Small businesses looking to beat the recession are being given a helping hand by a new website called Desk Space Genie, which allows firms to advertise and rent out spare desks in their office.

Renting desk space is ideal for remote or home workers looking for an office environment but who can't afford the rent and utility bills that come with office space, according to Genie Ventures, the company behind the site.

"We estimate that there are currently more than 200 desk schemes in operation serving thousands of freelancers and small businesses, which vary from single desks to much larger schemes," said Ciaron Dunne of Desk Space Genie.

Genie Ventures said typical 'deskers' are web designers, entrepreneurs, translators, journalists, coders, architects and people working in other professions "where there's no particular need to be anywhere other than near a fast broadband connection".

The company also says businesses could easily make around £170 per month by renting out office space, although in popular areas such as Central London, office space can fetch as much as £400 per month.

Businesses can currently advertise their space as a 'desk scheme', which offers a desk with broadband-access, utilities and security for a flat monthly fee. In the future, the website also plans to offer the ability to advertise 'hot desk schemes', which work on a pay-for-what-you-use basis.

"The growth in spare desk rental is driven by economic conditions, which are making companies take a serious look at cutting costs and at making the most from their existing space, and also by environmental concerns and a desire to reduce wastage."

It's free to list office space on Desk Genie until May 1.

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