This post will offer an in-depth guide to serviced office space in London and across the UK, as well as examine changing trends within the marketplace.
With an ever-changing landscape throughout the UK office space market, demand for flexible office space is at an all time high. The same can be said of the supply, with a 10% increase during 2016, of the number of serviced offices to rent in London and across the country, bringing the total number of business centres in the UK to approx. 3,000.
Historically, the serviced office has been the go-to office solution for start-ups and growing SME’s. However, with the current economic uncertainty, a growing number of businesses are unwilling to take the risk of committing to a more traditional leased office rental, typically a minimum of 5 years. Subsequently, there has been an exponential increase in large corporate organisations, particularly in London, opting for a serviced offices to rent in London and across the UK.
Here are some of the reasons why….
Perhaps the most poignant reason why businesses of all shapes and sizes are considering renting serviced office space in London or across the UK, is the flexibility on offer. Not only in terms of contract length, typically between 1 & 24 months, but also due to the ability of the occupier to expand and contract at any time during their tenancy. As such, businesses can grow at their own pace, without the worry of where to house the additional staff members, with a simple and hassle-free move to a larger office in the same building, for the remainder of the contract.
Simplified All-Inclusive Pricing – No Hidden Costs!
In more traditional UK and London offices to rent, occupiers will pay a price per square foot for rent, business rates, and service charge, all billed and paid individually, alongside all other individual costs associated with running an office space.
To the contrary, the serviced offices pricing structure is based on a per desk per month basis, with costs fully inclusive of all bills. This price per desk per month is then formed into a price per office space, again with all bills included within the price. For example, if a serviced office space costs £600 per desk per month, a 10 desk office would cost £6,000 per month. Rent is paid in the form of one monthly direct debit.
Below is a list of what’s included in the monthly rent of a serviced office space in London.
- Business Rates
- Service Charge
- Utilities - heating, lighting, electricity and water
- Office Furniture (desks, chairs, storage)
- Maintenance & building costs
- Daily cleaning
- Fully Stocked Kitchen facilities
- Break out areas
- Reception Services
- IT & Telephony (**In some cases, these incur additional costs based on individual requirements)
Given the transparent pricing structure that serviced offices offer, there are no hidden costs. Occupiers do have a few additional ad hoc costs to consider, all offered on a pay as you go basis.
- Meeting rooms (hired by the hour, half day or full day)
- Postal Services
- Admin/Secretarial support
No Upfront Costs
Perhaps one of the main benefits of occupying a serviced office is that there are no upfront costs whatsoever. In more traditional leased office rentals, there are many upfront costs such as: purchasing office furniture, arranging IT & Telephony provisions, commercial estate agency fees, and solicitors fees.
When moving into a serviced office, these upfront costs are not applicable as office furniture and IT/Telephony is provided as standard and there is no need to employ commercial estate agents or solicitors given the short contract and standard Terms & Conditions.
Tenancy-Style Licence Agreements
The contract takes a form of a simple licence agreement, similar to that of a residential tenancy agreement. In a traditional office rental, leases are approx. 50-60 pages long and can often take 4-6 weeks for a legal review. A licence agreement is a short contract of approx. 2-3 pages in total, with standard Terms & Conditions. These contracts do not require a solicitors review, although we would of course always recommend the contract is checked thoroughly before signing!
The Choice Has Never Been Greater!
Never has there been such a diverse mix of serviced offices to rent in London and across the UK. Historically, serviced offices have occupied larger buildings, often of a more corporate look and feel. Not anymore! With market trends constantly changing, and high growth industries, such as the Tech and FinTech markets continuing to need the flexibility, the serviced office market is adapting to accommodate the need for a more quirky, creative style space.
Therefore, alongside the more traditional corporate serviced office, which offers a very professional look and feel, occupiers can also choose boutique style serviced offices. Particularly in London offices to rent on flexible terms are situated in converted townhouses that ooze character, natural light, and high ceilings. You can also opt for a more creative style serviced office, that benefits from exposed brick walls, exposed ceilings, quirky interior designs and furnishings, phone booths and even break-out areas that boast a licenced bar! This diversity of styles is perhaps one of the most noticeable changes within the evolution of the flexible office space market, particularly when you rent office London and gives businesses a vast array of options to choose from!
What Companies Rent Serviced Offices
Well, put simply…any business, of any size, in any industry, can occupy a serviced office!
Given the flexibility that’s offered, serviced offices have been heavily occupied by start-ups and growing SME’s. This is certainly still the case. However, with economic uncertainty comes fluctuating staff numbers, particularly within large, multi-national corporations, which has resulted in many turning to serviced offices for the flexibility. Recently, household names such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as large global banks and insurance companies have all opted to rent serviced office space in London.
Having long been thought about as an office solution for businesses of under 25-30 staff, the evolution of the serviced office is perhaps no more evident than the different sized office spaces within a business centre. Ranging anywhere from a 1 person office to whole self-contained floors of 5,000-7,000sqf, capable of accommodating businesses of up to 250-300 people, serviced offices work for any business.
Looking for serviced offices to rent in London or across the UK? Our team of experienced consultants will carry out a full market search on your behalf and specifically match the most suitable serviced office to fit your business.