Startups and home-based businesses often reach an awkward in-between phase: you need to keep your costs down and a small-scale approach to office space does this for you. Your business might be growing but you don’t yet want to commit to taking on additional employees or signing a lease for commercial floor space. But every so often you need something more than your current setup.

Coworking might give you this. It’s a phenomenon which has been popping up internationally over the last few years. Essentially, it’s on-demand shared office space. More often than not these days, it’s a central hub that rents space.

Flexibility is a key selling point. You might want to hot desk for several hours while you’re between flights or need office space for one or more people while you work on a special project. You could need a meeting room for a crucial planning session with new clients or one you rent for a morning a week for your CBD meetings. You might just want to be able to connect your laptop to internet and a printer. Or you might want a space with hardwired internet access and VoIP telephones. Plans range from casual hot desk space to permanent workspace on a part- or full-time basis.

It can also appeal to independent contractors, people on the road or anyone who works in relative isolation. It can be a cost-effective way to meet changing business needs.