HR Strange But True!
March 10, 2009

“Flip This House,” the reality show on A&E, had people buying fixer-uppers and trying to renovate and sell them in the quickest time possible. But not much is moving on the market, both residential and commercial, and even the rental market is stagnant. However, a new company launched in England, Desk Space Genie, takes the market down to its smallest unit--the desk. The company is promoting flexible, short-notice rental of individual work areas in London, Brighton, Cambridge, and Manchester.

“Companies are taking a serious look at cutting costs and making the most of their existing space,” says Clarion Dunne of Desk Space Genie in a press release. So renting out desks to freelancers and contractors, such as Web designers, architects, translators, and consultants, makes sense. And Dunne reports that the demand for the rental desks far outweighs the supply.

“It [desk renting] really made a difference to our small business,” reports Giles Kendrick. “The income from the desks covers our overhead.”

After a good cleaning makes the workspace nice and tidy, the rentals are ready. For Desk Space Genie, the area must include a desk (natch), an office chair in good condition, lockable drawers, Internet access (wired, WiFi, or both), and tea facilities.

“Deskers,” as the tenants are called, must also have access to meeting rooms and parking spaces.

For privacy and security reasons, not included in the deal are telephones (deskers can use their cell phones), computers, printers, and IT support. The deskers also are not covered by the companies' property and fire insurance.

Of course, employers who lease or rent must consult the owner of the building before pursuing the desk flipping, as subletting is often not allowed in commercial leases. And the company suggests a “desk license” agreement, reviewed by a barrister, to make sure deskers know their rights and obligations and agree to abide by the company's safety, housekeeping, recycling, security, and other policies. And, of course, deskers must participate in evacuation drills.

So will this UK phenomenon catch on in the US?

Source: Desk Space Genie

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