London offices are in high demand, especially those in the perfect location. In the past SMEs and start-ups with small budgets have stood little chance of finding the ideal hot spot for their business to grow. However, things have changed considerably due to the trends for shared London office space.
Hot-desking and co-working in shared office spaces is more popular than ever. First it took off in London and now the trend is sweeping the nation. Many landlords in London and the rest of the UK, have realised that there are big financial rewards in letting individual offices to SMEs, start-ups and Freelancers that are looking to make that step from working at home to renting a small office space.
It would seem that for both parties – the landlord and tenant – this is a win win situation.
For landlords, it means they generate a larger income from numerous commercial rentals than letting one larger office space. The lease terms are staggered, meaning that the income is continuous, even when some of the space is vacant.
For SMEs, Start-ups and Freelance Workers it brings even more benefits; a shared office provides a professional environment to establish the business and allow it to grow further. Being in a shared office means tenants often benefit from one another’s expertise and services. Ultimately, a shared London office space is far more affordable than a single unit. Consequently, businesses can be independent from the home environment much sooner than in the past.
What Tenants Look for When Considering Shared London Office Space
Let’s not be mistaken if a tenant is looking for a shared London office space, it is because they are not yet established and are on a tight budget. Therefore, the rental costs need to be completely transparent. The tenant will want to know the following:
What services are included?
- Cleaning and waste disposal
- Air conditioning
What facilities are there?
- Office kitchen
- Tea making facilities (kettle, mugs and consumables)
- Meeting room and breakout zones – how many do they seat and is there a diary system in place?
- Washrooms (male and female?)
- Parking spaces
Is there disabled access?
Is there space for a meeting?
Can I put my own stamp on the office space? For example, can I paint the walls, put signage up etc?
How Much Does Shared London Office Space Cost?
Shared office space can be very reasonable. The concept was created to help small businesses and start-ups take that leap from home office to a professional workspace. Therefore, there are rates to suit various budgets.
Hot-desking for instance is ideal for freelancers and start-ups who only need occasional access to workspace. Even in the heart of London, rates for hot-desking can be as little as £11.40 per person per hour and that, believe it or not, is for hot-desking in top London locations, such as The Shard, Covent Garden and Berkley Square in Mayfair.
Even for a month, the price for shared London office space is affordable. You can let a workspace in a key London location for as little as £450 to £600 per person per month and this is just a result of a very small search.
How to Find Shared Office Space
Google is our go-to place for finding out anything these days and we’re pretty certain if you search for ‘Shared Office Space London’ or ‘Shared Office Space Kent’ you will find numerous listings.
However, there are sites that are a bit like Rightmove is for residential buying and letting, but specifically for co-working. Share My Office Space, for example provides a free listings for landlords and a finding service for small businesses.
If you are having difficulty finding a suitable office space, try your local commercial estate agent, or put out a post on social media. LinkedIn and Facebook have numerous groups for start-ups and local businesses, and those communities are generally very helpful. Someone is bound to offer some advice.
Try the JBH Approach
Another option is to do what the Directors at JBH Refurbishments did many moons ago, when they wanted to take that step from home office to renting a commercial property. They needed somewhere convenient that was close to home, but still had great rail and road links to London, Maidstone, the M20, M25 and A21.
Rental property in the area were scarce, so they approached fellow local businesses to see if they had an abundance of space available that JBH could share. They were in luck, a local firm offered them the roof space in their large industrial unit. Being a refurbishment company, the JBH Directors had the ability to build a mezzanine floor system and create a whole new area within the roof space.
They built a smart new office, complete with meeting room, toilets, store-room, IT room and a shared fitted kitchen on the ground floor. The office was finished with glazed partitioning, carpets, underfloor cabling, smart décor, air conditioning and suspended ceiling.
After a few years, the original businesses that occupied the space, offered JBH Refurbishments the full unit, which was ideal, as the businesses had considerably grown by this point and the extra space would prove hugely beneficial. Today, JBH Refurbishments occupies the entire unit and still benefits from easy access to London and main arterial routes across the South East.
Other businesses have since taken our advice. Consequently, we have built mezzanine floor systems for similar properties, which have allowed landlords to cash-in on their available space, while giving local SMEs and start-ups a chance to prosper.
Find out about financial support for businesses looking to fit out a new office space.
Shared Office Spaces Have Taken off Across the UK
The boom in shared office space in London has accelerated demand for the same convenience outside the capital. In Kent for instance, councils and savvy businesses are offering shared commercial office space with hot-desking options.
Many of whom approach us to renovate properties to develop a trendy office space, or design a layout that can accommodate additional offices to rent.
Here are a couple we have renovated recently:
How We Renovate and Refurbish Shared London Office Space
We use a number of methods to develop office spaces for all size businesses. For example, we can install a mezzanine floor to create a first floor and ground floor level in buildings with a high ceiling.
Alternatively, if floor space is not an issue, we can install office partitioning to create zones – meeting rooms, individual offices, reception areas and breakout zones. Glass office partitioning or partially glazed office partitioning is very popular in this situation, as it allows the natural light to filter into the designated areas.
Top Tips for Developing a Shared London Office Space To Let
If you are landlord reading this article, you should be aware of the very basics that a tenant requires from a modern office space. Follow our top tips for office design and you will be sure to have your premises let in no time at all:
- Make sure it is clean and presentable
- White walls coupled with one coloured feature wall will help your office space stand out from the rest. Keep the colours a professional shades, such as blues, greens and greys. Unless you have experience in interior design, we recommend you steer clear of colours you might have at home, such as purples or pinks, as they do not always provide the right impression
- If you are planning to let the space furnished, look at furniture trends. Some office furniture can be dated and not provide the image that a fresh new enterprise may want to portray. There are some amazing office furniture styles on the market
- If you really want to provide an on-trend office space, install height adjustable desks, which encourage health and wellbeing in the workplace. This is a major consideration for many flourishing businesses these days
- Feature lighting is ideal for creating a modern look without committing to a feature colour. Why not consider pendent lighting, LED lights and recessed LED strip lighting in a feature wall or ceiling. Take a look at the reception in this case study.
- If you have the space, why not consider open plan hot desking areas?
- Will you provide a waiting room and reception? If so, ensure you provide comfortable seating, a professional reception desk and preferably a TV in reception for your tenants to advertise on
- The suspended ceiling should be clean and not have signs of water damage, which can look very unsanitary (water damage could be caused by an air conditioning leak)
- The shared office kitchen or tea point will be one of your selling points, so make sure it is modern, clean and offers all suitable amenities for a shared office, such as dishwasher, kettle, large fridge, utensils and storage.
- You should also provide some cleaning equipment so clear-up spillages. A vacuum cleaner, dishcloths, dustpan and brush and mop should be made available to prevent any stains or unnecessary wear and tear.
Finally, if you are business in London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex that could offer shared office space, but need some advice on creating an appealing office fit out to tenants, give our team a call. We can make suggestions that can cater for all size budgets. The number is 0333 207 0339 or email us. When a tenant leaves, we also can provide end-of-lease dilapidation to ensure the premises is ready for the next tenant.