With office rent costs rising at their fastest rate since the financial crisis, more and more businesses are looking into the possibility of serviced offices.
These serviced offices are fully equipped and managed by a third party company who then lease out the individual office space to different businesses.
They’re growing in popularity due to their more flexible terms, allowing the business to upgrade or downgrade their office space as their demands change.
However, many are still reluctant to make the switch, worrying about the cost and quality of a serviced office. So which is best for your business?
The main benefit of a serviced office is their short term rental options. Most traditional offices will require you to sign up for a long term contract, usually at least five years.
This can be an extremely risky proposition, especially if your company is a new start up, and leaves you tied up with little room to manoeuvre.
While you may wind up being perfectly happy with your office over the five-year period, the chances are that your businesses circumstances will change, and without a crystal ball you simply don’t know if the same space will be suitable five years down the line, and the truth is that you don’t know your business will still exist in that time!
Many businesses will start off small with only a couple of staff, with the plan to take on more staff in year one or two depending on how things go, and a serviced office is great for this.
Rather than go right ahead and buy a large office space which you’ll only use half of for the first year or so, it makes more sense to keep things flexible.
We spoke to Lancashire-based serviced office suppliers The Storage Works who told us: “We believe that the traditional office rental just doesn’t suit a large number of businesses, and we’re seeing more and more people turn to solutions such as our own.
“The simplicity and cost effectiveness are really appealing to small businesses and we think serviced offices will soon be the norm.”
Of course the most important thing you’ll be taking into consideration when looking for a new office space is the price.
While it’s true that a conventional office space does work out cheaper, you also have to take into account the extra costs that will come into play with a conventional office.
Typically, you will only be given a shell of an office to work with, and will have to pay for your own furnishings from the desks and chairsto the Wi-Fi and computer network.
Check out this article from the Guardian for more information on the hidden costs associated with moving office.
As well as the financial cost that this will have on your business, you’ll also have to spend time sourcing and putting it all together.
On the other hand, a serviced office is ready for you and your staff to come in and start working straight away.
While on the whole the flexibility and ease offered by a serviced apartment makes it a better option, it’s important to note that what’s right for you completely depends on your business.
If you’re a slightly more established business and have no immediate plans to expand, you may be better off opting for a conventional approach.
Big banks, insurance firms and so on are more the kind of businesses that are likely to occupy a long term conventional office space.
Whereas with a serviced office all of your utilities and bills are included within the monthly payments, these are all payable on top of your rent with a conventional space.
Ultimately, while we would recommend a serviced office in most cases, you should weigh up all the factors mentioned above and reach your own decision based on your business needs.
While owning your own place and having ultimate control over it is obviously great, the flexibility and ease that serviced offices offer just seems too good to turn down.