‘The office’ has been on a journey of evolution for some time now and ‘heading into the office’ doesn’t mean exactly the same thing to everyone.
That’s because these days, in one corner, we have the tried-and-tested traditional offices and in the other, there’s serviced offices - the fresh, exciting newcomer to the scene. But what’s the difference? An office is an office, right? Guess again...
A traditional office involves a business signing a lease to occupy and operate an office more or less independently.
That means they’re responsible for sourcing and setting up almost everything in that office, such as furniture, carpets, lights, phones, broadband, utilities; the list goes on.
Compared to a serviced office, the occupier enjoys much more control, like being able to plan and design the space.
But with that freedom again comes the hassle of finding providers and juggling contracts for power, water, heating, internet, phone lines, cleaning, maintenance, repairs, and security. Then there’s the job of keeping on top of restocking things like tea and coffee, and bathroom supplies.
The process of leasing an office - from considering potential spaces to negotiating to getting the keys - is typically prolonged, and generally accepted as a much more arduous and frustrating experience.
Signing for a traditional office demands a much greater level of commitment too, usually tying the occupier into the property for years with limited wriggle room or opportunities to vacate without hefty penalties. For an established business comfortable with being there for years, that’s fine, but for start-ups and growing businesses, a managed office can be overwhelming and risky.
A business in a serviced office doesn’t have to worry about all that running around and can focus on doing what it does best.
All the desks and chairs will already be in place, the phones and Wi-Fi will be wired up and ready to use, and the communal kitchen will be fully stocked.
A team of cleaning and maintenance professionals keep the place clean, tidy and functional, while around-the-clock security ensures your space remains safe at all hours.
Honestly, it’d be quicker to list what a serviced office provider like FigFlex can’t throw in because the only thing missing is you and your laptop. Best of all, everything comes bundled into a single monthly invoice.
For big table discussions, meeting rooms are a chargeable extra, but with FigFlex’s One Two Free promotion, members booking two meeting rooms receive a third for free.
This way, you’re only paying for a meeting room when you need it. With a traditional office, it’s costing money 24/7, whether it’s being used or not. Similarly, with a serviced office, you’re only paying for the space where you’re actually productive – not ‘dead space’ like corridors or store cupboards.
There’s the general sentiment that a business has greater control with a managed office because they can shop around for certain essentials and negotiate their own contracts. But a serviced office provider like FigFlex can do it cheaper by having the luxury of buying in bulk and benefitting from long-established supplier relations.
A lot more work comes with taking a traditional office, but established businesses with the stability and funds to comfortably settle in the same office for years can enjoy greater privacy and the freedom to make the space their own.
Not many serviced office providers would be okay with occupiers taking the same sort of liberties.
However, the pay-off for one-man bands, start-ups, and small businesses is the luxury of just getting on with running their business without the hassle of dealing with utilities providers or worrying about who’s going to empty the bins at the end of the day.
Category: Business Focus