Serviced Offices: A Leaner and Meaner Option for All Businesses
In today’s ever-changing and competitive global marketplace, there are there key elements to driving the success of a business: time, money and effort. Serviced offices are a flexible, cost-effective and convenient way to optimise all three elements when it comes to choosing a working environment.
Serviced offices are increasingly perceived as a mainstream occupancy option that can be considered by companies of all sizes and natures. The serviced office industry has become a rapidly growing segment within the market of commercial office space, growing at an annual rate of 73% globally.
What is a serviced office, and why would my business benefit from it?
Serviced office is an inspirational solution, which provides the flexibility that businesses need to adapt quickly to rapidly changing market conditions. A serviced office – also known as a managed flexible office space – is a fitted and furnished office space in a professional business environment, ready for immediate occupation.
Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey, for instance, reveals that the emerging workforce in the UK is looking for organisations that not only promote innovative thinking and encourage creativity, but also facilitate flexible working.
A staggering 43% of millenials want the option to work from home or other locations where they felt most productive. As technology advances and office culture moves away from the traditional 9-5 working week, it has never been easier for companies and their employees to work remotely.
Access to breakout spaces, as well as on-site cafes and bars, in addition to the traditional workstation and meeting rooms are commonplace in many serviced offices; and can complement this shift in workplace dynamic.
Moreover, the serviced office model of paying per workstation can prove to be more cost-efficient, as well as helping to retain talent, boost productivity and enhance job satisfaction by enabling employees to work in a way that suits their lifestyle.
Boost employee productivity and improve cost efficiency
The key feature of the serviced office is that it provides significant cost savings. By doing away with initial set-up costs and hidden charges inherent in conventional leases, savings of up to 75 percent of monthly costs can be achieved.
Moreover, facilities such as break-out areas, meeting rooms and video conferencing system are also available to businesses without additional investment, resulting in substantial savings and reduced upfront costs.
Serviced offices are often overlooked purely because their monthly rental fees are higher; however, you must always look at bigger picture before passing judgement.
Entrepreneurs should evaluate both the pros and cons of committing the business to a long-term agreement, since it could end up being the case that a serviced office works out cheaper when all of the overheads are taken into consideration.
Long-term or shorter agreements: solutions tailored to your needs
Another important feature of the serviced office is the flexibility it provides, in comparison to conventional offices.
Serviced offices can be available for anything between one month and one year, and usually have renewable agreements. Such a short-term lease agreement is particularly beneficial to start-ups – new business with a usually unstable cash flow; or even large-scale companies that may be looking to expand and “test the waters” in new markets.
Office space and layout can be customised, and office size is readily scalable; allowing businesses to upsize or downsize to fit their latest business requirements.
At the serviced office centre, infrequently used spaces such as the pantry, conference and meeting rooms are available for use – either as shared facilities or payable on a “pay-per-use” basis.
Compared to conventional office space, it is far more efficient than owning the meeting room and office facilities which are only needed for a few hours per week – which companies are charged rent for regardless of occupancy or use.
Support when you need it
A professionally trained service team is also in place to provide all the basic (and possibly other more ad-hoc) office services to keep the businesses’ workspace running. Such services may include reception services, IT support, secretarial support, cleaning and security.
Not only do businesses gain significant financial savings from overheads, but valuable management time savings from handling associated staff recruitment and retention issues.
By using serviced offices, businesses are not obliged to hold the substantial amount of fixed assets associated with owning an office, enabling them to change the size of their office rapidly according to the business growth rate.
With IT infrastructure, telecommunications system, office equipment and day-to-day administrative functions centrally managed by the serviced office provider, all the concerned operational risks are therefore considerably reduced. Such agility may make all the difference between success and failure.
Professional business support services: the mechanism to your success
At the serviced office centre, office facilities often come with a myriad of professional business support services that could be arranged upon request by businesses.
Services might include company formation, accounting and tax advisory, secretarial support, HR consulting, translation, travel arrangements and more. Companies can benefit from fully-supported office environments, which will allow them to concentrate on what matters: driving their business success.
The serviced office is therefore a viable option that can be considered by businesses of all sizes and natures. The following is a list of companies which tend to utilise serviced office solutions – to give them the agility and flexibiilty they need to suceed:
- Companies that are expanding to a new market
- Project-based organisations working on a large but short-term project
- Multi-national companies
- Companies with already established traditional office that have separate business units that they need to separate out from their main office.
Overall, the rise of the serviced office market across the globe (also being experienced in Malta) during the last decade is seen to be fundamentally driven by the growing need of companies for ever-greater flexibility and speed to respond to the rapidly changing business environment.
Businesses are changing where and how they manage their operations on an increasingly regular basis, creating a need for not only flexible manpower but also flexibility in the capital infrastructure. As a leaner alternative to the conventional office, the serviced office will continue to be another major occupancy option by companies of all sizes and from different industries.
BUSINESSLABS offers a serviced office solution in Malta, based on more than 20 years experience of its promoters in management and over ten years involvemet in the contact centre and outsourcing industry.
We are accustomed to meet high service quality standards that are required by established local and international companies ranging from Virtue Fusion (Playtech), Pipex UK (123 Reg), the European Parliament Office, Vodafone, GO p.l.c., Microsoft, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, and NHS Scotland, to name a few.