Traditional office leases are fast becoming a thing of the past; they’re falling out of favour with both start-ups and larger brands, and it’s easy to see why. Occupiers are looking for a hassle-free office experience with flexibility for their business as their needs change. We look at the difference between office leases and flexible workspace.
What is an office lease?
An office lease is where office space is rented on a square foot basis, a rent is paid and the occupier is responsible for managing the space/building. The occupier is also responsible for extra charges such as the service charge, insurance, utilities and other costs for broadband etc, and they are often responsible for managing the building and contractors working there.
Leases usually involve renting for a fixed duration, often between three and ten years. At the end of the term the occupier is required to carry out repairs to the property, which, if they have had a lease over a building, can include external repairs.
For businesses who know they want to stay in the same place for a long time, office leases can work well. However, they offer little in the way of flexibility and can be tricky to get out of if your circumstances change – for instance, if you need more (or less) space.
What is flexible workspace?
Flexible workspaces are offices that can be rented on a flexible and inclusive basis- i.e. for any duration: one month, one year or more. They’re incredibly well suited to growing businesses because you can usually scale up at short notice within the same building, depending on availability.
Unlike traditional leases, most flexible workspace providers offer office space for an all inclusive cost and take care of providing the broadband, telephony and managing the building in general. There are shared kitchen and WC facilities and usually a business lounge for you and your team to use.
Main benefits of flexible workspace
Let’s take a deeper look into the many benefits flexible workspaces have to offer. A good flexible workspace will enable you to…
Where do you see your business in five years time? Well, who knows?! We can certainly describe where we want our business to be in terms of success and growth, but in such an uncertain economic and political climate, who can really say?
That’s why flexible workspaces are so popular. They’re great for businesses who need to operate in an agile way and simply can’t risk tying themselves into a lengthy lease because they can’t say for certain what will happen a few years down the line.
You can move into a flexible workspace tomorrow and leave a couple of months later. After a month, you can acquire another office for your growing team and commit to a year-long contract, enabling you to strike the perfect balance between flexibility and security.
If you’re a solopreneur, you can also hot desk on a part-time basis until you’re ready to grow.
The possibilities really are limitless.
The “serviced” in serviced office refers to everything that comes on top of the physical space you rent. This can include reception or building management support, ultra-fast internet access, access to meeting room space, business lounges and kitchens within the building – all of these are examples of the kinds of services you can expect to benefit from.
Sound expensive? It isn’t. We can’t speak for all operators, but services are usually included in your monthly rental fee, making the process transparent and easy to manage from your end. The operator takes care of things like connectivity, building overheads and ensuring the centre operates and presents well, enabling you to focus solely on running your business.
According to numerous sources, attracting and retaining talent is a top concern for businesses at the moment. While flexible workspaces can’t solve all of your HR woes, they can help. But how? Really, it depends on the operator or space you choose, but most pay a lot of attention to design, comfort and well-being providing light and airy offices with natural light and ventilation along with smart business lounges for people to work, relax, meet and network.
Today’s agile workforce expect to have different ways and styles of working and want to be in a workplace that enhances their well-being and boosts their productivity – win win, right?
Most flexible workspaces come with a community manager or centre manager whose job it is to: a) make sure the building runs smoothly, and b) facilitate social events and encourage occupiers to network – without being pushy. This creates a culture that holds work life balance in high esteem.
Instead of spending lunch at your desk, you can relax in the centre’s comfy breakout spaces, chat with a coworker over coffee or get to know the occupiers with an office next to yours.