Serviced Offices vs. Traditional Commercial Office

The way we work has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, and with it, the demand for flexible office solutions has surged. Serviced offices and traditional commercial office leases are two popular options for businesses looking to secure office space. In this article, we will delve into a data-driven comparison between these two office solutions, exploring the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you make an informed decision.
Waterman Serviced Office Team Working In Office Space

What is a Traditional Commercial Office Space

A traditional commercial office space is a conventional type of workspace that a business will lease for between 5-10 years. In a traditional lease arrangement, the leasing business is responsible for the total fit out of the office. This can potentially include the build out of not only offices, meeting rooms and breakout lounges but also bathrooms, kitchen and other facilities.

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What is a Serviced Office Space?

A serviced office, also referred to as a managed office, is located within a shared workspace environment. In such a setting, you’ll find shared facilities like kitchens, meeting rooms, relaxing lounges, and restroom facilities, all conveniently integrated into the managed office or business centre. As a result, when a business seeks to rent a serviced office space, it typically requires a smaller area since it only needs to accommodate the working space for staff and storage needs.

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What are the key differences between a Traditional Commercial Office & Serviced Office

Cost Comparison

Let’s start with one of the most crucial factors for any business: cost.  

Traditional commercial office leases typically require a long-term commitment, which means you will need to pay for space that may go unused if your business experiences changes in size or direction. There are also extensive setup, ongoing maintenance, and fit-out costs, as well as bank guarantees to the value of 1-years rent that need to be budgeted for.

Serviced offices, on the other hand, offer flexible lease terms, often on a month-to-month basis and with inclusions that you would otherwise not get in a commercial space such as community, lifestyle and networking events.  

According to a survey by Instant Offices, the average monthly cost of a serviced office in a prime location can be up to 30% lower than a traditional lease. Moreover, a report by JLL found that companies can save between 10-25% on real estate costs when opting for serviced offices. 

Below, we have a cost comparison for a typical 7-person office in Richmond, contrasting a Waterman Serviced office with a traditional commercial lease.

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Cost Comparison: Waterman Workspace vs. Commercical Office Lease in Melbourne.

Flexibility and Scalability

Business needs can evolve rapidly, and having the flexibility to adapt to these changes is crucial. Serviced offices excel in this regard, allowing businesses to easily scale up or down, often with just a month’s notice. Traditional office leases, on the other hand, usually lock you into a fixed space for several years. 

A study by Regus found that 76% of businesses surveyed believed that flexible workspace solutions, such as serviced offices, improved their ability to respond to changes in market conditions. 

Amenities and Services

Serviced offices come with a range of amenities and services included in the package, such as reception services, utilities, high-speed internet, and access to meeting rooms and communal areas.  

A report by Colliers International revealed that 86% of flexible workspace users find that access to on-site amenities and services, like meeting rooms and administrative support, is a significant benefit. 

Location and Accessibility 

Location can significantly impact a business’s success. Serviced offices are often situated in prime areas, and across multiple locations, providing businesses with a prestigious address and easy access to clients and staff. In contrast, traditional office leases may result in missed opportunities and reduced business growth due to less-than-ideal settings and may negatively influence a business’s ability to attract high quality talent.  

A survey conducted by CBRE found that 57% of employees believe that workplace location directly influences their decision to work for a particular company. 

Community and Networking

Serviced offices often house a diverse range of businesses and professionals under one roof, fostering a vibrant community and excellent networking opportunities. Traditional office spaces may lack this dynamic environment. 

A survey by Instant Offices, revealed that 83% of respondents believed that being part of a flexible workspace community increased networking opportunities. 

While both serviced offices and traditional commercial office leases have their advantages and disadvantages, the data overwhelmingly supports the benefits of flexible office solutions like serviced offices. Businesses can save money, gain flexibility, attract and maintain higher caliber staff, access a range of amenities, and benefit from prime locations and a thriving community by choosing a serviced office. 

In today’s fast-paced business world, the ability to adapt and respond to change is crucial. Serviced offices provide the agility and support needed for businesses to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape. However, the choice between these two options depends on your business’s specific needs and long-term goals. Carefully consider the data and statistics presented here to make an informed decision that aligns with your company’s objectives. 

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