Finding an office for your business is a huge undertaking and finding one for a good price is never easy.
While traditional office space can provide freedom, they also require a huge deposit and a long-term contract. New businesses sometimes fail, so it’s important you don’t take on something too big that could potentially leave you in serious debt if something goes wrong. Serviced offices provide a solution to this problem, allowing businesses of any size to establish their presence in the capital with a lot less risk.
The serviced office industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the British property market. Since the global recession, many businesses have started using them because of their cost efficiency, flexibility and practicality. Statistics from the Department of Business Innovation, state that there are over 800,000 businesses in London using serviced offices; more than any other region in the UK.
What is a serviced office?
Serviced office operators take on the responsibility of maintaining the building and may also provide additional services and facilities. This gives your business the freedom to come and go in a short space of time and makes them accessible even if you have budgetary constraints. A lease for a serviced office is usually short term and may only last for a few months, plus they offer more flexibility because you can quickly and easily change your premises depending on your business requirements. Serviced offices can be configured to suit your own personal needs and can significantly vary in size – from a a pod of desks to an entire floor. If you manage a large-scale business, you can even adjoin offices to accommodate larger amounts of staff. They may also contain shared amenities with other rented offices. This allows you to have access to an infrastructure that you may not have otherwise been able to afford.
What is included in a serviced office?
Most serviced offices in London will share the same common facilities. Having these facilities provided and ready for your business to use can save time and lead to huge savings.
Meeting rooms are usually available on a pay-as-you-go basis. Different billing options and costs can vary according to the building and operator.
Telephone and Internet:
These are both usually covered by the rent. Though in some cases, operators will charge rental fees for these services at a reduced rate. Some agreements may even cap your telephone and internet usage, if your business goes over your limit, then you will have to cover these costs.
Serviced offices are fully fitted with furniture that’s set up and ready to use.
In most cases, you’re expected to BYOD (bring your own devices). Though some operators can provide this if requested.
Business services may also be provided on a pay-as-you-use basis. This could include: reception staff, telephone answering services, customer service teams, courier services, stationary supplies, secretarial services and travel services.
Some serviced offices may also provide tailored catering. This could be anything from ensuring your fridge is stocked up to scheduling lunch deliveries.
Serviced offices are usually licensed rather than leased. License agreements are designed to reflect the simplicity of moving into an office space and won’t contain legal jargon that’s sometimes difficult to understand.
Serviced offices will either charge you a flat fee for a desk or a fee per-square-foot. If you run a small business or are moving into your first office space, renting desks may be more suitable during these early days. If your business has a large amount of staff, renting per-square-foot may be more cost efficient for you.
Services and Facilities: