Procurement · 19 August 2015

Spare desk in London office could be rented out for same price as a bedroom

A desk in Mayfair could go be rented a cool 800 per month
A desk in Mayfair could go be rented a cool 800 per month
Hubble has compiled a ten-question guide to assess how much a spare desk in your office could be worth which alsoreflects why so many smaller firms based in and around London haveopted foralternative working arrangements.

The questionnaire lists a range of popular areas including Camden, Canary Wharf, Marylebone, Soho, Docklands, Kings Cross, Shoreditch and Victoria, and asks what type of office you have open plan or private, as well as what amenities are on offer.

Options listed include 24-hour access, meeting rooms and kitchen, but also ping pong/chill-out area and pet-friendly. It also asked respondents to tick any extra highlights their office boasted, including rooftop access, transport accessibility and lots of natural light.

A desk in a clustered open place setup in Shoreditch could net 300. Take away all perks and it still came out at around 232. Adesk in a private office in the City, with useful amenities, could rack up around 764 a month. If you had one going spare in Soho, you could pick up an extra 450, while being based in Mayfair takes it up to 800 per month.

As Hubble pointed out, a spare seat in your office could effectively cover the monthly cost of a rented room in London.

On the one hand, looking into offices which offer the odd spare desk could be a useful option for a small business looking for networking opportunities and the more sociable side of co-working. On the other, the ever-rising prices for rent means looking into remote working and being based elsewhere may be a more realistic choice for a financially restricted new firm.

Research by Microsoft looked into the response to the change in legislation giving employees the right to request flexible working one year on, and found a fifth of those working in small and medium-sized enterprises had requested it as a result of the law. While there had been high support among those who had been able to make use of it, many were being restricted by being required to work from the office within designated working hours.

Most small businesses are unlikely to be able to afford space at a Canary Wharf office  but the rise of flexible working has created new options
Most small businesses are unlikely to be able to afford space at a Canary Wharf office but the rise of flexible working has created new options
If you are lucky enough to have secured an office space and are utilising flexible or remote working among your team, renting out any extra desks could be an excellent way to bring in a bit more money and again, build up new connections with businesses or individuals who could be useful to your own work.

Caleb Parker, chief executive of MeetingRooms.com, said: Empty office space is a potential goldmine.

He added that while consumers are embracing the new sharing economy renting out their homes, using their cars to make money there is very little evidence of businesses following suit, although it would be a sensible thing to do. The business case is difficult to reject: the average organisation has a wealth of assets that aren’t utilised to their full capacity.

As micro businesses and freelancers are on the rise, so too is co-working. A report into the rise by DTZ reported that this time in 2014 there were 4.2m home workers in the UK the highest level of home working since comparable records began. The number has grown by 1.3m since 1998 and the home working rate increased higher than any point in the past decade and a half.


 
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Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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