This week commercial property magazine Estates Gazette has published an extended article featuring the UK’s leading provider of Serviced Offices, Regus Plc. The article gave a positive insight into the Serviced Office industry during the economic downturn, with reference to Regus’ recent reports of a 24% increase in revenue in Q1. The article was heavily laden with what has seemingly become the Serviced Office industry’s buzzword “flexibility”. Echoing reports seen elsewhere in industry news, “flexibility” continues to be emphasised as commercial property’s answer to surviving the credit crunch. The magazine reported that Regus’ success during uncertain economic conditions was due directly to their flexible lease terms which “enable businesses to scale their workspaces up or down as required.”
Furthermore Estates Gazette drew on the fact that the growing trend of businesses favouring flexible office space had been seen across the board with companies of all sizes and industry now recognising the benefits of the Serviced Office lease. With particular reference to the ability of Regus Business Centre branding to promote a professional company image, the report emphasised the reality of how many major corporations now choose to reside in Serviced accommodation, a solution that is not only intended to be used by the start up business. Derren Jennings, UK channel Director of Regus commented: “It is a misconception that Regus business Centres are only a solution for small businesses; in reality half of the Fortune 500 works with us, due to our flexible range of products.”
Positive reports have also come from Serviced Office operators elsewhere. Earlier this month Serviced Office providers Avanta issued a report stating that they had seen an increased demand for workspace despite the down turn. The company reported a 10% rise in new enquiries during the months of July and August, unusual figures for the summer peak when enquiries can typically be expected to fall. Again reports were heavily geared towards the benefits of the Serviced Office’s “flexibility” and Founder David Alberto commented: “The two most important factors for occupiers when acquiring office space are capital expenditure and flexibility. In the current economic climate occupiers do not want to commit to lengthy and costly leaseholds”.
Meanwhile Commercial Agencies continue to suffer with some of the UK’s largest firms including DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield reporting redundancies and losses over recent months. Following Labour’s Party Conference in Manchester last week the government have refused to shift their position on the unpopular empty rates tax which is putting increased pressure on landlords and agencies to shift empty space. However the reluctance of businesses to commit to traditional lease properties has led to a classic case of over supply versus demand of conventional commercial office providers. On the other hand the increased popularity of the Serviced Office is seeing an under supply in certain UK areas. And, during a time when speculative development of conventional properties is increasingly tentative, Serviced Office providers are now seeing opportunities to expand their portfolios. Avanta have reported that they expect to open further business centres across London over the next month and Serviced Office providers UBC have seen a massive expansion with new Business Centres opening at an unprecedented rate across the UK in recent months.
To search our extensive portfolio’s of Serviced Office accommodation across the UK and abroad please click here to visit Easy Offices main web site or alternatively give our sales team a call on 01932 834 720 and find out how a move to a Serviced Office Business Centre can benefit your company.
Rebellion Against Commercial Property Empty Rates Tax Continues
Commercial Office Space in Wales Under Threat from New Tax Legislation
Flexible Serviced Offices Out Perform Traditional Leasing Amidst Downturn
Estates Gazette, iss. 27 September 2008