The size, culture, and predicted growth of your company are the key areas that determine whether you’d be better off with a flexible office space or a traditional lease.
Flexible office spaces
Flexible offices are great for small to mid-sized companies, especially startups. The contract doesn’t tie you into any long-term agreement that’s difficult to cancel or even alter when your business grows or changes.
In the early days of your business, your focus should be on the product or service you provide and your business model, not worrying about the upkeep of your premises or negotiating a constrictive lease.
The other benefits of a flexible lease depend on whether it’s a private office within a serviced building or a co-working space.
Co-working spaces are best for companies that thrive on creativity through collaboration. These offices are creative hubs where you share your office space with other similar companies. One benefit of working in such an environment is that you naturally find yourself in networking situations, and you may even strike up a mutually beneficial partnership with a co-worker. For startups especially, such opportunities are invaluable.
Private serviced offices are slightly pricier than co-working spaces but are more secluded and feel a lot like a traditional office. Plus, the management and upkeep costs are covered in your lease. The big positive here is that the space feels more like your own but you don’t have to spend any time or extra money on maintaining the office.
Most businesses hope to grow and this almost always means needing more workers and more space. The unpredictable nature of a new business means you can’t guarantee if or when this growth will occur, so a flexible lease will allow you to change your setup when the time is right. Paying for a traditional lease in the anticipation of growth will likely be an unnecessary drain on your finances.
Traditional office spaces
Traditional office leases are best for established, larger businesses who can cover the higher upfront costs and fill the space straight away. Despite the upfront costs, being able to commit to a long-term lease will be more cost-effective over time. If the business has been up and running long enough to accurately predict growth and requirements, you’re better positioned to choose the type of office that matches those needs without outgrowing it.
The other major benefit of a traditional office lease is that the space is entirely your own, so you can customize your workplace to suit the needs of your business. You can also ensure that it represents your brand identity, which will make an impression on customers or clients who enter the space.
It is worth mentioning that it’s possible to infuse your brand identity into a serviced office, but the changes you can make will be limited by your contract.
The business, and specifically the workforce, may also benefit from the consistency of a traditional office space. Whilst you may not be able to say for certain where the business is going to go, established businesses in traditional office spaces can be expected to stay in one place for a significant period of time, which gives workers time to become comfortable with their work environment.
Whatever the size of your business, you may find that one type of office lease fits better with your organizational goals.
Traditional leases provide stability, security and the ability to make the space truly representative of your brand. Flexible office spaces provide versatility and potentially a range of unique benefits such as gym classes or on-site bars. Co-working spaces might not be for everybody, but the networking and collaboration potential of these types of office could be useful for employees to work remotely, or for small, established companies looking to infuse some new life into their business.