Serviced offices provide one of the most popular ‘flexible office’ solutions today. They have revolutionised the way companies work, especially amongst SMEs and start-up companies. With more and more companies choosing to work from serviced offices rather than the traditional rented office space, we thought we would take a look at some of the benefits and explain why they are revolutionising the way modern business works.
What is a serviced office?
A serviced office is a building that contains many offices and meeting rooms that are sub-let on a short term basis. Unlike with traditional lease agreements, serviced offices provide a total solution in that they are fully fitted, furnished and ready for immediate occupation. The serviced office provider is also responsible for offering a wide range of services including telephone answering, secretarial support, conference and meeting facilities, video conferencing and high-speed internet. These business services are combined with the cost of a single office room’s lease and billed to clients on a monthly basis.
Whereas in the past companies would have to wait weeks or even months to move into a leased office, today they can move into a serviced office on the same day they sign the paperwork. Everything they could possibly need to start operating will already be there waiting for them, such as IT infrastructure, telecoms, furniture and other utilities. Many serviced office providers also provide manned receptions and meeting room facilities, which can be billed by the hour. Having access to an immediate setup means that companies can ‘get down to business’ and start making profits the moment they step inside.
Serviced offices are also revolutionising the way businesses work by offering greater flexibility. Unlike with traditional offices, there are no requirements for companies to sign a long term lease or commit to lengthy notice periods. This greater flexibility means that if companies decide they cannot afford to operate from the serviced office or want to setup elsewhere, they will not be tied into a lengthy contract (typically one month’s notice) and so can leave as quickly as they arrived.
Serviced offices also provide companies with scalable services that can expand or contract in-line with demand. This office solution is completely flexible, so whether companies are scaling their operations up or down, they can still maintain a professional image to their customers.
Whilst the cost of a serviced office may initially look expensive, you have to remember that the rent you pay includes nearly all of the costs you would normally have to expect to pay on top of renting a conventional office. Those operating from a serviced office will share the building with other companies and can, therefore, benefit from discounted rates for telecoms, utilities and other sundries such as stationery. Serviced offices provide a cost effective solution for businesses (especially SMEs) and reduce their overall financial risk, which at such uncertain financial times, is certainly an advantage for businesses.
Levels the playing field
The serviced office has revolutionised modern business by levelling out the playing field a little. Whereas in the past only large businesses could afford to rent offices in up-market locations with high tech set-ups, today serviced offices provide the option for SMEs and startup companies to gain access to those benefits too.
This means SMEs can build up their reputation and grow their brand, whilst still keeping costs to a minimum. It allows them to try out new markets without committing completely and enables them to benefit from operating from the prestigious locations that only well-established businesses would once have been able to afford.