Is a Serviced Office Right for Your Business? Created on 29/07/2011 14:13:00
The main purpose of an office environment is to support its occupants in performing their job - preferably at minimum cost and to maximum satisfaction.
With different people performing different tasks and activities, selecting the right office space for your company is no mean feat. With an ever changing economic climate, businesses need flexible property solutions and the more traditional providers have had to take notice. They recognise the importance of staying ahead of the game and many offer solutions tailored to the needs of a business rather than the other way around.
From a business perspective what type of office space you decide upon will depend entirely on what type of company you are and what your priorities/requirements are.
In terms of office space there are basically three main options: virtual, serviced or fully managed.
A virtual office is just that. Depending on the level of support you want, you can have a prestigious business address, postal redirection, receptionist and call forwarding; and even a holiday answering/message service. However you don’t get any physical space – although your clients need never know.
A serviced office is at its most basic defined as an office or office building that is fully equipped and managed by a facility management company. Most likely it is a larger space divided into smaller entities that cater for single or multiple occupation, with easy in, easy out terms. In general, these offices tend to be furnished and may include IT and telephony services. This means that as a small business, you can simply move in and get going.
For businesses of say 1 – 30 employees either looking for their first office, upgrading their existing office, expanding or simply looking to relocate, a fully serviced affordable office space such as that offered at the South Hampshire based Langstone Technology Park could be ideal.
Fully equipped with everything from communications to furniture, a business can simply ‘plug in and play’. If you are looking to move quickly and the space is available everything can be arranged and you can be in pretty much straight away.
Many serviced offices also have a range of shared facilities such as a reception, kitchen area, meeting rooms and break out areas – either included in the price or for a small additional cost. At Langstone Technology Park all tenants can enjoy facilities like: 24/7 security, free onsite parking, restaurant, Starbucks, reception services, occupational health centre, cycle sheds and lockers; and a 52 place pre-school nursery.
Cost-wise, many serviced offices include the business rates and utilities as part of the facilities or service charge. For budgetary purposes, a serviced office usually has a single monthly payment and not such a large up front deposit – but it is worth gaining a full understanding of what is included and what could be an additional charge.
In terms of lease flexibility serviced offices are usually more accommodating than the managed or leased option for example length of contract and notice period can be negotiated to suit your requirements.
If your business has between say 30 – 100 employees, the type of office arrangement you choose will depend on what level of commitment you require and what scope there is for tailoring your space. Serviced offices can work for companies with 100+ employees but many consider the managed space option as they have scope to create a more corporate environment and ensure more long term certainty of their space.
A serviced office within a larger property can also mean that as a smaller business or part of a virtual team, you can access a business network that would be unavailable if you were simply working from home. Having a great working environment can leave you free to concentrate on developing your business and a hassle-free flexible office could be the solution.
- No / low start up costs
- Prestigious business addresses
- Flexible leasing with little notice (duration and size)
- Building maintenance, cleaning, waste removal can be included
- Immediate availability
- Support staff available as needed
- Receptionist and other facilities included
- Many locations to choose from
- Modern fit-out and fully furnished offices
- Many serviced offices (although not all) can give a generic, unbranded impression
- No real scope to change the layout
- Business cost – in comparison
- In some cases there may be higher monthly cost than conventional leased space if you are looking at a longer duration
- 'Bundled' packages (where one monthly payment covers most costs) are available as are 'unbundled' (where each item used attracts a unit cost).