Back in August last year, I spoke to Jamie Robotkin – our serviced office expert – about how advanced the London serviced office market had become. Earlier this month we reconvened to discuss his thoughts on last year as a whole and how he saw the serviced office market developing in 2020 and beyond.
Michael: So how did the serviced office market perform in 2019?
Jamie: Whilst large elements of the economy struggled with the effects of Brexit, the serviced office market continued to gather pace. It seems that an ever increasing number of companies – some of them substantial – now choose to take serviced or managed, office space. Increasingly, many now believe this to be a more suitable option than a traditional leased office in London.
3 reasons why serviced offices are increasingly attractive
Michael: Can you explain why more and more businesses now prefer serviced offices in London?
Jamie: There are 3 overarching reasons:
- Flexibility – no commitment to stay for say 3, 4 or 5 years. You can end (or modify) your serviced office arrangement at short notice.
- Speed – get occupation quickly, very often within weeks of starting your search.
- Time Saving – avoid the hard work involved in taking a longish lease. For example, planning, executing and paying for a fit out, and lining up services such as broadband. With a serviced office, this is all taken care of for you.
Michael: Which is the most important factor?
Jamie: Fundamentally, all three are important, but flexibility is definitely the number one priority in the era of short-term contracts.
London serviced office market trends identified
Michael: What new developments have you noticed in the serviced office market over the past year?
Jamie: First of all, the London serviced office market is expanding to meet the ever-widening demands of the potential occupiers. Certainly, many companies still require pretty straightforward, traditionally fitted-out office space.
On the other hand, an increasing number of companies – especially in the fintech and creative sectors – demand space finished to a far more contemporary spec. In particular, exposed ceilings, bare brick walls and hard floors are all very much in vogue. You’ll find that Farringdon serviced offices and Shoreditch serviced offices are both particularly well known for this type of space. Unsurprisingly, both areas are highly populated by creative and fintech office occupiers.
Many fintech and creative companies now demand space finished to a far more contemporary spec. Exposed ceilings, bare brick walls and hard floors, for example, are all very much in vogue
Michael:: Who is providing this type of contemporary space?
Jamie: Without doubt, there are some brand new providers entering the market – creating and supplying fresh, interesting office space. However, many established serviced office operators have cottoned on to this new demand and are now also offering more sophisticated space in their mix. As a consequence, there is more and more available serviced office space in London and an unprecedented diversity of choice.
Predictions for the London serviced office market in 2020
Michael: And what lies ahead for the serviced office market in 2020?
Jamie: Above all, I think there will continue to be an ever-increasing number of companies taking short-term offices of one type or another. This is driven by a general rise in take-up from just about every type of user, including many who historically would have turned their noses up at the idea of a serviced office. Serviced and managed / flexible space is the most dynamically expanding sector in the London office market. I confidently predict that growth will continue through 2020 and beyond.
How can you help a business find service office space?
Michael: And do you have details of all available serviced office space in London for companies searching?
Jamie: Absolutely! As I mentioned earlier, the larger and better known providers continue to offer fantastic office space and amenities. However, there is also a growing number of independent providers who focus on service, excellent value for money, contemporary working environments and top class building amenities. As a result, there is a huge choice of serviced space for occupiers to consider, with working environments to suit any business of any size. We have access to the full range across the London serviced office market.
Above all, there is a now huge choice of serviced space in London for occupiers to consider, with working environments to suit any business of any size
Companies can be daunted by this dynamic market place and perhaps not know quite where to start. But help is at hand! If you can tell me your preferred location and how many people you need to accommodate, I can quickly provide an extensive, yet tailored list of notably cost effective serviced office options. This is a very easy way for businesses to find exactly what they want. Happily, there is no commitment or cost for my service to the potential tenant.
Serviced Offices Location Guides
We have serviced office location guides for each of our 19 London locations:
For more general information about flexible office space, please see our Serviced Offices in London guide.