Hotdesking facilities boost productivity as part of remote working mix

Hotdesking facilities are a common part of the serviced offices mix these days, and the Serviced Office Company’s buildings are no different, offering a blend of serviced offices, meeting rooms, virtual offices and hotdesking.

So how does hotdesking help? A recently published study in the International Journal of Business and Administrative Studies looked at the impact of hotdesking facilities on employees’ productivity, as well as on their quality of life.

In their introduction, the researchers explain: “The advancements in digitalisation have sparked [changes in] the way traditional work takes place. The COVID-19 pandemic has also prompted a drastic change for modification of the usual work setting.

“These give rise to remote working, also known as teleworking, hotdesking, work-from-home, hotelling and a flexible work plan through which a worker achieves their tasks in a place remote from the customary office.”

A definition of hotdesking

Hotdesking in its purest form simply means that a desk or workstation is not assigned to a specific individual. Within an office, this may mean that the same computer is used by different personnel on different days.

Some hotdesking facilities can be hired on an ad hoc basis, allowing people who normally work from home to use a more formal office space as and when they need it, with no long-term commitment.

In this research, the team looked at hotdesking as part of an overall remote working mix: employees who work some of the time from home, but also spend some time in the office working from a computer that is not permanently or solely assigned to them.

Hotdesking productivity and quality of life

In the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations are still embracing a degree of remote working, in order to avoid a densely occupied workplace with all personnel in close proximity at the same time.

Hotdesking facilities enable the flexibility to have personnel spending some time at home or elsewhere, and some time in the office. This can also be achieved through hotelling – similar to hotdesking, but with individuals allocated in advance to a specific seat or workstation.

As part of this broader remote working mix, the research found an increase in productivity for those employees who were able to spend some of their time working outside of the office. At the same time, there was no measurable negative effect on quality of life.

The researchers conclude: “Based on a quantitative analysis, it can be concluded that remote working has a vital role to play in the employees’ productivity and work-life balance. The majority of employees agreed that remote working has increased their chances of accomplishing their respective tasks.”

Finding the balance

According to the research, personnel who work from home are able to complete their duties more often, and some studies have found that greater autonomy allows individuals to feel better about their work-life balance, especially among female employees.

The study ends: “Numerous findings from the literature supported the positive impact of remote work on employee productivity. Meanwhile, the majority of the studies also demonstrated no significant relationship between remote working and work-life balance.”

If you would like to know more about the Serviced Office Company’s hotdesking facilities in Telford and London, please contact us today and we can arrange a tour of your nearest location.

Virtual offices enable ‘swan syndrome’ of workplace change

Virtual offices and the remote working revolution are enabling workplaces to cater for the ‘swan syndrome’ of rapid change since the economy’s emergence from COVID-19 lockdowns.

In a newly published book called Unworking: The Reinvention of the Modern Office, Jeremy Myerson and Philip Ross explain that the pandemic was the latest in a series of shocks to the established system of work.

“We are witnessing the ‘swan syndrome’ in workplace change,” they write. “What looked on the surface to be a smooth evolution of the working practices, technologies and ideas first implemented one hundred years ago is, below the waterline, a deep disruption to our way of working – and we’re paddling like crazy to keep up.”

How do virtual offices help?

Virtual offices, including those operated by serviced office providers, remove the monolithic nature from physical workplaces, transforming the office into “one node in a dynamic organisational network”.

The authors explain: “For the first time, virtual presents coexists with physical presence in the work environment. Its momentum has been driven neither by developers nor by owner-occupiers, as in previous eras of the office, but by service providers.”

As offices transform from isolation to connected nodes, the nature of the work carried out is changing too – the authors term this a shift away from repetitive ‘process work’ to less structured and more creative ‘knowledge work’.

Embracing a digital lifestyle

Virtual offices, as part of serviced offices, allow workforces to benefit from physical contact details, without being physically tied to those premises.

In their book, the authors write: “The postal address, telephone number and fax number that allowed communication with physical premises have all become virtual and disconnected from the bricks and mortar that was once the home and hub of corporate technology.”

As Gen Z, born in 1995-2012, becomes the dominant generation in the workplace, this virtualisation is likely to continue, with the emergence of ‘synchronous interaction’ and the notion that “everything is done together”.

Adopting virtual offices

We are at a pivot point, whereby the majority of businesses still operate a mainly office-based workforce with remote working individuals, but have yet to embrace the full benefits of running a virtual office.

Serviced Office Company’s virtual offices in London, Telford and Manchester give you a business address and working contact details in a desirable location, without the need to take physical office space on-site.

If you ever need to hold a meeting in-person, we have for-hire meeting rooms in all of our serviced office buildings, allowing you to seamlessly transition to a physical workplace as and when you need to.

And as your business grows, you’re free to build your virtual workforce, or to occupy bricks-and-mortar serviced offices in our buildings, subject to availability – giving you the flexibility for your business to respond to the changing nature of UK office work in the years ahead.

To find out more about our serviced offices, meeting rooms and virtual offices in Telford, Manchester and London, contact the Serviced Office Company today and we will be happy to discuss your needs and arrange an in-person tour of our facilities.

Looking for the perfect serviced office space in London?

At the Serviced Office Company we have worked very hard to create the serviced office space London’s small businesses and new start-ups need in order to get established.

The quality of your office space can play a big part in your productivity and professionalism, especially when starting a new company or working as a sole trader.

Our serviced offices in central London cater for individuals and small businesses alike, with coworking and hotdesking facilities when you just need a desk for the day.

Prime London serviced office locations

We have secured some of the best London serviced office locations and fully refurbished the premises to the very highest of standards.

Our London locations include Davenport House, adjacent to Canary Wharf and the vibrant London Docklands.

There’s also Millharbour Court, our recently opened business centre that offers serviced offices, meeting rooms for hire and (in our opinion) perfect hotdesking facilities.

What makes perfect serviced office space?

‘Perfect’ serviced office space depends on two things: the offices themselves, and the services we provide.

All of our serviced offices in London, Manchester and Telford are appointed to high standards, with designer office furniture, telecommunications pre-installed and access to kitchen facilities and comfortable breakout rooms.

In our hotdesking facilities, you’ll find an open-plan space conducive to collaboration with fellow entrepreneurs. If you work alone, it’s the perfect way to meet like-minded individuals and potentially make lifelong friends.

What if a virtual office is perfect for you?

As well as our physical serviced offices in central London, we also proudly provide virtual offices in London, giving you contact details at the heart of the city’s business district.

The benefit of a virtual office is that you don’t have to travel to it. Instead, you get to use our offices on your contact details, and we will forward on any correspondence we receive on your behalf.

With meeting rooms for hire in our London premises, there is the option of meeting potential investors, customers or job applicants in person at the relevant address.

But if your business is largely virtual, then we appreciate that the perfect London office space for you might be no space at all.

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about our serviced offices in London and why we believe they are the perfect choice for London-based businesses of all sizes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and a member of our team will be happy to discuss more of the details.

We welcome all enquiries – we love talking about all of our premises, and we’re open to ideas and suggestions too, so if there’s a particular feature or piece of equipment you need and you haven’t been able to find it as yet, let us know and we’ll see if we can accommodate you.

All our details are on our Contact page. New and existing customers can call us on 0800 319 6600, email us at, or fill in our online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

What features make the best serviced office suites?

With stunning serviced offices for rent in Telford, Manchester and London, what features make SOC’s rooms the best serviced office suites around?

In our opinion, too many providers think serviced office space is just that – empty space for tenants to furnish and fit out from scratch.

Serviced Office Company’s suites are different. We welcome personal touches and will try to accommodate requests, but we’ve worked hard to give tenants everything they need to be productive from day one.

Unbranded interiors

When we say ‘personal touches’ we include the option to add your own branding to your serviced office interiors.

Our office suites are designed to provide an aesthetically pleasing, but ultimately neutral canvas. You can move in as-is with no problem at all, but if you want to add some colour in your business’s brand identity, you’re more than welcome to do so.

There are some brand names in our offices – those on the labels of our designer office furniture. Herman Miller, Sense Desking and Mirra Chairs are among the household names you’ll find waiting for you the day you take occupancy of your office space.

No hidden costs

Another misguided belief by some providers of serviced office space is that everything other than the space itself is an added extra, to be charged per use.

SOC provide serviced office suites with no extra charges or hidden fees. What you see on our website list of features and benefits is what you get, all included in your rent.

The exception to this is our meeting rooms for hire on-site. But because you only pay for those when you need them, your costs will still be lower than the expense of renting a meeting room all year round, only to have it stand empty for most of the time.

We believe this transparency on pricing is an essential addition to what makes the best serviced office suites – after all, positive return on investment is what your business is all about.


Finally, it’s essential for the best serviced office suites to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and we have worked to include the kinds of features that ensure our buildings are eco-aware.

Climate controls, recycling facilities, water saving devices and highly efficient heating & cooling systems all help to make certain that this is the case.

To save energy, we have motion sensitive automatic light switches, and to encourage clean transport on the daily commute, we make sure to provide on-site bicycle racks.

Any questions?

The features mentioned above are not an exhaustive list of what you get in an SOC serviced office suite – not even close, in fact, which is another reason why we believe we provide some of the very best serviced offices in Telford, London and Manchester.

If you have any questions about any of our locations or services, and you can’t find the answer on our website, please contact us directly as your call or email will be very welcome.

Emails can be sent to and general telephone enquiries can be made on 0800 319 6600 no matter which of our serviced office locations you want to ask about.

Connectivity keeps serviced offices healthy

It’s good to stay connected, and recent research shows that many of the features of our serviced offices in Telford, Manchester and London match those of a healthier workplace with healthier employees.

A study in the March 2022 issue of Building and Environment looked at different office layouts, such as private offices, shared offices and open-plan offices.

The researchers measured features like ‘connectivity’ – the availability of lots of different ways to move around the workplace – and compared these with the amount of time employees spent in a sedentary position.

In their conclusions, they wrote: “Participation in work-related physical activity was positively associated with local and overall connectivity in open-plan offices.”

“There was also a positive association between participation in work-related physical activity and local connectivity in shared offices,” they added.

What is office connectivity?

In this sense, connectivity is not about internet access or telecoms – it’s about how easily workers can move around the space:

  • Local connectivity is the number of routes between parts of the office, good access to hallways and kitchen facilities.
  • Overall connectivity is the number of routes to reach meeting rooms, toilets and the main entrance into the building.

Serviced offices cater for connectivity well, with open-plan areas that can be configured to suit your needs, and plenty of on-site facilities that enable employees to take healthy breaks without harming productivity.

With meeting rooms for hire on-premises too, your serviced offices have even more versatility when you need a little more space, and somewhere more formal than a comfy and casual breakout room.

How does connectivity help?

Connectivity is what makes offices usable and comfortable, without a feeling of claustrophobia for employees once they are seated at their workstation.

Modern open-plan serviced offices are more connected than ever – our Millharbour Court Business Centre in Canary Wharf is a prime example, with offices containing up to 22 desks, cosy breakout spaces with coffeemaking facilities, meeting rooms for hire and bright, airy co-working space.

Meanwhile our St James House serviced offices in Telford are our biggest premises yet, spanning over 50,000 square feet in the leafy surroundings of Central Park.

All of this means when employees need a break from their desk, they have options, without leaving the building – bringing them back faster, feeling more refreshed, and in better long-term physical health.

Find out more

To find out more about any of our serviced offices in Telford, London and Manchester, take a look at our Locations page, where you can see a full list of facilities along with photos, videos and virtual tours.

If you’d like to see any of our premises in person, just click Book a Tour and fill in our enquiry form to let us know which location you’re interested in – we’re proud of all of our serviced offices, meeting rooms, co-working spaces and hot-desking facilities, and we love to show them off!

For any other enquiries or general questions, just fill in our form, call us on 0207 510 9400 (or 0161 457 2000 to call direct to our Manchester serviced offices) or email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Office aesthetics attract top talent

A good-looking office is more than just a pretty place, and can have a material impact on your ability to attract and retain top talent, according to a new study.

The research, published in the March 2022 edition of Employee Relations, proposes that “workplace aesthetics acts as a driver for job choice when included with an employment offer”.

In essence, this means that if your company is based in a visually appealing building, candidates are more likely to accept a job offer.

While aesthetics has long been associated with employee satisfaction, the researchers say their study is the first to look at office aesthetics “as a component of job-offer choice”.

What they studied

The research compared a total of six different factors influencing candidates’ decision to accept or reject a job offer, including three aesthetics and three non-aesthetics.

After examining these, the researchers estimated their significance in the candidate’s overall decision, and found that aesthetics had a measurable impact on the outcome.

“The results indicate that aesthetic attributes in the workplace can be equally important in the decision-making process as non-aesthetic attributes and that aesthetic attributes deliver as much utility as non-aesthetic attributes in driving job choice,” they write.

For human resources managers, the study suggests emphasising office aesthetics in job offers not only for employees who work full-time on-site, but also for those whose role includes some time working remotely.

What makes good office aesthetics?

While aesthetics is subjective, many of the core features of our serviced offices in London, Manchester and Telford have been designed with aesthetics in mind.

This includes bright, open spaces with plenty of natural light and outdoor views, as well as ergonomically designed office furniture by well-known designer brands.

Light and colour deliver plenty of visual impact, without creating a distraction from the work itself, and our meeting rooms for hire on-site are equally bright and airy.

Combined with comfortably furnished breakout spaces and contemporary hot-desking facilities, this all adds up to a workplace where the top talent can feel happy over the long term.

Want to take a look?

We’re proud of all of our serviced offices in London, Telford and Manchester, including our newest locations, Millharbour Court Business Centre in Canary Wharf and St James House serviced offices in Telford.

You can find more information about each of our premises on our website, with plenty of photos and virtual tours to help you decide where to locate your business, and you can add your own colour scheme when you move in if you wish.

We’ve even added 360-degree views of our interiors to Google Maps, so your job applicants can see the bright and spacious offices they will be working from when deciding to accept your offer.

If you would like to arrange an in-person tour of any of our facilities, or you want to ask us anything about our serviced offices and meeting rooms in Manchester, Telford and London, please fill in our contact form, email or call us on 0207 510 9400 – all enquiries are very welcome.

London Offices See Strongest Q1 on Record

Investment in Central London offices saw its strongest first quarter on record in Q1 2022, according to figures from CBRE’s Central London Office MarketView report.

An additional £5.5 billion of investment was announced in the three-month period, the most ever recorded in the first quarter of a new calendar year, with several transactions valued in excess of £700 million each.

In terms of take-up, this stood at 2.6 million square feet, a decline from the previous quarter but broadly in line with Q1 averages from previous years in the past decade. The long-term average for all quarters of the year is just a little higher at 3.0 million.

This Q1 2022 take-up figure represents an important return to normality as ten-year averages reassert themselves, and a massive 89% increase from the pandemic-affected Q1 2021.

Small occupiers drive Q1 demand

Much of the growth in demand was driven by some of the smallest occupiers: CBRE found 1.7 million square feet of office space was accounted for by contracts under 20,000 square feet, with 351 transactions of this type on record.

That’s a 34% increase over any previous quarter since the outbreak of COVID-19 and a major factor in driving the market, as larger deals were scarce – only three contracts were signed for office space of 50,000 square feet or more.

With vacancy rates holding steady at around 9%, the London office market is looking relatively stable despite two years of turbulence, and may even be benefiting at present from the release of pent-up demand as more employees return to the workplace.

Availability in the pipeline

Total availability of Central London office space at the end of Q1 2022 stood at a relatively high 26.0 million square feet, compared with the ten-year average of 15.7 million square feet.

However, much of this is not yet occupiable, as the figure includes 4.5 million square feet of office space being marketed early, with completion expected in the next 12 months – that’s a 44% increase compared with previous quarters.

Overall, supply increased by 5% across the Central London office market as a whole, but vacancy rates in second-hand London office space have fallen considerably, down by 8% from 19.6 million square feet available in Q1 2021.

Finding offices in Central London

The CBRE report spans several areas of Central London, including the West End, Midtown, Southbank and the City, as well as the London Docklands.

Serviced Office Company’s own serviced offices in London can be found on the Docklands, including our premises at Davenport House and Millharbour Court, both within easy reach of Canary Wharf and public transport links including the DLR.

We provide flexible serviced offices, along with on-demand meeting rooms in London’s thriving business district, and a mix of virtual offices and London hotdesking facilities.

All enquiries are welcome, from sole operators to new startups, to growing firms and businesses looking to establish a Central London office. Contact us today to find out more about how to set up your new office in London.

Serviced Offices in Manchester Help Drive UK Tech Success

Research by CBRE has ranked Manchester as the number one location outside of London for tech firms, eclipsing the ratings of several other major cities in the north of England.

Manchester was praised for its diverse population, plentiful supply of office space (around 3.5 million square feet in total) and its talented female candidate pool, along with the consistent availability of graduates from universities in Manchester, Salford and Bolton.

The remainder of the top five included Birmingham in 2nd place, Reading in 4th, and the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in 3rd and 5th respectively.

Meanwhile, Leeds took 8th place, with Sheffield in 10th and Liverpool languishing outside the top ten in 12th.

Why Manchester?

The report said: “Manchester has once again shown its strength as a leading tech location, maintaining the number one spot as the leading tech city in the UK outside of London.

“An ability to tap into a highly skilled graduate population has been a key driver for many multinational software and data companies in their decision to locate in Manchester.”

Following a period of strong growth in 2015-19, the report added that ICT jobs in most cities will see minimal growth in the coming years – but not in Manchester.

Because of the city’s existing tech presence, it is expected to see a further 6.4% growth in ICT jobs by 2025, second only to Birmingham’s forecasted 7.65%.

The importance of offices

It’s not just the total office space that matters – the widespread availability of serviced offices in Manchester has specific appeal for companies looking to establish HQ or a regional hub in the north-west.

CBRE said: “Accelerated by the pandemic, many large tech companies are exploring the option of a ‘hub and hub’ strategy for UK operations … as opposed to a ‘hub and spoke’ model in which smaller satellite locations feed into one centralised hub, typically in London.”

The report cited CBRE’s EMEA Occupier Survey, which found that 54% of respondents believed flexible office space solutions (e.g. serviced offices, tech incubators and hotdesking) will be the most in-demand office building amenity for the future.

Flexible office space in Manchester

Again, the city scores highly when it comes to the availability of flexible office space, with a large and thriving market for incubators and accelerators, hotdesking and serviced offices in Manchester.

CBRE scored the city ‘High’ for demand on its Flex Scoring Matrix, again comparing with ‘Medium’ demand in Leeds, ‘Medium/Low’ demand in Liverpool and ‘Low’ demand in Sheffield.

While demand is high for flexible and serviced offices in Manchester, the market is mature and availability is good, compared with other northern cities that are still racing to catch up.

Find out more

To find out more about Serviced Office Company’s Manchester serviced offices, meeting rooms and hotdesking facilities, contact us today.

With serviced offices in Telford and London also available, we can help you establish regional hubs in the north-west, West Midlands and in the capital, with flexible office space to accommodate your current and future needs as you grow.

Hotdesking and virtual offices could halve business energy bills

British businesses could save as much as 50% on their energy consumption by adopting techniques like hotdesking, remote working and virtual offices in London.

Research published in the May 2022 edition of the journal Energy Research & Social Science shows how hybrid working models that combine remote and office-based working have emerged since the COVID-19 lockdowns came to an end.

While this has made office occupancy levels less predictable, it has also made them more dynamic, giving agile businesses an opportunity to benefit from the increased flexibility of the post-pandemic workforce.

In the paper, the team from Loughborough University write: “It is widely known that we are currently experiencing a highly transient period in terms of how we define work.

“Office work is progressively becoming more collaborative, modern workforce more mobile, and office occupancy more dynamic.”

Energy use in offices in London

The researchers look particularly at the carbon footprint of offices in London. With 300 million square feet of office floor space, the capital emits about three million tonnes of CO2 from its office buildings each year.

Offices rank in the UK’s top five building types for energy consumption, taking about 27.6 GWh each year from the country’s electricity supplies and representing two thirds of all non-domestic electricity use, they claim.

This consumption has increased in recent years, as office buildings are utilised more, for longer hours, and use more powered technologies like ICT equipment and air conditioning.

Open-plan offices can create particular problems if, for example, nobody takes responsibility for turning out the lights – and as much as 56% of office power is consumed outside of working hours.

Energy efficient offices in London

Setting aside the potential energy savings that could be achieved by turning equipment off overnight, the researchers look at how hybrid working could save energy and reduce CO2 emissions.

For example, if the global workforce were, on average, to work from home one day a week, they suggest this could lead to:

  • – 1% less oil consumed globally each year
  • – 24 million tonnes less CO2 output each year

This is despite the increase in domestic energy use due to people being at home in working hours, which would be more than offset by the lower consumption and emissions in workplaces.

Making London offices more energy efficient

Improving the energy efficiency of London offices doesn’t just mean moving workers to a home-based or hybrid model. The researchers also suggest using booking technology to “support hybrid working by synchronising the use of space by employees”.

This is already taking place in present-day practices like hotdesking and booking meeting rooms in London office buildings as and when they are needed, which ensures greater utilisation of the space by multiple tenants.

The researchers conclude: “When flexibility is incorporated in the use of workspace and, most importantly, in the operation of building services, significant energy savings can be achieved – close to 50% in comparison to the pre-COVID-19 situation.”

For more information about how the Serviced Office Company can help you find serviced office space in London, or to enquire about our London hotdesking facilities and virtual office service, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.