A serviced office is a fully furnished and equipped office space that is rented out on a pay-as-you use basis for businesses and is managed by an operator. Serviced offices are generally part of an office complex and may be rented out in bulk such as when renting an entire floor. The primary draw of serviced offices is that the operator maintains and furnishes the office with the equipment a standard office may need. Therefore, organisations do not have to spend the initial outlay of creating a work environment in a rented office and do not need to spend money upgrading the space as the equipment becomes obsolete or require maintenance. Organisations such as serviced offices Dockland, known as operators, are responsible for maintaining the space, cleaning it, upgrading when required and repairing any broken-down equipment.
The main advantage, as mentioned above, is the transfer of the risks and costs of maintaining the office space to the operating organisation. Since the space is rented on a pay-as-you-use basis, the organisation essentially transforms their fixed costs of an office space to a variable cost. This also makes the arrangement much more flexible for irregular working hours. The rental terms are also much more flexible than standard office rentals and can be as brief as one month. Therefore, serviced offices are ideal for businesses that expect to change their operating procedure in response to volatile or fast paced markets.
Serviced offices are also cost-effective and much more accessible compared to traditional office spaces. Even a small business or start-up will have access to the latest equipment required by the organisation at a smaller cost much earlier in the business lifetime that would allow them to own a physical office, much less one with the same furnishings and features.
Most serviced offices include reception and telephone desks along with security. This results in the business being accessible to customers at their physical address without requiring the organisation to always staff the office.
Serviced offices may be more expensive in the long term. Since the periodical rate includes all the amenities of the office, along with the rent and profit for the operating organisation, the cost of renting a serviced office will add up to be more expensive. While serviced offices are ideal for starting out with a physical office, it may be worthwhile to transition to a traditional physical office or another alternative as the business becomes more established.
Working in a serviced office generally involves sharing the space with other organisations’ employees which can open the organisation to certain risks, especially those of confidentiality. This is exacerbated if the organisations are competitors, but it can provide valuable networking opportunities to employees as well.
The use of a serviced office may also be viewed unfavourably depending on the industry, but this is generally not an issue as most serviced offices have the same features as a standard office but is rather an indicator of how well established an organisation is.