By GEMMA FOORD
The simple answer is, you don’t. Serviced office space can be a viable requirement for any size of company for different reasons. Here, we explore the different ways in which larger corporations use the benefits of a serviced office to meet their business needs.
Once you sign a license agreement for an office space, it’s often possible to move in right away. This proves to be an invaluable benefit for today’s fast-paced, agile businesses, where waiting months to move into your new premises can seriously hamper growth and revenue. As well as this, because everything is already included in the monthly license fee, there is no downtime for getting the offices prepared which is where the commonly used term for serviced offices “Plug and Play” comes from.
One of the biggest challenges for both start-ups and high-growth businesses is not knowing exactly how quickly your business will grow and consequently, how much space your business will need. You may have 10 employees now but that could double by the end of the year and maybe even quadruple within eighteen months. This makes a conventional lease an unattractive option as they are not designed to accommodate this kind of high growth and the term of the agreement itself is also usually a lot longer. Serviced options by contrast are designed with this common dilemma in mind and so the short terms mean you can change office within months rather than years. If your current building has availability, it’s also possible to expand your existing space and keep your current address. Serviced office providers will always try to accommodate your businesses’ expansion requirements.
Over the last few years, we are seeing more and more businesses using serviced office space for the purpose of offsite training or confidential projects. The short term periods on offer allow for businesses to rent a space for as little as two people for three months plus. Having space off site can prove highly beneficial for the staff as well. In a survey conducted by TINYpulse, an employee engagement firm, it was found that remote workers are happier and feel they’re more productive. It also showed that contact with managers became more detailed and communication around projects to check on progress etc was increased.
As spoken about earlier, it is difficult to estimate how fast your business will grow and if you’re stuck in a conventional lease for 5 years but need to expand, it can leave you in quite a difficult situation. Luckily, serviced offices can provide a quick and easy solution. There are now more serviced offices than ever in London meaning it would not be difficult to find a location close to your existing business to accommodate the overflow for the remainder of your lease.
The process of acquiring a leasehold property can be quite timely. From the sourcing of the building, negotiating, legalities, fit out, it’s normally a minimum of a 4 month turnaround until you’re in your office but this can occasionally take longer. This is especially a problem for businesses needing to be out of their current premises by a certain date. Again, the short term periods on offer mean that you can have some “swing space” to ensure that there will be no downtime or loss of productivity in the interim and agreements can be done on a monthly rolling contract until your new office is ready.
Deciding where to locate or relocate your office can be a daunting task. There are a lot of things to consider and you may also be in an industry where the success of your business is dependent on its location. The short terms serviced office space provides means you can trial and test different locations until you find the area best suited for your company from term periods as little as three months. The Brexit vote has also cast some doubt over whether London is the best place to commit to a London HQ meaning a lot of businesses have now turned to serviced offices until the effect of Brexit becomes clearer.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place should your office suddenly become off limits? Disaster can strike at any time and no matter what kind of building you are in; it can pose some pretty significant problems. Serviced offices are used by all sizes of company to minimise downtime and loss of productivity whilst their offices are out of bounds. For example, if there was a fire in the building and you had to move out immediately, you could be in your new serviced office within a matter of days on a rolling month contract until the building had been refurbished.
It’s a common misconception that serviced offices are only for start-ups or smaller organisations. Although they are the most popular option for these business types, serviced office space is by no means limited to this clientele as more and more companies prioritise flexibility over costs. The rapid growth of serviced office operators over the past few years and predicted growth over the next few means that competition will be higher resulting only in a better service and cost for you as the client.
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