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What are serviced offices exactly?

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It’s really hard to keep up with all the latest lingo these days. Even when it’s about the office. That’s why we want to explore and clarify the buzzwords that confuse us about office space. 

Words like serviced office space, flexible office space, co-working and hot-desking are all bandied around. Does anyone actually know what they mean? The differences between them? 

Plus, who are they for? Are they just for start ups or small organisations or do larger companies use them too? And are they all the same?

So… what ARE serviced offices?

According to a report commissioned by Office Space in Town, the United Kingdom is leading the serviced office market worldwide, and its value could rise to £62bn from £20bn by 2025. 

So you’d think everyone would have a clear understanding of what serviced offices (and their accompanying terminology) actually mean. But despite their growing popularity, serviced offices remain unclear.

Let’s start with the basics:

Serviced offices are offices that come fully furnished, fully operating from the day you move in, and they’re available to rent on a short-term or long-term basis.

No moving around furniture, installing phone lines, checking light-bulbs or restocking coffee. They’re ready to go from the moment you move in, so you can get stuck into work without any faff. 

They can include anything you require from telephone and WiFi connections to reception staff and courier services. 

How do co-working and hot-desking differ?

The reason serviced office spaces may seem initially a little confusing is because they are, by nature, entirely flexible. That means you can have many different set-ups and environments within them.  

A few of those set-ups are known as co-working space, a hot-desking space, or you can choose to have your own private office-within-an-office. 

Let’s talk about how these are different:

Co-working means people who work in the same building. They may work for different companies, but they share just about everything else; desks, facilities, utilities and might even do business together.

Hot-desking means people who share a work area, with no fixed-seat assigned. No set desks. Anybody can turn up, plug-in and work, coming and going as they please. So get in early to grab the best seat!

In a nutshell, serviced offices are the furnished spaces themselves, the ready-for-work-when-you-move-in-spaces. Co-working and hot-desking are two of the multiple ways that serviced offices can be used. 

Hopefully, we’re sifting through some of that murky mud, now…

Can you have your own space in a serviced office?

Yes, you can have your own office-within-the-office, if you will. Your private workspace could comprise of 3 desks, 30 or 300, or any other number you can think of! It’s entirely up to you and your workspace needs. 

That’s just wonderful. I can almost see through the mud now, but one more thing: who are the people co-working, hot-desking, and building mini-office fortresses in these serviced offices? 

Who uses serviced offices?

In 2017, CBRE published a research report that outlines which industries are increasingly opting for serviced offices. Especially in engineering, marketing, and boutique clothing companies.

The short answer is serviced office spaces are for anyone and everyone. And we’ve seen a steady growing popularity in serviced offices across all industries.

Serviced offices can cater to SME’s and start-ups that might require only one desk, as well as, established corporations with 50+ desks or creative entrepreneurs who need 10+ desks. And any industry and size in-between.

In fact, Apple’s initial HQ started in a serviced office in Regent Street with a staff of more than 200! 

Whether you’re a small business or a large team, planning to expand or needing to reduce overhead costs, serviced offices allow you flexibility when it comes to up or downsizing.

I can ALMOST see my reflection in the mud. It’s all so much clearer. 

Is every serviced office the same? Are they all like WeWorks?  

No. Every serviced office has a unique working vibe and environment. WeWork is just one of many serviced office providers - other examples include IWGThe Office Group, and Landmark, to name a few.

Each office and office provider has a completely different feel, a unique aesthetic and attracts a wide range of industries. No two businesses are the same, so why should your workspace be? 

We should mention at this stage the fact that we help people find offices for their businesses. One of the things we take pride in is our ability to match people with the right workspaces and office provider for them. You can read more about what our customers have said. (Cheeky plug over).

Now you have the basics. Congratulations! You can now drop that workspace lingo into conversation like a pro. 

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