A guide to finding flex office space in London

Your how-to guide for naviagting the London Flexible Office market.

Your how-to guide for naviagting the London Flexible Office market.

What is a flexible office space?

In short, it’s anything from a single desk in a shared office, rented per month; or a collection of desks and meeting spaces; or even a whole floor or complete building, fitted out to allow you to run your business there.

Compared to traditional office leases, you don’t need to sign an expensive contract for 5 or 10 years; you can start small, grow as your business grows, and pay monthly.

Flex space also often means great amenities. If you pick a space in a building run by a flex operator, like WeWork, Spaces or Hana, you’re likely to get access to perks like a gym, free food and drink, and a concierge service.

Why should I take flex space not a normal office lease?

A flexible office space gives you increased flexibility on your real estate. Whether that means expanding, downsizing or relocating, the agile office space provides you with the ability to react to market conditions.

What are the perks of a flex space?

Typically, in agile working environments the office itself is only part of the package. In addition you may have access to communal meeting rooms, break out spaces, and lounges, as well as a dedicated reception service. Importantly the offering is a ‘plug in and play’ solution, meaning little to no capital expenditure when starting. This includes infrastructure, furniture, as well as business rates, service charges and utilities.

How much does it cost?

Terms can start on a rolling month to month arrangement, and customers can range from start up’s, SME’s, right through to larger corporate occupiers who are increasingly exploring this type of office space as a tool in the war for talent.

So, what are my options?

  • Shorter term lease: A traditional lease arrangement but on shorter lease terms (typically less than 3-5 years), usually a Sub Lease, Assignment or a Landlord offering short-term leases to accommodate a development break. Typical headcounts of 15+ people.
  • Serviced Office Licence: Private office space leased within a serviced office centre on flexible terms of typically 6-12 months and priced on a ‘per desk per month’ basis with typical headcounts of 5-100 people.
  • Co-Working Licence: Operating in a shred environment which is commonly charged on a monthly membership basis. Co-working space can be provided commercially by providers as marketable space through which individuals not engaged by the same company work side-by side. Typical headcounts of >10 people.
  • Managed Office: Space chosen by the occupier and outsourced to be managed by a third-party provider who will take a lease, undertake fit out, ongoing FM and wrap up all the costs into a monthly charge to the occupier. Typical headcounts of 40+ people with 18+ month lease terms.

How can CBRE help?

With the largest flexible office market globally, London has such a diverse range of options available to occupiers. Whether it’s a warehouse, sky scraper or townhouse you’re after, there’s bound to be something to suit your business requirements.

CBRE’s in-house flexible offices team is a dedicated resource with significant industry expertise, enabling the team to deliver client solutions, whatever shape, size and configuration they may be. The flexible workspace landscape is an extremely varied environment with a number of newer operators joining the more established providers.  The market knowledge and sector relationships we boast will ensure greater flexibility and cost saving opportunities for our customers.

Michael Glynn

Flexible Advisor

London Occupier Leasing

T: +44 20 7182 8251

M: +44 7826952988

Michael Glynn Flex Leasing Advisor
Nicki Mayle

Flexible Advisor

London Occupier Leasing

T: +44 20 7182 8251

M: +44 7826952988

Nicki Mayle Flex Leasing Advisor
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