Workthere answers the UK’s most-asked questions about flexible office spaces

Business Insights

Below, global head of Workthere, Cal Lee, uses his expertise to answer some of the UK’s most-asked questions1about flexible office spaces.

What is a flexible office space?

A flexible office space is a blanket term for all co-working and serviced office spaces, or any space available on a licence contract rather than a lease. However, in short, it is an office or a section of an office that offers a significant level of choice in terms of contracts and the size of the space.

With traditional offices, you’re often tied into a longer lease, but with flexible spaces, you can sign a licensing agreement for one year, six months or even on a rolling monthly basis. This is particularly useful for companies that might not want to sign a long-term contract such as start-ups, freelancers and scale-up businesses.

What is a serviced office space?

A serviced office provides a mix of private office suites, which are set-up with furniture and ready to occupy almost immediately. The suites come with shared kitchens, communal break-out areas, access to meeting rooms and other amenities the building might offer such as catering. Gyms, recording studios and rooftop terraces are also on offer at selected locations. Costs are run on a monthly basis and include everything from cleaning to refreshments, business rates and rent. Contracts usually start at 12 months; however, some spaces are available to rent from one month onwards.

What is a co-working office space?

A co-working space is similar to a serviced office space but comprises a shared working environment, for example, the space is typically open-plan and offers either hot-desks or dedicated desks for members along with shared access to meeting facilities and break out areas. In most cases office equipment such as stationary, phones and printers are also provided as well as refreshments including tea/coffee.

What are flexible office hours in the context of serviced / coworking and flexible office space?

The majority of flexible office providers allow for 24/7 access, with the reception desk typically being staffed between 9am and 6pm. However, it is worth asking upfront when you are viewing the space if 24/7 access is available, as not all buildings are able to cater for this.

How can office space affect productivity?

Most flexible workspaces are designed to encourage employee productivity and creativity. Everything from the layout of the office, to the design, amenities and access to like-minded individuals from the same/other businesses help to increase productivity.

Flexible spaces encourage collaboration, allowing individuals to bounce ideas around with colleagues and other workers within the office which helps to increase employee engagement and boosts creativity.

How much office space do I need?

Part of the appeal of taking flexible space is the ease at which you can rent space. Part of this is marketing space on a desk basis. For example, five workstations will be made available for five people at a combined monthly price. You also get access to bookable meeting rooms, so rather than pay for a dedicated meeting room space, you can simply book one as and when you require.

Where should I rent office space?

Location is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for an office space. You need to consider what a certain location can unlock for your business when looking for a space. For example, if you want to attract the best possible talent for your business, opt for a city-based location in a convenient space with easy commuter access. We always suggest asking two questions when it comes to choosing a location, where do my staff live? Where are my clients based? Finding an office that meets both of these questions will usually stand you in good stead.

Who is based in a flexible office space?

A flexible office space is usually home to a variety of different businesses, from start-ups to well-established corporates. Allowing different businesses to share an office space creates a collaborative working atmosphere with valuable networking opportunities. For example, you’ll often find yourself sharing ideas, insights, contacts, creative inspiration and even services with other businesses. Many providers also hold regular events, which can be useful for networking, learning and helping to grow your business.

To conclude, Cal Lee says:

“Whether you're a large business looking for some temporary project space or a start-up looking for your first home in an exciting environment, when looking for a new office space make sure you take the time to evaluate all the options. Inspect the location, facilities, layout and the like, and seek advice from your team and the office space provider where you need to.

“Providers often offer different options, so it’s important to do your research before making that all-important final decision.”

For information on whether a co-working or serviced office space is best for you, go to: