According to a new report by Capital Economics, commissioned by Office Space in Town, the UK serviced office market (currently valued at £16bn) has experienced rapid growth and sustained a high level of demand in recent years, having grown by 31% since 2008, with the sector’s value expected to hit £62bn by 2025, and possibly £126bn on more optimistic projections.
The City Fringe has seen a huge increase in its own canon of serviced offices that cater to the vast and ever-growing community of start-ups and creative enterprises. Where a change in headcount can be fast and require rapid relocation, flexible workspaces allow firms to start small and quickly scale up or down according to their business trajectory, without the commitments and responsibilities of a long-term lease.
But serviced offices are also finding favour as a quick fix for companies putting together temporary teams and needing extra space to house them. Their new operation can be up and running within a matter of days and be kept for no longer than is required for the duration of whatever project they’re working on.
For an enterprise contemplating the idea of serviced offices, there are a number of benefits worth considering. Fully furnished and ready for immediate occupation, they require no capital expenditure for either fitting out or dilapidations, allowing a firm to retain that money for investment in R&D, staff and growth.
Providing a fixed cost solution with flexible terms from as little as one month right up to three years, serviced offices also remove the time and effort required by a company in the physical management of its premises, allowing it to focus entirely on its core business.
Even huge internationals are waking up to the benefits of serviced offices: HSBC in Hong Kong recently put a 300-strong digital team into serviced offices to allow its employees “to collaborate in an open plan and agile working environment”, while IBM has put 600 employees into serviced offices in New York while it hunts for new headquarters. Quick occupation, a term length directly aligned with their own time frame, a fully furnished environment and a resilient and robust IT connection make for an enticing combination.
Serviced offices can be delivered in a bespoke fashion to create a self-contained office with branding including company logos creating an environment with its own identity, while a ready-made community of like-minded businesses provides in-house networking and socialising opportunities, often with excellent communal spaces and facilities. Those might include lounge areas, terraces and even special events.
There are benefits, too, for companies that do business in global locations, with some serviced office providers issuing meeting room credits valid for any of their buildings around the world.
British Land has now joined the serviced office market and has just launched its flexible workspace initiative, Storey, and has instructed Colliers City Fringe as the exclusive agent for its two locations at the meeting point of Shoreditch and the City: Appold Studios consists of four floors in a 19th century former warehouse, while 2FA delivers eight floors of raw contemporary design in a striking office building.
Please contact us for more information on Storey, or for any advice on serviced office, co-working or flexible workspace accommodation.