While start-up and new small to medium-sized businesses have already recognised the benefits of serviced office space in favour of traditional office leases, it looks like the world’s corporate big fish are now also abandoning their current rigid topographies in favour of smaller, more flexible work spaces.
This is according to Bradley Porter, Founder of Flexible Workspace, who says that a new global trend is taking the work environment by storm with serviced office space becoming the preferred way to conduct business around the world. He says that businesses of all shapes and sizes, including large corporates, are suddenly seeing the benefits of serviced offices in comparison to traditional office leases.
Fully serviced office solutions based in upmarket business centres have become a popular rental option for many start-up and established businesses as they offer flexible lease terms, better management of limited resources and a prestigious business address. In the eyes of clients and contacts, the business has a credible, professional and permanent place of business with its own support staff, while the business owner enjoys complete freedom to be wherever business calls — across town or across the country.
It’s an exciting time for business centre operators with an upsurge in the number of property giants seeking new direction and more agile, digital-nomad-savvy spaces. Traditionally, serviced office spaces have been marketing to start-up businesses, cost-conscious entrepreneurs and frequent business travellers as they give the business everything it requires to operate efficiently, at a fraction of the cost.
Now, even the most unlikely players want a piece of the pie. RBS, a major financial institution in the UK and Ireland, recently partnered with DeskUnion to launch a new co-working space in one of its Edinburgh-based banks. Given the immense popularity of the sector, we can probably expect other industries to hop on board as well.
The fact is that any business can benefit from a fully equipped and fully operational office space, irrespective of size and stature. An upmarket serviced office means a professional receptionist, an administrative team and complete access to copiers, printers, fax machines, scanners, ADSL connectivity and fully furnished board rooms for meetings. Conventional office space simply provides a large empty box with additional costs that include everything from telephone systems, building operating expense charges, furniture and IT support to administrative support. Even property behemoths can see the benefits of capital that isn’t caught up in assets and a long-term lease.
The reality is that, until the noose loosens around the neck of the economy, the serviced office option makes complete sense. Not only are costs reduced significantly, but the business owner has more time and resources to focus on securing new contracts and growing the business.
However, this sudden interest in flexible workspace brings with it a new form of competition. Big corporate guns spotting huge opportunities in the flexible workspace industry means that business centre operators need to sharpen their competitive edge if they want to take advantage of this new market. After all, collaborating with a big-name organisation like RBS won’t do your brand any harm. Now is the time to tailor your offering and ensure that it’s better than your neighbour’s.
By Brad Porter