The definition of a “serviced office” is a fully fitted and furnished single office space, or an entire office building. The latter could be rented to a single company or multiple companies sharing the same business premises. Serviced office buildings are run and maintained by facility management companies, whose roles include providing a variety of business services, such as:
- Office cleaning and maintenance
- Administrative support
- IT infrastructure, Internet connectivity, telecommunication
- Parking, and other.
Reasons to choose a serviced office
Serviced offices are most popular among start-ups and small businesses, who are looking to relocate their area of operations out of home to a low cost co-working space. Typically, companies of this sort look for inexpensive, short-term lease options to settle their business in until they can afford the comfort of a traditional office lease from a commercial landlord.
Another popular reason to move to a serviced office is to have some temporary place to work in while your primary business premises are being repaired or refurbished.
Advantages of serviced offices
1) Cost effective in the short term
In general, the base rent of a conventional office might be cheaper than that of a serviced office. That’s because the former doesn’t include any of the above listed facility services in the price. You have to pay for your own equipment, furnishings, building maintenance services, etc. which could lead to tremendous expenses.
Serviced offices, on the other hand, are fully equipped with all utilities and ready to go as you move in. General bills and other expenses are covered in your all-inclusive rent fee, so you know exactly what you pay for. For the most part, IT and telecommunication are the only services you need to spend extra money for.
2) Short-term contracts
Contrary to traditional office leases, where you sign a tenancy contract for a longer period of time (usually 3-5 years) serviced offices require you to sign an agreement for a minimum of 3 months to a year. This time period is enough for you to test the waters and build a solid long-term strategy.
3) Ready to settle in
As mentioned earlier, serviced offices are already furnished and have the proper tech needed to run a successful business. In most cases, business premises offer shared amenities, such as a reception area, meeting and conference rooms, and kitchen and lounge areas.
4) Easier space adjustment
If a blooming business needs to expand its work space with minimum disturbance, it can do so quickly and easily without having to change its physical address. On the opposite, companies in need of reducing unnecessary occupied space can downsize with zero hassle.
5) Networking opportunities
Serviced office buildings are usually rented to multiple tenant companies, therefore giving you the chance to meet potential business partners for networking and cross selling products and services.
Disadvantages of serviced offices
1) Lack of personalization
You might not be permitted to have your brand displayed across the interior and exterior of the business building. An unbranded workplace may look unprofessional in the eyes of customers, but it’s not that big of a deal for a temporary serviced office occupation.
2) More expensive in the long-term
While a serviced office’s monthly rent is generally higher than that of its traditional counterpart, you are not tied up to a 3 to 5 year contract for an empty office space and you have to furnish and maintain it yourself. That’s why for shorter periods of time, it’s better to operate in a serviced office and save yourself valuable time and resources that could otherwise be spent towards taking your business to the next level – the one where you could afford to lease an office from a commercial landlord and modify it to your liking.
3) Unanticipated extra fees
Be aware that additional charges, such as faster broadband, printing, furniture, private meeting rooms, other facilities and services might be imminent, especially if you are a heavy user.
4) License agreements
In some cases, license agreements would allow facility managers to move a company in a different part of the business building if it’s necessary to accommodate new occupiers.
5) Sharing facilities
Renting office space in a serviced office building comes with the fact that you have to share amenities, such as parking, meeting rooms, bathrooms, and more with other tenants in the building.
This is a guest post. Galin Kolev is a content writer and digital marketing specialist for Business Fantastic Services, an office cleaning company that’s based in London, but also operates in several towns in the UK, Australia and the US. He aims to facilitate the lives of entrepreneurs and startups through clever tips and valuable insights.