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July 6, 2012

30k young entrepreneurs given free office access

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Office Space @ 6:00 am

One serviced office space provider has recently pledged to do its part to support new start-ups by providing 30,000 young entrepreneurs free office accommodation.

The space is being made available by serviced offices provider Regus to any who apply successfuly to the new StartUp Loans scheme launched by the government recently, an endeavour which will provide as much as £82.5 million in funds and support to younger people that want to begin their own start-up. Applicants that are selected for the scheme will receive a £2,500 micro-loan and will gain access to business mentoring provided by the government, and with Regus committing to £20 million worth of office space for those selected by the scheme, that initial government loan can be stretched even further.

James Caan, former Dragons’ Den star and chairman for the scheme, welcomed Regus’ support of StartUp Loans, stating that it demonstrated how committed the private sector is to the scheme’s success. Mr Caan predicted many more firms coming forward to support young entrepreneurs in the UK by providing them the crucial help they need to get their business off of the ground.

Under the new deal, Regus will be supplying six months’ worth of unlimited use of any of their not only their 160-plus business lounges located in the UK but their entire worldwide network of 1,200 sites. Included in the deal is access to the firm’s other products and services at a discounted rate, mail handling and call answering, and a high-profile business address.

The prime minister also praised the news that Regus had decided to support StartUp Loans, remarking that the future of the UK hinges upon the contributions of companies willing to aid young entrepreneurs develop new enterprise. The government will also be offering additional help to start-ups by opening the doors of 18 of their buildings that currently sit vacant in order to provide entrepreneurs office space.

June 29, 2012

Firms to find space at motorway service stations

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Your next business meeting may soon take place at your closest motorway service station after a new office accommodation deal signed by a major serviced office space supplier, according to recent reports.

Regus, a firm that specialises in providing serviced offices in places such as train stations across the eurozone, has plans to open not one but three separate roadside by the end of the summer. The roadside centres will provide admin services, office facilities, and meeting rooms to businesses on the move from September of this year, Regus said.

The three new sites, which sees Regus’ new ‘Third Place’ division signing a deal with Extra Motorway Service Area Group, the owner of the motorway service stations, will be located on the M11 at Cambridge, the M25 ad Cobham, and the M40 at Beaconsfield. Regus chief executive, Mark Dixon, commented on the new growth, remarking that this is but one more step towards the flexible working trend that has been growing both at home and across the globe, adding that he found the opportunity to invest in Third Place’s growth is an exciting one as the company continues to scout out new locations, trial concepts, and work in concert with potential customers.

This is not the first time Regus has gone down this particular route, as the office space provider began providing a similar service in January of this year, opening remote working business lounges across Europe at Shell petrol stations.

In related news, Regus shares have been on the mend recently; after a 4.4 per cent drop to 83p, shares rose to 86p yesterday.

June 22, 2012

Serviced offices proving popular in North East region

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The North East of England has seen a substantial increase in the number of firms taking up serviced offices, it was recently revealed.

New research conducted by a leading commercial premises expert found that firms have been abandoning their traditional office accommodation in droves in order to take out serviced office space instead, with the serviced offices sector reporting a 35 per cent increase in popularity for the first six months of 2012.

Perennially popular because they provide occupiers with a solution for ‘immediate occupation,’ serviced offices consist of business centres managed by a firm that provides  integral services such as telephone answering and reception, while offering the flexibility of taking out exactly the amount of space needed by a firm – whether that be one single desk or an entire floor of the business centre.

Not only are serviced offices growing more popular, the research found that businesses are taking up more space than they did last year. Each business took up 18 per cent more space than they did over the same period of time in 2011 on average.

The only facet of the serviced office sector in the North East that didn’t exhibit any growth was average cost. 2011 figure saw average costs of £168 a month, while this year saw this price only increasing by a single pound to £169 – a negligible increase indeed. However, if demand levels increase to the point where serviced office supply begins to grow scarce, industry experts predict a rapid increase in the cost of securing serviced office space.

May 23, 2012

Yet another serviced office centre opens its doors in London

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Serviced offices are springing up all over the UK, with London being no exception – reports have emerged that Orega is unveiling their newest business centre, located in EC2 at 101 Finsbury Pavement.

The serviced office space provider says that this new business centre is one of their most ambitious projects to date, as they have high hopes that the new office accommodation will soon be the home of many local firms in the heart of the capital.  On track for an August 2012 opening, the business centre sprawls across two floors of a nine-storey edifice, hedged in on both sides by towers and boasting its own private terrace on the roof.

Orega is offering a total of 17,000 square feet of serviced space, hoping to attract firms due to its full suite of amenities, such as around-the-clock secure access, state of the art technology, and full air-conditioning.  101 Finsbury Pavement has excellent tube links as well, with Moorgate nearby, and Liverpool Street Station is also in close proximity to the office building, as is Brodgate and Finsbury Circus.

Orega’s managing director, Zach Douglas, said that the firm was accellerating its opening programme within the capital after the success of its Hammersmith business centre’s launch two months ago.  Calling Finsbury Pavement a ‘fantastic’ locale, Mr Douglas praised the space for the added bonus of the roof terrace, stating that it offers clients a literal breath of fresh air and gives their property that extra bit of appeal to those looking for something new and unique within London.

The 11th Orega business centre to date, Finsbury Pavement joins two other offices opened in central London, located in High Holborn and Hammersmith.

May 21, 2012

Bristol firms on the lookout for more office accommodation

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The Bristol office space market seems to be booming, with firms looking for more than twice as much accommodation than they were 12 months ago, says several commercial premises experts operating in the area.

New research says that there was a 137 per cent uptick in demand for more space this quarter than there was during the same period of time one year ago.  The number of larger firms flocking to the city is thought to be the source of the sudden surge, experts say, as the serviced office space sector is now experiencing an average request of eight workstations per office, up from last year’s figure of less than four.

Bristol city centre is growing as well, with take-up increased by 13 per cent against 2011’s figures.  Overall, 2011’s annual increase was 20 per cent for the entire city, and this trend has been continuing strongly into the current year so far.

It’s loads cheaper than it was last year to take out offices in Bristol, with average prices dropping nine per cent to £215 a workstation.  Not only was this £24 lower than last year’s average price, it’s significantly under the national average of £295, indicating that Bristol really is the place to be if you have need of some office accommodation.

It looks like businesses are sticking with Bristol instead of moving on to greener pastures, experts say, with data showing more firms expanding their current office requirements instead of pulling up their stakes and relocating.

May 17, 2012

Are you spending too much on your office requirements?

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If you’re anything like the majority of business owners in the UK, you’re probably spending too much on your office space requirements, as a newly released report from commercial premises specialists Devono says that a collective £42 million is overpaid on an annual basis by inadvertently profligate firms.

While there are all kinds of deals out there for those willing to look – such as the Manchester office offering up to three months’ worth of free rent on certain lettings – the report says that employers are simply taking up an excess of office accommodation in comparison to their actual staffing needs.  Telecommuting and other flexible working habits have been changing the way firms need to use existing workspaces significantly, Devono says, but businesses are clinging to older, less efficient models that are costing them money in excess rent.

Adam Landau, director of Devono, said that the 100 square foot per person standard that the industry has accepted is most likely over-calculated by anywhere between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.  Workers can do just fine with about 85 square feet to 90 square feet each, says Devono, who operate on behalf of Red Bull, Toshiba, and other big-name occupiers, with the newly reduced estimate coming from designers and architects who have kept in mind the needs of the modern office worker, highlighting how much has changed over the past few decades when it comes to commercial office space.

Working habits have been changing in recent years, especially for those workers and employers who need more flexibility.  This has led to an increase in the popularity of business centres offering serviced office space, the report says.

May 14, 2012

Serviced offices grow popular in the North East, survey says

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According to a recent survey, the first quarter of 2012 saw the popularity of serviced offices in England’s North East grow at a rate of 61 per cent, commercial office space experts say.

A recent article appearing in the Serviced Office Review disclosed the findings of a research survey carried out regarding the popularity of serviced office space within the region found that there was an increase in the amount of firms in the North East taking out serviced offices.  This was noteworthy, the researchers added, because the first quarter of 2011, in comparison, actually boasted a higher number of enquiries than for the same period of time this year.

There was very little drop-off in the number of required desk space taken out from 2012’s first quarter in comparison to the same time period in 2011, with only a minimal drop to 3.5 workstations in comparison to 2011’s 3.7 workstations.  However, firms in the North East are still lagging behind the 4.4 workstation national average in the UK in regards to overall volume demands, the research discovered.

Costs for serviced offices also decreased on average within the region in comparison to 2011’s first quarter, office accommodation experts say.  The average monthly rate was found to be £164 per workstation, according to the research, which means that it is £131 less expensive to take out a workstation within the North East than it is in other regions, with the current UK average resting at £295 a month per workstation.

However, price decreases within the region were balanced out by the amount of commitment businesses were showing to serviced offices by relocating to serviced office centres, as lettings grew in length to more than 10 months on average, up from its previous average of only 9 months.

May 4, 2012

Serviced offices in Edinburgh less expensive, experts say

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The cost of serviced offices in Edinburgh has declined by more than one-third, making it much more affordable than it has been in recent months, experts say.

Serviced office space in Scotland’s capital used to be the most expensive accommodation of its kind throughout the country, but new figures indicate Q1 2012 costs for the serviced commercial premises have gone down by 36 per cent compared to 2011’s first quarter.  Take-up levels have also remained flat across the past 12 months as well, the research discovered, leaving a market that was once nearly as expensive as the London serviced office space market now trailing beneath Aberdeen, where both take-up and average price increased by approximately 33 per cent.

The substantial price fall was most likely precipitated by larger companies, such as Tesco, relocating to new premises, therefore leaving an excess of supply.  However, cheaper workstation prices will most likely act as an incentive for businesses to move to Edinburgh, researchers say.

The study focused on Edinburgh’s EH1, EH2, and EH3 postcodes, and one researcher said that while the Scottish capital has traditionally been thought of as one of the more expensive office markets in the UK, with companies willing to pay a headline rent for space within Edinburgh, pricing across the capital has been affected by the movement of quite a few large-scale occupiers over the past few months.

However, the survey did find that the amount of commitment companies were making to the city was increasing.  Firms were found to be signing tenancy agreements with much longer terms than they have in the past, indicating that growth will most likely be steady over the coming years.

April 26, 2012

Office space in London to be swamped this summer

Office space in London is set to be swamped this summer once the Olympic season reaches full swing, with one recently published report finding that few businesses are permitting staff to seek out alternative or flexible working arrangements in order to avoid the inevitable quagmire.

MWB Business Exchange, a provider of serviced office space in the UK, found that, among the 430 firms in London who were considered to be within the ‘travel hotspots’ most likely to be swamped by Olympic traffic, 89 per cent said that the Summer Games would lead to business being disrupted by a significant margin.  Despite this, only 11 per cent of respondents demonstrated a willingness to allow their staff to work from home while the Olympics are in full swing, and less than three out of ten have considered allowing staff to adopt more flexible working hours in order to avoid becoming lost in the sea of humanity that rush hour will bring to the area, the commercial office space provider also found.

Kathryn Hunt, Olympics head for MWB, said that companies risk transforming their staff into ‘workathletes’ by not allowing them to pursue a remote working solution or at least considering the adoption of a more flexible work schedule.  Not only does this put the health of workers at risk, but also can lead to a decline in competitiveness as a result, added Ms Hunt, who also accused businesses and the Government of being asleep at the wheel when it comes to their approach to the economy and productivity during the Olympic season.

Time is running out very rapidly, the industry expert warned, stating that companies who have not put thought into how to manage the crowds are going to find themselves hit extremely hard as a result.

April 23, 2012

Bristol office space market shifts towards serviced space

Filed under: News,Serviced Offices — Tags: , , — Office Space @ 6:00 am

The Bristol office space market has shifted towards serviced offices as a result of economic pressures and working practices changes, according to one property firm.

Commercial premises company Instant says that the city’s office market has shifted towards a more decentralised and fractured nature, with the serviced office space providers in Bristol experiencing a marked increase in demand.  There are more than twice the number of serviced offices in Bristol today than there were in 2005, according to Instant’s research study, with 2011’s figures indicating that there are 49 business centres in the city while there were only 23 such business centres present in 2005.

The total number of workstations in the city were found to be 7,590, making Bristol the 15th-largest worldwide serviced office space market.  However, workstation pricing has not necessarily grown with demand, as the average 2011 price of £226 was significantly lower than its 2006 peak of £276.

As the fourth largest market for office space in the UK, Bristol is dwarfed only by Birmingham, Manchester, and London.  However, Instant’s research indicates that the city’s growth is reflective of many other cities in the UK, indicating why the country currently holds the top slot in the global serviced office space marketplace.

Every one of the top markets in the UK have at least doubled their available volume for serviced offices since 2005.  The only exceptions to this rule have been Edinburgh, which only grew at a rate of 50 per cent, and London, which experienced a 43 per cent growth increase.

One of the swiftest growing commercial property market sectors, serviced offices are growing steadily.  There were 5,484 business centres worldwide in 101 different countries in 2011, an increase of 18.5 per cent from 2008 figures.

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