Serviced Offices vs Coworking Spaces
Are you a business owner struggling to find the right flexible office space for your staff? Or are you at the beginning of establishing your own startup and want to find the perfect working space surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs?
Future Squared might just have the solution for you!
You're clearly looking for flexibility in your workspace. But when it comes to serviced office vs coworking space, what is the difference, and which one is right for you?
This article will help you to identify the type of flexibility you need to run your business efficiently and successfully. Whether you're a small startup or a larger enterprise looking for your new headquarters, we'll advise you which offices could suit you best and why.
Advantages of Serviced Offices
A serviced office is a fully-equipped and furnished office space that is managed by a third party – your office provider. These offices typically contain all the facilities you require (desks, chairs, Wi-Fi, etc.) and can be rented on a short-term or long-term basis.
Besides only paying a single monthly fee for everything, there are several other benefits to serviced offices:
A serviced office space boosts your professional image with a prestigious address, admin support, quality facilities, excellent equipment and access to meeting rooms. All of these portray professionalism and credibility. Especially for new businesses and startups, this can be a great way to impress clients and boost your brand from day one.
Dedicated support, maintenance, and cleaning staff
Management provides dedicated support, maintenance, and cleaning staff to serviced office tenants. From trained receptionists who offer support with administrative duties to reliable cleaners who keep your workspace shining, these services help your team focus on your important duties without having to worry about anything else.
Access to office equipment and services
Serviced offices provide all the necessary utilities and equipment to keep their tenants' businesses running smoothly. The landlord will maintain or replace any office equipment if necessary, relieving you of any upkeep expenses. This makes things ideal for you if you're starting out or are a little short of cash. To find out more about how serviced offices can save you money here.
Your own private workspace
Although your serviced office provider is always there to handle problems and ensure that everything is running smoothly, a serviced office is still a private workspace for your team. You may have some shared facilities with other businesses such as shared meeting rooms or kitchens, but within the walls of your office you can enjoy total privacy, peace, and quiet. It’s perfect for teams dealing with sensitive information or who just enjoy having their own quiet space to hunker down and work.
With serviced offices you can move in almost immediately – the space is already kitted out so there’s no need to wait around while Wi-Fi gets set up or desks are installed. For businesses that need somewhere to work from and don’t want to wait, serviced offices are the way to go.
Advantages of Coworking Space
Coworking spaces are areas set up like an office where individuals from different companies work in the same space. There are two main types of coworking: hot desking, where your team members can work from a different desk each day, or dedicated desks, where your team has permanent seating in one part of the communal office.
Like serviced offices, coworking spaces are far more flexible and short-term than traditional office leases. This is one of the benefits of renting modern office space. Let's look at some of the other benefits of coworking spaces:
A coworking office space offers flexible pricing, ranging from entry-level offices to high-end options. Flexibility is the operative word in this arrangement, with daily and monthly rental plans to suit your budget. Want 24/7 access to the space? Go ahead! Just need one or two days per week? There’s a pricing option for that too.
You're also able to easily change or cancel your plan for a coworking space if circumstances change. It’s by far the most flexible and adaptable type of office available.
Access to a community of like-minded individuals
Coworking spaces encourage the meeting of minds. Communal working areas allow you to meet similar people from different businesses or startups. This fosters professional networking through interaction and often leads to collaboration. Plus, many coworking spaces run socials and networking nights to encourage everyone to mix.
Flexible workspace options
Private offices have benefits, but they don't offer quite the same type of flexible office space that coworking spaces do. Employees and SME owners can move around until they find the place most likely to boost their productivity – quiet corners, chatty cafe areas, and even outside terraces and rooftop gardens in the summer. Creative industry types that occupy coworking spaces thrive on this flexibility.
Access to shared resources and facilities
Coworking spaces provide shared resources and facilities, including meeting rooms, printers, scanners, and high-speed internet. Users can access these resources without extra costs, saving money and time. This creates a productive and collaborative environment for professionals.
Disadvantages of Serviced Offices
Serviced offices are in high demand and looked upon as replacements for many traditional office rentals – but there remain some disadvantages:
Higher cost compared to coworking spaces
Serviced office space comes with support staff, office equipment, security and cleaning staff. You also will likely have access to meeting or conference rooms. All of these "extras" come with a cost, however, so you're likely to pay a larger per-square-foot price than for coworking spaces, managed offices or traditional office leases.
Longer-term commitment required
While serviced offices are still very flexible, you'll often need to commit your business to a longer term of occupancy in a serviced workplace scenario as opposed to a coworking one. They often have fixed-term contracts, with coworking spaces being more flexible due to tenant needs changing more. However, this varies between different providers, so remember to look out for this in your contract.
Less sociable and collaborative
With serviced office spaces you get the benefit of a completely private office, but this also has its disadvantages. Compared to coworking spaces, your team is far less likely to network and socialise with other professionals, leading your business to miss out on key collaboration opportunities. If you’re looking for a community of like-minded people, serviced offices may not be the best option.
Disadvantages of Coworking Space
When comparing serviced offices and coworking spaces, there are some distinct disadvantages to a coworking workplace environment.
Lack of privacy
The right office space for you may mean privacy. In this case, a coworking environment is likely not for you. The workspace is communal, often with coffee machines, pool tables, and entertainment areas included. Privacy will certainly be harder to come by when freelancers and other businesses are around at all times.
Limited customisation options
Shared office spaces don't allow the same kind of customisation as serviced offices – you can’t leave things in your office overnight or make the space your own. You're cohabiting with other employees and businesses, so you have to make the most of your coworking environment.
Limited access to dedicated support staff
A "built-in" professional support staff is a huge benefit of serviced office spaces, and businesses pay for that support. It likely won't be part of your coworking environment unless you're willing to pay for the additional service, if available.
May be less professional than a serviced office
Communal spaces encourage communication and camaraderie. While this is often a good thing, it can also lead to a downturn in productivity and professionalism. If your working style requires more individual focus, you'd be better in a settled type of workplace.
Is a Serviced Office or Coworking Space Right for Me?
Which office space is right for you? Only you can decide!
You may need private office space for full-time work. You might need full access to amenities and equipment. If this is the case, then serviced office space is likely the right business scenario for you.
Perhaps you are only looking for a workplace a few days per week. Are you keen to collaborate with others? Or are you watching your budget? In these cases, consider a coworking space instead of a serviced office.
Your business might need a private serviced office or a collaborative coworking space. In either case, Future Squared has the expertise and resources to find you the perfect solution.
We understand that your business is unique and will find you the tailored solution that you can call your home base for as long as you want or need to. Contact us, and we'll strive to identify and locate the perfect HQ to keep your company thriving. With access to great workspaces all around the UK, we’ll help you get set up in your new location in no time.