FlexibleHub

Serviced Office Space in the UK: A Complete Guide On Finding The Right Space

11 May 2021

Across the board, serviced office spaces are something that many freelancers and enterprises has been forced to think about in recent times.

Many businesses are keen on introducing flexibility to the workforce, but many stay away as it can be a tedious task unless you know how to approach it and what options are available.

What types of serviced offices are available in the U.K?

Many people are under the impression that serviced office space represents shared space with fully serviced facilities, amenities, receptionist team, etc. While that statement can be true, there are many types of serviced office space in the U.K. 

 

You can find both no-frills locations which are merely managed (providing you with a simplified solution compared to traditional leases, as you still benefit from having a fully managed solution with a single price to pay) 

 

44 North Road, a location in Brighton by HQ (owned by flex-space giant IWG plc) is one of the most affordably priced locations in the area starting at just £180 / desk. 

 

The economical benefits of serviced office space is clear when calculating the facts that business rates, cleaning, high-speed WiFi etc. is included in it’s single monthly fee.

 

A brilliant example of a fully serviced office is Landmark’s serviced office space in London, 6 Bevis Marks:

 

“Our clients love the brilliant service our teams provide, helping you to be more productive. From a professional and efficient front of house your clients will love, to handing ad hoc requests, we have all your needs covered. ” – from Landmark’s website.

Preparing the right brief when searching for serviced offices

Preparing a good brief is crucial when you begin to search for serviced office space. This will help you narrow down your options and will avoid tours of locations that ultimately isn’t the right fit or does not fit your budget.

 

A good brief, which should be prepared before the search is started, should cover topics such as:

Number of workstations / square feet

When calculating this, be sure to only calculate the space you need privately. Many serviced locations has impressive break-out spaces, meeting rooms, phone booths, etc. which are typically all included.


Some occupiers want to keep additional space private for meeting rooms, private breakout-spaces, etc.


This is important to keep in mind when preparing your brief as this will obviously add to the total square feet needed, and will ensure that you don't get any surprises when negotiating the right deal.

Budget

When calculating this, we recommend putting together your total budget for the office - not just rent. Unlike traditional leases, things such as internet, cleaning, maintenance, heating, coffee/tea etc. are included in the office.


Your budget should fully reflect all expenses you are happy to take on that relates to the office space.


Figuring out your budget can be a difficult task. If you're unsure, we recommend speaking to a flexible workspace broker like FlexibleHub.

Required facilities and amenities

The services and facilities offered by serviced office space providers is endless. A vast majority already offers things such as furniture, IT setup, managed reception (which even sorts mail, etc.)


Beyond that, many locations offer things such as showers, on-site gyms, weekly events, yoga rooms, restaurants and many more.


It's important for you to write down what your minimum requirements are - do you need showers? Or do you want a large rooftop?

Location

This may seem obvious, but many forget. It's important to note down exactly which areas or proximity to X you want your office.


Great examples are "5 minute walk radius from Paddington station", "2-mile radius from Liverpool Street Station" or even broad searches like "Maximum 20 minute drive from central Birmingham".


When searching for office space on behalf of larger teams, we typically recommend surveying your team to get a good understanding of their commute and daily life to accommodate them as best as possible.

Finding the right serviced office in the U.K

Now that you have a good understanding of what serviced office space is and how to prepare a good brief, it’s now time to begin your search.

 

Navigating markets like London, Manchester and other major cities can be nearly impossible – with hundreds of serviced and managed options, it can often be overwhelming.

 

We have already narrowed down our search substantially with our brief, but finding the suitable locations can be difficult.

 

There are 2 ways you can approach finding the right locations:

Option 1: Search on Google

The most obvious way to search for a new office space is on platforms like Google.

 

When doing this, we recommend that you have an initial read through their website and ultimately send across your enquiry with the brief attached.

 

This will make it easy for the providers to let you know whether or not they have any suitable spaces.

 

Many people decide to build Excel sheets to compare all the quotes they’ve received and keep track of everything.

This is highly recommended for anyone searching on their own as it quickly gets very overwhelming. 

Option 2: Use a flexible workspace broker

There are many flexible workspace brokers out there, and they are a great way to compare all the options.

 

A flexible workspace broker works, free of charge to clients, to help narrow down your search and shortlist only the suitable options.

 

Brokers will even help beyond just shortlisting options. It’s a single-point-of-contact service that facilitates the viewings, helps with negotiations on your behalf and makes the overall process smoother.

 

Typically, brokers have a very broad coverage as they tend to work on industry-standard terms with providers. This means that a broker can, on your behalf, connect you with nearly all options. 

 

This is therefore the most favorable solution to ensure that you don’t miss out on the solution which is best for you and your requirements.

How to negotiate the best deal for serviced offices

Another thing which is very crucial to understand is the negotiation of serviced office space. Some people think these are all fixed prices and non-negotiable. 

 

This is not true, and because the serviced office space market in the UK is very competitive, there is always room for negotiations.

 

Some providers are more flexible on pricing than others. When it comes to negotiating the best terms and pricing, it’s key to do hyper-local research to understand the competitors pricing.

 

It’s also important to look at what deals the competitors are currently running: if a nearby competitor is currently offering 3 months rent free on new agreements, it may be easy to negotiate 2-3 months rent-free at the location you want.

 

It’s also easier to negotiate deals in locations which has a low occupancy (i.e. has a lot of vacant offices.) or other similar features.

 

Data like this can be tricky to find proving an additional benefit of using a broker to find your serviced office space.

Last year the average business searching for an office on HubbleHQ, got a shiny new space for 15% less than the amount listed online.

HubbleHQ, a London-focused flexible workspace tenant advisory

If you want to go at it on your own, it’s recommended that you look at the nearby options and review their pricing before pursuing negotiations with the location of your choice.

 

The small effort of negotiating serviced offices can provide extensive discounts or added benefits.

Should I get a serviced office space for my business?

There are many benefits of using a serviced office space – whether you are a freelancer or a large enterprise.

 

There is no doubt that flexible workspace is a major trend moving out of COVID-19: people no longer want to work from the same desk every day. 

 

Employees want flexibility to work from home, work from co-working locations close to where they live, and work in inspiring and collaborative spaces. All of this is highly achievable with serviced office spaces globally.

 

Beyond that, the simplified admin and maintenance also carries a lot of value. You no longer need to manage various suppliers for cleaning, internet etc.

 

Most locations has a single, easy-to-understand, monthly invoice which covers everything. 

 

FlexibleHub has a detailed guide outlining the biggest benefits of serviced office space for startups.

A shared space gives you access to an office that is ready to go as soon as you sign up for services. This can be a game-changer in regards to your productivity, creativity, and financial potential.

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Request a quote

Fill in your requirements and details and a member of the FlexibleHub client advisory will send across a bespoke quote.

 

Fill in your requirements and details and a member of the FlexibleHub client advisory will send across a bespoke quote.

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