The Different Types of London Office Space and How to Choose the Ideal One for You
Choosing the right office space for your business isn’t easy.
Employees are going to be spending the majority of their working day inside these four walls, so it is vital you find a place that promotes productivity.
With around 280 million square feet of office space available in the capital alone, it can feel overwhelming trying to locate the perfect office space for your company.
And that’s where we come in.
At One One One, we have access to Every London Office, and we help many companies find the perfect space for them every year.
With that in mind, we decided to make this guide on just what makes a great office space, and how you can narrow down your office search to find the ideal office quickly.
Let’s take a look.
The Different Types of Office Lease
The first thing to consider when looking for an office, is deciding which kind of lease you would prefer.
There are five main options to choose from, and each come packed with different benefits.
A great option for medium to large businesses is to rent a Leasehold office.
This involves signing a lease for typically three to five years, although flexible leases for shorter periods of time are becoming more common.
If a Leasehold office sounds like something that would interest you, then it’s time to get a hurry on, as it can take between six months and a year from beginning your search to actually moving into your new office.
One of the best things about renting a Leasehold property is the fact that you can fully design the space around your brand.
Renting a Leasehold office provides security and a self-contained space of your own for the foreseeable future.
As long as you can commit to the London rent, it’s a great choice for your business.
Don’t want to rent?
Then a Freehold office may be for you. Put simply, this is office space that you can buy and occupy.
This comes with many positives, such as lower overheads over time and the freedom to do with the office as you please, but it also requires a large initial outlay
Whether you just own the space or occupy it also (making you an owner-occupier) a Freehold office is a big investment, especially in central London.
At One One One, we represent tenants, so we would be best placed to help someone looking to be an owner-occupier.
Does that sound like you? Then get in touch for more information.
Next up on the list is Serviced office space.
This is a super-handy option for fast-paced businesses that are looking for something quick to get them started.
We describe Serviced offices as ‘like a hotel for your business’, and there’s a good reason for this.
Everything is already set up for you as you enter the office, from workstations to kitchens and more. All your employees have to do is wander in with their laptop and their gear, and they can get to work.
This is a great option for businesses who don’t need something long term, as you can sign a short-term agreement, and be in and working as quickly as we need to.
Another huge plus is that you don’t have to pay the usual fees for fit-outs and IT infrastructure, as this is all included in the price.
No more surprising add-ons with this choice!
There are a huge range of Serviced offices available throughout London, so no matter your company’s size or style, there’s sure to be the perfect one for you.
Take a look through our selection if this sounds like the perfect home for your business.
Looking for something in the middle of Serviced and Leasehold offices? Well then a Managed office space may be the choice for you.
Basically, a Managed office is a lot more private than a Serviced office, but has less of the responsibility of a Leasehold office as everything in the building is Managed by the Provider, and you just pay one all-inclusive monthly price.
This provides the control you would receive with a Leasehold rental but combines it with the flexibility of a Serviced office.
It’s the best of both worlds!
With a Managed office, you are still receiving a great space which you can design to fit your brand and really make your own, but without the hassle and costs of a Leasehold office.
So, what’s the downside?
It can be more costly than a Leasehold, and it doesn’t come with the same level of amenities as a Serviced office.
If either of these things are hugely important to your business, then maybe this isn’t the option for you.
If you would like a bit of both though, then a Managed office is ideal.
After the pandemic, remote working has massively increased. In fact, a 2021 study found over half of workers that took part were working from home.
Add this to the fact that over 50 huge employers had no plans to return to the office, and it is clear to see the way that people work has changed.
So, with people working from home, how do they still cope with things such as having a smart London address and receiving mail
The answer is virtual office space.
This is basically an address that your business can use to claim as its own and for post to be sent to. You can then arrange for the Virtual company to forward all of your post on to your home address from there.
If a business needs a fixed address but doesn’t want to pay the various fees that come with renting office space, then a virtual office is a great solution.
What Office Amenities Are Available?
Now you know what kind of leases you can take, it’s time to start thinking about what you want in your office.
Of course, if amenities are your number one priority, then a Serviced office would be great for you.
Of course, a lot of these are added bonuses, but there are some things that are essential, such as kitchens, reception desks, workspaces as well as cleaning services and meeting rooms.
So, what do you get in a Leasehold office?
Well, with a Leasehold office, you can plan the fit out design to include as many essential and luxurious amentites as your space and budget will allow.
The question is, what is important to you?
Do you want the basics and nothing more or else it may become distracting?
Or do you want a place where your staff can enjoy many different features and socialise over a game of ping pong?
There is London office space out there for both these options, so let us help you find one.
What Style of Office is Best for Your Business?
No longer are offices the plain, boring places that you have seen in many TV shows over the last few decades.
Offices now have a life of their own, and a lot of them come packed with character and style making it more possible to find office space you love.
What you have to work out now, is what style will be the best for you?
At One One One, we have access to Every London Office.
This means we come across plenty of interesting workspaces that will be great for a certain type of business.
What style do you want?
Do you run a creative business and want your employee’s imagination to run wild? Then maybe one of our quirky, modern and cool office spaces would suit you, such as this office space in the theme of Alice in Wonderland on Boundary Row. Or this ultra-modern office space on Bush Lane.
Are you a technology company looking to showcase your passion for all things futuristic with a modern space such as this property in Shoreditch.
Maybe you want an office to feel homely to ease your workers in like this stunning space in Hanover Street Mayfair?
A lot of clients prefer a traditional feel to an office, such as this beautiful period building that has been converted into a stylish working area.
Whether you want a normal
, corporate office, a converted warehouse or factory, or if you’re looking for a business centre, there is a London office space perfect for you.
It’s always a great idea to get your company together and work out what will really work best for you before choosing what style of office to go for.
The Importance of the Right Office Layout
Style isn’t the only vital aspect of choosing the right office space, you also have to take into account the layout.
How many staff members do you have?
Do you need separate offices, or split teams?
Where would you like to hold meetings?
The answers to these questions can have a huge impact on the office space you choose, so let us help you with some information on choosing the perfect layout.
The Office Layout Options
When it comes to layouts, there are three options.
The choice that has undoubtedly grown in popularity over time is an open plan office.
If you want your staff to feel like part of a team and you want to promote great communication between all of your team members, then this is the ideal solution for you.
Not only that, but open plan office space also looks nice, and can often provide a sleek and stylish look to your office.
It is also much cheaper and much easier to fit more staff in one space.
So, what’s the downside?
Well, not everyone wants to share space with their co-workers, and some people prefer a quiet, private space to get their head down and work. There’s no denying that open plan office space leads to more distractions and this can bring down the level of work being done.
The question is, do the pros outweigh the cons for your business?
If the answer is no, then maybe cellular office space is for you.
Cellular office space is basically the opposite of open plan.
This is when every member of staff has their own designated cubicle. More often than not this is an enclosed space where people can’t see in.
This may work for many businesses, as a lack of distractions can mean more work gets done. It also allows people to be more comfortable in their own space at work, knowing they are not in a crowd of people.
For introverts who simply want to get on with work, this is ideal.
While cellular office space does have its positives, there are of course negatives.
Your staff may feel isolated and won’t have the chance to bond and communicate with their co-workers as much as they would in open plan space.
It also takes up a lot of space to build separate offices, and you can quickly find that your office capacity has been drained.
It’s tricky to find the perfect sweet spot which allows privacy and promotes communication.
Or is it?
Many offices now provide a mixture of cellular and open plan office space.
This is a great way of getting the best of both worlds, in which you can have an open plan section where communication and team bonding is promoted, as well as private office space for if any member of staff wants to get their head down without any distractions.
This office space is becoming more and more common as it is ideal for companies with large members of staff at different levels who need to work in the same space.
It’s a win-win and a solution we would highly recommend to anyone looking for a London office.
CAT A or B?
Now you may be wondering why I’ve started talking about household pets (speaking of pets, why not check out some great dog-friendly workspaces), but bear with me.
CAT A and CAT B isn’t referring to Felix the cat, but instead the state of the office which you may be about to lease.
Let’s take a run-through of what these terms mean:
- CAT A – This is office space that is basically empty and with no interior fit out and is therefore ready for you to design and build out to your own specification. This is ideal for a business looking to move in somewhere and really make it their own and is common for Leasehold office properties.
- CAT A+ – Office spaces like thiscome fully fitted and furnished for a new tenant to move into straight away. Things included are kitchens, meeting rooms, offices, desks and chairs to name but a few. This is also known as Plug and Play and is becoming more common than ever.
- CAT B – This option is where a company has moved out and left their fit out in place for you to use. It allows your company to step into the office and hopefully make use of the existing layout. Of course you could add your own changes to supplement the office environment to your business needs. It’s perfect for a business looking for somewhere they can get into quickly and have minimal entry costs in doing so, as not having to pay and manage a new fit out is always a considerable saving for a business.
Meeting Rooms in Your Office
The final point on the topic of office layout is your meeting rooms.
Again, this all depends on the business you’re in.
Do you want something informal and laid back, where you can keep your meetings relaxed, or are you looking for something more corporate and traditional?
Do you have large meetings that may require a boardroom, or are a lot of your meetings one-to-one and simple booths will do the trick?
A lot of businesses now like to hold their meetings in somewhere super laidback like a lounge area, and this can really help in reducing anxiety before interviews or appraisals.
Meetings are important, so choosing the right setting is vital to make sure you make the most of the time with your team.
Office Workstations: Which One Will Work for You?
Making sure your employees are comfortable is an important part of your decision on office space, so it’s vital you get your workstations right.
Firstly, what kind of furniture are you going to buy?
- Cluster workstations – where the employees are all sat around a large table with multiple different sections for each individual employee.
- Low-walled cubicles – in which each employee gets a bit more room due to them having their own cubicle, but they aren’t isolated due to the low walls around them which makes communication easy.
- High-walled cubicles – The same as low-walled but perfect for businesses who think their employees need less distractions and a bit more private space.
- Shared desk space – Where several employees all share one desk without any boundaries, which makes communication and team bonding easy.
Standing or Sitting Desks?
Most offices operate with traditional sitting desks, with a chair in front of them. This has always been the way, but now there’s a new form of desk in town.
Enter the standing desk, which while not being every employee’s choice in terms of comfort, comes packed with health and productivity benefits.
Sitting down for long periods every day has serious health implications, and this is why many companies are now choosing to provide the option to stand and work.
Not only is this great for many things such as losing weight and minimising back pain, but it is also proven to provide a huge boost in energy levels.
For forward thinking brands across the globe, the choice to offer standing desks is becoming common.
How Much Office Space Per Person?
The final question on the topic of workstations, is will you fit them all in?
When searching for London office space, every square foot counts as rents are calculated per square foot per annum. This makes ensuring you acquire the right amount of space needed for your business very important.
So how much space do you need per employee?
Well, a generous workspace should offer just under 100 sq. ft. per person. Of course, this figure can be reduced if opting for maximum efficiency of space or increased if you are choosing a cellular office. Serviced offices normally offer around 50 sq. ft. per person.
What you mustn’t forget, is that this figure adds up.
Not only when you have multiple employees, but also when you think about kitchens, meeting rooms, breakout space and more. There’s a lot of space needed for an office, so it’s a great idea to jot down your requirements before you start your office search so can you have a rough idea of the size you need.
How Private Should Your Office Be?
Privacy is important in an office.
The first question on this topic is are you going to be a client facing office, or strictly employees only.
The two office spaces will be very different.
Whereas a client facing office will need meeting rooms and a high level of professionalism, employee only offices will not. You will also need a reception area and a waiting room if you are constantly looking at welcoming clients.
There are many different types of offices that are tailor made for each scenario, so get in touch to let One One One find you the perfect space.
And it’s not just clients you may be sharing with, but also other businesses if you share your coworking space.
If you want to keep things just between you are your business, then a private office space is for you.
This means that this office is used by your company, and your company only.
You won’t have to fight over meeting rooms, breakout rooms or kitchen privileges and your staff are free to talk about work related matters without fear of someone from a different business overhearing.
While there are many positives, this can create an isolated environment, and some staff prefer to have some outside workers in the space to provide some relief from talking about the job.
Private offices can be personalised to suit the taste of your own brand.
Fixed Desk Office Space
In a nutshell, this means that employees are assigned their own desk. This has many positives, as the employee in question has a place they can call their own and where they can keep their own belongings.
While not providing much flexibility to the employee, this is a solid choice and often leads to a happy environment for each individual.
Coworking Office Space
Coworking office space is becoming increasingly popular for companies who want their staff to be surrounded by likeminded, ambitious workers.
Despite the increase in distractions, this type of office space can provide a great environment for productivity, with a friendly and positive atmosphere.
They are also a versatile choice, with flexible office space able to be snapped up quickly
For fast moving businesses who want to be part of the London working buzz, coworking office space can be a great choice!
Seen often in coworking spaces, is hotdesking.
This is a fairly new option and is growing in popularity year on year.
So, what is it?
Well, hotdesking means that no desk is assigned and as employees enter an office, they can sit anywhere they like.
While hotdesking does have its critics
, who say it reduces comfort and promotes timewasting conversations, there are many who see the plus side.
If the idea of coworking is to allow your employees to mix with likeminded people, then surely allowing them to sit where they want will only benefit this.
Also, it takes much less planning and sorting on the employer’s behalf, as employees make their own mind up where they want to sit, and are often much happier for it.
Self-Contained Office Space
A self-contained office space is similar to a private office but differs slightly in that it has everything in it that you could need including dedicated kitchens, meeting rooms and bathrooms.
You can design the office layout suit your business.
Where Should Your London Office Be?
Whether looking to sightsee, or simply enjoy an amazing cup of coffee with lunch, there are tons of benefits to working in the capital.
But London is a huge place and finding the ideal spot for your business can be tricky.
But One One One are here to help, with these quick hints on the best spots to be for your business.
Some of the best work locations in the world are in London, such as Soho, which is a hotspot for creativity and artistry. We have a ton of funky and quirky offices located here that will be perfect for a business looking to embrace their imagination.
Or if you’re a technology company, why not rub shoulders with some of the best in Old Street? You’re sure to find a wealth of futuristic, modern office space that will be the ideal fit for your brand.
If you’re a finance or banking industry who wants to be in the heart of business, then a City of London office will suit you and your needs. Alternatively, London Bridge is emerging as a hotspot for this kind of business. And with some huge, traditional office space available here, there’s no wonder so many businesses want to be a part of this area.
The possibilities are endless in this wonderful city we are proud to call home.
If you’re unsure on the perfect spot for your business, then why not take a look through our blog, where you’ll find articles and videos on all of the best spots to work, eat and relax in London.
The Importance of the Perfect Office Space
So, if you’ve made it to the end of this long article, you may be thinking, ‘why is there so much fuss about some London office space?’
Well, the answer is because finding the right office space for your business is hugely important, and here’s why:
- Your office is your second home. Think about it, you spend 8 hours or longer in this place every day, that’s probably more waking hours than you spend at home! If your employees have to spend this time much in one place, it needs to be comfortable. A nice office creates the perfect working environment where your employees are happy, productive and where your business can achieve its ambitions.
- Your office space defines your company’s brand and sets the tone for its culture. The way you design, furnish and even clean your office has a direct impact on the way people will judge your brand. An office is not just about a place where you work, it lays the foundation of your brand, your culture and your working ethos.
- Companies like Google, Microsoft and Meta have spent large sums of money giving their offices the WOW factor and it’s no wonder that the best people flock to want to work with them and why they are the successful companies that they are. Whether it’s a pool table or a slide, every little feature can make a big difference to employees.
- Having a considered Workplace Strategy enhances the culture, productivity and financial aspects of a business. An office is a place to get creative and have organic discussions that drive your business forward and it is vital the right steps are taken so there is nothing that can hinder this.
- An office is a big outlay, especially when looking for space in some of the hottest places to work in London. To make sure none of your money is going to waste, it is important to find an office space that works for you and your employees in boosting productivity, comfort, and creating an atmosphere your company can be proud of.
Finding an office is easy.
Finding the right office isn’t.
And that’s where we come in.
Contact one of our team today for office space solutions. We look forward to hearing from you.