Selecting the right office space for your business is an integral part of your property search. Occupying the right type of office space can provide your business with a foundation to achieve its objectives. Whether you’re a start-up taking your first office or a large organisation seeking a new location, several factors will determine which type of space is right for you.
As more businesses shift to new ways of working, such as agile and hybrid models, there is value in taking time to assess the options available to you. From serviced space to leased office space, the different workplace options will also vary in cost, lease length, flexibility and location. With so many things to consider, we have compared the available options to help make it easier to decide which type of space is right for your business.
A serviced office space is an all-inclusive office that is fully equipped and managed by an office ‘provider’, who rents individual offices, floors or desks to other companies and individuals. Nowadays, serviced office spaces come in various sizes and range in their quality, amenities, working patterns and costs.
A serviced office space is ideal for start-ups, small businesses and scale-ups – such as companies who foresee change in their future and therefore require flexibility in the length of the contract term.
A coworking office space is a type of serviced office space. In recent years coworking offices have become one of the most popular workspaces. The collaborative potential sits at the centre of coworking space and is ideal for entrepreneurs and freelancers who value being part of a community, networking and collaborating with similar stage businesses.
You pay per desk per month. This allows start-ups and scaleups to avoid committing to long contracts and payments during uncertain times.
The most common contract for a serviced office space is 12 months, with a three-month notice period thereafter. However, most providers are willing to offer three, six or nine-month initial periods. For a coworking office space, contracts initially start with a three-month commitment period, that will change to a rolling monthly notice.
Flexibility: A serviced office space has the shortest contract time. This flexibility is ideal for a business looking to remain agile and work in a space that can expand or reduce at short notice, in line with their business plan.
Lower Costs: Serviced offices provide a flexible, pay-as-you-go approach to meeting spaces, so your business only pays for the facilities that they use.
Added Benefits: Serviced offices offer many amenities ranging from staffed receptions and security to services related to maintenance and cleaning, meaning there are plenty of options offered at an all-in-one price.
Collaborative and Networking Potential: As companies share the workspace, the potential for collaboration is at the heart of any coworking office space.
Limited Brand Identity: A serviced workspace does not typically allow companies to brand the space as their own. Although some flexible workspace providers make some exceptions on this, especially if a member has a private office, the amount of branding that a company is allowed tends to be minimal.
Limited Privacy: Many coworking serviced office spaces require a business to share the space with other companies. This means that other people could be privy to sensitive and confidential information.
Serviced Office Space Client
Office space provider Fora asked us to design a fully flexible, unmatched tailored workspace at 251 Southwark Bridge Road. Businesses who occupy this serviced workspace will have their employee’ wellbeing prioritised – with soft furnishings, biophilia, quiet rooms, spacious lounges and floor-to-ceiling windows maximising the natural light across the entire floor. The upper floors are almost identical and can be leased as a half, whole, or broken into individual suites to accommodate a variety of businesses.
A managed office is a tailored workspace solution that is procured and managed by a third-party supplier. They take care of everything: from finding the right building, signing the lease, designing and fitting out the space according to your business needs and procuring furniture, utilities etc.
A managed office workplace provides the agility and cost-effectiveness of a serviced office with the added benefit of control and security of a traditional lease. This is ideal for an established business that requires a satellite office.
All costs, fit out and rent, are bundled into one single monthly fee, this offers businesses greater control of their cash flow.
The most common contract for a managed office space is 24 months but some providers would accept a 12-month contract.
Security & Privacy: Having a managed space gives you full control over privacy and security issues including who accesses the space and how your network and IT infrastructure are set up.
Bespoke Set-up: Managed offices are fully built and fit out according to your specific business needs. This exclusivity means that you can design the space as you please. This has a positive impact on company culture and aids in how staff, competitors, business partners and clients perceive the company.
Tailored Office Design: In a managed office you will have a say in the number of executive offices, meeting rooms and breakout spaces incorporated into the office design. Thus, you have a tailored office that suits your business and your employees’ working patterns.
Cost: Over a few years, a managed office space may end up being more expensive than a lease, as you pay for the flexibility, management of the office and the bespoke fit out.
Time: In contrast to a serviced office where you simply show up and start working, a managed office requires a tenant to allow enough time for the office to be fitted.
Managed Office Client
We completed a Cat A+ plus fit out at Rathbone Place for Royal London. The brief centred on creating a bright and contemporary space. The new office is sleek and sophisticated with a neutral colour palette and carefully considered materials that soften the space and create a welcoming work environment.
A leased office, which is also sometimes called a conventional or traditional office, is let to a business for an agreed time. Most conventional leases in London have a duration between 5 and 10 years. This is dependent on the property owner and the needs of the leaseholder and will often include a break clause in the third or fifth year. The tenant is responsible for managing and maintaining the facilities including the office fit out, although some landlords are now offering a bespoke fit out service as part of the ‘deal’ for tenants.
Due to the long-term commitments, leased office space is best suited to established businesses who want a bespoke space and have enough capital to commit to a minimum of three years at a time.
You will pay per square foot per annum, business rates and landlord service charges for the building maintenance. However, hidden costs can also occur such as dilapidations, stamp duty, legal fees and building surveys.
Leased office space will have a contract term length of three years minimum.
Greater Control: Moving into a space you can call your own removes the need to share centralised resources with our businesses. It will also enable you to control who can access the building, meeting room usage, private and communal areas and IT infrastructure.
Branding: With a leased office, you can build a picture of the business through branding. This will help employees build a connection to the business and will also help steer the look and feel of the space.
Business Identity: Taking your own office space is a key step in business growth and having somewhere to call your own is an asset. A leased office space offers businesses greater control over how the space is used and what it looks like.
Contractual Penalties: Fixed lease lengths can have little wiggle room, which has proved an issue in recent years with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent changes in working habits.
Deal Finalisation: It can take several months to negotiate and complete the lease, with tenants unable to extract themselves from long lease contracts.
Leased Office Space Client
We worked with Infor to design an office that had strong ties to their global brand. The client entrance leads to a reception area branded with Infor’s colours and featuring a slatted wall and ceiling at a 45-degree angle. Amenity spaces and a variety of work settings including booths, flexible desk space, permanent desk space, breakout space and informal soft spaces, this office lends itself to emerging ways of working and allows for greater flexibility.
Selecting the right space for your business will support your company’s business goals, whether that’s growth ambition, increased headcount or fostering company culture. With employees now expecting greater flexibility and the emergence of working trends such as hybrid working, there are plenty of options to be considered.
Office space will still play an integral role within business strategy but it should respond to the needs of your people rather than be treated as an off-the-shelf product. On top of the financial commitments behind taking different types of office space, it is also important to look at the location of your office space and the local amenities that will help attract people to your business.
The Guide to Finding the Right Office Space
If you’re considering a new office space or are about to start your property search, we can help you. Download the guide to finding the right office space for more information.download now