6 Reasons NOT to Rent a Workspace in London

London has many features that attract businesses and that make it a great place to work from, boasting one of the biggest business hubs in the world, providing great access to clients, working in a prestigious location with world-class facilities and transport options, as well as wealthy and diverse talent pool from which to choose. Although there are various indisputable benefits to running a business in London, here are 6 drawbacks to the capital, and 6 solutions to make sure your business is running how it should be.

High Cost of Office Space

Chief among these concerns is the often-debilitating cost of housing your business in the city. The cost of renting an office in London is by some distance higher than anywhere else in the United Kingdom, and one of the highest in the world. With such high fees, and the demand for office space pushing rent prices even higher, businesses are looking at the Greater London area as an alternative to renting a work area in Central London, or pushing them towards serviced or virtual office alternatives.

  • Should the cost of an office prove to be too expensive, there are opportunities outside of London, which still offer a great location, but at a fraction of the cost of a W1 post code.

Pollution

As with most, if not all, of the major cities across the world, London is blighted by pollution, be it by noise or by the poor air quality. Though it varies throughout London, and is certainly not the worst offender among the biggest cities in the world, air quality in London is generally poor. Recent studies have shown that certain toxic gases exceeded EU levels by considerable margins in some areas, and went well over the safety limit in half of the areas tested.

  • Check londonair.org.uk for the latest updates on pollution in your area of work

Traffic

Although London has a solid public transport system, the sheer number of people needing access to the city means that traffic is a major problem on a consistent basis. Small journeys can take a disproportionate amount of time, and many are forced to look at ways to face this issue with alternative means of transport or communication. Little can be done, and what has already been done has done little to improve the situation, and this problem is one which companies need to look at carefully should its needs be effected by London’s congested state.

  • If traffic is a big problem for you, cycling to work is a more than viable option, and more often than not seen as a upgrade to the underground! London has implemented several cycle highways through out London, as well as coffee shops designed specifically for cyclists.

Internet Connection

It has been estimated that poor broadband connection has cost Central London businesses over £37 million in the last year, given its poor reach and slow speeds, as opposed to the Greater London are as a whole. The face that access to a fibre-optics network is lacking adds to the problem, forcing businesses to use landlines for broadband connectivity, thus increasing costs for a line rental that they do not need.

  • The good news is that improvements are in the works, and plans to improve broadband connectivity in Central London should be implemented by 2015.

Fierce Competition 

Being in a competitive environment can be a great stimulant and motivator, but at times, it can make life for businesses incredibly difficult. From trying to grab press attention, to funding, resource and space, the high level of competition means that more energy and time needs to be devoted than in other cities. Add to this the fact that service seems to be that much slower, and time, which is essential for startups and small businesses, becomes even more important to fight for.

  • This competition tends to select the toughest and most driven businesses, and the added motivation can be a great stimulant for growth.

High Wages

The varied and extensive talent pool to choose in London from is a great asset for businesses looking to rent a work space in London, however, it comes at a price. In this case, quite literally. Wages are much higher in London than for the rest of the UK, with the average wage being almost double that of the average wage in the East and the West Midlands.

  • The extra wages are somewhat counterbalanced by the increase in productivity that the wealth of talent on offer can provide to your company, and are mostly justified by the results they can bring, bearing in mind that the competition drives employees to perform better.