Learn why a serviced office is the solution but that old plug-and-play style of serviced office is not.
By Hayley Jope
Customer Success Manager – Team Lead
An operational need for serviced office
Due to the pandemic, the role of the serviced office for businesses has changed drastically.
The requirements of companies in high compliance industries means there’s now a need for a more robust solution. That’s why we believe serviced office 2.0 will be a trend in 2022.
To go into more detail on the topic, we spoke to Hayley Jope, Customer Success Manager – Team Lead at Interactive.
Customer Success Manager – Team Lead at Interactive
In the past, serviced offices or coworking spaces were generally used by startups, smaller companies or solo freelancers that needed flexibility and didn’t have budget to commit to long-term leases in large spaces. It was very much a plug-and-play model so a company or person would look for a nice space with a good vibe and move in without any other major requirements.
What’s changed since March 2020 is the profile of companies now looking at serviced offices. We’re getting more and more inquiries from large companies in the financial industry who are looking at their options and we expect to see a lot more of that over the next 12 months. A lot of those companies have traditionally signed up to expensive, long-term leases in the CBDs of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, those days are over. The adoption of the work from home and in-office hybrid model means fewer people are in the office so companies don’t need all that space in such a central location anymore.
A serviced office is the solution but that old plug-and-play style of serviced office is not, that’s why we believe serviced office 2.0 is the next step. We know these companies have more requirements, so they need more from their serviced office provider.
Let’s start with security. Businesses in the financial services industry like banking, insurance and superannuation need to comply with APRA regulations which means the office you choose will have to adhere to the highest compliance standards. Does your provider have its ISO 9001 Quality and ISO 27001 Data Security accreditation? Do they have the facilities to keep you online in the event of power outages or other unexpected events? What sort of network security is available? Do they have onsite data centres to store your critical information? These are questions you need to be asking your serviced office provider if you are in a regulated industry.
If you’re not in an APRA regulated industry, you may think the security concerns don’t apply to you. We believe security should always be a priority when you’re choosing where you work. A dodgy network or an unsecured work environment can lead to disastrous outcomes.
You’ll need to think about what regulations are coming down the tracks. For example, there’s new Federal Government legislation for Australian companies that have connections to the country’s critical infrastructure. The legislation means companies must report into the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) when a cyber attack occurs. If your company falls into that category, your compliance standards will need to be addressed. That’s why choosing a serviced office that looks after all those compliance requirements for you can be beneficial.
Another thing to consider when choosing a serviced office provider is what skills do they have on-site to help you? Some providers will have technical expertise across data centres and hardware maintenance so if you do have an issue, you can get support immediately from someone right there in the same space.
Key insightA lot of companies may already have a hardware maintenance or data centre capability in their own team or may not require assistance but knowing it’s there offers a sense of reassurance.
The final thing to consider, and this is something that’s sometimes overlooked, is how your relationship with the provider will work. Do you have a dedicated customer success manager that you can turn to when you need help? How will your logistics be managed in terms of package delivery? How will look after welcoming clients? You should find a provider that shares your values and that you trust will go above and beyond to make sure everything we’ve mentioned above is up to your standard.
There’s now a lot more to consider outside of the usual wants like comfortable space, meeting room access, in-house baristas, etc. and we think serviced office 2.0 is a great solution to future-proof businesses.
Spaces designed to help you meet your compliance requirements