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Serviced office space can be found across the UK and globally and is becoming ever more popular given the changing nature of the workplace as a result of COVID-19. DeVono offers many flexible workspace solutions, including serviced office space for any budget through flexible leasing.

At DeVono, our consultants take a unique approach to finding serviced office space for our clients, providing the workplace insights and expertise required to define the appropriate workplace brief. A growing number of organisations believe the future of work is more than just the physical space and want to have a flexible office base for their staff that complements their flexible working strategy.

What is flexible leasing?

Flexible leasing is an umbrella term, which encompasses traditional serviced office space, managed office floors, and coworking hubs. We still encounter several misconceptions about this leasing solution, and accordingly wanted to dispel some of the most common myths that surround serviced office space in this blog.

Cost-effective on balance

At first glance, monthly expenditure on serviced office space can appear higher than traditional leasehold space. However, serviced office contracts include most provisions, such as collaboration spaces and other building amenities and utilities that are not typically contained in a conventional office lease. These can include but are not limited to:

  • rent
  • business rates
  • service charge
  • security
  • cleaning
  • utility bills
  • internet bandwidth
  • meeting & training rooms
  • onsite operations team
  • staffed reception
  • call handling

Serviced office space also comes furnished. A flexible workspace is typically secured on a one-year basis and includes all these recurrent costs. Our London Office Occupancy Costs report showcases the full cost and the seven elements that make it up, rather than the mere three all too often referred to. Only referring to the three of Rent, Rates and Service Charge paints an incomplete picture of the annual outgoings and cost considerations when it comes to traditional leasing. Rent, Rates, and Service Charge are closer to just 66% of total spend, with professional services, ancillary, facilities, and build out & exit constituting a whopping 34% per cent share of the total cost of leasing office space in London. This cost, over the years, has been wrongly assumed by many to be closer to just a 10-15% overage. The cost of running facilities and ancillary services is already included in a serviced office space pricing structure with bespoke build-out subsidised, and exit costs minimised.

In the round, a complete contractual package of serviced office space can work out to be more cost-effective for your business at any size and maturity.

To find out more about the levels of serviced office space across central London, read our Central London Office Rent Guide Q1 2021 here.

Stay as you grow

Another common misconception that our consultants encounter is the perception that serviced office space is only suited to small or start-up companies. Whilst historically, start-ups have tended to utilise serviced office space for the flexibility of a short-term financial commitment it provides, over the last decade, the trend of larger corporates choosing serviced office solutions has become increasingly evident. In London, 70 percent of flexible office space is used by large firms and corporations.

At its core, serviced office space allows companies to lease a flexible work     space in an almost infinitely versatile and agile manner. Regardless of the size of your company, this level of optionality in terms of flexible leasing is hugely beneficial. Through city-centre locations, management teams supporting the smooth running of daily operations, and Covid-compliance along with access to the wider network of buildings that serviced office providers operate across various geographies, serviced offices offer an agile and convenient way to work.

To find out more about the benefits of flexible leasing, you can read our ‘Why Flex Leasing Works in a Post Covid-19 World’ report here.

Access the office at all hours

Nearly all serviced office spaces are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Serviced office space providers understand that many businesses work long or global hours. Indeed, with increasing demands for flexible working, there may be many who wish to work outside the traditional ‘9 to 5’.

To further support 24/7 flexibility, many buildings offer amenities such as showers, bicycle storage, gyms, libraries, screening rooms, event space, on-site restaurants, bars, cafes, roof terraces, dry cleaning, wellness programmes, and more. Despite the dazzling array of amenities that can sometimes be on offer, rest assured that there are private office suites and floors that can accommodate all budgets.

To discover some of the most affordable areas for serviced office space in London, read our recent blog here.

Flexible leasing terms

Serviced office contracts are designed with flexibility in mind. Typically, these contracts range from 3 months to 5 years, making such arrangements advantageous for companies who may seek to scale, as you only pay for private office space and facilities you use on the terms that suit your organisation’s needs.

However, it is possible to secure flexible office space for a more extended period to allow for businesses that may not have the time or capital available for the large initial deposit, covenant checks and other upfront costs often incurred on a traditional leasehold space.

A range of services on offer

Serviced office operators typically bundle services into a simple monthly fee based on most client’s requirements. Often, this means you will benefit from more bolt-on provisions as a bonus.

If your business is unsure whether you need a facility and doesn’t want to pay a monthly fee for it, many operate on a ‘pay as you go’ system, allowing occupiers to add services when required. Our Serviced Office Agency team can work with you to ensure that no unnecessary fees are included in any contractual arrangement you sign.

Inject your own personality

Most serviced office operators actively encourage clients to brand their flexible workspace. From meeting rooms and private offices in your workspace, businesses can inject company colours, logos, and design features, fixtures, and fittings to create the right look and feel for employees and reflect their organisation’s culture.

The future of flexible leasing

The COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged the desire for companies and employees to work on a more flexible basis. Whether through leasing terms, duration of contracts, or size of office space, flexibility is sought after when it comes to clients finding new office space.

With 28 million sq feet of serviced office space in the UK at present and more than  across the UK now using such space, DeVono expects serviced offices to be utilised much more widely in the years ahead. However, many of the misconceptions surrounding flexible leasing will have to be addressed for this prediction to come to fruition.

If a flexible workspace sounds like the right option for your business, DeVono can help. We can source and secure the right office space for your organisation. Get in touch with us at serviced@devonocresa.com or on +(0) 20 7096 9911.

 

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