FreeOfficeFinder: FAQs

FAQ’s for Serviced Offices

Frequently Asked Questions from individuals and organisations
thinking of renting serviced office space

A serviced office is a private office which is furnished and offers phones and broadband to allow an immediate start and is situated in a building that offers its tenants shared facilities such as a manned reception, kitchen, WC’s and meeting rooms.
A serviced office normally provides chairs, desks, tables and storage cupboards. Additionally, the office will have its own phone system for tenants if required. Offices will have broadband connection and Wi-Fi. Clients can take offices on flexible monthly or yearly terms whilst a range of communal facilities can be offered.
The answer can depend on which landlord you ask, as many use different terms to describe the same set up. Having said that, most providers refer to flex space and managed offices as the same thing. They are typically a similar set up to a serviced office, however they often have their own dedicated facilities within their office, such as Kitchen, toilets and a meeting room- often used by large companies who want their own facilities. Having said that, many companies have taken large serviced offices spaces such as a half or a whole floor and (depending on building size) have been able to have their own dedicated facilities there.
A serviced office is normally furnished as standard, but providers do normally offer clients the option to replace the furniture with the client’s own furniture if requested.
There may also be the option to request specific furniture if not offered as standard.
A serviced office is normally customisable. Furniture can be removed and walls put up/taken down as required to create a bespoke layout. Walls can be painted and a new floor surface can also be installed. The cost would depend on the size of the space taken, the rental price and the length of the initial agreement. For example, a large office on a long agreement may mean the landlord absorbs a large percentage/the full cost.
Most serviced office buildings stayed open during the pandemic with stricter cleaning/hygiene regimes. It is then up to the tenant whether or not they wish to use their office.
It will depend on the provider. Many will charge, but we are seeing a number of providers now offering a ‘Covid-19 clause’ whereby they either provide a reduced or rent-free period if government advice requires companies to work from home. It can also depend on whether or not you are making use of the office.
Serviced offices are set up with a ‘plug-n-play’ formula to allow companies to move in and start working in the office the next day.
Serviced offices normally charge a monthly price which is either based on a ‘per desk’ or ‘per office’ basis. That price normally includes use of the space, utility bills, furniture and phone handsets.
The monthly price for a serviced office normally includes business rates. It’s typically an all-inclusive price i.e. rent, rates, bills.
A serviced office may charge your company extra to use their fully equipped meeting room on an hourly/daily basis, which is certainly a big saving if you don’t have to rent the space full time. Other ad hoc charges may include the reception team carrying out any admin duties for you such as phone answering and other secretarial services. There may be a ‘cost per copy’ use of a printer or photocopier if you use the provider’s machine. Under no circumstances should a cost ever be ‘hidden’. Be sure to read your contract and understand when and where there is an extra charge.
Serviced office contracts are usually anything from 1 month to 2 years+ The most common length of agreement is 12 months.
A serviced office can normally work out very cost-effective as the ‘plug-n-play' nature eliminates the need for clients to spend thousands of pounds furnishing office space. Whilst utility companies may put up prices as and when they fit, a fixed contract with a serviced office provider ensures your utility expenses are fixed.
If you need to expand or contract your team size before the end of your contract, a serviced office provider will normally let you change into a different office during the contractual term.
A serviced office will normally allocate anything from 30 square feet to 50 square feet per desk/person in the space. A more premium office provider might allocate a larger amount of space as standard. It is of course up to you how much space you take.
VAT is normally added to your monthly licence fee for a serviced office. Very occasionally you may find a building that is ‘non-VATable’ and therefore wouldn’t charge VAT, but it is extremely rare.
An office provider will normally ask for a 2-month deposit for a serviced office, in addition to the 1-month rent upfront when you move in.
Serviced offices are used by freelancers, small, medium and large sized organisations that want a flexible rental solution for their business.
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