The rise of the serviced office has been hailed over the past year, but a recent survey from Deloitte Real Estate has surprised many with data on how much they are growing in London.
Overall this will be good news for the small business owner as serviced office space can offer people far more flexibility in terms of lease length and how a company uses its space.
Serviced offices now take up 5m sq ft of Central London
According to Deloitte Real Estate’s survey serviced offices now take up a huge 5 million square foot of Central London, a rise of 67% in the last ten years. A large piece of this pie is owned by established serviced office companies like Regus, who have over 150 locations in London, but more niche providers like i2 Office and Landmark PLC shouldn’t be overlooked for their role in this drive either. i2 Office alone have expanded their London based locations to reach 15 this year, as well as expanding their locations nationwide since they started in 2007.
SMBs are largely responsible for the rise
The rise of small and medium enterprises has forced office space to become far more flexible by increasing demand for short leases and more flexible office space. The less employees the company has the smaller the need for permanent space. It’s why companies like i2 Office and Burntwood that offer small businesses something tailored are continuing to thrive.
The rise has and will affect business practice
The availability of more flexible office space in turn is driving more flexible business practice. Many employees feel that they should have the option to work from home – an arrangement often argued to increase employee productivity.
A survey from PWC in 2014 stated that only 14% of workers are interested in working in a ‘traditional’ office environment, whereas 20% preferred working in a virtual space from remote locations. It’s important for businesses to take these fluxing work trends into account.
In this scenario the SMB is at an advantage due to its size. Flexible work practises are less difficult to implement because the number of employees is low. This puts SMBs at the forefront of experimenting with new ways of conducting business and managing employees.
The rise of serviced offices will mean increasingly competitive rates
Serviced offices can be one of the most useful commodities an SMB uses, and with a growing supply prices will likely be driven down by the competition.
It’s good news to small business owners everywhere, particularly since some office based work will always be necessary.
Though the most cost effective model, work cannot always be done from the home, especially if a company is looking to expand. Working autonomously can be useful but there will be a continued need in business to do certain things face to face, both for productivity and for a professional image.