Serviced Office Space – The Rise & Rise of an Industry
Nearly twenty years ago when the serviced office space industry began in earnest, only around 100 business centres offering what we recognise as serviced offices existed worldwide ΓÇô today there are nearly 2500 in the UK alone.
This growing appetite for serviced offices and flexible office space from businesses has certainly been bolstered by events such as the recent recession, as more and more businesses sought to inject flexibility to their operations and stability to their overheads.
But is not simply the impact of recession that has brought about the need, or necessity, for office space that does not follow the conventional commercial property model filled with potential tripwires for businesses such as long-term leases.
Today we live in a world where technological advancements, such as ipads and the much loved Blackberry phone, allow people to conduct business almost anywhere. As such, the way in which we utilise our office space is changing too, and while the desire to have a fixed point of contact, in terms of a recognised location, still prevails, the notion of a costly underused office space has for many businesses become a thing of the past.
So as more and more businesses seek the kind of workspace offered by serviced office providers it is perhaps no surprise that the number of buildings and business centres offering these types of office space has continued to grow.
Since the close of 2008 officebroker.com has received, accessed and processed an increasing number of applications from landlords and current providers who have converted existing buildings to serviced office centres or leased out commercial space in order to expand into additional locations. As can be seen in the graph which accompanies this article, the number of serviced office space buildings in the UK has risen substantially in the last 18 months, rising from 1731 in the closing stages of 2008 to 2496 by the close of Q1 2010 ΓÇô representing a 44% increase in the UK supply of serviced office space.
This number looks set to continue going up, with dozens of new centres wanting to register with officebroker.com each week. But of course not all these centres will meet the standards demanded by a broker such as officebroker.com, meaning that while those centres linked to leading brokers will continue to rise the overall market is likely to be even larger than the figures recorded in publications such the Serviced Office Review Series suggest.
With a full range of businesses making use of serviced office space, from Microsoft to Serco, the NHS and Start-ups to other SMEs, the serviced office market in the UK has grown imaginably from its starting point in the 1980s. Not only does the industry now offer a full range of graded office space, it also offers office space in some of the most prestigious and iconic business locations and buildings anywhere in the world.
Having now established itself as a recognised and valuable resource in the quest for the flexible workspace increasingly desired by business owners, the serviced office market in the UK looks set to continue expanding, cementing its reputation as a great place to do business within the minds of thousands of business ownerΓÇÖs year on year.