While working in a co-working space is slowly yet gradually gaining popularity in India, there persist several confusions regarding the working of the agreement. Where some argue that the co-working arrangement is similar to that of a lease agreement, some claim that it’s just like entering into a rental agreement.
But in reality, working in co-working spaces is like checking into a hotel room where you get access to avail all the facilities and services (of course at a cost) without owning or renting the property.
In other words, co-working space agreements are service agreements in which coworkers use the space for a limited period (according to their needs) and leave when they are done. These contracts don’t bind the person to a company forever.
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Since now you know what the co-working agreements are, we will take you through six things to keep in mind when entering a coworking agreement. Most people tend to ignore these factors when opting for a coworking space.
Let’s see what they are and why you should keep them in mind:
- Nature of the Agreement: First thing first. The nature of the co-working space agreement should be such that it gives full liberty and permission to the member of the co-working space to use the premises and the ancillary facilities transparently. While the possession, ownership and control of the location will be with the owner of the area, the member client can utilize the services freely. The agreement must also clearly state the duration and the validity of a service agreement and the mode through which it will be extended, if and when the need arises.
- Monthly Fees and Payments: The monthly fees, payments, additional fees and renewal fees should be mentioned in the co-working space agreement. While this could vary from contract to contract, monthly fees and payments are usually payable on the first day of every month to the owner of the co-working space. Make sure that all the information related to the mode of payment is specified along with the penalty fee. The deposit refund in case of termination of the agreement must also be clearly specified in the agreement.
- Use of Premises: This is one of the most important clauses and should be laid down quite clearly by the owner of the co-working space. The access of the workspace must also be clearly mentioned in the agreement including the timings and days of the week.
Furthermore, there should be an additional pointer talking about the use of illegal downloads or infringement of copyrights/trademarks. If the client wishes to use any additional equipment or items, he/she must inform the owner in advance to avoid any penalties or chargers.
- Insurance: You can’t really change much here. Just make sure you comply with local regulations and know what is covered and what’s not under your insurance. Unless law binds you, do not insure the coworker’s property: they should take care of their own property.
- Policies of the Workspace: Co-working spaces are all about utilising the same place with different people from different fields. Therefore, the procedures relating to the use of assets and physical furniture and fixtures such as tables, chairs, electrical fixtures, kitchen utensils, et al. should be clearly specified in the agreement.
- Universal Feature: Last but not least, a co-working service agreement must be universal in nature as it caters to different people. Typically, the space is shared by people who work in startups, established companies or service professionals who are in consulting or advisory fields. Therefore, the agreement must be such that allows individuals and diverse enterprises to fuse and work with ease. The use of technical jargons must be minimised to make them easy to understand.