Business Blog Business & Networking City of London: Office space guide 2023

City of London: Office space guide 2023

By Nastya Valcheva & Eva Doger

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Famous for its ancient and modern landmarks such as the London Eye, Tower Bridge and Big Ben, not only is the city of London a spectacle, but it's also an international business hub.

With more than one million businesses in London city during 2022, the city has established itself as the financial centre of the United Kingdom, with its 496.4 billion British Pounds gross domestic product.

The megacity has a population of more than 8.9 million people and presents a diverse market for businesses to thrive. This guide will cover the essential information of office spaces and give a local breakdown for London city office space.

Let's look for your perfect office space.

What type of businesses does London attract?

Almost any type of business can belong in London.

The sheer diversity amongst the populace makes for an amazing destination to conduct business. But as with any location, there are a few leading industries in the city of London.

Some of these include:

  • International bank lending

  • Money markets

  • Trading

  • International insurance

  • Financial services

  • Technology

  • Account & consulting

  • Legal & support

  • Professional services

London city is also comprised of many startups because of the investors and funding available to kickstart their journey.

Why should businesses setup in London?

Whether you're in Central London or on the outskirts, the city's highly developed infrastructure and ease of access to world class facilities enables seamless business entries.

It's important to understand that London is looking to grow.

The UK government offers many forms of assistance to startup to small businesses, along with entrepreneurs.

Some assistance includes:

  • Startup loan programs

  • Research & development funding

  • Capital allowances

  • Subsidised broadband

  • Growth support programs

  • Mentoring

One of the best advantages in setting up your business in London is the diversity. The variety of thoughts and opinions promotes creativity and innovation as well as leading to better decision making, along with problem solving.

You're also tapping into London's advantageous geographic positioning for business.

Mainland Europe is only next door, along with being conveniently sandwiched between the Americas and Asia. Travel to almost all financial hubs can be done in less than a day and the city's time zone conveniently aligns with Singapore, Hong Kong and New York's working day - that's just to name a couple.

The British pound also remains strong, which is an added bonus for businesses which become established in the city of London. And since London is a business hub there are many conferences, seminars and exhibitions that people can attend which are beneficial for learning or networking.

Business types that use serviced office in London

Most businesses which use serviced offices in London require a permanent base for their employees. They need an office space which can be acquired at a lower cost, without compromising their operations, safety and efficiency.

Although it's not limited to these, the following industries are some of the most common users of a serviced office:

  • Financial services

  • Traders

  • Recruitment

  • Insurance

  • Accounting & legal services

These industries are known to be client facing and hold many meetings. Due to the General Data Protection Regulation and security purposes, it's best to conduct such meetings in person, and not from home via video conferencing technology. Conference rooms which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and plenty of space are more likely to give prospective clients assurance.

London serviced office space would also be more relevant for those who require tier-1 internet, such as a trader. Their constant need for being online whilst maintaining a secure connection would be paramount for such an occupation.

Travelling to a serviced office in London is also simple. The city has phenomenal transport links, with many train stations and bus stops for easy access to all locations in London. Serviced offices are in the city of London are much more affordable than commercial office space, especially with the rent and outgoings of leases increasing.

Popular serviced office locations in London

Business types that use a virtual office in London

The virtual office gets plenty of usage by businesses of all sizes.

It's also a favourite for international businesses looking to get a foothold in London, or for local businesses to expand and even downsize.

Virtual offices in London are generally used by:
  • Solicitor firms

  • Traders

  • Real estate

  • Law firms

  • Freelancers

  • IT industry

  • International businesses

International businesses commonly use a virtual office for registering their business in London, or for simply having a business address such as Bank Street, Canary Wharf on their business cards. Businesses in the city of London might also use a virtual office for other benefits, which depends on the provider.

For example, Servcorp includes four days usage of private offices each month, which is perfect for solicitors who want to meet their clients in a private space at no extra cost. Overall, it's a great alternative to the traditional office space

Popular virtual office locations in London

What businesses use a coworking space in London

A coworking space is the cost effective alternative to a serviced office.

Startup companies or small businesses often occupy coworking spaces as they provide a hybrid solution - a highly demanded work perk. Some of the industries which use coworking spaces include:

  • Recruitment firms

  • Solicitor firms

  • Investment

  • Startups

  • Traders

It's also important to note that coworking spaces are a massive industry in London. In fact, the emergence of coworking has been heavily favoured by London, as the city ranks first with the most amount of coworking spaces in the world.

In 2019, this number was 1,423 coworking spaces, with second place being New York at 548 coworking spaces.

Popular coworking locations in London

What to look for from an office space provider

When looking for an office space to rent within the flex space market, it all comes down to your chosen provider. It's essential to place emphasis in your research on the amenities and services that accompany your office, otherwise, what's the difference between a flex space and a commercial office?

Here are a few amenities from Servcorp's flexible workspace solutions.

Technology: Not all office space providers have Tier-1 internet broadband. Most coworking spaces have shared bandwidth, which means data is more susceptible to being stolen or at risk. A Tier-1 network ensures your data is safe, whilst keeping internet speeds as fast as possible.

Team: onsite team support is a must for business needs. The premise of having staff to delegate tasks to, all included in your net rent is an attractive feature, but some office space providers don't have this. Ensure your flex space has a receptionist to answer your calls, in-house I.T support and secretarial assistance to tackle various tasks.

Location: office space location matters, especially for cementing a positive first impression and creating a sense of credibility amongst prospective clients. An address such as One Mayfair Place in West End, London which has a roof terrace, portrays the image of an established business.

Not only are such locations impressive, but they're also very accessible. The range of public transport options is in abundance, and many essentials such as shopping malls, gyms, restaurants, art galleries and hotels are all in close proximity. Your location should be in close range to London's international airports and ideally have multiple bust routes which operate along Piccadilly, Oxford Street, New Bond Street, Regent Street and Park Lane.

At the end of the day, an address in the heart of West End makes a difference!

Read our guide on the Best Serviced Office in The City of London.

Regular events to look for

Beyond the surface level of office space and the amenities available, it's a pleasant addition to know your flex-space has events. For example, Servcorp often hosts monthly networking events which are great for getting to know your neighbouring business and expanding your circle.

Clients also host their own events and workshops to raise awareness in their industry, which is another effective method for putting your business out there. Other nice to-haves are events such as Christmas parties, International Women's Day, Halloween, Easter Celebrations and more celebratory days.

 

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