What is the difference between a lease and a licence?

Did you know that the average person is at work for 30% of their lifetime? The environment we work in affects how we feel, how productive we are and how we engage with colleagues. For business owners, the space their staff work in is also key to success. This means that having the right knowledge to call on when choosing office space is essential.One thing to get to grips with is the difference between a lease and a licence. Finding out more about this will help you make the right choice for your business. But how does each differ from the other?

Licensing and leases – what do they mean?

One way to hire office space is to enter into a licence agreement. This enables your business to use the space for a certain amount of time (this could be from 1 month to 1 year). Licence agreements are usually shorter-term and flexible, which is a bonus for many companies. Licences are also quick to set-up, so you can move into the space faster. You will normally find licence agreements applied in serviced offices or when you rent desks in someone else’s space.A lease on the other hand sees you signing up for a set term with exclusive use for your business. Lease agreements are tough to get out of once entered into which must be considered before agreeing to one. Many companies will ask for a break clause to get around this.

How do they differ?

As the above shows, leases and licences work in different ways. But what are the key differences to consider?

– licences are more flexible with short notice terms, leases are more rigid
– licences are good short-term options, leases are a better long term choice
– leases need specialist legal advice to sign, licences do not
– licences usually come as an all-inclusive deal, leases can incur significant extra costs (i.e. setting up)
– licences give you great co-working/collaboration opportunities, leases are usually exclusive to one business
– licences can be quicker to move into (2 or 3 weeks) while leases can take longer (up to 12 months)
– leases allow tenants to customise the space, licences do not normally agree to this

Leases and licences – choose the right one for your business

It really is key to select the right option when finding any new office space. As shown above, the major differences between leases and licences are timescale, cost and flexibility. In short, licences can be better for businesses who need to move fast, want transparent costs and may only be there for a little while. Leases on the other hand are ideal if you plan to stay there for the long term, are in no rush to relocate, value being able to customise the space and also desire exclusive occupation.

How much office space do I need?

When it comes to office space, the simple fact is that lots of businesses calculate how much they need incorrectly. This can then have a major impact on company finances as you will be paying higher costs for more space than you use. Of course, you may also hire office space which is too small and therefore not fit for purpose. The good news is that this can be avoided by taking some time to work out exactly how much space you might need in advance.

How much space should you go for per employee?

While working out how much space your need in an office is more of an art than a science, there are handy ways to do it. For most companies, the best and simplest is to work out how much space you require per employee.A commonly accepted figure in major cities such as London is 100 square foot per staff member. If this proves too costly for you, then you could think about reducing this to 70 or 80 square foot per person. This will also need you to use the space more efficiently though, so everyone fits in comfortably.

What should you set aside for other key amenities?

It is also worth drilling down into what you might need for other specific areas in your office. This will ensure you can include them in your calculations and have the space needed to house them. A smaller meeting room for example might need an extra 100 square feet while a larger one might need 150 square feet.Training spaces are vital for staff development and ensuring your employees stay up to date with the latest guidelines. This type of facility can easily need 300 square feet and must be included in any calculations. If you plan to have individual offices for managers as well, make sure to include enough space for these (1 office may need 100 square feet).

What else should you consider?

It is not just the amount of space you should think about – there are other factors to take into consideration as well. The shape of any office is key for example as is the overall design. There is no point renting a large open-plan space if you will not be working in this way. You should also think about how your needs as a business may change in terms of space over time. If you think you may grow and hire more staff soon, then this should be factored into your calculations.

Work out how much office space you need first

It really is key to take your time and ensure you end up with a suitable amount of office space for your team. Of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should also come into your thinking at the moment. With more people home working now, you might find you need less space than before.

How long does it take to relocate offices?

There is no doubt that deciding to move offices is a major step for any business. If you need more space, more facilities or to downsize though, it is worth doing. It is important to know how long this process may take before you begin hunting for your next office space. This allows you to make the move as unobtrusive to your business as possible.Properly planning the move with a schedule to follow will certainly help make any office relocation more efficient. But exactly how long does relocating offices take?

3 components determine the timescale

In simple terms, there are 3 major factors which will determine how long the relocation may take. They are:

– whether you move to a leased, managed or serviced office
– how big your team is
– how much time you can spend searching for new officesWhile this gives a good idea of what factors affect the timescale, it is worth drilling down into them a little deeper.

Type of office

The first major factor to think about is the type of office you will relocate too. This can often be THE main element in determining how long the process takes. Serviced offices are a much quicker option for example because everything is ready for you to move into with no hassle. This can often see you relocating within days to this type of space.

But what about the other types of office? Managed offices can take a bit longer to move too. This is because they are a customised option. As a general guide, relocating to this sort of office could take a month or so.

Leased offices are different again! As a lease is a complex legal agreement, relocating here could take up to 8 weeks. This sort of office will also see you responsible for furnishing the space and sorting out things like utilities and internet. In light of this, it is critical to plan a move to a leased office well in advance.

How big is your team?

One good rule of thumb is that bigger businesses take longer than smaller ones to relocate. This is down to there being more staff to move and also the search for suitable premises taking longer. A smaller business going into a serviced office for example may take a day or two, while a large company moving to a serviced office may take a week or so

How much time do you have to search?

How long relocation takes also comes down to how much time you have to find the new office. If you can devote yourself to it and find a new space quickly, then the whole process will naturally be faster. If, for example, you spend a day finding a new managed space for your small business, then you could move in over the next week. If you spend 2 or 3 weeks looking for the same space though, you might find it takes almost a month to relocate.

Moving office takes planning

As the above shows, relocating offices takes careful planning. Getting a rough idea of the timeline is wise so you have a schedule to work to. Making sure that any relocation time is as short as possible will also see less disruption caused to your business.

Finding the Ideal Office Type for Your Company

Getting the best out of your business isn’t just about the hours you put in, the money you spend on advertising, or even the team you have supporting you. It’s also about the office you work from.All too often, business owners believe that an office is little more than a basic workspace. In fact, thinking about the type of office that would best suit your firm is crucial for success. Here, we check out three different office types and give you the insights you need to make a well-informed decision when it comes to choosing the most appropriate workspace.

Leased Offices – perfect for established businesses

If you’re running an established business then this means that you can easily make a long-term commitment to an office space. You’ll be looking for stability and will be able to sign up to a contract of a few years duration. A leased office is the best way forward.

Serviced Offices – ideal for new businesses

At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re a start-up or a scale-up, you’re going to need the type of office that caters for the dynamic situation that lies ahead of you. Committing yourself to the same space for the next few years is not what you want as the size of your team and the way you all work will change fast. A serviced office is by far the top choice here.

Managed Offices – a middle ground

If you’re a business sitting somewhere in the middle, perhaps a scale-up now moving into a more stable period, or an SME that is well established but still wanting to remain agile and flexible, then a managed office is an excellent middle ground. You’re not locked into a long-term contract, but at the same time, you do get stability and scope to express the character of your brand in the workspace.

So now we’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time for you to figure out your business needs. Think about where your brand is right now and what you’re working towards, then choose the office type to help you get there.

Stratford Area Guide

Stratford in three words

Modern, connected, convenient.

The benefits of working in Stratford

Twenty years ago, Stratford was home to factories, old industrial sites and residential enclaves. The whole area showed the legacy of the Docklands shipping trade, which has slowly declined since the 1960s. However, when the UK won the bid for the 2012 Olympics, the area’s regeneration sped up at an incredible rate. There have been some extraordinary developments including high rise luxury accommodation, hotels and lots of business premises. Following the success of the games, it has become one of the most desirable business districts in London. Many of the Olympic venues have been retained as sporting locations and the Athletes Village has become a huge residential site.

The well-connected train station connects via several different London Underground lines to the rest of London. You can reach the city and financial districts in five minutes, or take a short trip on the Docklands Light Railway to reach Canary Wharf. Stratford International can even take you into Europe, with regular Eurostar trains travelling through.

Of course, one thing more than any other has made Stratford a hugely popular London location for businesses. Stratford Westfield covers nearly 2 million square feet, and is the fourth largest shopping centre in the UK. It’s so big it merited the creation of a brand new postcode district when it opened, just prior to the Olympic Games in 2011. There is all manner of fashion, homeware, jewellery and gift shops – and even an Ikea pick up point, so you can pick up your flat pack furniture in a hurry!

The best places to eat in Stratford

There are plenty of cheap and convenient places to eat in the Westfield Centre – with popular chains like Las Iguanas, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and TGI Fridays. However, the area is also home to some more interesting and unusual eateries.

Barge East

Situated to the west of the Olympic Park area, Barge East is a 100-tonne barge that offers a fantastic seasonal menu. Check out their amazing Sunday roast, made with lots of vegetables freshly picked from their nearby raised vegetable beds.

Fish House

More than just a chippie, Fish House offers a great choice of fish and seafood dishes, you can eat in or enjoy a takeaway. As well as impressive portion sizes, the restaurant also gets rave reviews for its friendly service and beautiful decor.

The best places to go for a drink in Stratford


Right in the heart of the East Village, this lovely restaurant and bar has a great selection of food, but an even more impressive choice of wines and cocktails. With the alfresco option of enjoying their outside seating area, it is popular with patrons all year round.

The Bat and Ball

A popular choice for work parties and events, this is more than just a drinking hole. Things are sure to get competitive, as you rally around the ping pong tables whilst enjoying a pint or two. Book ahead for big parties!


Why South Kensington could be the ideal location for your new office

Nothing says ‘you’ve made it’ quite like strolling the streets of slick South Kensington, coffee cup in hand. Kensington is very much the popular kid of the London Boroughs – if you own a business there, you’ve earned your place by being the best and outshining the rest. While this rich area of London needs no introduction in terms of coolness and class, perhaps lesser-known gems are worth knowing, too. Here’s our quick guide on why South Kensington, London is a great place to work.

What’s it like to work in South Kensington, London?

Down the quieter, white townhouse-lined streets of South Kensington, it’s sometimes easy to forget you’re in London. It’s still busy, of course, but the people seem calmer and more self-assured. Although most of South Kensington’s inhabitants are workhorses, you do see families with young children from time to time, along with plenty of tourists. The atmosphere is a steady cyclone of work and play, which makes this hotspot an almost inspiring place to work (and play). There’s a wealth of things to see and do in your downtime too, including the effortlessly gorgeous Victoria & Albert Museum.

Where is the nearest…? in South Kensington

Is there a tube station in South Kensington?

To get to South Kensington Underground Station, you can hop on the Circle, District or Piccadilly lines. Most journeys take over 30 minutes when you travel within London, which is less of a chore given stations like South Kensington have WiFi and a place or two to grab a coffee.

Is there a bank in South Kensington?

Most banks are located bang in the centre, including NatWest, Barclay’s, Lloyds Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC. Mobile banking aside, they’re useful in case you are looking to open a business account or you need to pop in-store for any reason.

Is there a gym in South Kensington?

If you want to pump the adrenaline after a hard day in the office, there are several gyms nearby, including PUREGYM, Fitness First, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, David Lloyd.

Best lunch spots in South Kensington

In the summer months, one of the perks of working in South Kensington is the amount of open space you can dine al-fresco in, such as Kensington Gardens. When the leaves turn golden and the weather cools off, you might favour one of these popular establishments instead:

The best coffee shops

For a bountiful brunch, treat employees to GAIL’s bakery on Thurloe Street.

For a quick solo fix, pop into illy Caffè on Old Brompton Road.

For something special, tempt clients with afternoon tea at Royal Albert Hall.

The best restaurants

For delicious Italian food with your plus one, head to Rocca on Old Brompton Road.

For a celebratory feast with your new clients, try the steak at Hawksmoor on Yeoman’s Row.

Picturing South Kensington as the ideal location for your next office? Speak to Hubble HQ and discover what else this suave, seductive, and savvy business district in London can do for you.

Mayfair area guide

Mayfair has always been the epitome of wealth in London. Easily one of the most prestigious areas in Europe, it comes with centuries worth of history and oozes sophistication. The decline of the British aristocracy has led to many former upper-class houses becoming available for businesses. This real estate is some of the most expensive in the world, as reflected in its desirable status within the game of Monopoly. This begs the question, why is it so expensive and why are so many people wanting to work here?


The development of Mayfair accelerated during the Georgian era of the 18th century, something which is displayed in the design and layout of the buildings. The return to Classicism, heavily inspired by the romantics in Italy during the Greek and Roman Empires, adorns the streets. The buildings are dotted with beautiful ornamentations, reminding us of the skilled hands and attention to detail possessed by the artisans of an era gone by.


Located close to Oxford Street, the shopping hub of the UK, makes working in Mayfair a browser’s dream location. Any big name brand one can think of is within walking distance of the area as well as large department stores such as Selfridges. Mayfair itself also contains many independent and boutique brands, including wineries and bespoke clothing stores.


Mayfair is perfectly poised for some of the best lunchtime walks in the entire city. To the west, you have Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens with the picturesque Serpentine Lake. To the south resides the seat of government in Westminster as well as Buckingham Palace. In the east is Covent Garden, perhaps one of the best places to hold a client meeting with a multitude of restaurants and cafés. Finally, to the north is Regent’s Park, which is by far one of the most regal and well-maintained parks in the world.

Due to its central location, there is a plethora of tube and bus stops dotted around Mayfair. There are four tube stops in the area: Piccadilly Circus which is on the Bakerloo and Piccadilly line; Bond Street on the Central and Jubilee line; Green Park on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria Line; and finally, Marble Arch which is on the Central Line. This gives direct access to Heathrow airport as well as links to the DLR for London City airport. London St Pancras, King’s Cross and Liverpool Street are also a stone’s throw away and easily accessible via the tube or even by foot.


Of the 67 Michelin-star restaurants in London, Mayfair boasts a whopping 16 of them. Considering how small Mayfair is compared to the rest of London, this is an extremely impressive feat. Because of this, many high-quality restaurants can be found in this notoriously foodie part of the country. You will not be spoilt for choice for any work-related lunchtime meetings you may have and you can be sure that your clients or business partners will be very impressed.


Finally, Mayfair is known the world over for a reason. The images that are conjured up by the very mention of its name are that of grandeur and style. Celebrities such as the Rothschild family have lived here and Theodore Roosevelt, the former U.S. president, even chose it as the location to host his wedding. For this reason, and the former mentioned here, Mayfair is one of the most desirable and impressive places to work, not just in London, but also in the world.


King’s Cross Area Guide

King’s Cross has come a long way in recent years. Regenerated from an area without much except a train station, it is now a destination in its own right. Are you looking to have an office space in King’s Cross? Read on to find out more about this thriving area and why it is such an excellent choice.

What it’s like to work in King’s Cross

Truly central, King’s Cross is a thriving hub. You may encounter more than your fair share of tourists, but walk a little further and you can see the artsy, offbeat heart of the area.

The benefits of working there

King’s Cross is incredibly well connected. Whether you are travelling from further afield or based in London itself, you can, of course, get there by the Underground, but St Pancras train station connects you to all over the country. You’re just a stone’s throw from Euston, and can even get to Paris for a quick weekend getaway right from work. This also means it’s easy to go further afield on your lunch breaks, should you want to. But there is so much to see and do in King’s Cross itself, you may not want to!

The best places to eat and drink

Make sure to check out the newly improved Coal Drops Yard, a hot spot with something for everyone right on the canal. Nestled between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, it is uniquely located with a range of delicious eateries.

If you are looking for a different sort of vibe for after-work drinks, The Driver is an excellent gastropub with a roof terrace perfect for summer socials. However, if you want to hang out somewhere more homey come the winter, King Charles I is a classic pub, complete with a roaring fire and range of rare ales to wet your whistle while you chat to your colleagues.


There is a huge amount of culture located right in the heart of King’s Cross. Visit the British Library for a relaxing browse or to view an exhibition. Or visit the fascinating London Canal Museum with your team. You can soak up some atmosphere while working in one of the coolest places in town – there is even thriving nightlife with spots like the Scala right on your doorstep. Whether you are looking for laid back burritos or something a little more upscale, it’s a fun spot for team lunches.

Offices in Kings Cross

Have you got your heart set on working in King’s Cross? There are plenty of offices and workspaces here. Workspott @ King’s Cross offers a busy and beautiful co-working space with coffee shops and a welcoming atmosphere.

The eye-catching Gridiron Building has 396 cast iron pillars in honour of King’s Cross’ Victorian history. With two floors of beautiful, bright workspace, it boasts 24/7 access and even a swimming pool and gym. This inspiringly beautiful building could be the perfect choice for any modern small company looking for a space to call their own. You can expect to feel inspired every time you come to work!

Hoxton & Shoreditch Area Guide

Hoxton & Shoreditch in three words

Lively, vibrant, modern.

The benefits of working in the Hoxton & Shoreditch area

The vibrant heart of London’s East End, Shoreditch and Hoxton have transformed from bustling hubs of markets and street trading into the hottest business locations for companies establishing a base in London.

The area is famed for its links to the creative industry and you’ll find every kind of business based here, from PR to publishing houses, freelance photographers to dance studios. However, it’s not just an area for creative types. Shoreditch is just a stone’s throw away from Moorgate, Bishopsgate and the City of London. Over the last ten years or so, we’ve seen a significant overspill as banks, insurance companies and other financial businesses have enjoyed the cheaper real estate costs in this up and coming area.

Probably the biggest change to impact the area has been the Old Street roundabout gentrification, which has seen the area become a bustling hub for the tech industry. Nicknamed Silicon Roundabout, this once down-at-heel area now rivals the City or Canary Wharf as a venue for establishing a high-end business hoping to attract prestigious clients.

Of course, there are other benefits too. As you are in such a central area of London, it will come as no surprise that there is a range of amazing places to eat and drink right on your doorstep. Additionally, the area is served by national rail services to Liverpool Street and it’s just a five-minute journey on the London Underground to the international train station at Stratford.

The best places to grab a bite to eat in Hoxton and Shoreditch


One of the most striking things about Tramshed is its incredible architecture. The high ceilings and industrial vibe reflect the fact that this the building was, perhaps unsurprisingly, originally built as an electricity generation station for trams. However, you can’t visit Tramshed, or even pass by, without spotting the incredible art installation. A Damien Hurst original, the cow and chicken suspended in formaldehyde give a clue as to the restaurant’s specialities – steak and fried chicken.


Hoxton and Shoreditch have a huge number of vegan and ethically-focused eateries. One of our favourites is Cub, which offers high-end dining with amazing options for vegans and carnivores alike. There are great drinks and great music too – what’s not to love?

The best places for an after-work drink in Hoxton and Shoreditch

Queen of Hoxton

Set over three floors, there are bars on each level as well as a great dance floor. You’ll also find art installations and seasonal specials on the iconic rooftop bar. Whether it’s pulled pork fresh from the summer barbeques, or hot drinks and fairy lights in their Christmas yurt, a night out at the Queen of Hoxton will always be one to remember.


An underground, speakeasy-style cocktail bar, Nightjar has a cool jazz and blues vibe. You can take in live music whilst sipping classic cocktails made with the finest rare spirits. Just round the corner from Old Street, it’s the perfect place for an after-work drink.

Covent Garden area guide

Why Covent Garden is a great place to work

Covent Garden in London is home to world-class shops and restaurants and boasts a variety of office spaces.

From 10,000sq foot open-plan offices through to boutique spaces, there is space for all types of business.

The benefits of working in Covent Garden

If you have a lot of international clients, Covent Garden is the ideal location for your business. Based in one of the most prestigious areas in London, it benefits from excellent transport links. It is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in London including the Henrietta Hotel and the iconic Savoy.

For some well-deserved downtime, there are numerous bars and restaurants including the internationally renowned Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Neal’s Yard, which has a host of trendy bohemian shops and cafes.

Covent Garden boasts a number of iconic landmarks. The Mall frames views of Buckingham Palace whilst The National Gallery showcases work from some of the world’s most renowned artists.

Places to entertain clients in Covent Garden

Covent Garden is bursting with places to entertain your business clients. It sits in the heart of London’s West End and is a hub for the arts and culture.

The Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is home to the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet. With buildings dating back to 1858, it is also architecturally spectacular. The Royal Opera House has a calendar of regular events, although these often sell out quickly. Enjoy opera and ballet, as well as dances and theatre shows.

Covent Garden Market

The market at Covent Garden is one of London’s most recognisable attractions. It dates back to the 17th century and offers an abundance of food, farmers markets, events and cultural festivals.

Somerset House

Built in 1776, Somerset House is one of the few remaining palaces that used to line the River Thames. Its stately piazza hosts concerts and events such as open-air cinemas. Somerset House is home to some of the most dynamic businesses in the UK with an ambitious cultural programme.

Covent Garden by night

London never sleeps, and Covent Garden comes alive in the evening with a number of prestigious bars, pubs and restaurants. Wine and dine your clients in style in the heart of London.

Drinks and dinner at Rules

Rules is London’s oldest restaurant, serving traditional British dinners. It is an ideal location for entertaining clients, as well as your team. Rules specialise in classic game dishes plus oysters, puddings and pies. After dinner, head up to Upstairs at Rules – the best cocktail bar in London. Plush and comfortable, there is also a stunning winter room, complete with glass ceilings and palms.

Clos Maggiore

Clos Maggiore is the perfect place to wow your clients. With wood-panelled rooms that are styled on beautiful country inns in Tuscany and Provence, it boasts a retractable glass room, atmospheric candlelight and foliage entwined around the ceiling and walls. The food at Clos Maggiore matches its surroundings, with fine French cuisine on offer.