What is Serviced Office Space?
Serviced offices typically offer meeting rooms and conferencing facilities
Serviced Offices – Summary
A serviced office is a flexible workplace solution, typically with short rental options, low deposits, and a number of business services included in the rental cost.
Perhaps the most popular features of a serviced office are its flexibility and cost-effectiveness. In many cases, office space can be rented from 1 workstation up to 100 or more, often with contracts ranging from as little as 1 month to 3 years, and typically on a rolling renewal basis.
Serviced offices are rented by workstation, which equates to a ‘per person’ basis, rather than by the more conventional format of square footage. A workstation incorporates the desk and the space around it, which usually totals an average of 75 sq ft. However the exact size does vary from one centre to another.
The flexible nature of serviced offices makes them ideal for SMEs and start-up businesses. This flexibility also works for companies that may need to upsize, as serviced offices typically allow for changes in size of workforce requirements.
In addition, serviced offices are popular with larger firms that require a project or satellite office. There are now thousands of serviced offices across the UK, and many – especially those run by large established companies such as Regus, MWB, Orega and Avanta – have business centres in some of the most prestigious locations throughout the country.
Due to this, and coupled with the short-term nature of the industry, the range of choice means that prospective clients almost always find a suitable solution.
In terms of services, the number and type of services and utilities included will vary from one office space to another.
Under most circumstances several facilities and services will be provided as standard. This will typically include shared amenities, such as a reception, meeting room space, kitchen facilities and lounge areas.
Some office providers may also include an extended list of inclusive services, such as office furniture, car park usage, telephones, broadband access and use of video conferencing equipment.
This list will vary from one office provider to another, but at least some services and facilities must be included for the business centre to fall into the ‘serviced office’ category.
Examples of offices that are ‘unserviced’ include sublets, where the office is already being leased and the lessee attempts to rent it out to a third party.
Offices that are available to rent under conventional leases also fall outside of the serviced office category. This style of office rental agreement is typically associated with large corporations that require a long-term office location, and are prepared to sign for several years. It is not uncommon for these contracts to span 15 years or more, and are legally binding.
These contracts are often complex, with detailed clauses placing various points of responsibility onto the company leasing the space.
In addition, companies renting offices under a conventional lease will normally be required to furnish, decorate, clean, and maintain the building themselves – which in a serviced office is usually undertaken by the office provider.
Key Benefits of Serviced Offices
Flexibility is one of the key benefits of a serviced office, represented by a straight-forward licence that does not require the expense of a solicitor.
Financially, one of the main benefits of a serviced office is that there are little or no start-up costs, as there is usually a low deposit and most offices are ready to ‘plug and play’. This also means very little downtime for the company moving into the space.
Some centres have been left unbranded by the office provider, which is appealing for companies who want to project their own image without being overshadowed by the provider’s brand.
Other benefits include the support network available, including management staff, receptionists, admin assistance, and in some cases even an on-site IT support team.
Types of Serviced Offices
Within the serviced office bracket, there are several different levels depending on the number of facilities included.
Fully serviced offices typically offer a long list of amenities, which may be included as a specific ‘package’. These services are managed by a company – normally the office provider – who rent the individual offices, and are also responsible for maintaining the building and the facilities provided.
Fully serviced spaces usually provide decorated and furnished offices in a fully equipped building, with essential facilities such as a staffed reception, communal areas such as kitchens and lounge areas, meeting rooms, conference facilities, and more.
Semi-serviced offices still feature within the ‘serviced office’ bracket, but generally offer a smaller range of facilities and services.
For example, semi-serviced offices will often have basic amenities such as meeting rooms, furnished offices and telephone cabling, but may lack useful extras such as a staffed reception.
The exact offering will vary depending on the office provider.
Typical Services and Facilities
This list shows the services and facilities available that make up a serviced office. Under normal circumstances, serviced offices will be able to provide a number of these as part of their standard offering:
- Furnished offices
- Hot desking
- Lounge area
- Meeting rooms
- Shared office space
- Unbranded office space
- Virtual offices
- CCTV or Security system
- Manned security
- Admin support
- Manned reception
- Telephone answering
- Broadband internet access
- On site IT support
- Telephone system
- 24 hour access
- Air conditioning
- Disabled access
- On site restaurant
- On site parking
To find out more about serviced offices, visit the officebroker.com website or speak direct to one of our regional consultants for free expert advice.