Is it time to move to a managed office? | SHB

Is it time to move to a managed office?

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By Holly Sherwood

Is it time to move to a managed office?

The work from home guidance has finally been lifted and it’s time to consider what life will be like in a world where we learn to live alongside covid. If you’re a business owner it’s likely that you’re now thinking on how best to approach your employees return to the office – will it be a slow, weening in process of a few days per week, a permanent hybrid model, or straight back in with a bang?

If you’re feeling torn on what to do, you’re not alone. Most of the businesses we have been speaking with over the last 12 months have said they will keep an office, but it is still to be determined exactly what that looks like for them.

New working habits

Before the pandemic it was deemed totally acceptable to ask staff to work 9-5 Monday-Friday in an office. Moving forward this is unlikely to remain the case but it takes a while for new trends to settle, and it may be a little while longer until we get full visualisation on what becomes ‘the new normal’. With many businesses taking different approaches, it could still be some time until we see a countrywide favoured approach start to form.

One thing is clear, and that is that productivity remains key and much of that productivity comes from being together, bouncing ideas of one another and thriving in upbeat, dynamic environments. People learn and excel when surrounded by their more experienced peers and if we have learnt anything over the past two years, it’s that a screen doesn’t come close to a face-to-face meeting.

As employees do start to return to offices, they will be looking for added flexibility in their working week, it’s no longer enough just to offer the obvious perks of private healthcare, more paid holiday, beers on a Friday etc. This is an important balance that employers need to get right first time.

In our world of commercial real estate, flexible working is not a new concept, but with the world in a state of flux, there is a continued movement away from long-term commitments in favour of shorter-term leases and licenses. Landlords are jumping on this trend by increasingly offering their own flex options. With many landlords and serviced office providers now offering these managed office solutions it is clear flexible solutions will be the next big trend as we enter the ‘new way of working’.


What is a managed office?

In a managed office you will find most things are taken care of for you. Design and fit-out, building management and utilities are generally all wrapped into one inclusive monthly fee. We are seeing many pre-designed managed spaces coming to the market as the popularity for this type of office space grows.

Generally managed offices will come as self-contained spaces with private kitchen, breakout and meeting room facilities. They can be multiple floors, a single floor or part of a floor, but will always be designed around your business needs and dedicated to you.

What is the difference between Leasehold, Managed and Serviced?


What are the benefits of a Managed office?

A hybrid between leasehold and serviced, a managed office combines the best of both worlds. It’s more than just desks and meeting rooms – managed offices will be bespoke, based around your business needs and will most likely have hot-desking areas, collaboration tables, phone booths and plenty of soft seating areas.

The driver behind wanting employees to return to the office is all about the collaboration. Fortunately, most providers of managed space understand this working style and allow you the opportunity to adjust the configuration and furniture choices to tailor the space to your specific needs. These are known as ‘Day 1’ and ‘Day 2’ models.

What are the pros and cons with a Managed Office?

The pros and cons really depend on whether you are considering Leasehold vs Managed or Serviced vs Managed. What some consider a pro may be a con to others and vice versa.


  • Shorter term commitments from 12 months vs much longer term of leases on the conventional side.
  • One simple all-inclusive monthly fee
  • Bespoke fit-out and design
  • Ability to fully brand space
  • Privacy
  • Speed to occupation from commitment
  • No dilapidation costs


  • Cost — typically a more expensive alternative to a lease. You do pay for flexibility; however, it is important to work out all of the costs associated.
  • Less flexibility than a serviced option
  • Lack of community
  • Minimal communal facilities outside of your office


We specialise in advising tenants and landlords on the best real estate options for them. If you’d like to hear more about how a managed office could work for you, get in touch and one of our expert commercial surveyors will be able to assist you.

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By Holly Sherwood

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