Long Term Office Tenancies A Thing Of The Past According To Survey By Citibase14/08/2014

Citibase meeting room and customers

Long term office tenancies a thing of the past as UK businesses look for more flexible working conditions 

Office tenancies of five years or more are a thing of the past for small and medium businesses, according to a recent survey of SME business owners and directors. says Citibase. Over 90 per cent of respondents to a survey, conducted by Citibase, the UK’s leading independent business centre provider, would only agree to sign tenancy terms between six months and three years. No business owner said they would agree to terms of five years or more.

This sits in stark contrast to traditional office tenancies which are based on long lease terms, often upwards of ten years. Over half of respondents also felt that office landlords were not doing enough to attract small businesses.

The survey, conducted by Citibase throughout June, asked business owners from around the country including start-ups, SMEs and the self-employed, about the changing attitudes of businesses to their working environments.

Steve Jude, CEO, Citibase, comments: “The world of work has changed forever and the commercial property sector, needs to do more to support the growth of British businesses, particularly the growing number of start-ups and SMEs who require more flexibility.

“The growth in technology, increasing globalisation and the recession has combined to instill greater uncertainty into small business owners, which means they are now unwilling to commit to long term agreements. They want the ability to change with the natural ebb-and-flow of their business, to up and downsize when required; not be contractually tied to an ill-suited agreement that costs the business time and money.

“Landlords and office providers need to do much more to support the growing number of start-ups and SMEs in particular. They need to listen to these results and embrace the needs of small businesses. The far sighted landlords with whom we are working have readjusted their traditional view of managing an office asset and have understood that our new, disruptive business model bridges the gap between the needs of entrepreneurs and landlords.”

At a time where new laws regarding flexible working have been introduced, another interesting finding of the survey was that most business owners, over 72%, preferred working from a professional office environment to a home office, citing that productivity increased in a formal office location.  

Respondents were also asked what they considered to be the most influential factors when they were looking for new office space. Unsurprisingly, the cost of space was deemed to be the most important, but more poignantly, also in the top five was length of tenancy agreement (two), flexible tenancy agreements (four) and flexibility to upsize or downsize (five). Well managed office space came in as the third priority.

Citibase offers fully serviced business centres for cost-conscious SMEs across the UK. Its unique disruptive business model brings together both landlords and businesses; providing SME customers with cost-effective office solutions whilst allowing landlords to generate a cash income from second hand office space with minimum stress, by taking over the management of the asset.

Citibase’s unique disruptive business model brings together both clients and customers, providing solutions to property owners, by taking over the management of the building, allowing landlords to generate a cash income from secondary office space with minimum stress whilst providing SME customers with cost-effective office solutions.

Citibase supports businesses around the UK with business centres in many major towns and cities. It is always looking to partner with new landlords around the country who may have buildings with empty space to fill, providing a solution for property owners who would like to generate cash from their secondary office space whilst offering regional businesses an opportunity to grow.

Citibase concentrates on town and city centre locations and offers their customers over 1 million sq. ft. under management. Founded in 1993, the business has at its heart the ‘Freedom at Work’ philosophy; a deep-routed commitment to support and nurture cost-conscious SMEs whether they are setting out for the first time or taking bigger steps on the path to growth. Being in a Citibase centre gives SMEs the independence and freedom to be freed from expensive rents and rates, inflexible terms, service charges, hidden costs and corporate restrictions, thus giving SMEs the ability to be in complete control of their businesses.

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