What is a serviced office?
Serviced Offices – A Perfect Flexible Option for Short-term Business Needs
Every business or company has unique workplace needs. Their budget, the strength of staff, future plans of expansion, and current standing in the market are only some of the factors that determine the kind of office space they must opt for. The three major office options available are conventional office space, co-working office space and serviced offices.
A serviced office is the most flexible office space solution of the three; usually with short rental options, low deposit amounts and a host of business services that are included in the rent. The key features responsible for the popularity of serviced offices are flexibility and affordability. In several cases, office space can be leased ranging from 1 workstation to 100 or even more, with contract periods of as short as 1 month and up to 3 years, and generally on a rolling renewal basis.
A major feature that distinguishes serviced offices is that these are leased on a per workstation basis, equating to per individual basis, rather than the more conventional system of per square foot. A typical workstation constitutes of a desk and space around it, which usually amounts to approximately 75 sq ft. The exact area, however, varies from office to office.
The most conducive aspect of entering into a serviced office lease is its flexibility; proprietors offer short-term deals ranging from a week to a year or more, depending on your requirement. The flexibility of serviced office makes it an ideal workplace solution for SMEs and start-up businesses. Also, serviced offices offer room for change in the number of staff as per business requirements; hence, these are preferred by businesses looking forward to upsizing or downsizing.
The variety of services and utilities offered in a serviced office premises might vary from one office provider to another, but certain services must be inevitably included for a particular business centre to be classified as a serviced office. More often than not, several facilities are provided as a standard; typically, shared amenities like reception area, meeting and conference rooms, and kitchen and lounge areas. Certain service office providers might also include additional services, such as office furniture, parking area, telephone connections, broadband access and video conferencing facilities.
Serviced offices turn out to be an excellent short-term solution for firms relocating in a short span of time, but cannot move into their new office space immediately. Such a situation could arise due to several reasons; the new premises may not be ready to move in and their existing lease has already expired, or they could be simply bursting at the seams in the old office space and there is no way they could wait for the new lease to begin. In short, for all the companies that need to move immediately but temporarily, serviced offices offer the best space solution. Hence, your company can settle down temporarily and carry on with the normal business routine until your permanent office space is ready for occupancy.
Office relocation can turn out to be a long drawn-out procedure because of a number of variables, like budget, area, services and transport links, which must be taken into account before finalising on your new office space. If you realise that your new office is going to take longer than estimated because of delay in processes like fit-out or refurbishment, or that you might not be able to move into your new workplace before your current lease ends, you must contact a serviced office agent without delay.
What are the Benefits and Shortcomings of Serviced Offices Compared to Conventional Leases?
Flexibility of Lease – Serviced offices are usually characterised with short lease periods; and generally, signing such leases neither involves any legal costs nor does it require any references. Also, these are ready to be moved into, and can be vacated at a short notice.
Minimal Overheads – Opting for serviced offices needs nominal deposit amount, zero furnishing or dilapidation costs, and an all-inclusive fee per month, amounting to easy budgeting. Usually, IT and telecom services are the only ones that you need to spend extra for.
Ease of Growth and Cutback – Companies occupying serviced office premises can undergo fast and easy expansion without the need of changing their trading address, and even reduce unutilised space, avoiding waste of resources on maintaining idle space.
Business Support – Serviced business centres can make provisions for reception and admin personnel, and meeting and conferencing facilities on a need basis.
Image Building at No Extra Cost – Rest assured that serviced business centres are very well-maintained, ensuring that your business always projects a professional image. Cleaning the interiors is accounted for within the cost of a work terminal.
Expensive Proposition for Longer Durations – Even though a serviced office is an economical short-term option, it turns out to be a costly affair if rented for a long span of time.
Uniform Offices – Types of serviced business centres range from redeveloped buildings to the ones designed for a specific purpose. Some offer traditional features, while others offer unique space solutions. However, some built-for-purpose business centres might undesirably feature offices that are exactly the same.
Branding – Some serviced business centres are completely branded, which means that they propagate their brand name via their signage or logos on the exteriors and interiors. This is bound to make it obvious that the occupant companies are sharing hired offices. Some business centres, on the other hand, do offer the renters an option of branding, so that they can project an impression of possessing an office space.
Serviced offices are a preferred choice of larger firms that need a satellite office or commercial space for a project. Today, there are thousands of serviced offices across the UK. Several of these are business centres, situated in some of the most prominent locations throughout the country, run by large and established companies such as Regus, MWB, Orega and Avanta.
The short-term nature of service office sector and the range of options available imply that most prospective clients find a suitable workplace solution to suit their needs. Serviced offices range from basic, unfitted spaces to high-spec, fully outfitted suites in preferred locations. Whatever your business needs, you are sure to find a fitting interim solution to your space conundrum.