When the only certainty is uncertainty, flexibility can be king.

16 December 2019

Whilst with last Friday’s election results many businesses in London have sighed a collective sigh of relief, it’s fair to say that uncertain times still lie ahead.

Whatever your politics, leave or remain - blue, red, yellow or green, there’s no doubt we’d all love a bit of predictability, to help a business plan to grow, recruit and to invest in its future.

Even with a withdrawal agreement being pushed through parliament pronto, and a comprehensive free trade deal that Boris Johnson optimistically targets for completion by the end of 2020, many still doubt the accuracy and realistic chance of hitting these deadlines as well as securing a good agreement for the UK once all is done.

So what can a business do to help manage, plan and accommodate for change in unpredictable times? – Flexible offices may be your answer.

What actually are flexible offices? An approximate definition might be ‘A space or office that is provided on a short-term lease or annual licence, or alternatively on a membership basis.’

In recent years we’ve seen the rise of serviced office sector, with providers like Regus, Argyll Club and WeWork taking a lion’s share of the market.

What are the benefits of a flexible office?

  • Manage Risk – with flexible terms of occupation
  • Cost transparency and predictability
  • Allow for cost effective, and responsive growth at short notice.
  • A better office fit-out than you could otherwise afford on a traditional lease.
  • Access to designer shared spaces and a vibrant office environment.

For all these reasons the flexible office market has grown disproportionately to the leased office market, particularly co-working.

Commercial property industry data source CoStar writes about co-working space and mentioned a report carried out by Cushman and Wakefield partnering with CoreNet Global

“The report found that nearly two-thirds of companies utilize coworking to some degree, and many respondents expect to double their commitment to coworking over the next five years.”

Long gone are the days of serviced offices being just for start-ups and SME’s. Corporates want in too. This means the serviced office market is likely to grow. In JLL’s Flex Space UK Research paper they state London’s flex stock of 6.35% (as a proportion of total office stock) is expected to grow to 10.8% by 2023.

 

Flexible and serviced offices aren’t right for everyone.

When is a flexible office not right for you? For some companies we speak to flexible offices aren’t their best solution. Sometimes that may be down to cost - flexible offices can cost more, (but don’t have to). Perhaps a company want their own identity, their own four walls and to be free to create their own culture, or the certainty and security that can come from a long-term lease.

That’s why its best to speak to an adviser like BBG that knows and works in both markets, and can hold up the pro’s and cons for you in simple ways, backed by figures. Un biased thought provoking advice that looks after your best interest.

 

What could this growing flexible office market mean for your business?

With a larger more varied supplier base, and a more competitive market place you’ll have a better chance of finding a flexible office that’s right for you. With more choice in locations, more providers offering lifestyle type office spaces, and ever more flexible terms.

How to find the flexible solution that’s right for you.

Navigating London’s serviced and flexible office market to find the best option for the future of your business can seem daunting.  With hundreds of providers of spaces, from ones offering monthly rolling co-working memberships or fixed desks, to yearly agreements on serviced offices or managed spaces, how do you choose what’s right for you?

Speak to an experienced, intuitive office agent like BBG Real. We can add real value.

Yes, it’s an agent’s role to show you the options in the market and arrange viewings for you, but BBG will do a lot more for you to add value.

A good broker starts by getting to know your business needs in ways that you might not conceive relevant at first thought. They’ll learn about your bottlenecks to change and find ways to make sure your office space helps to address those, ie are you in a competitive industry where it a challenge to retain or recruit staff? Would an office space and facilities very much tailored to your staff demographic entice more talent to work for you? Or, do you need the ability to take more space at short notice, but not want to commit to the spend until you have to? Do you have a lot of meetings or 1-2-1’s that could take place in break-out space rather than in your own meetings rooms?

 

BBG have years of experience in the market and know the differences in providers and some interesting independent centres on top. They will instinctively direct you to your most relevant options, and save you time in the process too. Quite crucially, a good broker is experienced in current market rates, current availability and how to achieve flexible terms. So an agent will likely be able to secure much better terms for you than by you just going direct to a provider. “The cost of such an agent?” You ask. The cost of serviced office advice from BBG is free of charge (we are remunerated by the provider directly) So it’s a win win for the client.

 

About us.

BBG Real is a commercial property and flexible office advisory service based in Central London. We help a client find their next London office at any stage of their business. From a co-working desk, serviced office, a whole floor, to an entire building - we’ve got you covered. BBG Real. Real Experts, Real Value, Real Solutions. 

 

To find out more about flexible offices or finding a leased office and discuss options for your next space, get in touch with one of our team on 0203 7131959

 

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