A ‘serviced office’ is also referred to as ‘business centers, executive centers or suites and managed offices’ in different parts of the world. Usually found in the main business districts of large cities around the globe, a serviced office can be a large office space or entire building that is serviced and managed by a facility management company, which rents out individual office cubicles or floors of a building to businesses and companies. Serviced offices range from sizes accommodating a single person up to groups of people in a single office space or adjoining spaces depending upon the size of the workplace space and the requirement of companies.
That’s why, an office is essentially known as a ‘pay-as-you-use space.’
Unlike rented spaces, where the company not only pays for the lease, in some case on a three to five year contract agreement, and equips it with infrastructure like chairs, desks, workstations, telephone instruments, printers, fax machines, copiers, conferencing and meeting room equipment etc, a serviced office usually provides the essentials in facilities and services that a company needs to do business. Certain areas like reception, pantry, kitchen and utility may be shared by the companies using the facilities. In addition, some serviced offices or business centers provide IT support services and recruitment services to assist the tenants of the serviced offices.
Among the shared infrastructure that a serviced office or business centre provides are:
• Facilities and workspace
Serviced offices offer many advantages upfront including:
• Office location in prime business district – helps to convey a good impression about the company enhancing its reputation
• Experienced customer service and support office team – an experienced body of staff such as reception, secretarial, IT support, office maintenance etc is ready at hand to keep the workspace running efficiently. There is a double edged advantage in not having the need to hire employees and handling recruitment and staff retention issues.
• Ready to function space in an instant – allows for greater focus on business activities without having to worry about setting up office infrastructure from scratch
• Simpler and easier lease documents – unlike rentals in commercial buildings and office spaces, workplace office agreements are very ‘user friendly’ without intricate legal details; furthermore, there are no stamp duties involved for registering documents thus saving on costs.
• Flexibility in tenure – long-term rentals limit flexibility in binding down the business in a current location for a specified period of time. If a business takes a downturn, a lapsed agreement can cost more in additional expenses. Serviced offices offer the advantage of use from as short as a month’s duration to a few weeks and up to a year, with options for long-term use thereafter.
• Ideal for start-ups as well as companies that grow quickly – for a start-up business this is an excellent option to cut down business setting up expenses; it also works well for a company that is expanding and needs extra office space quickly for operations to function smoothly.
• Access to state-of-the-art equipment – by sharing the latest technological infrastructure, unaffordable expenses can be avoided
• Flexibility in payments – regular monthly payments free up from advance quarterly rental payouts; serviced office charges are inclusive of overhead expenditure like lighting, water, insurance etc.