There are many benefits for businesses to choose a flexible office but the truth is, any business, from start-ups and growing SME’s to corporate giants, can benefit from working in a flexible office space. One of the key reasons businesses opt for a flexible office is to accommodate fluctuation of staff numbers. Whether expanding or reducing the size of your team, flexible office space allows businesses to upsize or downsize at any point within the length of your contract. This offers ultimate flexibility that ensures businesses have total control over their rental costs and only pay for space that is being used.
Flexible office space also minimises set-up costs, with ‘plug n play’ office space delivered with office furniture and internet connectivity. Alongside the added benefits of a short-term contract, typically anywhere from 1-36 months, and prices that are inclusive of all bills associated with running an office space, it is easy to see why the take-up of flexible offices has risen exponentially over the last few years.
What is flexible office space?
The term flexible office space covers a number of office space solutions, suitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes. These include Co-working space, Serviced offices, Managed offices, Sublet offices and Virtual offices. Flexible office space typically provides all of the basic amenities and facilities a business needs to be operational almost immediately, with little or no time needed to set up the office and very minimal setup costs. In addition, the provider will manage your office space, allowing you to spend more time focusing on the day to day running of your business.
A flexible office space puts your company in complete control, allowing you to sign up to a short, or long-term contract that matches your strategic goals. All of the facilities available within the building are available for occupiers to use, as well as some facilities available on a pay-as-you-go basis, such as meeting rooms and postal services.
Why do businesses need flexible office space?
There are many different reasons why businesses occupy a flexible office space. Some would point towards the flexible length of term as a key reason, while others would point towards the all-inclusive pricing, providing a very easy way for businesses to budget on a monthly or annual basis with the assurance that their monthly office cost will not fluctuate. Another key reason why businesses would occupy a flexible office space is the option to grow at any point within the term. This is a key reason as to why we have seen many large, corporate organisations move into the flexible office model, ensuring the size of their space fluctuates with the size of their team and thus not paying unnecessarily for unused space.
What type of businesses benefits from flexible office space?
Historically, the flexible office market was mostly occupied by freelancers, start-up businesses and growing SME’s. However, over the last 5 years, the market has seen a huge increase in the number of blue-chip companies opting to use flexible office spaces. As eluded to earlier, this is down to the flexibility on offer, the guarantee of knowing what their monthly outgoings are as well as the option to fluctuate the size of their space with the needs of their team.
What are the flexible office space options?
There are a number of flexible office space options available including:
A co-working space offers a shared, open plan working environment occupied by different businesses. Typically, a co-working space is available on a monthly membership basis (some offer longer terms) where businesses take a membership for a hot-desk (work from a different desk every day) or a dedicated desk (usually with lockable storage). Co-workers have full access to building facilities and amenities such as Wifi connectivity, kitchens, break-out areas and bookable meeting rooms. One major benefit of using a co-working space is the endless and exciting opportunity to network and collaborate with other businesses.
A serviced office is a private office space that is fully managed by office space provider and available to rent on all-inclusive, flexible terms. Serviced offices are ‘ready to go’, fully equipped with office furniture, internet and telephony connectivity and storage. Most serviced offices offer flexible layouts, ensuring businesses maintain total control over the configuration of their office space, with the option to partition meeting rooms and management offices within their space. There are also meeting rooms available to book within each serviced office. Occupiers also benefit from use of the all amenities and facilities in their building, including a manned reception, kitchen facilities, break-out areas and WC’s, with some buildings also boasting amenities such as phone booths, roof terraces, bike storage, showers and gyms. The serviced office market has grown tenfold over the last decade, with approx. 3,000 buildings offering serviced office space in London and across the UK. There has never been a more diverse range of serviced offices for businesses to choose from.
Managed Offices typically offer self-contained floors suitable to larger occupiers, offering a genuine hybrid between a serviced office and a traditional conventional office space, enjoying the benefits of both. A managed office offers businesses the look and feel of a conventional office space while benefitting from the flexibility of a serviced office. Office space is managed by the provider and can be delivered either furnished or unfurnished and equipped with office internet connectivity. The provider will work very closely with the occupier to ensure they deliver the office space with a bespoke configuration. Often managed offices will have less building amenities, albeit many occupiers will have their own dedicated kitchen facilities and break-out areas.
A virtual office is not a physical office space but rather the use of a building’s address. This solution is ideal for businesses looking for addresses in multiple regional or global locations affording the chance to gain a foothold in different areas. Alongside the use of the address, virtual office clients will also have access to break-out areas in the building, the option to book meeting rooms and have use of the postal services where the management team will collate and/or redistribute your post. We would be happy to provide a list of options in any UK location should you have a need for a virtual office address.