desking at a flexible workspace is frequently used as one day alternative to traveling to a company head office.

Hybrid Office

A Hybrid Office is a workplace model that integrates both remote work and traditional office-based work. It allows employees to have the flexibility to work remotely or from a physical office location, depending on their needs and preferences. This model aims to strike a balance between the advantages of remote work, such as flexibility and reduced commuting, and the benefits of in-person collaboration and interaction in a traditional office setting. The hybrid office promotes a dynamic and adaptable work environment that accommodates the diverse work styles and preferences of employees.


Incubator | Business Incubator

An incubator is typically a low or no-cost space for startups. The incubator owner may take a small equity stake in the venture, provides mentoring and coaching along with access to financing. Many business incubators receive government funding and are aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship. They are often affiliated or partnered with a university. The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) defines business incubators as a catalyst tool for either regional or national economic development.

Incubator type of workspace is designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through offering an array of business support resources and services including physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections.

Incubator: Compared to accelerators, incubators offer coworking spaces, coaching/mentoring services, contacts and resources to startups in order to to help them grow at a natural rhythm. They help early-stage projects get through the first challenges. - Vocabulary startup guide

Information Technology (IT) | Information Communications Technology (ICT)

IT or information technology refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies.

The Information Technology Association of America defines IT as the study, design, development, application, implementation, support, or management of computer-based information systems.

As to the flexible workspace industry, the term can refer to management software, platforms that aid in reporting, communications, and billing, internet connection, etc.

IoT (Internet of Things)

The Internet of things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects —“things”— that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet.

By leveraging IoT and integrating other technologies, coworking operators can transform their flexible workspaces into smarter, dynamic, and interactive facilities. From meeting room display which allows members to look at the available time slots through a dashboard to cloud printing and end solutions like controlling the air and temperature of a workplace, technology has its own role in seamless operations for the managers through a single interface.


Jelly Coworking | Jellies

Jellies or Jelli is an informal regular gathering of independent workers who convene or choose to 'hang out', in a cafe or 'free' workspace for a day, and work or converse from the local Wi-Fi connection. Similar to coworking, it provides a community vibe and allows workers to escape the loneliness of working from home. Jellies are ideal for home-workers or freelancers who want an occasional, low-cost alternative to the home office.

Jelly is a relatively new concept that expands on the idea of coworking. It started in 2006 when two home-based freelancers in New York decided to get together to stave off loneliness. The gatherings are always free and can be held anywhere providing there are Wi-Fi and easy access to coffee.


License Agreement

A license agreement is a contract agreed between a client and the workspace operator. It usually sets out the initial terms of the agreement in a simple and flexible way, which should negate the need for a legal representative. Both parties agree and sign the agreement, and the contract may be renewed on a rolling monthly or quarterly basis.

In other words, a license agreement is an easy to understand legally binding contract which gives the customer permission to occupy a premise on easy in easy out terms and does not require a solicitor. A license is an ideal solution for a flexible workspace because it is used for short periods of time.

Light Industrial Space

Light industrial space is similar to traditional industrial space but offered on easy in easy out terms. Most units are self-contained with access for goods vehicles.

Light industrial spaces are used for the assembly, disassembly, fabricating, finishing, manufacturing, packaging, and repairing or processing of various types of materials. These spaces can include but are not limited to spaces for printing, commercial laundry, film processing, vehicle repair garages, building maintenance shops, metalwork, millwork, and cabinetry work.

Light industrial spaces are designed to accommodate a structured working environment with a heavy reliance on machinery and technology.


Mail Forwarding

Mail forwarding is a mailing address service that allows your mail to be sent to a business address and then forwarded on to you.

Many coworking spaces offer members a mailing address and mail forwarding service. They will hold member’s mail until they come to pick it up or forward the mail to a member out of the area.


A makerspace is a collaborative workspace where people gather to create, share resources, and work on projects. It provides tools and equipment for activities like 3D printing, woodworking, and electronics, fostering a community of makers and encouraging hands-on learning and innovation.

Read more here: Innovation Junction: a Guide to Makerspaces in Coworking Environments

Meeting Rooms | Conference Rooms

A meeting room is a set-aside meeting space for people to get together and hold business and informal meetings, discuss issues, set priorities, and make decisions. Flexible workspaces offer a range of conference rooms that can accommodate groups of various sizes. These meeting rooms are with the necessary technology needed for a conference and video calls, as well as presentations.

In flexible workspaces, meeting rooms can be used by in-house clients or booked (directly from the community manager or via the app) by external companies on-demand, often on a ‘pay as you use’ basis.

Member | Resident

A member is someone that belongs to or is a part of a group or an organization. To become a member of a coworking space, a person needs to sign up for one of the four most common membership options: hot desk, dedicated desk, private office, or weekend plan.

No matter the selected membership subscription plan, a resident will be able to enjoy all workspace perks including community and networking opportunities and have access to additional services like printing, meeting rooms, parking, whatever.

Member club

Member club is an exclusive space managed by an operator and offering networking opportunities, entertainment, or sport facilities along with flexible workspace. Some of the well-known member clubs are Soho House, the CORE club, or the Wing club exclusive for women.

Member clubs are restricted to a community of selected members. The selection process follows specific admission criteria such as the type of activity, skills, role, or connections of the member. Many member clubs offer luxury, premium, or exclusive experiences aimed to stimulate interactions between members sharing the same interest.


Coworking space membership grants individuals or businesses access to a coworking space for a specified period, typically on a monthly or yearly basis. It provides the holder with the privileges and benefits of utilizing the shared workspace and its amenities, such as workstations, meeting rooms, communal areas, and networking events.

Coworking space memberships offer flexibility, allowing members to choose the most suitable plan based on their needs, whether it be hot-desking, dedicated/fixed desk, or private office options. These memberships foster a collaborative and productive environment, providing professionals with a cost-effective alternative to traditional office spaces and opportunities for networking, community engagement, and skill-building.

Micro Business | Micro Enterprise | Micro Company

A micro-enterprise is generally defined as a small business employing nine people or fewer (usually 1-5) and having a balance sheet or turnover of less than a certain amount. Microbusiness is the newest trend in the entrepreneurial world. It requires less than $50,000 to start the company.



Occupancy at a flexible workspace refers to the number of offices/units that are occupied by customers. For instance, if your center has 10 offices and 5 of them are occupied then your occupancy is 50%.

Workstation or fixed desk occupancy is the number of permanently occupied desks as a percentage of the total number of assignable desks (workstations).

Hot desking or flexible desk occupancy is the number of hot-desking members as a percentage of the total number of desks, where you take into account the hot-desking membership plans. (Some plans may have 10 days /month, others might be 24/7 hot desking).

Profitable occupancy rates at a flexible workspace are typically quoted at 80-85%% but the business model, location, and the split between dedicated office space, co-working spaces, meeting rooms, and common areas, determine the profitable occupancy rate for each particular business.

Open Space

Open space is a completely open area at a flexible workspace. It is usually outfitted with part-time desks, private desks, skype rooms, and phone booths. The benefits of open space are accessibility, community, openness, and sustainability. Some of its downsides include the lack of silent zones and limited privacy.

Operator | Manager

An operator is a person who maintains, manages, operates, controls engages in, conducts, carries on and/or owns a business. A flexible workspace operator is a primary force driving a team working towards the fulfillment of a company vision. A business can’t run without an operator as they are part of one another.

Some well-known examples of coworking operators are WeWork, TheHive, Spaces, Regus, The Executive Centers.


PAAS (Platform as a Service)

Platform as a service (PaaS) or application platform as a service (aPaaS) or platform-based service is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.

PaaS: Platform as a Service is used to make reference to those startups that develop software as a product, such as SaaS, but instead they set it up on top of an existing platform. - Vocabulary startup guide


Remote Worker

A remote worker, also known as a telecommuter or digital nomad, is an individual who performs their job duties and tasks from a location outside of a traditional office environment. Instead of commuting to a physical office, remote workers leverage technology, such as internet connectivity, communication tools, and collaboration platforms, to carry out their work remotely.

Coworking spaces often serve as a preferred workspace solution for remote workers, providing them with a professional and productive environment outside their home or other non-office locations. Remote workers may choose to utilize coworking spaces for various reasons, including access to amenities, a structured work environment, networking opportunities, and a sense of community, while still enjoying the flexibility and freedom of working remotely.

REVPAW (Revenue Per Available Workstation)

REVPAW or Revenue per Available Workstation is the amount of revenue generated from the total number of workstations listed across your center (and all locations). REVPAW can be calculated like this: Total Revenue divided by the number of available workstations.

REVPOW (Revenue Per Occupied Workstation)

REVPOW (Revenue per Occupied Workstation) is the total amount of revenue generated from each occupied workstation and is generally a weighted average over the year. REVPOW can be calculated like this: Total Revenue divided by the number of occupied Workstations


ROI stands for Return on Investment. In the context of coworking, ROI refers to the measure of the financial return or profitability that a business or individual gains from their investment in a coworking membership or space. It is a metric used to assess the effectiveness and value generated from the resources, time, and money invested in coworking.

The ROI calculation takes into account the costs associated with the coworking membership, such as membership fees or rent, and compares them to the benefits and returns achieved, which can include factors like increased productivity, networking opportunities, access to resources, and potential business growth. A positive ROI indicates that the investment in coworking has generated a favorable return, while a negative ROI suggests that the investment has not yielded the expected financial benefits. Evaluating ROI helps individuals and businesses make informed decisions about the value and profitability of coworking as a workspace solution.


SAAS (Software as a Service)

Software as a service is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is sometimes referred to as "on-demand software", and was formerly referred to as "software plus services" by Microsoft.

SaaS: It stands for Software as a Service. Nowadays it is common to find new startups bringing to the market softwares of any kind, but need a platform to build their software on from scratch. - Vocabulary startup guide

Serial Entrepreneur

A serial entrepreneur is an individual who repeatedly starts and leads multiple businesses over their career. They possess a strong inclination and passion for creating new ventures and are adept at identifying and pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities.

Serial entrepreneurs often demonstrate a high level of business acumen, risk-taking ability, and a track record of successfully launching and scaling multiple ventures. They may have expertise in various industries or sectors and possess a diverse skill set that enables them to navigate different business landscapes. Coworking spaces often attract and foster a community of serial entrepreneurs, providing them with a collaborative and supportive environment, networking opportunities, and access to resources and mentorship that can aid in the development and growth of their ventures.

Services To Rent Ratio

Services To Rent Ratio is the total ratio of rental income to service income. All income with the exception of Rent or license fees is deemed as service income. It is an indicator of the % of service revenue.

Shared Office

A shared office is an office space where two or more companies work and share the cost of the rent. Shared offices are usually shared by companies, not freelancers, entrepreneurs, or other self-employed individuals. Shared offices have no collaborative culture employees there tend to only work alongside colleagues from their own company.

When a traditional business has spare office space, they can earn by renting out desks to other businesses by the month. The model is similar to Airbnb for office space. Offices tend to be rented out for months and years at a time, and every host meets their guest before they rent, to make sure they are a good fit for each other.

Space-as-a-Service (SPaaS)

Space-as-a-Service, often abbreviated as SPaaS, is a business model in the coworking industry where workspace providers offer fully-equipped office spaces and related services to individuals or businesses on a flexible and subscription-based basis. It encompasses the concept of providing a comprehensive package that includes not only physical workspace but also various amenities, infrastructure, and support services. SPaaS providers take care of the day-to-day operational aspects of the workspace, including maintenance, security, utilities, and administrative tasks, allowing occupants to focus on their work.

This model allows businesses to access professional work environments without the need for long-term leases or significant upfront investments, providing them with the scalability and flexibility to adapt to changing space requirements. SPaaS aligns with the evolving needs of modern businesses, providing a hassle-free and all-inclusive workspace solution.


A startup refers to a newly established business venture that is in its early stages of development, often characterized by innovative ideas, scalable business models, and a high growth potential. Startups are typically founded by entrepreneurs or small teams with the goal of disrupting existing markets or creating entirely new ones.

Coworking spaces are known for their close association with startups, providing an ideal environment for these emerging businesses to thrive. Coworking spaces offer startups a cost-effective and flexible workspace solution, access to amenities, networking opportunities, and a supportive community of like-minded individuals. The collaborative and dynamic nature of coworking spaces can also facilitate partnerships, idea-sharing, and mentorship opportunities, which are highly valuable to startups in their growth and success.

Super Flexible Office | Private Shared Office

Super flex office is a workspace for companies with a hybrid workforce. For example, a company with 100 employees can rent an office with only 30 desks. Employees book a desk with the help of a desk booking system and come whenever they need to collaborate and meet, never exceeding the limit of thirty persons at once.

For a coworking space or flex office business, a super flex office is a new product that gives customers what they need and helps to expand the target market post-COVID.

For companies, a super flex office is an opportunity to have a permanent basecamp and offer its employees a comfortable workspace on-demand.

A super flex office can be effectively organized using existing workspace and IT infrastructure.

Support Services

Support services are pay-as-you-go secretarial support services provided by flexible workspaces. They range from having help with photocopying or binding documents for a presentation to providing staff cover for that urgent project.


Team Space

Team space is a technology solution to link together team member professionals who are separated from one another either by organizational structure or geographically. Most often a team space is an online platform that enables members within a team to post and retrieve files, share information, and carry out group activities.

Telephone Answering

Telephone answering is a professional service for businesses and their customers. The service provides telephone answering and message forwarding to create a professional image to the customer, which is especially important for small businesses, for entrepreneurs that work from home or travel frequently.

Third Space | Place

Third Space is a place between work and home in which workers ‘touchdown’ — such as a meeting room, a coffee shop with Wi-Fi, a hot desk, a business lounge, or a coworking space.

The third space concept first emerged in 1989 in Ray Oldenburg’s influential book The Great Good Place. He refers to ‘first place’ as being one’s home, ‘second place’ as the workplace, where people spend much of their time earning a living, and ‘third place’ as the community life anchors that, historically, were likely to be informal meeting places.

Time From Enquiry To Move In

Time from inquiry to move in is the average time it takes to convert a lead to a move in.

TMT (Technology, Media and Telecoms)

The technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector is an industry grouping that includes the majority of companies focused on new technologies.

Touchdown Space | Spot | Area

The touchdown area is a quick check-in spot, not designed for long meetings, and perfect for sharing ideas, quick chats, when you don’t want to disturb anyone in the office space. It’s a laptop centric, informal setting such as a private concentration room, lounge, presentation room, or a collaborative area.

Touchdown spot is usually an open-plan concept, furnished with stand height tables, stools located away from or to one side of the main office space. The touchdown space is mostly used by remote and flexible workers who are calling into the office to catch up or hand in work. It can also be used for meeting debriefs or quick catch-ups, as well as checking emails. You could also use this area as a back-up breakout space when nobody else is using it.

Traditional Office Space

Traditional office space refers to a conventional workplace setting that is typically leased or owned by a single business or organization. It consists of dedicated offices, cubicles, meeting rooms, and other facilities that are exclusive to the occupants of that particular organization. Traditional office spaces are often designed and customized to meet the specific needs and branding of the company.

Unlike coworking spaces, which foster a shared and collaborative environment, traditional office spaces are typically isolated from other businesses or professionals. Occupants of traditional office spaces are responsible for managing and maintaining the space, including infrastructure, utilities, and administrative tasks. This setup offers a high level of control and privacy but may lack the flexibility, community, and cost-effectiveness associated with coworking spaces.



In the context of business and startups, a unicorn refers to a privately held startup company that has reached a valuation of $1 billion or more. The term "unicorn" is used to describe these exceptional startups due to their rarity and perceived mythical nature. Unicorn status is often achieved by companies that experience rapid growth, disruptive innovation, and significant market potential. These companies attract substantial investments and attention from venture capitalists and investors.

Coworking spaces often become home to unicorn startups, as they provide an ideal environment for these high-growth companies. Coworking spaces offer flexibility, scalability, and access to resources, amenities, and a collaborative community. Startups with unicorn status often leverage coworking spaces to foster creativity, facilitate networking, and attract and retain top talent. Coworking spaces can provide a dynamic and supportive ecosystem that aligns with the ambitious goals and entrepreneurial spirit of unicorn startups.


Value-Added Services | Additional Services

Value-added services are those offered on top of coworking membership plans. They go as à la carte propositions, which means members can order them separately.

A regular coworking space membership always includes workspace in some form (hot desk, private office) because coworking is about workspace first of all. Additionally, coworking spaces provide a whole lot of additional services for entrepreneurs and remote workers at all stages of their company development. Conference rooms, office cleaning, personal assistant, airport pickup, office handyman, parking lot, offset printing, etc., are some of those value-added services.

Video Conference | Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is a technology that allows users in different locations to hold face-to-face meetings without having to move to a single location. This technology is used by business people in different cities/countries because it saves time, expenses, and hassles associated with business travel. Video conferencing is frequently used for holding routine meetings, negotiating business deals, and interviewing job candidates.

Viewings To Sales

Viewings to sales is a new sales measurement. This is the total number of viewings to the number of new deals. It excludes virtuals, renewals, and upgrades, etc.

Virtual Office

A virtual office is a service that provides the customer with a mailing address and telephone answering service. The virtual office service is typically offered from a flexible office space location. It is frequently used by remote companies along with dedicated office space and meeting rooms where businesses and individuals can meet with their clients.

Additionally, virtual offices also offer services like VoIP numbers, cloud or online storage, instant messaging, mail handling, and more.

Virtual Coworking Space

A virtual workspace is a coworking space that exists only virtually. The amenities offered by virtual offices and digital workspace are very close to those of actual spaces. For instance, they provide entrepreneurs with:

  • the physical address,
  • reception,
  • call answering, and more.

Virtual offices are advantageous solutions for businessmen working from home. They can use a professional address to look more credible to the customers. Entrepreneurs that travel or move all the time can also benefit from a virtual office as there is no need to change business address all the time.

Virtual PA (Personal Assistant)

Virtual PA is a service that offers a personal assistant that works remotely. A PA can provide a wide range of support services to a business. Some of the typical tasks a virtual personal assistant might perform include scheduling appointments, making phone calls, making travel arrangements, and managing email accounts.

Visitor Management System

A visitor management system is a technology that can record the usage of the facilities by specific visitors and provide documentation of visitor’s whereabouts. In other words, the core of any VMS is to quickly and efficiently check-in visitors, capture key visitor information, and let hosts know of visitor arrivals.

VMM (Voicemail Mail Messaging)

Voicemail mail messaging is a service that allows customers to record a message on a professional voicemail. The message is then stored on the system which you can access any time of day. Some companies also offer an email service where the recorded message can be automatically emailed to you.



A workstation is usually a desk, chair, and in most cases an under desk drawer unit. It can also be the amount of space a business center allocates to one person.

To start using a workstation, an individual needs to bring their own equipment (laptop, tablet, etc.) and set it up for a day, a week, a month, or more.


Yield Per Occupied Square Foot

Yield per occupied square foot is the total income that a building is receiving per occupied square foot. It includes meeting rooms and all services income. It is the total monthly income (not billed revenue) divided by let square footage.

Yield per occupied square foot is the ultimate indicator of how an operator makes the building work.

Yield Per Square Foot

Yield per square foot is the total income that a building is receiving per square foot whether it is fully occupied or not. It includes meeting rooms and all serviced income. It is the total monthly income (not billed revenue) divided by square footage and the end of the month.

Yield per square foot is the ultimate indicator of how much money the building is making.


Zombie Startup

A zombie startup refers to a company that continues to exist despite being financially or operationally unsustainable. It is typically a struggling or failing business that is unable to generate sufficient revenue or achieve profitability, yet continues to operate with limited prospects for growth or success. Zombie startups often face challenges such as lack of market demand, mismanagement, excessive debt, or an unsustainable business model.

In the context of coworking, a zombie startup may refer to a struggling startup that maintains a presence in a coworking space despite facing financial difficulties. These startups may continue to occupy coworking spaces due to their flexible lease arrangements, lower costs compared to traditional office spaces, and the support and community provided by the coworking environment. However, their long-term viability and ability to generate sustainable growth remain questionable.

While coworking spaces can provide a supportive ecosystem for startups, including zombie startups, it is important for these struggling businesses to reassess their strategies and seek necessary support, such as mentorship, guidance, or restructuring, to address their challenges and work towards sustainable growth.

Hope this was helpful. Want more coworking space terminology and info? Read this article: What Is Coworking Space?

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