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A serviced office is a fully-furnished, ready-to-use space making it easier for businesses to find a flexible workplace. Serviced offices are becoming increasingly popular worldwide because they are cost-effective and practical. London alone has more than 14 million square feet of serviced workspace, making it one of the world’s largest markets for flexible offices.

Here is a complete guide to serviced offices. Find out what they are, how they work, and how businesses today should start considering the easy switch to a serviced office. 

What Is a Serviced Office?

So, first things first, what exactly is a serviced office? Well, a serviced office is a ready-to-use space rented by the occupier on flexible, pay-as-you-go terms. Serviced office buildings are managed by an operator who typically divides them into several floors or separate areas to be rented by different businesses.

Occupiers get a fully-furnished office with more than just desk space. Tenants can access all of the facilities needed to run a business smoothly, including a reception, meeting rooms, a kitchen and break room, printing services, events and more. What’s not to love!?

Why Are Serviced Offices Popular?

Serviced office spaces are extremely popular because they provide a cost-effective and flexible property solution. As mentioned briefly above, serviced offices are convenient and come with everything a business needs to function – it’s truly hassle-free. 

Furthermore, many business types, both small startups and large corporations, opt for a serviced office because finding a traditional lease can be time-consuming, and setting it up with the required amenities is complex and costly. 

Using a serviced office allows companies to quickly establish a presence in any city with little upfront cost. Serviced offices are particularly helpful in competitive cities like London, Edinburgh, Leeds and even Manchester, where businesses are struggling to find affordable rent (not to mention also finding the funds and the time to deck out a new office space). 

Flexible office space, to no surprise, has become one of the fastest-growing markets in the property sector today, with over 7,000 buildings currently in the UK.

What’s the Difference Between a Serviced Office and a Traditional Office?

In a traditional office, the occupier signs a binding lease for a fixed period. In contrast, tenants sign a simpler, shorter and more flexible agreement for a serviced office. Unlike with a lease, you can often rent a serviced office on a pay-as-you-go, monthly rolling basis. 

The option for short tenancies can be ideal for minimising risk with a new company. Alternatively, you still have the option to agree to six months or a year at a time for added security. Serviced office agreements are more flexible, which is perfect if you need to upsize, downsize or move out at shorter notice. 

Often, there is more room for negotiation with serviced offices, and they tend not to have hidden costs. If extra services, such as internet, will be charged separately, you will be clearly informed by management, allowing you to budget accordingly. 

What’s Included in a Serviced Office?

Evidently, serviced offices are a great option for businesses in the UK to consider because they offer so much. But, what specifically do they offer and how can this help different businesses? 

A serviced office building will usually include:

  • For SMEs: private partitioned offices 
  • For larger businesses: private office floors 
  • For freelancers and small companies: co-working spaces
  • Additional meeting rooms and boardrooms
  • Shared breakout spaces, such as break rooms and business lounges
  • Shared toilets, kitchens and printing areas
  • Extra features, such as a gym, library or yoga studio

Below, find some more in-depth examples of what serviced offices tend to include and how they can be of benefit to businesses today: 

Office Space

Of course, the main thing a serviced office provides is the office space itself. This will come fully furnished with desks, chairs, storage and shelving. Some buildings provide an added bespoke design service to kit out the office specifically for your company, either included in the agreement or additional to the cost. Alternatively, some may be flexible in allowing you to bring your own furnishings.


Utility charges such as lighting and heating are often included in the price of a serviced office. The agreement will also cover regular office cleaning. While the internet is usually also included, some management will have usage caps, where you will cover the excess.

Meeting Rooms

Separate to the portioned office space for your company, additional meeting spaces are typically offered by a serviced office building on a pay-as-you-go basis. In some buildings, this is included in your package. 

Reception Service

Most serviced office buildings keep a manager and receptionist present on-site to help with the overall running of the centre. A manager will help keep the building’s operations in check and deal with any issues that may arise. The receptionist will greet visitors and clients and provide customer service to everyone using the building. 

What Are the Pros and Cons to Serviced Offices?

So, you’re considering opting for a serviced office yet want to know a little more? Great! Here are some of the common advantages and potential drawbacks to consider when it comes to switching to a serviced office: 

The Pros  The Cons
  • Location: many serviced office spaces are in prime city locations which can help your business boom 
  • Extra support: most serviced offices include behind-the-scene support, e.g. IT support, a receptionist or even cleaning staff 
  • Facilities: a serviced office comes with everything a business needs 
  • Flexibility: from the contract itself to relocating your business, a serviced office can help & grow with you
  • Business growth: because serviced offices have many businesses located nearby, it makes for the perfect networking opportunity 
  • Cost-effective: a serviced office can help save money from furniture costs to cabling services 
  • Inclusivity: even startups and large corporations can use a serviced office
  • Sustainability: if you’re looking for a contemporary yet eco-friendly office space then a serviced office can help (a win-win for both businesses and the planet) 
  • Shared facilities: some businesses may not enjoy sharing certain facilities like meeting rooms 
  • Personal branding: because serviced offices come already designed, it may mean some companies have slightly less scope to personally brand themselves in the interior 
  • Availability: not all cities in the UK offer great serviced offices like they do in London, but it’s a growing industry 

Where Can I Find a Serviced Office?

Evidently, serviced offices have many advantages for businesses in the UK. If you’re a business based in London and are looking for a new office space that ticks all the boxes, then you can start searching online. Alternatively, to save you the hassle, get in touch with us at Desk London – we’d be happy to help find you the best serviced office spaces in London or help point you in the right direction.

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