How Hollywood embraced serviced offices

Walk into our serviced offices in London and Manchester and you’ll find yourself in modern, spacious surroundings with ergonomic furniture and plenty of natural light – but offices haven’t always been this way.

Movies and TV shows provide a visual history of how office space has changed over the decades, according to an article in the journal Megaron, charting the trend towards many of the features found in modern-day serviced offices.

The authors from Abdullah Gul University in Turkey look at how film and television portray offices from different time periods, as a way to identify the features of those eras, as well as to predict the future needs of a more flexible and mobile workforce.

The emergence of office space

Offices have existed for centuries but early examples were very large buildings often used for government, administration or as large company headquarters.

As the Second Industrial Revolution progressed into the 20th century, a wider range of businesses began to take up office space, driven by the rise in white-collar workers.

Early offices were often very large and open-plan, designed for easy observation by managers, and had few personal belongings on individuals’ desks.

By the 1960s, this had started to change. The TV series Mad Men, set in 1960s America, features smaller offices, separated by partitions, with many more personal possessions on show.

Modern serviced office space

Small cubicles became a feature throughout the 1980s-90s, as shown in the movie Office Space in 1999, but since the start of the 21st century, this has changed significantly.

The researchers note the 2002 film 40 Days and 40 Nights, which takes place in a renovated office building with modern furniture, kitchen facilities and comfortable seating areas.

In 2015, The Intern depicted an open-plan office with no partitions between employees, and even allowed people to work in different parts of the office on portable laptop computers – something that was not possible during the 20th century.

“Under the influence of the technological developments of the 2000s, employees can work in various places inside or outside the office, thanks to their laptops,” the researchers note.

“The workspace has become a comfortable space like home, in order to provide a sense of belonging,” they add.

Serviced office space for the future

The article is particularly relevant in light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, which has forced many more people to work flexibly and from home, an overnight trend that is unlikely to reverse fully in the years to come.

But even as the COVID-19 pandemic fades, serviced office space will continue to provide the kinds of facilities – comfortable, well-equipped offices, convenient kitchen areas, meeting rooms for hire and chill out rooms – that have been on-trend throughout the past one or two decades.

As we move into the future together, the flexibility of serviced offices will also mean workplaces can adapt more quickly to emerging trends and technologies.

We don’t know where this will lead over the next 10-20 years, but we will continue to ensure our serviced offices in London and Manchester offer the very best fixtures, fittings and workspace for all our customers.

Serviced offices, co-working spaces and incubators: what’s the difference?

A lot of the time, co-working spaces are mentioned in the same breath as hot-desking, serviced office, incubators and accelerators.

But what are the similarities and differences between those? And why are serviced offices so popular, especially among new start-ups, small businesses and rapidly growing brands?

Serviced offices and co-working spaces

Writing in the journal Urban Studies in summer 2021, a team from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University College London and DIW Berlin explained some of the common features of serviced offices.

They wrote: “Serviced offices are aimed at established businesses: fully fitted-out office buildings offering modular space where the emphasis is on input-sharing.

“Co-working spaces have similarities with incubators in terms of physical setup, input-sharing and business models aimed at early-stage firms.”

This is all true, although we would add that our serviced offices in London and Manchester have helped many businesses get off the ground, starting from a very early stage indeed.

Incubators and accelerators

Access to accelerators and incubators is much tighter than to general serviced offices and co-working spaces.

For example, to be allowed office space in an incubator, you may need to be engaged in a specific type of business activity, and may have to commit to certain tasks, such as meetings with business mentors.

The LSE team wrote: “Accelerators and incubators are distinct from other smaller, denser spaces in the extent to which participants are selected and their interactions are structured or curated by providers.”

For new entrepreneurs, this can be very helpful, by providing a guiding light to help you understand your chosen industry and how to run a business; however, the tighter rules and restrictions are not for everyone.

Which is better?

Overall, co-working space is a broad spectrum. At the thin end of that wedge, there’s business accelerators and incubators, places where access is extremely limited, while at the broad end there are much more open-access facilities like hot-desking and internet cafes.

Serviced offices provide a middle ground. You get your own private office space on flexible, affordable terms, suitable for SMEs looking to keep close control of your overheads.

Access is not limited to a specific sector or high-growth market, so you’re free to explore whatever business ideas you might have, without interference.

Co-working areas in serviced offices

Although our serviced offices in London and Manchester provide private offices, you also have access to communal areas where you can meet with other entrepreneurs based in the building.

These include the kitchen areas, chill out and breakout rooms, as well as the reception area at the main entrance to the building.

You also share access to meeting rooms on-site, and these can be booked in advance as and when you need them, so it’s always clear who should be using the room.

Altogether, this adds up to a highly flexible way to get professional, private office space in Manchester and London, to support your business whether it’s in its infancy, or you just prefer the flexible terms of serviced offices for mature businesses.