What is Flexible Office Space?
Flexible Office Space is an all encompassing umbrella term for all that funky jargon you see around office space: managed offices, serviced offices, shared offices, hot-desking or coworking spaces and some private offices.
What makes them “flexible” is the fact that you sign a licensing agreement that is charged on a monthly rolling basis, with occasional minimum commitments of 3 to 6 months.
Flexible offices are also typically “serviced.” You can basically move in tomorrow and the furniture, utilities, wifi, hamster wheel (office hamster anyone?) will all be set-up and ready to go… All for an easy to understand monthly price.
This means that there’s no faffing about calling BT or Virgin Media who hope to turn on your broadband “within the next 60 days”. Your office provider will take care of all this for you.
BEWARE: Occasionally, though, private offices will not be serviced and you will have to buy in your own furniture and purchase a specific service package from the provider.
Flexible office space differs from conventional office space leases
…this is really really important to understand.
Leases generally require you to commit and sign for a period of 3 to 20 years. These are typically quite complicated transactions which require advice from agents and lawyers to negotiate a deal on your behalf.
Because the monthly cost is subject to so many variables, this can end up being quite cheap or ridiculously expensive. You should take on a conventional lease when you know you’re going to be there for a while and not change too much in size (or open other offices if you grow). Also, if you really want to kit out the office how you want.
You typically get a large empty space when you sign a conventional lease
ASIDE: At Hubble, our site only shows Flexible offices. However, we can help with leases too; just get in touch.
What types of flexible offices exist?
Flexible office space is both a gift (in the infinite options available) and a curse (understanding the infinite options available). Each office provider has their own blend of agreements, memberships and ancillary benefits; it can become quite confusing to work out the perfect fit for your company.
To make it super easy, we’ve split flexible offices into 3 simple types: Coworking, Shared & Private.
Coworking is typically a shared work environment or “hot-desking” space giving you communal access to desks, breakout areas, kitchen & meeting facilities. However, they are bit like musical chairs because there are no fixed desks; get in early to get a seat next to the window. Perfect for freelancers who are always on the go but hate working in a coffee shop.
Shared offices are shared work environments where you will have your own fixed desk to leave your stuff overnight. Perfect for companies of 3 – 15 who want to sit together, but not want to suffer from cabin fever. Generally much cheaper than a private offices and includes access to meeting rooms, kitchen facilities, breakout areas & curated communities.
Private offices are your own four walls to call home. These usually exist adjacent to shared work environments or in a building of private offices. Typically 50 – 100% more expensive than shared offices, these are perfect for companies which value their privacy or are required by regulation to have private offices.
When should I start looking for my office?
Once you’ve signed the contract, you can usually move within a few weeks. However, it will probably take you a few weeks to decide, do some viewings and get a feel for the market.
We recommend starting your search at least 4 – 6 weeks before you get evicted from your current place.
Why is flexible office space growing?
The flexible office market has been growing at nearly 30% every year for the past 5 years.
As the macro and microeconomic landscape for the business world has changed drastically over the past 10-15 years, so has the way companies use space. With new, small businesses being started everyday, they need somewhere to work that is suited to their industry, affordable & with flexible contracts so that they can expand or contract without any pain.
Moreover, larger businesses have reduced headcount in the past few years, as well as introducing flexible working hours and more remote working options. This means that the requirements for office space are moving from fixed and static into something that is more fluid and dynamic.
Also, who the hell wants to sign a 10 year lease these days?! That sh*t cray!