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Temporary office space: What’s out there?

There’s a whole host of reasons you might be looking to rent temporary office space. You might be in the middle of a move, needing to take on extra seasonal staff or simply looking to dip your toes into office life for a while. Whatever the reason, it’s a tricky time; you can’t really sign up to another lease as their long-term nature makes them unsuitable. You could follow Microsoft’s lead with a ‘virtual summer’, where everyone works from home; a nice idea but perhaps not the most practical option for every business.

We’ve come up with three flexible options worth considering as you search for temporary office space: serviced offices, shared offices and coworking schemes. Why are these great short-term offices? Well it’s the flexible contracts, which are often rolling month-to-month affairs. These mean you aren’t tied down long-term and can move out easily enough when you find your dream space. What’s more, everything is set up and ready for you to go; ideal for a temporary rental!

Serviced offices: Top class centres great for short-term lets

At the top of the list come serviced offices. These business centres are specifically designed to lease space to a number of businesses. You’ll get a premium package of features that could include things like:

  • Executive meeting room access
  • IT and phone support
  • Reception services
  • Some even boast facilities such as childcare

In a serviced office you’ll often get your own room to work in. You may even have a little control over the décor; some serviced offices will allow a business to paint their space and even add a logo.

Shared offices: Get great value sharing another company’s property

If a company’s got spare desks in their office they can put them up for rent on Office Genie. Sharing with another business represents a further means of getting top-notch temporary office space.

Normally you’ll have access to a lower level of facilities than you’d get in a serviced office. You’ll get:

  • A desk and chair
  • All utility and broadband fees included in your monthly fee.

However, if your hosts have a meeting room then you may well be able to share that. You may be able to add extras such as a phone line. One real plus is the lower service level means these are often considerably cheaper than serviced offices.

Coworking schemes: Temporary offices with an independent flavour

These fall between shared and serviced offices: Their purpose is simply to rent out desks, much like a serviced office. However, like shared offices, space is available on a per-desk basis and everyone’s usually mixed in together.

They often have a unique and independent flavour to them, which can make for an exciting workspace. However because they’re specifically designed to provide space for small businesses they’re generally extremely well run. This means if the internet goes down, they’ll have a dedicated member of staff available to fix it.

Before you jump in...

With any of these options you’re unlikely to have a huge amount of control over your workspace. So you won’t be able to design your own office nor will you have any say over things such as broadband speed. You also won’t have any control over the people you’re sharing the building with.

There may also be a couple of security concerns. If you’ll be sending a lot of sensitive data this will be going through a shared network, rather than your own secure one. You also won’t get to lock your own space (and any valuables it may contain) up at night.

Case Study: London

So, putting all this into practise, say you’re looking for some temporary office space in London: What are your options? If a serviced office sounds like your sort of thing, then they’re found all over the city. As with anywhere it might be worth looking a little further afield. Places such as Watford are little more than a 25 minute train journey away from central London, and you may find that rents are considerably cheaper! Serviced offices aren’t cheap, so it could pay to search for a more affordable office in a less desirable location.

If you’re looking into shared offices then you’ll find loads in creative hotspots across the city. Soho has traditionally been a hotbed for desk-rental. However, more and more shared offices and coworking schemes are appearing in other trendy areas of the city. Areas such as Farringdon and Shoreditch have seen a real boom in recent years. In the latter you can even find desk space housed in disused tube cars!

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