As a business owner, it can be difficult to calculate the cost of a serviced office due to several variations across the industry which can make for a complicated pricing structure. One of the key variations when it comes to serviced office costing is whether the pricing is done per work station or per square foot of office space. Here at Easy Offices, we always quote based on square feet. Let’s take a look at why, and what the differences are.
Why do some office providers charge per work station?
Traditionally in the office space industry, pricing is offered on a “per work station per month” basis.
However, this method is problematic for many reasons. One of the biggest issues is the use of the word “work station”. This term means very little as no one set size defines a work station. There’s no fixed area enforced by the serviced office industry to which a workstation must comply, and it can range from as low as 55 square feet to as much as 80 square feet per person depending on the office and the provider.
Office space providers each have their own present work station allowance, but as this varies between providers, this can give an unclear perception of how big an office is – making it almost impossible for you to make price comparisons when shopping around for an office space to rent.
Office space price comparisons
When looking for a low cost office space in London, it’s crucial to understand all the factors at play. Let’s take the following as an example:
- Serviced Office 1 is a 4-person office priced at £500 per person per month, for a total of £2000 per month.
- Serviced Office 2 is a 4-person office priced at £600 per person per month, for a total of £2400 per month.
Assuming that both spaces offer the same standard of office space and charge the same for all “add-on” rates such as IT and telecom packages, on paper it looks like Serviced Office 1 is obviously the better deal. Opting for this office over Serviced Office 2 would save a business £400 a month.
However, this comparison fails to take into account the dimensions that each office space offers per person. Consider again the quotes again together with the office sizes:
- Serviced Office 1 is a 4-person office priced at £500 per person per month. The office is 200 square feet, and the total cost is £2000 per month.
- Serviced Office 2 is a 4-person office priced at £600 per person per month. The office is 250 square feet, and the total cost is £2400 per month.
To really appreciate which office space for rent offers the better deal, we need to work out the price per square footage for each.
- Serviced Office 1 is 200 square feet at £2000 per month, which works out at £10 per square foot per month.
- Serviced Office 2 is 250 square feet at £2400 per month, which works out at £9.60 per square foot per month.
With the costs broken down like this, it’s clear that the second office is actually the better deal – but the pricing is far from clear and transparent. When quotes for office space are given per work station, it makes it more difficult for businesses to understand how much space they’re getting for their money.
It’s particularly important to understand office space cost per square foot in London, where office sizes – and costs – are at a premium.
Serviced office costs London
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the capital is the most expensive place not only in the UK but in the whole of Europe for office rentals. The cost of office space in London during the second quarter of 2021 averaged €1,405 per square metre per year. This was followed by Paris and Stockholm, where office rental costs amounted to €930 and €700 per square metre per year respectively.
That means it’s even more important to look at office space cost per square foot in London, rather than just looking at a “per desk” price. Costings based on the number of workstations are unlikely to help you understand how big the office is or how much value you’re getting for your money.
Offices in London may allow for less room per person, to squeeze more people into an expensive space, whilst elsewhere in the country they have a bit more room to move. Whilst it’s the general consensus that 100 square feet per person allows for a comfortable working environment, there are no official rules on this, so a quote for a 10-person office might allow this much space each, or it may work based on just 70 square feet per person.
The best way of understanding the actual cost of office space in London is to work with a serviced office provider that provides quotes per square foot of office space.
Why square feet is a better indicator of office pricing
At Easy Offices, we sit independently within the serviced office market. That means we give clear, transparent pricing to prospective clients, allowing them to make accurate pricing comparisons between the serviced office options we present to them.
By working in square feet pricing, it avoids any ambiguity. You’ll know exactly how big our offices are and how much you’re paying per square foot, which then leaves you to decide how much office space you need per person.
The amount of office space you need is an individual choice for your business. You may have an open-plan office layout with lots of standing hot desks and co-working spaces, in which case you’ll need less space per person. Alternatively, you might require individual offices for every employee, meaning you’ll need more space per workstation.
By simply giving you a quote based on the size of the office, it leaves you free to decide how much space you need per person, based on your individual needs.
If you’re looking for low-cost office space in London (or anywhere else in the UK), get in touch with Easy Offices today. As well as clear and transparent pricing based on the square footage of the office, our pricing includes rental fees and utilities so you only have one monthly bill to worry about – meaning you can focus on supporting your team and growing your business.