SERVICED OFFICES GUIDE
Serviced offices are changing the way businesses work in the 21st century and their growing popularity is enabling companies of all sizes to be more adaptable and efficient. They offer a break away from the traditional method of leasing an office and give firms more control over the location and length of time they remain there.
With more and more companies tapping into the possibilities serviced offices present to them, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know.
WHAT IS A SERVICED OFFICE?
A serviced office is essentially a functional workspace that is actively set-up and ready for you to move in and get to work right away. Rather than having to pay to fit-out the interior, all of the operational basics a business needs are already in place.
There are usually two ways a company will be charged for using a serviced office. It will either be based on a flat fee for the space they are using or calculated on a per-desk/workstation basis each month. Costs are dependent on the size of your business, how long you want to rent and if you have any plans to expand in the short-to-medium term.
WHY RENT A SERVICED OFFICE?
There are a number of benefits that come with renting a serviced office space in London or across the UK. The main advantages your business will be able to enjoy include:
- Fast set-up
You can move in and be operational in a very short space of time. Once the contract is signed, you’ll have access to basic furniture, broadband and phone lines, meaning you can move in and get to work straight away if needed.
- Flexible Licenses
You can usually find a contract length to suit the requirements of the business. Whether it’s for a few months, a year, or longer, the flexible terms leave your company in control.
- Business Growth
As your company grows, your serviced office can grow with you. If more space is needed you can easily upgrade, or even downsize if you want to scale down operations.
- Business Services
There are a number of pay-as-you-use services available in most serviced offices, giving you access to courier services, photocopying, meeting rooms, postal services and much more.
- Expanded Network
You will be sharing the building with a number of different companies working in a variety of industries, creating an instant community and network that could also present business opportunities.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN A SERVICED OFFICE?
When you are considering leasing a serviced office in London or across the UK, you’ll want to know what features are included within your monthly charge. Although there may be some variances depending on the supplier, generally a serviced office tends to contain:
- Telephone and Internet: Rental charges are usually inclusive, with a cap on usage and a requirement to pay for going over a set monthly limit.
- Wi-Fi: You will be given the password for connecting to the building’s Wi-Fi which will be free to use.
- Furniture: Basic furniture such as desks and chairs will already be in place to use.
- Meeting rooms: These tend to be available on a pay-as-you-use basis along with other companies in the building.
- Parking space: If this is provided, you should be allocated at least one spot depending on the policy and spaces available.
- Kitchen: This will include basics like a fridge and kettle and may be shared with other companies, depending on the set-up within the building.
- Cleaning: A cleaner employed by the operator will visit the offices in the evening, although this may or may not be a chargeable extra.
- Business services: From telephone answering services, to stationery supplies, secretarial services, travel booking and courier services, this will all be at a chargeable extra.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SERVICED AND MANAGED OFFICES?
Where a managed office requires you to put in more work to shape it into a workable space for your business, a serviced office has all the basics in place to allow you to start work straightaway.
Serviced offices offer access to Wi-Fi and basic furniture, while phone lines will already be in place and additional business services available within the building. The extent to which you add to the basic set-up is entirely up to you, but once you are ready to move in you can minimise downtime and maintain efficiency.
Your company will be able to pre-book meeting rooms in a serviced office, which may or may not be a chargeable extra, depending on the terms of the contract you have signed.
Start-ups and SMEs tend to benefit most from this type of service, as they have more flexibility on the length of time they commit to renting the office space.
On the other hand, a majority of managed offices contain some pieces of furniture and basic cabling, although it is largely an empty space and requires additional investment to bring it to life.
There is no requirement to share meeting rooms or utilities with other occupants in the building and leasers have a greater deal of control over the office layout and design. Companies with 40-50 employees may benefit most from this type of set-up, as they are more likely to be in a financial position to invest in the additional infrastructure required.
WHAT ARE THE CONTRACT TERMS?
The flexibility provided by serviced offices offers a fantastic advantage to businesses – especially smaller companies who may not be sure of the longevity of their enterprise.
In most cases contract terms range between a few months up to 2 years, although a rolling monthly contract could also be made available, depending on the operator.
Serviced offices respond very quickly to your business needs, both in terms of growth and downsizing. Whether you need more operational space, or want to scale things back, most providers will be able to make these changes in a short space of time.
Should you wish to leave the building for any reason, there is usually only a month’s notice required before you can start to move out.
WHAT TYPE OF OFFICE SPACE IS SUITABLE FOR MY BUSINESS?
The general perception is that serviced offices are more likely to be used by entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs, rather than larger established companies.
While there is a great deal of truth to that, it is also a cost effective way for corporations to set-up satellite sales offices to work in tandem with headquarters that are located overseas.
Serviced offices also provide an ideal solution for companies that have plans to move to larger premises but are waiting for the build or fit-out to be completed. The flexible nature of the leases available mean they can set-up basic operations in a serviced office, before moving on to their new location once it is ready.
Looking for serviced office space in London or across the UK? At Prime Office Search we have a variety of flexible workspaces available to suit all business sizes and requirements. Browse our offices to rent online or call us on 08004337888 and one of our experienced consultants will help you find the ideal office space for your business.