CEO News

The Serviced Office Option

Boasts of a Raffles Place address for a fraction of the price

For someone starting a new business, finding and setting up an office can be a daunting process, in terms of financial commitments, as well as the time and effort required to find the right space.

Apart from having to commit to a two to three years’ lease, renting a conventional office space will also require the outlay of renovation and furniture costs. To avoid these hassles and also to save some money, the answer lies in the serviced office or business center option.

Each serviced office is a “plug and play” office. You can move in within a day and get straight to work. The units are fully furnished, equipped with the necessary office equipment and even come with professional administrative support.

The length of leases at a serviced office can be as short as an hour and you don’t even have to take up any physical space. For as little as $ 29.95 a week, serviced offices can provide you with a virtual office, including a registered mail address, phone answering/forwarding service, and meeting rooms when needed.

There are some 20 serviced office operators in Singapore and together, they occupy two per cent – some 210, 000 sq ft – of the best office spaces on the island, mostly in the Raffles Place and Marina areas.

The leading players include Regus, Servcorp and CEO SUITE. Clients of these firms usually comprise start-ups, representative offices, consultancy firms and companies needing temporary space due to expansion or renovation plans.

Occupancy rates have remained robust despite the downturn – 75 per cent most of 2002, down from 90 per cent in 1998 – according to property agency FPDSavills.

Said the firm’s managing director Jonathan Hannam: “Just last year we had CEO SUITE entering the market and they have done quite … in less than a year, occupancy at CEO SUITE is now close to 90 per cent!”

One company that has chosen the serviced office route is production house FXMedia. Taking advantage of cheaper rental, the company is moving to a larger premise. But until the new unit is ready to be occupied, the six-man company has decided to house itself at a serviced office.

“The view is fantastic, my customers are impressed, and I have everything that I need to work and operate here without any disruption. If my video and animation production company did not have any special requirements, I would seriously consider here for a long term basis”, justified the managing director of FXMedia, Mr. Wong Hoon Cheung.

Given continued strong demand for serviced offices, there is likely to be more companies offering this service in the future. And with the push for entrepreneurship in the city state, it is likely that the demand for this unique space will continue to be robust.