Coworking, serviced, flex lease… what does it all mean and what’s right for my business?
Co-working and flex are just different ways of saying desks in a shared environment. You can rent as many desks as you like for as long as you need – be it a single desk for just one day, or multiple desks for a year. You only pay for what you need when you need it, offering full flexibility (hence the name!). Co-working means you share communal spaces with other companies, so you’ll overhear some great conversations at the coffee machines, and maybe even pick up some new ideas along the way.
Traditional leases are longer term deals in which the tenant has the advantage of more control over the space arrangement and fit out. Normally the tenant also takes on the operating and running of the space or contracts these services out at additional cost.
Your particular needs determine which option is right for you, and this can often be a blend of different types of space.
London is the number one city in the world for co-working options, with five new spaces on average opening every week. These days free beers, yoga classes and dog-friendly offices are just the basics, with so much more available. There are even women-only coworking spaces designed to boost female empowerment featuring luxury work areas complimented by private members lounges. Some centres even include childcare as part of their offer to cater for busy parents. If you can think of it, it probably exists! The difference between
these spaces and more traditional offices is that they’re all highly creative and collaborative, designed with user experience and a sense of community at their core. These spaces are also thoughtfully designed and furnished, meaning you don’t have to factor fit-out costs into your budget, and can instead focus on getting on with work.
Serviced offices are a bit like a serviced apartment. You pay per desk in a ready-to-use office space, with access to shared facilities and amenities.
It means you’re not tied down to a long lease or bulky fit-out and can scale up or down or move to another location with minimal fuss.
The big difference to co-working is that you have access to concierge-style help, with booking meeting rooms, receptionists and admin support all available.
Leasing is the more traditional way to acquire office space. You will have control over the fit-out and the privacy of your own space, where you can welcome clients to a familiar setting. Careful consideration should be given before leasing, as there is usually less flexibility in comparison to other options and furnishing a new space can be costly, especially if you plan to compete with the amenities found in co-working environments. It is a good option for
well-established businesses looking to put down roots in a specific area for a longer period of time.
Flexible solutions for corporates
It’s not just tech start-ups and SME’s getting in on the action. Flexible office options are becoming increasingly popular with larger corporates, who are looking for flexible solutions to solve their short- and medium-term office requirements or to fulfil their wellness and sustainability agendas. Firms have the option to take self-contained spaces in serviced offices, select a
management agreement on flexible terms, or opt for a short-term lease in a fitted landlord offering, an option gaining increasing popularity with both start-ups and larger corporates. Find out more about this option here.
For start-ups and entrepreneurs, where cost and flexibility are key, you can also find incubator and specialist shared workspaces.
Incubator spaces are designed with the right amenities to help companies just starting out to grow their business.
Specialist shared workspaces put together companies in the same industry or area, so you have access to an established support network and other likeminded people. This community aspect is similar to co-working spaces, with the main difference being that incubators match companies by industry, while co-working spaces can have a broader range of firms in the same office.
We’re here to help
So, what are you waiting for? Our flex experts can’t wait to find you a workspace that’s just right for your business. Our deep relationships and amazing local knowledge mean we can quickly give you access to the best spaces and negotiate the right deal for your business, no matter your size.