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October 11, 2016

Guest Blog: Office space – what you need to know

When it comes to office space, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. There are different kinds of space out there and knowing the features of each one will help you choose the best office for you and your company. Lilli Hender from Office Genie discusses the various spaces on offer in relation to two key concerns: cost and flexibility.

If the price is right…

Price is often the key consideration for businesses, therefore having an idea of what you get for your money is important. The cost of commercial property has soared in recent years so while affordable office space is available, it can be tricky to find.

If it’s an all-inclusive deal you’re after, serviced offices will be your best option. For a fixed monthly cost, you will have access to most, if not all, of the following services: meeting room access, security, a reception, and IT support, among others.

In much the same way as serviced offices, co-working hubs and shared offices are set up and ready to go when you begin renting the space. It’s unlikely you will have access to everything on offer in a serviced office but you’ll have the essentials you need and for a fraction of the cost.

Unlike the three previous options, a traditional office is unfurnished so before signing up it’s worth bearing in mind the cost of outfitting. Due to the long-term nature of this kind of lease (usually 3-5 years) there will be a range of legal fees attached too. However, while traditional office space is initially costly, it often works out cheaper in the long run.

How flexible are you?

Businesses have different needs at different times and you want an office to be able to adapt with the business. Shared offices and co-working hubs are the best for small businesses and start-ups evolving (or devolving) at a rapid rate. They are by far the most flexible option: they tend to work on a rolling monthly contract and desks can often be added or taken away as required.

Serviced offices are generally for bigger, more stable companies. Contracts can also be flexible but spaces are usually let as entire offices rather than a section of an office (as in a shared office) or part of a larger collective space (as in a co-working hub). This allows for a greater sense of ownership over the office.

If control over the workplace is a key concern for a business, a traditional lease is the best bet. The leaseholder is responsible for the property’s outfitting, maintenance and management. While this is a lot of responsibility, it comes with the benefit of knowing you’ll have the space for the foreseeable future and the ability to make it perfect for your business.

In terms of location, you’ll be able to find every type of office space in all the major cities. Traditional leases and serviced offices are also easy to find in more remote locations but shared office space and co-working hubs can be harder to come by. This is slowly changing however: at Office Genie we now list a range of co-working spaces and shared offices in smaller towns throughout the UK.

Price and the level of flexibility a space comes with are crucial considerations when a company is looking for a new or first home. While, ultimately, an office is what you make of it, being prepared will help a great deal. Once you’ve decided on the type of office you need, the best thing you can do is visit as many offices as you can until you find the best fit for your company and your staff.


Lilli Hender writes for a desk and office space marketplace for freelancers, start-ups and SMEs.