October 13, 2015
New research from the UK solicitors network QualitySolicitors claims that demand for flexible coworking space is set to soar, with 71 percent of SMEs predicting this to be a priority for them in the short and medium term. According to the study of 250 small business decision makers, over two fifths (42 percent) believe that having a flexible and adaptable space where they can grow is ‘more important’, almost a fifth (18 percent) say it’s important to be able to interact and collaborate on ideas with other businesses in their premises and a further 39 percent are looking for a workspace with networking opportunities. It’s not just the space that needs to be flexible however; over half (54 percent) claim they want flexible, short term lets when negotiating their lease and 53 percent would demand a break clause to prevent them from being tied down if the space is no longer practical for their business.
The study also indicates SME growth could be hindered as a result of the complex conveyancing process. Almost half (47 percent) admit they have been put-off or stopped looking for a new premises as a result of the cost and time associated with moving premises, with 30 percent pinpointing the process of finding the right kind of space and location as being the most challenging aspect for them.
Michael Sandys, commercial property conveyancing expert at QualitySolicitors comments: “It’s clear from this research that the traditional, one size-fits-all approach to commercial property conveyancing is no longer valid. SMEs now want a different kind of workspace, which offers flexible space and networking opportunities to boost efficiencies and maximise the space. They don’t want to be tied down, so we’re seeing more and more businesses demanding shorter, less restrictive leases to give them the freedom to move around if they need to.”
According to the report, the top five things SMEs look for when negotiating a lease are:
- Repair works covered by landlord
- Right to renew the lease when it comes to an end
- Cost of shared services and facilities
- Flexible, short term let
- Break clause