Owned Offices vs Serviced Offices

In any business, the premises you operate from can be one of the biggest headaches to get right. That’s because when it comes to finding the perfect office space, there is so much to consider.

First, you need to factor in the cost to make sure you can afford it. That’s before you’ve even worked out the cost for all your furniture and equipment! You also have to make sure the building is in a good location and that there’s plenty of room for your staff or different departments.

Choosing the perfect office space can be a challenge for any business owner. The most popular choices include owning/renting one versus renting a serviced office, where everything is taken care of for you but you don’t own the space. If you’re not sure which solution is right for you, here’s our guide to help you make the best decision for your business.

A brief overview

In a typical scenario, you will either purchase an office space, or agree a long-term rental situation with a landlord. This is known as an owned office, and it means you’ll need to furnish it, take care of the utilities as well as keep the place clean and tidy.

A serviced office is a space that has everything you need to get started. This includes all the furniture and even the internet that is included in the price you pay. You just need to bring yourself and a computer. Typically speaking, serviced offices are thought of as a short-term solution.

Owned offices

If you’re here to stay, then you might be considering buying or leasing an office space. After all, it can be a real hassle moving to a new office. Not only is it a logistical nightmare, it also means any customers that visit your premises to make orders, might not be able to find you if you keep moving locations.

On the flip side, if you own an office it needs to be a space that grows and adapts alongside your company. If your office consists of enough room for 3 people to work in, but your team has grown to 10, it’s just not going to work and could hinder further expansion. However, if you do own the space you have the option of redeveloping it which just wouldn’t be possible if you are using a serviced office.

Owned offices come with a lot of responsibility. First, you’ll need to furnish it (in line with health and safety standards too). Then you’ll need to heat and light it, as well as connect it to the internet and landline if applicable. You’ll also need to empty the bins and even clean the windows.

An advantage of owned offices is that despite the added responsibility, you can really make the space your own. If you are looking to establish your business, it’s difficult to do that if you are constantly moving location. So, owned offices give you roots and allow you to incorporate your branding rather than someone else’s you are just borrowing.

Serviced Offices

If you’re not ready for the commitment of purchasing or even long-term leasing an office, you could rent a serviced office instead. The beauty of serviced offices is that everything is already taken care of. All you need to do is show up and plug in!

You can choose the exact location that’s right for you, both in terms of the geographical location and the space itself. For example, if you’re a small start-up you might not need a large boardroom or perhaps 4 floors – so you can pick something small and more cost effective for now.

With the convenience however, you lose the ability to be able to stamp your personality on the place. So in terms of colours, branding, design and layout – you have little flexibility to change this, as you are renting someone else’s vision.

You’ll also have to face facts that as your company grows, the likelihood is you’ll need to switch to either a larger serviced office, or a traditional owned one.

However, if you are just starting out or perhaps you’re looking to create a pop-up in a new location for a short period of time, serviced offices do offer flexibility and value for money.

To Sum up

Both traditional owned offices and serviced offices each have their pros and cons. What is going to work best for you, really depends on your company. For example, if you’re a start up and you’re not sure if the business has legs yet, committing to a long term lease on a building can be very stressful. After all, even if it doesn’t work out if you’ve signed up to rent the building for 12 months, you’ll still need to pay this.

Likewise, you might be trying to grow the company or open in a new location, and so settling on a permanent location might not be right for you just yet.

Owned offices however, can establish real roots in the community. They are also fully customisable to your business needs, meaning you can put a real stamp on the place. Although, with this comes the added responsibility of furnishing and taking care of the building too.

It’s difficult to project a long term vision on a short term space, so that’s why having your own office is a plus. The key is choosing the right solution for your situation, so that it complements your business instead of putting a strain on it.


If you’d like to find out more, call us on 0115 939 7572 with any questions you might have! We’re more than happy to help.