If you’re looking to expand your office, one of the biggest dilemmas you may face while doing so is deciding upon whether to go with a serviced office or a managed office. What makes the decision even more complex is that on the surface, both serviced and managed offices seem to be very similar. In fact, both are set up and run by a third party.
So, what’s the difference, and why should you choose one option over the other?
Infrastructure Setup, Lead Time, and Customisation
A serviced office offers a plug-and-play environment. The cabins and furniture, environmental systems, utilities, and IT infrastructure are already in place. Once you’ve signed your contract, simply plug in your computer and you’re ready to go. The advantage is that you are up and running immediately, but the disadvantage is that there is little scope for customisation or branding.
A managed office usually has an empty premise. The client is required to give a detailed floor plan. The environmental systems, utilities, and IT infrastructure have to be selected and installed. The advantage is that the premises are customised to your exact requirements and there is extensive scope for branding and promoting your organisation. The disadvantage is the extensive lead time you get before you can move in and get started.
Upfront Costs and Accounting
In a serviced office, there are little to no initial setup costs. Additionally, you only have to pay one bill every month. The drawback is that add on services such as conference rooms, etc. are usually chargeable separately and can be pricey.
With a managed office, there are no additional costs once you’re set up. The disadvantage is that the significant upfront costs and bills, such as utilities, etc. have to be managed and paid individually every month.
Amenities and Front Office Staff
Serviced offices are all-inclusive environments. They come with free tea and coffee, social and meeting spaces, breakout areas, and a common reception and staff.
In a managed office, all the amenities including the front office staff are provided by you. There is a recurring cost that has to be managed and absorbed. The availability of social spaces and breakout areas is largely dependent on the size of the premises.
A serviced office provides a very flexible environment. Your contract can be as short as a month or as long as several years. You can expand or shrink your requirement almost on a monthly basis.
With a managed office, there is little to no flexibility in terms of expanding or reducing your footprint in the short term. You are required to enter into a multi-year contract as the premises have been built to suit.
A serviced office doesn’t provide a personal area to meet with clients.
A managed office has your identity and provides a customised environment to meet with clients.
Now that you have an idea of what differentiates a serviced office and a managed office, list out your ‘must-have’ requirements and see which is the best fit for your organisation.