Serviced and managed offices

When your business is expanding rapidly, a serviced or managed office can offer greater flexibility than a typical five- or ten-year lease.

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons.

Adam Tobias, co-founder of recruitment company Wells Tobias, has serviced offices in London and Reading. ‘We don’t have to worry about hiring a receptionist and the buildings have meeting rooms that we can use when clients visit,’ he says. ‘We also benefit from discounted rates from suppliers, like our IT provider, negotiated by the company that manages the building.’

Long lease commitments are the enemy of business growth and can lumber you with unwanted office space should you need to move on. Edwin Hodges sits on the board of the Business Centre Association.

‘There are six million square feet of free office space in the City of London, three million of which is being paid for by companies that have had to move out as they grow larger and can’t sub-let it to anyone else,’ he elucidates.

This is exactly the kind of problem that Tobias has sidestepped. ‘We have a 12-month commitment and if our business grows, there is a two-month get out clause so we can move to larger premises, in the same building if possible so we don’t have to change all our stationery,’ he explains.

Whereas managed office space has been considered temporary and not particularly cheap, things are now changing. Olly Olsen, co-founder of The Office Group, comments: ‘The amount of managed office space available is increasing, so the market is more competitive and prices have followed suit.’

Click here to read more about serviced offices.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.