Why Is It So Bloody Difficult to Find a London Office Online?

Tushar Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO
Tushar Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO|

If you’ve ever been in the position of having to find a London office online, you have realised that this is an absolute nightmare.

Child screaming in a tantrum after trying to find office space

You approach the search in a similar fashion to looking for a flat to rent:

  • You ask your friends for recommendations – after a few email threads and dozens of CCs you end up getting nowhere quick.
  • You turn to social media – the results are generally random, success is not expected, but sometimes this works.
  • You then turn to Google – “startup office space London” please! Ah, thousands of hits – great!

Think again. The cocktail of search results resembles more of a Neknomination attempt than a smooth and simple James Bond Martini. What you get is a combination of various types of office providers, agents, small business magazines, newspapers and so on. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.

This is confusing.

All you’re looking for is 5 desks near Old Street station for a few months. How can something so simple be so difficult?

Why does this happen?

Why can’t it be as simple as browsing and buying anything else online?

Three (interlinked) reasons

1. Assumed knowledge

You have no idea that you don’t know what you’re looking for.

knowledge is the power to make other people feel stupid

You think you’re trying to find a London office, and you’re right. However, most of the time you have no idea whether what you need is a co-working space, a shared space, a serviced office or a standalone office. Even if you think you know what you want, you are still curious about the others, and you end up doing a broad search to find a London office.

The status quo asks the researcher to make a decision about what they want, before they’ve even had a chance to understand that they need to make a decision about what it is they really want.

Yes, that made my head hurt too.

We do not assume knowledge. We allow you to search using your most important criteria. Currently we offer a simple search by number of people in your company, compass locations within London and your budget. Our search evolves as we get more feedback.

Don’t want to experience the struggle in having to search to find a London office? Just ask us as and we will be more than happy to send you some recommendations and guide you through the process.

2. Fragmentation

Everything is all over the place.

Home of the big mess

Each co-working operator, serviced office operator, serviced office agent and commercial agent in London has their own website and are vying for your clicks.

Some office agents have multiple websites with different branding to dupe you into thinking you are browsing a competitor. Even the office space aggregators are essentially lead generation tools for the serviced office agents and operators. If you’ve ever tried to find a London office online and looked on Gumtree on consecutive days you will notice that most of the listings are duplicates and are automatically being re-posted by the same agents everyday.

Ironically enough, the sites which attempt to aggregate the market actually lead to further fragmentation. It’s an all out melée for your clicks which creates a vicious cycle:

Because you can see that the market is so fragmented, they know that you will click on multiple links. Because you click on multiple links, they know they have to have more than one website. Because they have multiple websites, the market looks fragmented and you have to click on multiple links. Round and round we go.

Yes, that made me dizzy too.

We aim to consolidate the market for SMEs looking to find a London office. We understand that a lot of the time you are not quite sure what you want, so we aim to let you search across different office types to find a London office that’s suitable for you. No duplicates, no masquerading. We are adding new spaces everyday.

3. Asymmetric information

Office search is a world that exists completely offline but masquerades as being online.

stuff they don't want you to know in secret files

You just can’t find a London office online the same way you can find other things online through your typical e-commerce sites.

You simply can’t browse, compare and transact like you can with houses on Rightmove, holidays on Expedia, or shopping on Amazon. One of the main reasons these sites provide such a good experience is because, as a customer, you are given all of the information you need to make a purchasing decision (or a viewing decision, in the case of property).

Most of the listings for office space that you see online however are just lead-generation tools to capture your details and give you the hard sell. This doesn’t happen with other e-commerce, so why should it happen here?

Yes, it makes me weep too.

We aim to create perfect information. We aim to keep our prices and availability as real-time as possible. We give you the ability to ask questions directly to the person who owns the space, saving everyone time.

What’s our mission?

We have one goal: to make it easy to find a London office.

simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Ultimately, we want to bring the office rental market into the 21st century – to create the experience you have when you’re shopping on Amazon, Expedia or AirBnB. To make it simple.

How are we going to do this?

Talking to hundreds of business owners has allowed us to build an acute sensitivity to what people actually need (as opposed to what they are currently getting) and has given us a willingness to cast off business-as-usual-practices and approaches.

We are working hard to strip away the entrenched complexity in this market. We have built strong relationships with those who have space to rent and are working alongside them to stand out in such a convoluted marketplace.

HubbleHQ is built from the ground up, with no assumptions taken from the status quo. Our platform evolves every single week purely from customer feedback. We know that we’re not perfect yet, but we’re trying really hard. Please forgive us if you see a few glitches – we’re brand new!

We love and crave your feedback, so please do let us know your opinions

Check out some of our success stories here and here.



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