How office space providers can help your business retain flexibility
What is flexible office space?
Flexible office space is fairly simple, really. What it says on the tin: office space that enables your business to retain flexibility. Whether that’s by allowing you to up and down-scale as needed, by enabling you to come and go as you please and only pay for what you use, or indeed, by simply allowing you not to be tied down to a lengthy contract and pay on a rolling monthly basis. Whatever flexibility means to you and your business, you are sure to be able to find the right office space to provide it if you know what you need, how to get it and where to look.
Why might my business need flexible office space?
As touched on above, there are myriad circumstances that could arise – particularly if your business is young or an SME – which could mean that ensuring your office space is flexible could help your business to reach its full potential.
For example, your business is a start-up. You’re working from your home office. You then experience a period of growth and suddenly need extra space for your fledgling workforce. You can’t fit everyone in to your house, and you can’t afford to buy an office.
So, what do you do?
What are the flexible office space options?
There are several options available to you at this point, and you need to decide which one will suit you and your business best.
These days, most office space providers provide a service of this ilk, although they may come under various guises. Hot-pods are similar to co-working spaces (more on those later), in that they provide desks for a variety of people from a variety of businesses, to work in together.
However, they differ in that they are generally more private, providing individual seats, often with panels between desks, that enable you and your colleagues to work from an office building, instead of your kitchen table, whilst still providing both the ability to collaborate and a degree of privacy and a quieter environment than most co-working spaces.
The added benefit of using hot-pods, is that you literally pay for what you use, nothing more. If your team only needs to work together for a couple of hours on only a couple of days of the week, then that’s what you pay for. No money wasted on empty desks or empty offices during the days that you don’t need all, or any, of the space.
Co-working is one of a variety of terms used to describe office arrangements in which a business centre provides a communal work space, in which numerous businesses can work at once.
In general, this type of flexible office space will give you and your team access to a desk and a chair, along with printers, scanners, Wi-Fi and even boardrooms and meeting rooms that you can hire, should you need to.
Again, this model will generally allow you to pay-as-you-use. Nothing more, nothing less. Which can be a god send for a small business that needs office space, but needs to keep its overheads as low as possible.
Another feature of co-working spaces, that is perhaps less prevalent in hot-pod settings, is the lively, vibrant atmosphere. As co-working spaces tend to be open-plan and house a number of individuals and businesses in similar positions, they can provide excellent incubation environments with networking events and other opportunities to meet like-minded entrepreneurs who may be able to work and grow together.
If a business has spare space in its offices, then it’s not uncommon for the company that owns the office to sub-let the spare space to a smaller company or group of companies. This can work well for both businesses; providing the larger business to capitalise on the space they don’t use and would be paying for anyway, and enabling the smaller business to have access to the amenities and benefits of working from a professional office environment at a fraction of the cost of renting their own offices.
Utilising this type of arrangement can also be an excellent opportunity for both businesses to learn from each other.
Flexible serviced offices without long-term contracts
Between 2011 and 2013 the serviced office market in the UK grew by 13.3%.
This is down to the fact that having a fully serviced office space cuts out superfluous responsibilities for the businesses that occupy them. Why worry about employing a cleaner and security staff when your office space provider can do that for you?
By renting a fully serviced office, you and your business get all the benefits of having your own, private office space, with none of the downsides.
You can often find providers who will allow you to be completely flexible, both in terms of easily up and down-scaling and not being tied into lengthy contracts that could prove problematic for small businesses. With some providers of flexible office space even allowing your business to take out a rolling monthly contract with no cancellation fees.
Using a flexible and fully serviced office space of this description will often tie up all your additional costs – Wi-Fi, cleaners, security, reception staff, call answering services etc – into one monthly price, allowing you to focus on growing your business, whilst still giving you the impressive, modern offices that you crave. The type of office setting that will really impress your visitors and clients.
How Business First can help
At Business First we pride ourselves on our ability to provide more than just office space. We provide flexible office arrangements ranging from hot-pods to entire floors of up to 12,000 sq ft; whatever suits your business.
And whatever office space you need, we’re confident that the added value and sense of community our business centres provide is second to none.
With state-of-the-art offices, boardrooms and meeting rooms that are free to use for all tenants, phone answering services, professionally staffed reception desks, mail-signing facilities, Wi-Fi, Siematic kitchens with seats, fridges, dishwashers and boiling water taps, free parking at all of our sites, CCTV, alarms and security, all-inclusive costs – no hidden extras, membership to our business network, access to all of our locations and facilities, free on-site gyms, flexible contracts and even help to market yourselves, Business First can really help your business to grow.
In short, we put your business first.
To find out more contact your local business centre, today!