Standard facilities in serviced offices include fully-staffed reception desks, kitchens, lunch areas, cleaning and maintenance services, meeting rooms and networking spaces. Businesses can also access additional pay-as-you-use services and facilities.
What is a serviced office?
A serviced office is a modern alternative to leased commercial office space. Serviced offices are a cost-effective way of renting space without the responsibilities of a leased office. Serviced offices use flexible leases that allow an organisation to grow or down size as their business needs change. Predominantly serviced office buildings are owned by property investors and the serviced office operator on-site is the tenant.
Serviced offices may or may not be located on the main business streets. This depends on how far the local serviced offices developer is willing to travel to be in business. Now-a-days, serviced office buildings are often in areas where there is a concentration of other business and commercial concerns located.
By locating serviced offices in a business centre not only boosts business-to-business communication but it is also convenient for business travellers and an alternative to hotels for business accommodation. Because office space is rented for a fraction of what it would cost if the business was to rent a full-blown lease with the added benefit that the serviced office can be changed to suit business requirements.
What Size of Offices Do I Need?
An excellent question to ask. One of the primary factors in the final amount of the lease is the size of the office space requirement for the business. When examining this question, it is best to first come up with the working plan and consider every requirement to the satisfaction of the business. Once the working plan is completed, the business is able to find an appropriate serviced office that will accommodate its entire plan without any part being ignored.
Serviced office operators are glad to help in this respect as they understand that corporate planning is an essential part of a fully-effective marketing strategy. Consequently, providing serviced office space is an ideal partnership.
What Kind of Offices Do I Need?
There are five typical kinds of serviced offices to choose from: fully-furnished, semi-furnished, unfurnished, shared and furnished cubicle. Each kind has its own characteristics and benefits. The decision rests on the needs of the business and the requirements of the business plan.
For example, a business looking to rent serviced office spaces while their own facilities are being designed and built will most likely be looking for serviced office spaces that are fully-furnished so that all office space needs are catered for in one “go.” On the other hand, a business that wants to test the viability of a new product in the local market before going to the expense of setting up their own offices may want to take advantage of serviced offices which are less expensive than traditional office leases and are in general more expensive than a virtual office.
The other factor to be considered in choosing serviced offices is the delivery schedule for the business. A very important consideration that is often overlooked in the decision-making process is the subscription term required for use of the serviced office. Many of the serviced office arrangements are on terms of three months, six months, 12 month and more.
This is not so much a problem for short-term businesses that can quickly occupy and vacate the serviced office space, but it is for businesses seeking a long-term serviced office arrangement to reduce the costs of office rental. The three-month amendments are hard to meet for a business that has international buyer requirements and needs to keep its operations that far-reaching.
It is every important for a business to choose a serviced office that offers flexibility in lease terms so that an organisation can avoid commitment to use more office space than it can utilise. The three months need not be a problem if a business is able in that time to get a good idea of what its business requirements are, if there is a possibility of growth over the next 12 months.
It is, however, hard to change the space requirements in the middle of contract. The serviced office provider may or may not be willing to renegotiate the terms of lease – sometimes the office is fully-leased and other time it may be possible to change certain design elements that can save a business money.
What are the Costs of a Serviced Office?
The costs associated with serviced offices are as varied as the terms and conditions of the arrangements made. Costs depend on the size of office space, location of office, service features, and additional facilities supplied.
There are two categories of lease: the tenant pays a fixed amount to the serviced office operator for a specified period of time or the tenant pays a fixed amount for an insurance. In any case, the tenant has the full freedom to determine the size of the office space desired and the amount of time to occupy the office space.
What are the Alternatives to Serviced Offices?
A serviced office may be all that an organisation needs. However, there are some factors that should guide a business when considering whether a serviced office is the ideal arrangement for their particular needs.
First, the organisation must determine if it needs to be at a specific address. If this is not the case, it is possible for a business to rent a serviced office and hire a virtual telephone number to have the same location as the serviced office. The advantage to this is the business can have a short-term serviced office lease and can use a virtual telephone number until land purchase has been completed.
Another alternative is leasing an office that is already occupied by another business. In this case, the occupier must be agreeable to an agreed written term of co-occupation. A business can also set up an independent office that is not part of a serviced office building and run a virtual telephone number to identify the location.
The advantage of either of these arrangements would be to use a serviced office once the amount of office space is determined rather than a virtual telephone number or a leased facility where the business’s offices are designed to suit.
Serviced Office Tips
Companies should consider three things when choosing a serviced office. First, they should find an experienced serviced office operator that will provide a full range of services and facilities. A good serviced office operator will be in the market for all the services that have been considered by the business in any prospective plan. Secondly, the business should look at the quality of serviced office space that is available and make sure that it meets staff and client requirements. Finally, the business should determine how the serviced office is structured: some serviced offices are just a place to operate from; others contribute to the business’s marketing strategy providing a presence in every business activity that involves the organisation.