Flexible offices vs. leased offices?

Which business are you? A startup looking for your first office space? A growing SME that needs more room? Or an established business that needs a new space to inspire?

There’s more choice than ever before so you don’t have to settle for a soulless workspace or a lease that stretches to eternity. However, looking for the perfect office can still be challenging.

Office space falls into two categories – flexible serviced offices and leased offices. Before you start your property search here’s what you need to bear in mind when choosing between the two.

Flexibility of commitment?

Signing a long lease means that you’re committed to a workspace and can make the investment in creating an office that’s right for your business. But if you don’t know where you’ll be in five years time, you’ll need the flexibility of a monthly rolling contract. Think of it as the difference between creating your own HQ or just dropping in somewhere for a while until you find a cooler space.

Time or money?

Flexible offices can provide you with everything you need so you can hit the ground running. Of course, that convenience comes at a cost. Opting for a leased office may seem the more cost-effective option but a leased office takes time to fit out and manage. Whether you need to save time or money will help you to determine the kind of office you’re looking for.

Ease of use or granular control?

If you’re happy to grab a generic desk and go, a serviced office is the plug and play option. Alternatively, if you need control over your office setup, then you need the ability to configure your own space. Still on the fence? Let’s drill down into what’s on offer from a leased office and a flexible serviced space.

Leased offices.

A leased office lets your company put down some roots, with longer-term leases typically between 3 and 20 years. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the space you’ll have available and you’ll have full control over the way you fit out. Want standing desks and full smart office functionality? A leased office lets you create your own dream HQ.

So what’s the downside? Negotiating your own lease can be a lengthy and costly business with hefty legal documents and negotiation around ‘dilapidation clauses’ and ‘alienation rights’. If you want to jump straight into your office, be aware that moving into a leased office can take between 6-12 months from the start of negotiations to the end of the fit out.

So, what are you responsible for? You’ll be directly responsible for paying the rent, the business rates and service charge. You’ll also need to organise maintenance, cleaning, security and utilities. A leased office is right for you if you want to put down roots and be in total control of creating a dream office and culture to match. If you have the budget, capacity and time, this could be the perfect solution for you.

A leased office won’t work for you if there are more efficient ways for you to use your capital and you’re not sure where you’ll be in 3-5 years time.

Flexible offices. 

Perhaps you need an office for a month in a great location. Or maybe you just like the appeal of the ultimate hassle-free solution. If that sounds like your business, then a flexible office is ready to go when you are. Evolving out of the trend for co-working spaces, with a flexible office the clue is in the name. You’re free to extend your lease or move to another part of the building. Buy in space and services when it suits you and scale up or down.

In terms of space, you can find fully serviced offices to suit solo freelancers through to over 300 people. You might even have your own entrance just like a leased office and it’s easy to add extra desk space or hire meeting rooms when you need them. One of the biggest time savers with serviced offices is the license agreement you sign which is short and free of jargon. On the flip side, you won’t have the legal rights and protections of a lease, but a serviced office is usually a short term solution. Read our guide to the differences between a license and a lease here

What are you responsible for? You’ll pay a fixed price per desk but that includes rent, business rates, cleaning and utilities. Some extra services may be available on a pay as you go basis. A flexible office is right for you if you’re a fast-growing business that doesn’t want to tie up your cashflow. You prefer to be lean and agile and keep hassle to a minimum.

A flexible office won’t work for you if you’re an established business keen to create your own unique space.

Find the right office for you, Properly.

At Properly we’ll find an office that you can call home for as long as you want it.

Contact our expert team today to find out more.