Yesterday, I got a chance to chat with Clement Alteresco, founder of Share Your Office, which launched in the US just hours before we met up. Alteresco bills Share Your Office as the Airbnb of office space. Unlike LiquidSpace, a similar service, they aren't trying to match business users with meeting space in real-time. Instead, they are a business-to-business service helping commercial space owners and leasees rent out their spare office space over longer periods to other businesses.
In France, where the service is known as Bureaux a Partager, they are the leader in the space and operate much like a commercial real estate broker, except that they specialize in spare space. Like a traditional broker, they handle most of the actual transaction offline. Unlike a traditional broker, they offer value added services leveraging Alteresco's experience managing the coworking space PariSoma in San Francisco and other coworking spaces.
Two things about Share Your Office standout. First, they rent out space by the desk instead of by square foot, the standard commercial real estate brokerage practice. Offering space by the desk increases the ease and speed of renting spare space. It's more easily understood by small businesses, especially startups, who think in terms of team size rather than square footage.
Second are the value added services they offer. Share Your Office helps space owners or leasees setup productive and sensible shared office environments. They hope to inject coworking values - such as collaboration, sustainability, and community - into traditional office settings to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
In an increasingly dynamic and project-based global economy, there should be plenty of opportunity for Share Your Office in the US and elsewhere.