Flexible, co-working and multi-occupancy office space is becoming an increasingly popular choice for businesses who are looking to facilitate their plans for growth.
According to international real estate advisor Savills, serviced office take-up across the UK increased by 176 per cent in2017, rising from 386,750 sq ft to 1.07 million sq ft compared to the same period last year.
And for companies such as Tees Valley’s Communicate Technology PLC, it opens up opportunities to establish its name nationally.
The company is rapidly establishing a reputation as a specialist technology provider and has built up an impressive national portfolio of clients in multi-occupancy commercial premises, including business and science parks.
When it comes to business growth, location, flexibility and broadband speed are three of the key factors that will influence where a company chooses to make its base.
In terms of location, it goes without saying that you want to be situated in the right environment, reflective of the sector you’re in and your business needs and ambitions, where travel links make it easy to access existing and new markets.
Flexibility is also a major consideration, especially for those companies who are growing and need easy in, easy out space. The last thing you want is to be stuck in an office which is too small to accommodate your expansion because you’re tied into a long-term lease.
Arguably, the most important factor when considering a workspace is the broadband speed available. In today’s ever increasing digital world – where almost every aspect of business is done online – having access to super-fast, fibre broadband can often be the deal breaker when it comes to where a business may choose to locate.
And this is where Wynyard Business Park-based Communicate Technology PLC can help.
The company works in partnership with agents and landlords to design a package for businesses that makes their journey into multi-occupancy offices simpler and smoother.
Tony Snaith, CEO at Communicate, believes it’s no coincidence that the growth of the business comes at a time when the commercial property sector is thriving.
“The commercial property sector is particularly buoyant right now, with serviced offices becoming an increasingly popular choice for businesses looking at the next phase of their growth,” he says.
“The benefit for the end user is that everything is taken care of. You don’t have the headache of sourcing things like telephone lines and broadband access, which means your move can be instant.
“Our clients know that by working with us, they’re sourcing a reputable provider who can come in, prepare the office space for occupancy and be in and out quickly and with minimal disruption. This not only strengthens their offering to tenants but makes the tenants lives easier once they do make the move as the office is fully functional from the outset.”
Communicate’s growth has been significant, and the company recently signed a partnership agreement with Property Initiatives, (which manages more than three million sq ft of prime commercial space) doubling their connected network to six million sq ft.
As part of the Property Initiatives contract, 250,000 sq ft across five London sites are now connected to the Communicate UK wide network, with a roll-out of an additional five sites in London and the Home Counties per month over the next year.
Communicate’s portfolio of clients includes more than 500 long-term contracts with companies and over £3 million worth of hardware in its core network. This makes it perfectly placed to provide on-demand internet and telecoms access.
The company, which was launched six years ago, has developed a unique business model that is based around the relationships it forges with property owners. This enables it to invest in technology infrastructure for any given building and pass on the benefits to tenants.
The approach taken is to work with the owner to install high speed internet access to the building, which is there for clients to connect to immediately. Engineers also install a fibre optic and structure cabling network within the building, ensuring great connectivity.
In addition to the internet connectivity and telecoms services, Communicate also offers technical support, the latest hardware and software, cloud services, cyber security services, web design and print services.
The expansion of the Communicate portfolio – which has also seen the recent acquisitions of telecoms company, Touchdown Offices, and cyber security company, Landscape Networks – has led to the strengthening of the senior management team.
Recent appointments include, John Toal as sales director, Oliver Stell as business development manager and Emily Bentley as marketing and business development manager.
Tony comments: “With the partnership with Property Initiatives, the acquisitions, investment in the latest technology and the expansion of our senior management team, we believe we are ideally positioned to branch out into new markets and establish the Communicate brand to a national and very influential audience.”
The last year also saw Communicate rank 228th in the Financial Times list of fastest growing companies in Europe and the Telegraph Business Club featured the fast-growing company in an online film.
Communicate PLC case study: with Discovery Park
Discovery Park is a vast complex of high quality office space created on the site of the former Pfizer facility in Kent. Extending across multiple buildings, Discovery Park is aimed at high quality start-ups and established mid-sized enterprises.
To enable the park’s management team in offer tenants a technology portfolio to meet all of their business needs, Communicate initially installed dedicated high-speed internet access to the core of the site that would support the first phase of development and allow for the capacity to double as more clients were attracted to the site.
The second phase of the project was to establish a Communicate demonstration and support centre in the heart of the main building, where all of the company’s capabilities are on show. New clients use the facility to discuss and design the best technology for their business and current clients gain access to qualified technical staff to solve problems quickly.
Max Hunter from Discovery Park reflects: “Discovery Park has been a tremendous success with over 130 clients moving in over the last three years and many more lined up.
“Communicate has worked with each to assist with their move to site and deliver one or more services from their technology portfolio.”
Communicate CEO Tony Snaith adds: “Discovery Park is the perfect example of the projects we are involved with. Our support to the team and the services we’ve provided have without doubt enabled the growth of the park, playing an important role in attracting tenants to the site.
“We’re based in a multi-occupancy development ourselves and know how important it is for the move to be seamless. Tenants don’t want to be moving into offices wondering how long it will be before their internet is fully functional or their telephone lines are working. Business is here and now and our services reflect that.
“There’s no doubt the commercial property sector is growing. The market is thriving and in turn, that’s helping Communicate broaden its market reach, regionally and nationally.”