What is a serviced office?
Serviced offices are a great solution for businesses looking to access a host of facilities and services under one roof, without the hassle of having their own commercial premises to manage.
Read on to find out more about serviced offices, how they work and what’s included.
What does serviced office mean?
A serviced office, also known as a managed office, is an office space usually found within a business centre. Serviced office providers usually offer businesses a simply monthly fee, and take care of the management of the premises on behalf of tenants.
What’s included in the monthly charge for a serviced office will vary depending on provider, but you can realistically expect it to cover rental, utilities and an estate charge.
What’s included in a serviced office?
Generally, serviced offices have a front-of-house member of staff who is responsible for looking after the reception desk and often the overall running of the business centre.
Serviced offices usually feature communal kitchens, bathrooms and breakout spaces. Most serviced office spaces will already be fitted out with cables for you to easily install your own equipment, and some come furnished too.
The estate charge included in many serviced office packages is likely to cover cleaning of communal areas, maintenance services and the provision of items like toilet roll and soap for the bathrooms.
Many serviced offices feature meeting rooms, boardrooms, training rooms and conference rooms available to book. This may be included in your monthly fee, or there may be an additional charge, depending on which serviced office provider you choose.
At Business First, for example, boardroom hire is free for business centre tenants and can be booked through the centre manager, subject to availability.
What are the benefits of serviced offices?
There are plenty of benefits to choosing a serviced office space, rather than renting or buying commercial premises for your business.
Flexible office space
Most business centres are able to offer flexible leases on their serviced office space, which means you can choose from a short-term contract if you aren’t ready to commit, or a long-term contract if you are looking to save money and you are confident to base your business in the same place for a certain length of time.
Upsize or downsize your office space
Another bonus with serviced office space is that the likelihood is, you will be able to easily upsize or downsize your office space depending on your business needs. This is because a large business centre is likely to have a choice of different office suites available in various sizes, so if you need a larger or smaller office space, you can usually switch your space easily. If you were in a standalone office, moving offices cause much more upheaval and possible downtime to your business.
Affordable office space
Serviced offices can be a cost-effective solution for businesses, as one simple monthly cost avoids any nasty surprises and helps businesses to manage their budgets easily. Plus, as you only pay for the space you actually need, serviced offices cost less than traditional offices – with the added bonus of communal spaces available when you need them. And when you factor in the amount of space available for you to use, you’ll find you get a lot more for your money with a serviced office within a business centre.
Be part of a business community
In the age of the sharing economy, more and more businesses are seeking collaboration and communication with others within a mutually beneficial business community. So, the traditional, standalone office can seem like an isolating place in this respect.
When you choose a serviced office within a business centre, you are joining an existing community of like-minded companies. Communal areas lend themselves to networking, collaboration and joint working, and being part of a community encourages businesses operating under one roof to support each other and share opportunities.
Join a larger business network
Business centres with multiple locations will often allow serviced office users to access offices, meeting rooms and coworking spaces at other centres. So, if you travel a lot for work, or you have sales colleagues who require a place to meet with clients or catch up on emails in various locations across the UK, you could benefit from a whole lot more space than you initially signed up for.
Here at Business First, all of our serviced office tenants can use the facilities at any of our locations at any time – they can simply contact the relevant centre manager to book some space or a boardroom for hire, making it easy and cost-effective for businesses.
Save money on a receptionist
Traditional office spaces require a receptionist to greet guests. However, serviced office users can enjoy all of the benefits of a receptionist, without paying the extra salary.
Most business centres offering serviced office space rental have a staffed reception area, with a member of staff available to welcome visitors, provide refreshments and notify the relevant individual that guests have arrived.
Making such a professional first impression on clients and guests can go a long way towards boosting the reputation of a business, without any of the costs associated with hiring a full-time receptionist.
No maintenance, no problem
Building maintenance can be one of the most stressful and mundane part of running a business if you have your own commercial premises.
By renting a serviced office, you can wave goodbye to all of the hassles of maintaining your own premises and hand the responsibility over to the business centre management company. This leaves you with much more time to focus on running and growing your business and takes you away from all of the associated stress that comes with a commercial property that can take focus away from your business goals.
Business centres are generally planned and design with easy access in mind, so you’ll usually discover they are close to motorway networks with excellent public transport links.
So, however your staff travel to work, they’re likely to find it simple when you choose to base your business within an existing business centre’s prime location.
Can I make a serviced office rental my own?
For some, the obvious benefits of serviced office space are attractive, yet they crave the chance to put their own individual stamp on their space.
Well, the good news is, you can have it both ways if you choose the right serviced office provider.
At Business First, we encourage serviced office tenants to make their office space their own, with a design and build service available before you move in to ensure the layout is optimised for your business needs, and the opportunity for you to change the décor of your office to suit your business’s personality and provision.
After all, our serviced office tenants can vary from barristers to beauty therapists and personal trainers to psychologists, so we want every one of our tenants to feel like their office space represents their business and works for their individual needs.
What else can a serviced office provider offer my business?
Many additional services are available to business centre tenants who rent serviced office space.
Your office provider may be able to help you set up IT and telecoms, as many providers have the bulk buying power to tap into great deals on behalf of all tenants, which can save money for businesses when compared to negotiating as a single entity.
If you’re looking for help in source furniture or other interior office items, many business centre management companies will help you to find everything you need by putting you in touch with their preferred suppliers – and you could get a great deal this way, too.
Certain business centres offer other benefits to businesses, like gyms on-site at selected locations, or discounted deals for local leisure facilities, restaurants and more.
Some business centres can also offer storage facilities to businesses who require extra space to store archives or stock – this can be a cost-effective way to run a business, as it’s cheaper than paying for a large office space.
Serviced office providers want their tenants to work together, network and collaborate, so you could discover great discounts on products and services from your fellow tenants through conversations in communal spaces or newsletters, email bulletins and social media updates from your office provider.
Are there any hidden costs with serviced offices?
When you choose to rent or buy your own traditional business premises, the costs can quickly add up and see your budget spiralling out of control.
Serviced offices are the number one option if you’re looking for a simple cost you can easily budget, with no hidden costs or nasty surprises. You’ll be given a simple monthly cost, with a clear indication of what’s included in it and what isn’t.
What kind of business is a serviced office suitable for?
Serviced offices are suited to all manner of businesses, from startups to large corporations, thanks to their many benefits.
The flexibility of a serviced office makes it an attractive option for startup businesses and sole traders, as they can try it out to see if it works well for their business while accessing a host of facilities (like staffed receptions and boardrooms) without the outlay.
Large companies often use serviced offices to set up a regional base, as they can find all of the facilities they need without the hassle of setting up new premises.
Businesses experiencing rapid growth love the flexibility of serviced office space, as they can easily upgrade their office space without any disruption to day-to-day operations.
Whatever industry you work in, it’s highly likely a serviced office could work well for you and your needs. Whether you’re a nail technician looking for a small space to welcome customers, or an international corporation setting up a call centre in an affordable location, there’s a serviced office solution to tick all your boxes.
However, if you don't feel ready for a serviced office yet, you could check out coworking or hotdesk solutions in your area to dip your toe into the world of office space without any commitment or rent a virtual office to establish a presence and professional address for your business.
Where can I find the perfect serviced office near me?
If you’re looking for serviced office space in a great location, with a host of facilities and added benefits, within a thriving business community, look no further than Business First.
We have serviced office space available to rent in Burnley, Padiham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Preston, Linwood and Liverpool, and all locations are available to use when you sign up as a business centre tenant.