Demand for offices space may be on the rise among small firms


All firms need some form of working space and, increasingly, bosses are looking to serviced offices to accommodate their personnel. These working environments come fully fitted and furnished, meaning they are ready for use as soon as tenants move in. Also, they tend to have short leases, which is ideal for companies that are after flexibility. Serviced office rental leases can be as short as three months, which is a far cry from the much longer agreements associated with more traditional offices.

Demand for these offices may be especially high among small enterprises at present. According to figures provided by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), small companies are taking on more staff this quarter. When organisations hire additional personnel, they need to ensure they have sufficient space to accommodate them.

In its Voice of Small Business Index, the FSB found that 15 per cent of companies have raised their staff numbers during the third quarter of 2013. This is the highest figure reported since the index began three years ago and, according to the federation, it mirrors recent improvements in labour market statistics.

The organisation also noted that all small companies will be eligible for a reduction of up to £2,000 in their National Insurance contributions from April next year. This should provide firms with extra encouragement to take on personnel, the FSB claimed.

Of the enterprises it polled, 29 per cent said they would use the Employment Allowance to boost staff wages, while 28 per cent said they would take on more workers and 24 per cent revealed they would invest in resources.

National chairman of the FSB John Allan said: “Compared with a year ago, small businesses are employing more staff and are looking to expand in the near future. This points to growing confidence from the UK’s small businesses.”

He added: “Our findings show that the Employment Allowance due to kick in next spring will have the desired effect. Through the measure, small firms are looking forward to taking on more staff, expanding their businesses and rewarding existing employees for their efforts.”

However, in a note of caution, he remarked: “The most recent unemployment figures show that long term unemployment, particularly among young people, remains a concern.”

Ever since the banking crisis, the UK economy has experienced turbulence and this has made it hard for managers to make commitments concerning their use of office space. When things are going well and the future looks rosy for enterprises, they may be tempted to take on larger premises. However, if conditions change and demand for their goods or services falls, they might need to shrink their workforces and downsize into more affordable premises.

This is where serviced offices come into their own. Thanks to their short lease terms, they offer bosses plenty of flexibility, which is especially important during uncertain times.

Many managers also like the fact that these working spaces tend to come with a range of facilities and services, including reception and telephone answering provisions and meeting areas.

About the Author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who contributes to a range of commercial property sites, including Abacus Real Estate.

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