Temporary office space is usually commercial property rented or leased by a company or small business owner until a more permanent location can be found. There can be many reasons for leasing office space temporarily. The project itself may be temporary in nature, such as fulfilling a single government contract or overseeing a construction project. Once the project is completed, there is no further need for office equipment or workers.
Some temporary office space is offered to small business owners who are not ready to build a permanent factory or professional offices. Facilities who rent or lease office space temporarily for start-up companies are often called 'business incubators'. Individual businesses may share common spaces such as waiting rooms and reception areas, but are also given enough private space to produce their products and support a core staff. Once the company or service has outgrown its temporary space, it finds a more permanent arrangement and another young company is free to lease the property.
Commercial buildings often contain unused suites of office space which can be leased or rented. In the aftermath of 9/11, dozens of companies previously housed in the World Trade Center scrambled to find temporary office space in Manhattan and surrounding areas. Some of these companies may choose to remain in their new offices permanently, but others may be waiting for the new trade center to reopen. Other companies who suddenly lose their permanent facilities may also opt for temporary office space until their own offices are rebuilt.
Another popular use of this type of office space is for political campaigns. Candidates seeking national or state election may use campaign funding to rent office space in key cities. This allows volunteers to operate phone banks, store campaign literature, discuss campaign strategies and solicit donations without having to pay for a long-term lease. After the election season, these temporary office spaces become available for local interests again.
Perhaps the most controversial use of temporary office space occurs with transient businesses, such as telephone solicitors (boiler rooms), temporary employment centers, and fund raising teams. Owners of commercial office space are not required to investigate the nature of a potential tenant, and often these transient businesses will offer substantial rental payments to reduce interference from inquisitive landlords. It's not unusual to see an entire company disappear overnight in a midnight move-out, leaving nothing but the bare walls of the rented office space.