Serviced offices - also commonly referred to as managed offices, business centers, executive suites or executive centers - are often found in the central business districts of large cities around the world. A serviced office is an office or office building that is fully equipped and managed by a facility management company, which then rents individual offices or floors to other companies. Serviced offices are fully operational in all respects and suitable for immediate occupation. Typically, a serviced office operation is configured to allow for a range of office sizes, ranging from as few as one person and up to 20 persons in one room. It is common for a number of adjoining offices to be taken together to accommodate a higher number of persons, providing unlimited expandability.
As opposed to traditional office space which requires fit-outs by the incoming tenant, serviced offices generally provide all the essential facilities and services needed for businesses. Most offices are equipped with worktables, chairs and storage cupboards, decorations, telephone system, internet connection, and even computers in some instances. Common facilities shared among all tenants include local area network printers, photocopiers, fax machines, fully equipped kitchen facilities, videoconferencing, conference / meeting room facilities and other necessary office equipment. A common reception area is provided along with receptionists and telephone answering service. Moreover, there is an associated management and customer service team to service the common facilities and provide ‘pay as you use’ administrative and secretarial services. Additional services offered usually include mail and fax service, courier services, catering and room service, stationary supplies, travel services, meeting co-ordination services, IT support services and generally any other outsourcing requirements of the tenant, such as assistance in recruitment of secretarial or administration staff. Because the business centre provides shared amenities and equipment, you often get infrastructure that is larger, advanced, faster and more reliable than what you would be able to afford by yourself.
In a similar manner to the ‘just in time’ supply of goods to the manufacturing industry, a typical serviced office can provide a fully functional office within a matter of hours or days, to meet the demands of business with limited time constraints. They also offer more flexible rental terms, as opposed to a conventional leased offices which require furnishing, equipment, and more restrictive leases.
All serviced offices come complete with rents, rates and services leaving you time to focus on growing your business. The fees that tenants are charged in serviced offices normally include the basic rent, fit-out, furnishings, maintenance, air-conditioning, lighting, cleaning, security, reception services, etc. Almost everything you need in an office is inclusive in the rental prices quoted. In most cases, the only additional costs incurred are for services, but only if you use them. These may include overseas telephone calls, printing / photocopying costs and conference / meeting room charges. In frequent cases, many business centres provide complimentary conference / meeting room usage. And if you opt to use the secretarial services provided, you only pay for the time used instead of fixed monthly salaries.
Moving your business into a serviced office can be a cost-effective solution to your workspace needs that avoids the trials and tribulations of traditional property letting. It’s an office space option that means you can just move in, set up and get straight down to business. In fact, studies by the UK Chartered Institute of Purchasing show cost savings of as much as 78% are achievable by using serviced offices.