Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Try a Temporary Move; COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Try a Temporary Move; COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SPITTLES

TEMPORARY office space is becoming a permanent solution for a growing number of businesses. Serviced offices provide flexible, easy-in, easyout accommodation with all the necessary extras on tap.

You could be a growing business, a start-up firm or even a homeworker expanding out of your sitting room.

The leasing packages available allow you to choose the amount of space and length of time to suit your needs.

Most centres have staffed receptions and boardrooms, and offer secretarial support, voice mail, broadband and video conferencing.

They also provide a forum for networking. Often they are business villages, with space taken by likeminded companies who feed off each other.

Centres range from unfurnished offices to luxurious suites. Normally, the minimum lease is three months.

Occupation costs are usually quoted in terms of a "work station" per month.

The typical price range is from [pounds sterling]250 to [pounds sterling]1,000. Sometimes costs are quoted per sq ft per calendar month. Some centres have an inyourface, branded identity, while others offer more discreet, high-quality space and a club concept.

There is a perception that serviced offices are efficient, but bland, even a bit lonely and miserable. A few niche operators at the top end aim to create centres with character and warmth.

Number One Cornhill is one such place. This is an architectural gem, directly opposite the Bank of England, run by Corpnex. It has been stylishly refurbished to create discreet hot-desk spaces as well as modern office suites. A Pall Mall-type club space has been created, where individuals can relax, catch up on paperwork or hold client meetings.

Personal memberships cost [pounds sterling]400 a month, which includes a "virtual" service - handling of telephone calls, forwarding of post and so on. …

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