Whether you’re just starting in business, expanding into London or you’re looking to move from your current premises, it can be difficult to know where to begin your search for a new office.
There are several things to consider, from the exact location you want to be in, to the type of office space you want to work from. If you’re looking to trial an office space, a temporary office space might be the best option for you as it tends to be much cheaper than renting an entire private office.
Not only does London have the most expensive office rental fees than anywhere else in Europe, but it is also one of the fastest-growing cities in terms of coworking and shared office space.
In 2019, 84% of flexible office spaces were occupied in the capital, proving it truly is the place to be if you want to succeed in business.
How to figure out your budget
The first step in finding an office to rent in London is to establish your budget. Without a firm budget in mind, it could take you much longer to find the right office, especially with London being an expensive region to set up shop.
There are several things you need to consider when establishing your budget.
The first thing to think about is how much space you will need; do you need a single desk for yourself or do you have employees who will also be using the workspace? Will you require communal areas for staff and will all employees be in the office full-time?
Once you’ve established who will be using the office space and how often, you can start to put together some numbers.
A quick search online will tell you rough costs for office space in London per square foot which can be used as a guideline to figure out your budget and what you can afford.
In the UK it is a legal requirement to have at least 11 cubic meters of space per employee. This is calculated by the total volume of the room, when empty, divided by the number of people normally working in it.
An office in the West End of London has average rent per square foot of around £112.50, so annually you would be looking at £66,150.
Looking at your business balance sheets, you’ll be able to see whether this cost would be affordable or not. If it’s not, you can carry out some similar calculations until you establish what sort of budget will work for your business.
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Finding cheap office space in London
For startups and small businesses on more of a budget, finding cheap office space for rent in London isn’t easy.
However, there are steps you can take when starting your search to help you find a space that’s both suitable and affordable.
- Determine your budget
As mentioned above, determining your budget is an essential part of finding the right office space for your business. Once you’ve established your budget, you can ensure you’re only researching office spaces that fall into your financial remit. Without a budget, you run the risk of looking into unaffordable office spaces, which can make your search more lengthy. .
- Define long-term goals
If you’re looking for office space in London, you’re likely either a growing business or you’re at the beginning of your business journey.
It’s therefore important to define your long-term goals and think about whether you’ll want to be in the same location in a few years, how you think your business will look, whether you’ll have more employees and what you’re hoping to achieve.
All of these things will have an impact on the office space you choose. While you might be able to find a cheap office in London that works for your business now, it might become marginally more expensive if you need to be flexible and rent more space in a year or so.
- Establish what type of office you require
There are several different types of office and office rental packages on the market today, especially when it comes to shared office space. As a business, you should consider the type of space that would work best for your brand; are you an edgy startup that would thrive in a modern coworking space or do you deal with sensitive information that requires more privacy?
The type of office you choose will have an impact on the price you pay, with private offices typically being at the higher end of the budget scale and hot-desking or coworking spaces being the more affordable option.
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- Decide on your ideal location
When it comes to success in business, it’s all about location. London is a big city, with thousands of communities and industries all establishing a presence here. It’s therefore essential that you pick a location that resonates the best with your business.
However, you must be mindful of your budget when looking at locations. Central London offices and those with established industries will come with a hefty price tag, so try looking at nearby locations or those with excellent transport links to your desired location where the prices are lower but you’re still within arm’s length.
- Start searching online
Once you’ve figured out your budget, goals, location and office type, you can start your search to see what offices might be suitable for your business.
Searching by location is the best way to begin looking as it narrows down your search significantly, enabling you to simply focus on the areas you want to be in.
Easy Offices’ search tool enables you to filter by location and office features to whittle down your search and only view the properties most relevant to your business.
You can also filter by price so if you’re looking within a certain budget, you can stop scrolling once the monthly fees exceed that point.
- Narrow down your search
When you’ve carried out some online research, it’s a good idea to narrow down your list to a few spaces that you think might be best suited to your objectives.
We’d suggest no more than five offices for you to look into in more detail. With many offices offering flexible pay-as-you-go packages, it might be an idea to book a desk for a day to really get a feel for the place and establish whether you can see yourself working there.
- Understand which package offers the best value for money
If you’ve tried a few spaces out and found a couple of offices that you think would work well, it’s time to make a decision. Speak to the provider and find out exactly what’s included in the monthly fee or package and compare it with the others to understand which one offers the best value for money. We find that doing a good old-fashioned ‘pros and cons’ list is a great way to compare your favourite offices.
Rent cheap office space in London
The words cheap and London are seldom seen in a sentence, but it is possible to find a suitable space at an affordable price if you do your research and look in the right places.
Following our tips for finding a London-based office on a budget should go some way in helping you rent a space that meets your budget goals.