16 April 2019/ Tenant Guide

What is the difference between serviced vs conventional offices?

Serviced Office or Conventional Lease? Which is right for your business?

The rise and popularity of the serviced office sector has been a major disruptor in the market, giving small companies and sole-traders unprecedented opportunities to take space with fewer strings attached.

But businesses are all different in their own ways, with a diverse range of requirements and ideas about the perfect office space. Short-term space with no commitments might be ideal for some, but not others. So where do you draw the line? How do you know what’s right for your business? We’ve prepared a handy guide to help you decide.

WeWork ManchesterServiced office: John Dalton Street WeWork Manchester M2 6LN

The case for: serviced offices

It can be a daunting task going about looking for an office. Start-up companies especially can find nasty surprises in a lease, with costs they hadn’t anticipated and can’t afford. One option is to work out of you parents’ garage, but if that doesn’t sound appealing then serviced offices might be for you. The advantages are:

  • Speed: unlike a conventional office lease which can take long months of negotiations, meetings with lawyers and technical headaches to sign, you can be up-and-running in serviced office space within a day or two.
  • Flexibility: Serviced office providers often charge on a per-person per-day rate, and don’t ask for much if any notice if you want to leave. If things change and you need to move out – either because you’ve outgrown the space or because you need to rethink your business, you won’t have to worry about being trapped in a contract.
  • Facilities: Most providers have all the important facilities in place already, so you don’t have to spend months running around organising wifi, phone lines, lighting and heating, you can just plug in and get working.

12 Appold StConventional office: 12 Appold Street, London EC2A 2AW

The case for: conventional offices

Flexibility is great when you’re starting out, but it can be detrimental to a business to be too temporary about things. Having a permanent base in which to put down solid roots has lots of advantages, and can be more cost-effective in the long run. Some plus sides to conventional offices are:

  • Ownership: Even though you’re renting an office space from someone else, to all intents and purposes a conventional office is yours. Having a solid base allows you to stamp your own identity on an office; you and your staff will feel more at home.
  • Long-term savings: While serviced offices are undoubtedly cheaper in the short term, users pay a premium for the luxury of not having to commit capital expenditure up front. If you have the money to invest at the start, there are big savings to be made from conventional offices, especially if you’re no longer a small business or start-up.
  • Making a statement: Having a base that you don’t have to share with a dozen other companies is a sign of a mature company with its own footprint. Not only does it show a track-record of success, it is much more impressive to be able to show clients round your own office, and host them in your own meeting rooms. And while serviced offices give an element of sociability, this can be a downside: small companies regularly poach talented people from their neighbours!