Updated: Jun 25, 2019
I moved from leasing conventional office space to serviced offices a little over a year ago as l believe there has been a shift in the market, with a plethora of companies searching for more than just your usual office space.
I have found that companies these days are looking for offices which offer convenience and flexibility, with the ability to work when they want, how they want and with an all-inclusive package deal.
The History of Service Offices
Services offices were first seen in the late 1970’s in US business cities, which derived from call centres working in pre-furnished space.
The first known operator was set up by a chap called Paul Fegan, who opened ‘Fegan Suites’ in 1966 which effectively laid the foundations for what we see as serviced offices today, which consisted of furniture, reception services, telephones and meeting rooms (Meunier,J. 2018).
Since then they have been slowly creeping in the market with more and more entrepreneurs and small business realising their benefits however, it’s only been in recent years that they have become increasingly popular.
What is a Serviced Office?
What are also known as a managed office, business centre, executive suites or executive centres a serviced office in contrast to conventional office space – comes already furnished (Startups,2019) allowing companies to move in straight away all guns blazing with equipment ready to use.
*Focus on your customers and unlock your organisation, we’ll handle the rest*
A service office will include:
· Meeting rooms
· Business Rates
· Service Charge
· Building Insurance
· Daily Cleaning
· Fibre Provision
· Cabling for Power
· Aid conditioning
· Fully stocked tea point
Whereas conventional leases will often try and lock you in for a year or more, serviced offices are far more flexible and will work to your timetable – being able to book space for up to a month, a week or even just a day if needed (Startups, 2019).
Who might they accommodate?
The likes of small businesses, start-ups and sole traders are becoming frequent occupiers in serviced operators. The space has proven to be a good fit for these sorts of businesses, allowing them to expand, help facilitate their company growth patterns unlike in a conventional lease once you have maxed out your space, you’ll have to search for another office building. With the flexibility of the lease it is easy to expand creating an opportunity for the company have more space. Similarly, if they were in a position where they needed to cut back on space this can could be provided as well.
How quickly can you move in?
Due to the fact that serviced offices come ready furnished this will allow a company to move in instantly, with printers, phones, WIFI and desks already to go. Thus, eliminating any of the boring conventional lease stages one would go though such as, rent free periods to fit out or negotiating terms on costs – minimising all moving office stress.
What are the costs involved in a serviced office?
The typical serviced office will charge on a monthly on a pay-as-go-you basis, which will vary depending on a variety of elements:
· The size of the space acquired
· The quality of the space
· The services and facilities offered in the building
· The town or city the building is located
· Where the building is located IE does it have near public transport etc
Various sources have stated that Sheffield and Cardiff accommodate the cheapest services office in the UK, with an average of costing £275 with Bristol not far behind at £300. Main areas of London: St Paul’s £650 to £700 per desk, The City £650 to £1,000, Mayfair £850 to £1,000, Euston £650 Canary Wharf / East India dock £480 (Officespaceintown, 2019).
Top 5 benefits from using services offices
1. Sense of community
2. Provides equipment
3. No / start-up costs
4. Modern fit-out and fully furnished office
5. Support staff available as needed
‘Moving your business into a serviced office could be a cost-effective solution to your workspace needs – that avoids the trials and tribulations of traditional property letting’ (Startups,2019).
In summary, the most attractive part of working in a serviced office is the ability to move in quickly and get straight down to business, let the operator take care of the rest – allowing flexibility, convenience in a fully furnished space.
Written by Jack Guy Peter Thorold