ECONOMY

Renting office space helps limit costs

Companies around the world seek to cut their operational costs. Maintaining private offices is considered one of the main factors adding to operational costs. Thus more and more companies are renting offices from specialized companies. UK-based Regus is one such company, renting office space to 60,000 customers in 400 locations spread over 50 countries. It maintains two office buildings in Athens: one, opened in 1998, is at Maroussi, while the other, at Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, opened in 2000. The two buildings, with a total floor space of 4,500 square meters, are 70 percent full, and host both Greek and foreign firms. Regus does not own the buildings but has taken a long-term lease on them. It provides reception areas, complete with furnishing, conference areas with communications equipment, Internet connections and teleconference setup. It also provides secretarial support, a call center, translation services, security, cleaning and maintenance. Regus’s pricing is per employee and not determined by the size of the offices. According to Dimitris Tziotis, Regus’s commercial manager in Greece, Regus is offering its services both for long-term installations and short-term needs. As an example of the latter, he names two companies which had to move to one of its leased buildings in an emergency, one after Athens’s devastating earthquake of September 7, 1999, and the other following a fire that gutted its offices in 2002. «Today’s business environment is very fluid and needs change very fast. There are countless examples of companies not satisfied with their office setup and looking for solutions. We should not forget, however, that companies pay more for buildings they do not develop themselves. What we offer is flexibility and by offering support in equipment and personnel, we help them reduce their costs at the expense of their rivals. A company may need to grow, but also to shrink, depending on the market’s needs, without paying punitive costs,» he says. Regus plans to expand into Thessaloniki and Cyprus. It is also looking for locations near Attiki Odos.