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How Flexible Offices are Helping London’s Tech Startups Grow

How flexible offices are helping London’s tech startups grow

The UK tech sector is booming. It's added 72,000 jobs since the EU referendum and within London, it's defied predictions of downturn amidst political and economic uncertainty. It's no surprise, therefore, that the rising number of startups in London (and in fact the rest of the UK) have driven up the number of co-working and serviced office spaces. Here’s why.

Finding startup office space in London is hard. Your business is growing, so you don't know what your headcount will be in 12 months, let alone 3 years. Plus, office space jargon is confusing, so you don’t even know where to start. For any small, fast growing company, there's a much easier option: the flexible, serviced office. Especially when compared to their conventional, long-term counterpart. (If you’re confused, check out our Traditional vs. Flexible office cheat sheet).

Flexible office solutions provide startups with many of the amenities that a large company would look for. These include break-out spaces, common areas, meeting rooms, creative office space, kitchens, cafes and often, insta-worthy interior design. This concept of ‘space-as a service’ has become highly sought-after. Flexible office space for startups is in demand. And you have plenty of options in London.

Flexible offices are giving London’s tech startups the chance to grow out of them.

In London alone, it’s estimated shared office spaces in the capital are growing 42% year-on-year. Knight Frank research also suggests 80% of businesses can envisage the need for such space in the near future.

Many tech brands have found a home in trendy Shoreditch's Old Street, also known as East London Tech City, and perhaps more affectionately, ‘Silicon Roundabout’.  The district’s blend of old industrial sites, terraced housing and purpose-built office blocks have been redeveloped, adapted and/or embraced to create attractive commercial real estate hotspots, and homes to some of the world’s leading tech and e-commerce brands, such as FarFetch.

Meanwhile, Amazon opened its 600,000 sq-ft UK HQ within the district in 2017 – an affirmation of the area’s status as the UK’s leading technological hub.

With much of East London serving as an incubator for early-life tech brands and startups, office providers have upped their game accordingly. Providers in the area such as WeWork, TOG and Techspace have created spaces that facilitate business growth by offering more than just compelling rates.

3 in 4 businesses said they expected productivity, wellbeing and happiness would increase with a shift to a flexible workspace.

These providers recognise the importance community plays for many smaller companies and help instigate more collaboration by holding their own social and networking events.

Research from Knight Frank's 2018 occupier trend report (Y)OUR SPACE reported users of such spaces say they felt 'a greater sense of community' and a 'greater speed to becoming operational'.

3 in 4 businesses said they expected productivity, wellbeing and happiness would increase with a shift to a flexible workspace, too.

The measurement of collaboration between brands may seem intangible at first, but it can't be understated how motivating witnessing productivity can be.

There are plenty of case studies of this happening in practice, but the only real way is to experience it in the flesh. Our Flexible Office Solutions team is here to make that a reality.

In the meantime, we have compiled a selection of office spaces in London we think are perfect for helping smaller tech brands grow.

Alphabeta Building, 14-18 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1AH

18 Finsbury Square has great community events along with cool and laid-back breakout spaces. It also boasts an in-house squash court, private rooftop terrace and an iconic ride-in bike ramp.
For start ups, it has ‘The Alpha School’, which is organised by the building’s provider. This is a show-not-tell programme for entrepreneurs, designed to give new founders everything they need to launch their start up with a beta product, grow their customer base and get them ready to raise a seed round - all packed into 8 intensive weeks. Check out this office space.

34-37 Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 7PP

34-37 Liverpool Street is good enough to lure top talent from established tech companies into newly formed start ups. It’s a top contender in the serviced office market.

Its luxurious, bespoke interiors are designed to promote a sense of wellbeing and serenity, alongside innovation. The basics include an outdoor terrace, spin-classes, meditation pods, health-orientated stocked pantries and a special art-feature which changes colour to reflect your stress levels. Check out this office space.

2 Southbank Place, London, SE1 7PY

Aside from a great location near Waterloo, 2 Southbank Place has a huge amount to offer. It offers community-orientated events, workshops and wellness initiatives designed to get the working community together.

Plus, this building has a games arcade room, resident DJ and skateboard half-pipe which encourages an atmosphere for collaborative colleagues to thrive. Check out this office space.

Seven Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG

Seven Pancras Square is a stylish office situated in London’s giant tech hub, with a cool and industrial design throughout. It also hosts wellness events, community meet-ups and other amenities to create a fully functioning start up space.

Naturally, its proximity to Google HQ and Facebook HQ is another magnet for start ups, as does its next-door status to Kings Cross and the Eurostar. Check out this office space.

90 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6BH

At 90 Holborn, start ups can attend events at partner spaces in nearby flagship buildings - without having to travel through London. You can instantly utilise a fully established network to collaborate, brain storm and learn from other start ups.

Plus, the buildings have special scents to promote wellbeing, sound isolation, state of the art fitness facilities, huge breakout areas with on-site cafes and rooftop terraces. Check out this office space.

Amanda Lim

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