What are Serviced Offices?
Serviced Offices have been increasing in popularity over the last few years as they offer both flexibility, competitive pricing and a no hassle route to having an Office.
Serviced Offices are managed offices, where the space comes fully equipped and ready to be occupied straight away. Serviced Offices are cost effective and are perfect for budgeting and managing cashflow as you know exactly how much it costs each month and there are no surprising charges or maintenance costs.
Comparison to traditional leases:
Traditionally if you were looking for an office you would have to take on a lease of several years which included only the space itself. Leaving it to you to organise furniture, health and safety equipment and policies as well as taking on utility and connectivity contracts.
These leases would not only tie you into a lengthy contract but would also be full repairing which is rarely in the interest of the tenant… in fact everyone knows someone who has been charged with fixing a roof before the end of their tenure – Not a cost you would have been expecting to cover when you took on the space.
Certainly a Traditional Lease will be suitable for some companies but it is clear that it is a top choice for start-ups and SMEs, that need to balance cashflow, space to grow and frankly have better things to do with their time then take metre readings and organising maintenance. In the last couple of years even large multi-national companies are choosing flexible space and serviced offices as it can still be configured and branded to suit whilst also reducing their overheads.
Benefits of Serviced offices:
Serviced offices are Flexible putting the needs of their tenants first
Flexible on Lease Length: Serviced Offices are typically more flexible on lease length and because they are already set up and ready to go – if you need an office for a project for a month or 2 you would be able to move in immediately with no set up costs, or delays.
Flexible on Space Size: Most Serviced Offices Centres will allow businesses to shrink and grow within contract. Many of our businesses at Open Space are/ were start-ups who whilst growing have been able to move through the office space to accommodate their changing needs.
Flexible on Space set up: These days Serviced Offices are typically in modern buildings which are either fresh and contemporary or highly stylised. It is up to your taste and the how you want your front of house as to which you prefer. Generally, however the offices themselves are blank canvases for you to make your own. At Open Space we encourage our tenant businesses to make their spaces their own. Whether this is as simple as painting the walls and putting pictures up, or a reconfiguration of the space and putting pods in – its up to you!
Health, Safety, and security provision
A top perk which we think is often underrated is the Health, Safety and Security provisions provided by Serviced Offices. Not only has your provider done all the work creating risk assessments, installing CCTV, and security alarms but they also control the maintenance and compliance of equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire alarms, boilers, and emergency lighting etc. Did you know Fire alarm call points require testing weekly, emergency lights monthly and fire extinguishers annually … more jobs that your Office provider takes off your hands. Health and Safety provisions are not ‘nice to haves’ they are vital to protecting you and your staff and to validate your insurances which are contingent upon such compliance.
Serviced Office Centres take on the contracts, so you don’t have to. Meaning they can secure the best rates for utilities and connectivity, whilst saving you a 3 year sign up with BT. Furthermore, most Centres will have top-spec connectivity such as leased lines which not only mean you get the best bandwidth available but also priority support in the event of a connection issue. This cannot be under-valued with how vital connectivity is to the modern business.
Serviced Offices also usually offer spaces as furnished or unfurnished. The availability of pre-furnished offices is great for welcoming new businesses as it allows them to avoid large set up costs and truly makes the offices ready to go. Also, businesses can start furnished but as they grow and/or want to put their individual stamp on their office they can just give back the furniture at any time.
Serviced offices are perfect for managing cash flow
You must ensure that you get a full list of inclusions from your provider before signing up. Lots of Centres such as Open Space are very transparent on pricing and inclusions and have flat rates based on office size. Others however have a more tailored approach and so an office advertised, at a certain price could end up being more once anything other than the basics are added in.
Pricing: Most serviced offices are priced per sq.ft. per annum or by desk. London is of course the highest price looking between £500-£1500 per desk per month whilst the rest of the UK is looking at around £300 per desk per month on average (Q2 2019 – Q1 2020 link here).
At first glance it can seem like the serviced offices are costly. However, once you see everything that is included and break down that monthly amount to take into consideration how much the internet, parking and bills rack up to, a Serviced Office is very competitive to Traditional Leasing and organising your own bills.
Having a Serviced Ofice is also like having an administrator dedicated to looking after your office space. Instead of you or one of your employees spending time negotiating contracts, chasing suppliers and organising maintenance, you can save time and money as this is another job taken off your hands by your Centre Manager. At Open Space Sarah is the first point of contact for all queries, suggestions, and problems. Anytime our tenants need anything all they have to do is get in touch with Sarah who is always on hand. Being able to provide that level of support is fantastic as everything gets dealt with quickly and personally meaning we can maintain a great relationship with all our tenant businesses.
Moving your business into a serviced office is a good move for many businesses as it provides a cost-effective solution to your workspace needs. Avoiding the trials and tribulations of traditional property letting whilst having a top-spec affordable office space with great connectivity and flexible options.