Managed offices in London: A flexible stepping stone for scale-up businesses

Managed offices in London: A flexible stepping stone for scale-up businesses

The flexible office market in London has experienced dramatic growth over the past few years. Research released from Savills in August 2017 shows that take-up of serviced offices in Central London increased by 186% in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. 

Much of this surge in popularity comes from record-breaking levels of startup businesses and independent professionals, who primarily use serviced offices during their early growth phase. Indeed, Savills notes that the key drivers behind the surge in popularity of serviced office space is the expansion of the tech sector and, more specifically, startups and scale-ups.

Cal Lee, head of workspace platform Workthere, says that flexibility in terms of space and lease is vital for any fast-growing business: “Whether they are two people or 50, in a month they could be 10 or 100 respectively. Therefore, the flexibility allows them to grow and adapt at their own pace, letting the space work around their business.”

But what happens when a small business outgrows its serviced office environment?

The answer lies in Managed Offices

Think of a managed office as the big brother to serviced offices. It can cater to larger requirements and longer rental terms yet it retains that vital element of flexibility, which makes a managed office the ideal solution for growing businesses.

What’s the difference between a managed office and a serviced office?

At Landmark Offices, our managed workspace fills the gap between fully-serviced and long-term conventional leased space. Here are some of the key points to remember:

  • It’s all in the name: Under a managed office contract, Landmark takes on the management responsibilities of the workspace. From blank canvas to branded office, we do it all.
  • London is your oyster: AlthoughLandmark provides managed offices in our own business centres, sometimes availability is limited. In that case, our team sources a suitable building in Central London outside of our portfolio. Simply tell us what you need and where, and we’ll find the workspace to match.
  • Longer terms, same flexibility: Managed offices are typically available for 3-5 years, compared to the shorter terms of a serviced office agreement (at Landmark, serviced office terms range from 3 months to 3 years). Contracts are flexible with low capital expenditure, which means managed clients aren’t tied into long conventional leases.
  • Built-to-order: Managed offices are bespoke. At Landmark, we provide suites designed to host up to 150 people - or more, if needed - and we work with our clients to design, connect and furnish the workspace according to your requirements and company branding.
  • All inclusive: Occupiers of managed offices pay a monthly inclusive charge. It covers everything from rent and rates to cleaning services, which enables clients to set their budget accordingly without clocking up additional costs at the end of the month.
  • Size matters: Size is a significant differentiator between serviced and managed space, as the latter is typically a ‘step up’ for companies who have outgrown their serviced space. 

Another key difference is the build-out.

Most serviced office companies provide workspace on a standard specification; multiple suites are fitted and furnished in a similar ‘cookie cutter’ style. This allows companies to move in within a short time frame - even the very next day - and get up and running with minimal downtime.

On the flip side, managed offices are bespoke. The entire process of sourcing a property, identifying a suitable space, designing, fitting and branding the workspace is all completed according to the client’s custom requirements. Naturally, the end-to-end process can take months, which is why the agreed length of licence is usually longer than a ready-made serviced office. For most companies, a managed office is a midway solution that forms part of their 3 or 5-year roadmap.

In addition to scaling startups and growing SMEs, managed office contracts are becoming increasingly popular with large corporate firms too, both as a long-term, flexible property solution as well as an opportunity to test new markets and setup branch offices in multiple locations.

In recent years, managed workspace has moved from a fringe concept to a crucial workspace solution, offering an important stepping-stone for small and medium-sized businesses embarking on the next stage of their growth journey.

Interested in learning more about Landmark’s flexible managed office solutions? Find out more here and contact the team today to find out how a tailored workspace could complement your business growth plans.

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About the author

Catrin Fox's picture

Catrin Fox is Marketing Manager at Landmark Plc, a leading provider of luxury serviced offices in five prime locations in the City of London and West End.

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