Setting up a Flexible Office Space
A recent JLL report takes a look at the state of the UK’s flexible space market and speculates that expansion of co-working and serviced office providers and landlords offering space which caters for “community-driven environments “ is going to continue to spread out from London to other cities with both Birmingham and Manchester adding 100, 00 sq. ft. of flexible stock.
Let’s take a look at some points to consider if you are looking to set up a flexible office space.
Firstly research the location of your space to rent. Your budget will probably be a factor in this decision as the more desirable a location is the more expensive it will be. You should also consider what amenities are close by. Is there somewhere for people to go for lunch? Is there a nearby hotel for people to stay overnight? How close would you be to public transport?
Within your chosen space there needs to be a balance between private and open spaces to rent. Having both types of area allows you to reach a wider range of clients. For the dedicated private area you could have some individual cubicles ideally with some soundproofing which could be through wall panels or flooring that absorbs sound. If possible have a separate phone/Skype booth.
Two types of open space should be considered; one area for clients to take a break and one for working in. The working area space is good for networking and has an additional benefit of being able to hold events. It is suggested that you allow approx. 60 sq. ft. per person for this common space.
Use modular furniture: tables, partitions and stackable chairs. Don’t be drawn to trendy designs that don’t cover basics needs and support the day to day work being carried out. You should allow approx. 40 sq. ft. for each desk and use 30 to 40 percent of your total space as desk space.
Ideally you want to ensure there are plenty of electrical points throughout the space, secure storage for confidential documents, access to drinks and snacks and that the Wi-Fi is good.
Your different spaces will have their own rentable value. It may be good to have some areas that can be reserved and some that are first come, first served.
Keep in mind that the amount of tenants will be regularly changing and you may need to adapt your space accordingly to suit the needs of your clients.