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Conventional and Serviced Office Space

Conventional vs Serviced Office Space in London

One of the first decisions when searching for office space is whether you require regular conventional leased office space or serviced offices, but what are the differences between the two?

Here we discuss the differences, advantages and disadvantages between each.

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Conventional Office Space

Conventional office space is leased or rented either directly from a landlord or an existing tenant looking to assign the remainder of their lease term or sublet under their lease where they can offer different lease terms.

In this scenario, the internal space is yours to do with as you wish (within certain parameters that will be specified in your lease or rental agreement).

You’ll be responsible for all your fit-out, IT & telephony, design, furniture and installation costs and will also be responsible for the cost of supplying electricity, gas and water, regular cleaning and any service charges that may be payable, as well as business rates.

Usually, conventional office space is rented at a price per square foot.

Office Search London maintains an extensive database of conventional offices in Greater and Central London, West End, Mayfair and beyond, which is updated on a daily basis.

You control interior and exterior signage if you rent a whole building. In a multi tenanted building, you’ll benefit from your company name either on a placard on the outside of the building and/or on the tenant sign board inside the building’s reception area as well as signage by, or on, the entrance doors to your offices.
How you use and manage the available space is entirely down to you (within the parameters set out in your rental or lease agreement).
Conventional offices usually come with longer leases, giving you long-term security.
Compared with a similar serviced office, the costs are usually substantially lower.
The acquisition process is often much longer than for serviced offices and office space.
Often you will need to arrange the office fitout, I.T. and telephony set up of your offices.
You will have responsibility for paying directly many of the direct and indirect costs associated with the premises.
In all likelihood, you’ll be responsible for insurance and repairs.
You will have to supply furniture.
At the end of your lease you will often have to remove (or pay to remove) all your fixtures and fittings and repair and redecorate your space. This is known as dilapidations.

Serviced Offices

Serviced offices come ready to go, boasting fully-functioning IT and telephony services, furniture and operational utilities, meaning to can move in and start working straight away.

You’ll usually be charged a monthly fee based either on the number of people you have in the office or the number of desks at your disposal, and that fee will be inclusive of power, heat, water and insurance costs.

Serviced office space in London can often be rented for a flexible period from a month up to a year, with no notice period or penalty, and comes with the option of being able to rent additional facilities, such as boardroom space, secretarial support, IT back-up and printer and photocopying services.

No long-term contract means greater flexibility.
You only pay for what you use – there’s no ‘dead’ space costing you money.
You can move in and start working immediately.
What you pay is often inclusive of many costs, so you know your monthly costs are fixed.
No exterior branding or signage to extend your corporate identity.
On a comparable cost-per-square-foot basis, serviced offices are generally more expensive than conventional office space.
Shared space means reduced privacy.
Often potential clients can view you as a start-up/fairly new company
Often you approach your office down long nondescript narrow hallways like a hotel with just door / suite number on the front door to each office.