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Your office space jargon buster

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We admit it; we occasionally fall back on words and phrases that aren’t exactly in everyday use. So, this page is as much a sense check for us as it is a resource for you. Let us know if we’ve missed anything.

Traditional office

  • Before flexible offices, most businesses took leases directly from landlords – we tend to call that a traditional office these days; it’s the original (and still-dominant) model. Typically, they come with longer leases (at least three years) and leave maintenance up to the tenant. 

Flexible space

  • Anything that offers more flexibility than a traditional lease. These include coworking spaces and serviced office spaces as below. 

Coworking space

  • This is a catch-all term for when the people working in an office are not all employed by the same company. Coworking tends to be considered a solution for freelancers – to ease isolation – but in practice lots of larger businesses operate within them. Coworking spaces often include both hot desk and fixed desk options – as below.

Hot desk

  • When hot-desking, no one in the office has a fixed place to sit. That means you can’t leave your lip balms, water bottles, notepads and spare shoes in one place, or get too comfy, but it also means you can arrive with your laptop at any time, slot yourself in and be ready to work.

Fixed desk

  • With a fixed desk membership you’re allocated a specific desk for the duration of your contract.

Private office

  • Most of the coworking spaces we work with include self-contained offices for teams who need their own space and clear boundaries. Those using them still have access to communal facilities like meeting rooms and break-out areas, as well as services like cleaning, reception and maintenance.

Managed office

  • These tend to be private, but with day-to-day facilities, like meeting rooms and reception on offer. They tend to suit businesses looking for more privacy than coworking spaces but less admin than traditional offices.


  • That’s you. The person or people paying to occupy the space. We’re not keen on this as a term, but we do see it cropping up a lot.

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More help with your move
Amanda Lim

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