WINCHESTER’S most established serviced offices business is pioneering the latest innovation to support start ups and one person businesses.

Hampshire Workspace, which opened in Southgate Street in 1982, will be offering shared office space for ‘coworking’, a concept that started in San Francisco in 2005 and is growing rapidly. Uber, Spotify, Instagram, Duolingo and Hootsuite all started in coworking offices.

Coworking offers people who are currently working at home or in coffee shops the chance to work in a permanent office at a much reduced price. Instead of a temporary ‘hot desk’, coworkers rent the same desk in a shared office on a regular basis. Hampshire Workspace will also be offering the flexibility of a monthly pay-as-you-go.

Julia Lewis, the manager and director of Hampshire Workspace, said: "Many people need the discipline of a formal office and the social interaction with other businesspeople in order to produce their best work."

She continued: "At Hampshire Workspace, we have supported new or small businesses for nearly forty years with short term contracts on furnished offices where all services are included in one bill. I believe coworking is a natural extension of this, with the lower price making it even easier for a fledgling business to grow."

Julia believes people looking for coworking space will be attracted to Hampshire Workspace because of its established serviced office business: "Hampshire Workspace is able to make available to coworkers a wide range of office services such as a staffed reception, franking mail and bulk photocopying. We can’t guarantee that any of our coworkers will do as well as Instagram or Uber but we do know about the challenges of running a small business and will help them in any way we can."

On security, Julia said: "We understand that being in alone in an office with strangers can be worrying. Fortunately, because we have a team of staff on site and many clients in the building, there are always people around. To discourage misbehaviour, we also insist that all coworkers sign up to a code of conduct."

Julia believes that many potential coworkers are put off by the notion that coworking is only for young men straight out of university. She hopes that Hampshire Workspace will appeal to a wider demographic: "I suspect that the prospect of being in an established business in a classic Georgian building will attract more female entrepreneurs and mature businesspeople," said Julia.

Hampshire Workspace have created a dedicated website to promote coworking.