As promising industries continue to disrupt, evolve and grow, a variety of terms can become synonymous with their game-changing function(s). The coworking industry finds itself in that very situation, and due to its newness, the concept can still be difficult to understand. We’ve done our best to explain coworking in 140 characters, but with a plethora of emerging buzzwords amongst coworking providers, it can be confusing for people unfamiliar with its purpose (and even those who are familiar) to fully understand what the business is all about. So it’s time to de-buzz the buzzwords. Here are the subtle differences between 4 of the most popular terms used to describe coworking.


Shared Workspace

The most commonly used synonym for coworking is shared workspace. A common misconception with this term is that multiple professionals “share” the same desk. Rather, a shared workspace is a flexible environment that typically provides a variety of meeting spaces, offices, common areas and business amenities that are shared amongst a collective of people. By sharing a workspace, professionals are able resolve their need for office space with a solution that is affordable, risk-averse and flexible. In some cases, individuals rent private offices within a larger workspace and share common areas and meeting rooms. In other instances, professionals share the entirety of the workspace with a first come, first serve approach.

Hot Desk

A hot desk simply serves as an on-demand workspace solution. Neither a fully dedicated space nor a first come, first serve work station, a hot desk is a specific seat or work area within a larger environment that can be reserved for the day. Bookable in advance or day-of, a hot desk guarantees a spot with your name on it for a productive work day.


Accelerators are the technology world’s spin on coworking. An application process is required to join, and not everyone who applies will be accepted. However, if you are lucky enough to be selected, your startup typically receives several valuable benefits in addition to office space such as venture capital and a mentor to assist with strategies to grow and scale the business.

Executive Suite

Executive Suites are typically used by top managers and executives, and house multiple dedicated offices within a larger work environment. While each office is fairly private and independent, common business amenities are shared amongst Executive Suite members. These amenities and services often include a lobby, kitchen, reception services and printing.


As you can see, each term describes its own unique set of nuances that speak to different advantages of a particular type of coworking. If you’d like to experience how Roam defines coworking, we invite you to explore membership and stop by any of our workplaces located conveniently across Metro Atlanta.

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The Roam Team