Blog, Resources

09 June 2021

What is a serviced office?

Office hallway

The demand for serviced offices is growing rapidly. Following the series of lockdowns we’ve seen, many employers are attracted to the idea of short-term, flexible contracts that enable them to take a more agile approach. At the same time, ready-to-use serviced office space facilitates distanced working, making ideal satellite offices that are well-suited to a post-pandemic world.

But what exactly is a serviced office? Join us as we explore the key characteristics of this type of office, including how it differs from conventional office leases and other options such as managed office space. Along the way, we’ll also take a look at how the process of renting serviced office space works, the main benefits, and the costs.

We recently launched our first serviced offices at BizSpace Theale in Reading, offering flexible terms, a dedicated on-site team, and modern furnished office spaces.

The exterior of BizSpace Theale serviced offices

Serviced office definition

A serviced office is a fully furnished office space that’s ready for use with facilities provided and an operator to manage the property. This type of office is available for flexible, short-term rental on a rolling renewal basis. Unlike conventional five-year leaseholds, serviced offices charge all-inclusive monthly bills covering everything from the space itself to Wi-Fi, reception staff, and cleaning.

 

What is included in a serviced office?

Serviced offices typically offer a range of features as part of an all-inclusive package, including:

  • Utilities such as heating, air-conditioning, and water; 
  • State-of-the-art IT and telecoms with free high-speed Wi-Fi;
  • Modern office furnishings;
  • Multiple meeting rooms of different sizes;
  • Breakout areas and kitchens;
  • 24-hour access to the building;
  • Free and ample parking provision;
  • A dedicated on-site team with a manned reception and security;
  • Cleaning, maintenance, and all-round property management.

 

Newcastle Amber Court breakout area

 

Serviced offices vs managed offices

With traditional long-term leaseholds becoming less popular, a range of new leasing models have sprung up. Managed and serviced offices are two of the more flexible alternatives open to businesses in the market for private office rental. Whilst they share similarities, it’s important to understand how they differ when weighing up your options.

Both managed and serviced offices offer flexible rental options and are managed by operators. The most significant difference between these two rental models is that serviced offices are completely fitted out by the provider – with a managed office, the customer chooses details such as the floorplan and how many desks and meeting rooms there are (they are also free to fit the office out themselves, provided it is returned in the condition it was let in).

These two types of offices are also separated by the typical licence agreements. Serviced offices are usually billed per workstation and allow for the most flexible rental plans with the shortest terms (our serviced spaces are available on 3-month rolling licence agreements); managed offices, on the other hand, charge for the amount of space you use and often make you commit to a term of at least 12 months, although no such term is required with BizSpace managed offices.

 

How do serviced offices work?

Serviced offices provide a turnkey solution for businesses in need of workspace. Customers can choose to rent out a single serviced office or an entire floor – either way, you have access to a private space that comes fully furnished and ready for you to move in, with all of the necessary amenities provided (making for a smooth transition during an office relocation).

The process of renting a serviced office is designed to be hassle-free: for a set monthly fee per workstation, an organisation can make full use of its office space with no need to worry about paying extra for utilities, cleaning, or upkeep. The building is managed by the operator who will take care of all you need, from maintenance and reception services to Wi-Fi and telecoms.

Serviced office reception with brown wooden desk

 

The benefits of serviced offices

Compared to conventional office setups, serviced office spaces offer a number of benefits to the businesses that use them. In this section, we’ll explore some of the main advantages of renting this type of office.

 

Allowing for growth and an agile approach

Serviced offices provide more flexibility than other options. Shorter rental terms mean that organisations can remain agile at all times, with the ability to scale up, downsize, or move altogether at relatively short notice. This allows your business plan to adapt as circumstances change (an important benefit in a post-pandemic climate).

 

Ready to move in straight away

A key perk for many organisations is that serviced offices come fully furnished with everything you need to start working. The ready-to-go nature of this type of office reduces the downtime that you’d typically expect with a relocation. Not having to consider furnishings and amenities also means that you can launch a new office much more easily as part of an expansion strategy.

 

Ease of market entry

When renting a serviced office, there are far fewer upfront commitments than with a conventional workspace. With shorter contracts and no need to prepare the office, it’s much less complicated to establish yourself in a new market at home or abroad. You also have the option to withdraw if the market entry doesn’t work out as there’s no long-term lease to tie you down.

 

Easy budgeting and minimal overheads

Offering complete cost transparency and upfront charges for everything you need to run a working environment, serviced offices make for easy budgeting. Your finance department will thank you for the lack of hidden charges in the cost structure, which helps to prevent cash flow issues from cropping up during the course of your rental.

 

Access to state-of-the-art amenities

The cost of launching a new office isn’t just in the rental itself – you also need to ensure that your teams have all of the facilities they need to hit the ground running. All of this is taken care of when you opt for a serviced office, giving you access to state-of-the-art amenities without the initial outlay.

 

Breakout area in a serviced office

 

 

Which types of business use serviced offices?

Given that there are so many benefits to recommend them, serviced offices are the ideal choice for a wide range of firms, including:

  • Larger organisations with remote teams: with no pressure to prepare before the move-in date and a dedicated on-site team to take care of staff, this type of workspace is ideal for any firm that needs satellite offices away from its main HQ.
  • Businesses experiencing growth: serviced offices are paid for on a per-desk basis, enabling you to increase the number of workstations at short notice as teams expand.
  • Firms looking to enter new markets: as mentioned above, businesses that are entering new markets tend to prefer ready-to-go offices with short-term contracts.
  • Start-ups and SMEs: the lack of upfront commitments makes flexible office rental an attractive option for start-ups and SMEs (newer organisations are also drawn to the fact that facilities and utilities are sorted out on their behalf).

 

Serviced office costs – how much is serviced office space?

Despite being all-inclusive and offering excellent amenities, serviced office space doesn’t have to cost the earth. As you’d expect, the price varies significantly across the country. Aggregated data from MoveHut highlights the average monthly cost per desk for a serviced office in different parts of the UK:

  • London (Central) – £750
  • Birmingham – £475
  • Edinburgh – £425
  • Newcastle – £375
  • Leeds – £350
  • Manchester – £375
  • Cambridge – £400

 

Our serviced offices at BizSpace Theale in Reading are competitively priced, starting at £199/month per workstation.

 

 

This guide has explained all of the important information about serviced offices, including their key features, the benefits, and the costs. 

If you’d like to learn more about how serviced office space could work for your business, then enquire today using the button at the top of this page. Alternatively, use our office search tool to find your firm’s new space.

Author

Brian Andrews

 

As Managing Director, Brian has extensive experience in asset-backed flexible workspaces. He was previously the Managing Director of Basepoint, joining the Company in 2006 through to March 2018. He supported the transition following the sale to IWG (Regus) in 2017. Brian previously held the position of Operations Director at Herald Inns and Bars. He joined BizSpace in 2018 as our Operations Director, before becoming the Managing Director for the South in 2020.

 

“I joined BizSpace as I was inspired by the management board with regards to the culture they had developed within the business, their foresight in developing their thoughts into tangible opportunities and their resolve in seeing their plans through to fruition; ultimately supporting small businesses to build communities and help reach their potential.”