Is a coworking office right for your large business?
Your lease is coming to an end and your landlord is increasing your rent or you’re thinking of reviewing your work place arrangements; maybe you’re a fast growing start up with frequently changing office space needs.
Workspace requirements are as varied as each of us; gone are the days where your only option was to hire a dedicated space and move in for three to five years without being able to make changes or have it reflect your business’ changing needs.
Luckily the recent development of the coworking or serviced office field has given companies a freedom to customise their office requirements in a way that has not been as easy in the past. With a growing set of options, company leaders are now spoilt for choice in terms of the variety of facilities available. However, before moving into a serviced office, you need to decide if it’s right for you.
One of the biggest motivators is obviously cost. Besides taking out a lease on an office there’s also the additional costs of infrastructure such as telephony, reprographics, furniture, meeting rooms, utilities and maintenance which will all fall on you to manage. A serviced office will provide all of these and a host of other options depending on what their particular selling points are. It’s not a decision to be made lightly as selecting to relocate to the right coworking office could mean significant savings. In fact, a recent study by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply has shown that a serviced office can produce savings of up to 78% compared to a more traditional set up.
Some of the most popular providers for example are strategically in town centres and business hubs. This can be very attractive to a medium sized company that wants to have a central location but doesn’t want to commit to a long term lease. Most coworking spaces will offer space on a month by month basis enabling companies to sport that centre of London office without the commitments that come with office hire. Moving into a well-connected office in a prestigious location could be just what you’re looking for to raise your profile with customers and make you more attractive to future staff.
How customisable should the space be?
For companies with travelling workforce or start-ups that are constantly growing the right coworking partner will guarantee the option of adapting the space to reflect your needs as these change and for that they will need to have reliable relocation and [move management] associates on site, round the clock. For example our coworking partners rely on us to ensure that their spaces are updated as quickly and as frequently as required in order to accommodate their customers, which is part of what helps them to offer the level or service they guarantee.
How do you determine your needs?
Before selecting a serviced office to move into ask yourself these questions:
What are my absolute must haves?
How will the provider respond to my changing needs?
What additional facilities will I have access to?
What client services do I require?
It’s easy to be seduced by free beer, pool tables and pet friendly spaces but make sure to select a coworking office that will fulfil your requirements before agreeing. There’s no point choosing a serviced office with too few meeting rooms or one that won’t allow you or your teams to print freely as that will cause delays, frustration and disappointment, when the end goal was to provide you with convenience. No amount of cost saving will help if you can’t do business the way you intended.
What if my company is over 1000 staff, can I still use a coworking office?
Larger companies might feel put off by the logistics of migrating into a serviced space but they needn’t be. The number of companies with staff numbering in the thousands and who have moved to the coworking model has doubled in recent years and there’s good reasons for it. Big corporations have staff all over the world and giving them access to centralised coworking spaces can be liberating for those who require flexibility in their day. By letting their employees choose what space to work out of they are able to create better work life balance as they’re often shortening their commute, are able to run errands or see to family obligations.
In addition, working alongside start-ups and freelancers can improve productivity for staff of large corporates. The buzz and energy of a coworking environment can boost motivation and helps the circulation of fresh, new ideas as well encourage networking and the exchange of new ways of working.
It would seem that a serviced office is shaping to be the most popular workplace solution. It’s hard to argue with affordable, pre-furnished, custom service provision with 24/7 access so it’s incredible to watch the industry’s rate of growth and innovation. If you’re a serviced office provider or a company of any size looking to make the transition, speak to us to see how we can help.