Whether you run a business which has hundreds of employees, or you’re a new start-up with a small team, your place of work is highly important. When it comes to finding a location for your work team to call home, or even if you are currently relocating offices, what you choose is incredibly important to your business.
Choosing an office space can be very challenging because your decision will have so many repercussions for your business. If you end up going for the wrong location, it could have a detrimental effect on clients and employees. However, the wrong place could also have a negative effect on your mindset.
Not only does it affect your day to day operations and your staff morale. It also has an impact on your brand image.
So before you set out to find a new place of work for your business, consider these crucial steps below.
1. Choose an ideal location
Everyone stresses about ‘location, location, location’ when they are house buying, and it doesn’t change when it comes to workplaces! Depending on the type of business you have, think about things like further recruitment: is it in a location where the talent is? Or will its location be a hindrance to this?
Can clients access it easily? Will people be able to park? If you find an office or warehouse location which ticks these boxes, then you’re well on your way to finding a good location.
If you wanted to think about staff morale – which is becoming increasingly important year after year – there are extras to consider, too. Is it a safe location? Are there places to nip out for coffee and lunch? Is it close to a gym? These things will make your staff much happier.
2. Workplace environment
The office or warehouse space you go into every day for work has a huge effect on how you perceive your day. The environment of the space and the conditions you and the team have to work in can sometimes make or break a business environment.
For example, employees are more comfortable when working at a suitable temperature. Is there enough ventilation in the building? Is there sufficient air conditioning and heating?
There are some businesses though which as well as staff, will hold a lot of stock and products, and these can fall under food, tech and science to name a few. It’s important your new office space caters for your stock and products, and that it offers the right room storage environment to store these.
There are companies out there which can help your business needs with humidity control and dehumidification, like Dehum. This will be mostly beneficial across food & drink, pharmaceutical, nuclear, automotive, aviation, chemical processing, ice prevention/cold storage and car storage businesses.
3. When the price is right
Price is probably the most important factor for most businesses when choosing a new office. By being on a strict budget, you can limit yourself to smaller properties and sometimes, unsafe, far out locations. If you spend too much, you run the risk of struggling to make the payments or being under severe pressure to hit targets each month. Neither of those scenarios is ideal.
The best way to assess the price of a work office or warehouse unit is to look at what a three-month rent deposit would cost, and ask yourself, can I pay this upfront without leaving myself stretched? This will instantly give you an idea of the affordability.
Always ask the building company about any hidden costs, too. You’ll find there are always hidden costs, and they tend to surprise you right at the end when you’re just about to sign.
Make sure you thoroughly research the prices of other buildings in the area, to check that the one you are keen on isn’t ripping you off.
4. Does the size reflect the future plans?
Size is a key one here when looking for a new business location. It’s known that as a very general rule, a recommended 70 square feet per person is ideal, giving people a benchmark figure to go off for size. However, remember that every business is different, and it might be that your members of staff need more space than this due to the equipment they may be using.
Along with office/warehouse size, remember that you will need sufficient space for meeting rooms and break out areas. A reasonable amount of space for having lunch and breaks is crucial, as is having a comfortable area for bringing in external guests.
The main factor when it comes to size is to think about the future of your business. Moving office/unit is a massive task and one which companies don’t want to have to do often. Look at how you forecast your staff numbers over the next three years. If you are aiming for an impressive amount of growth, make sure you reflect this with the size of your new space.
Some businesses are small and never have the need to grow their numbers of staff, storage or unit size. In this case, look for offices that will give you a little flexibility for movement, but this should be an easier one to estimate.
5. Infrastructure and amenities
No matter what type of business you are part of, there is a common factor among them all, and that is the use of the internet. Now obviously, not all companies rely on this daily, but 99% of businesses need some form of external communication, and it tends to be the internet that provides that.
Make sure that any business locations you view have a strong internet connection, and aren’t situated in areas which suffer from poor connections. Some offices particularly managed or serviced offices, generally include internet access as part of their rent, which is great for those who do rely on it solely.
If you’re looking at leasing somewhere privately though, you’ll need to factor in the cost of getting a line connected and the monthly payments for access.
Infrastructure doesn’t just mean the internet, either. There are so many other external factors to your day to day business which shouldn’t be forgotten about. Can the local postage service come to your office and collect? Does the office have strong telephone connections? If it is a shared building, what times do you not have access, and will this affect the running of the business?
When looking for a business space to either rent or buy, you want to find the best possible premises for your business. Make sure you assess all the factors above and look into what the future of your business holds. With the right amount of research and time dedicated to searching, you’ll find the one perfect enough for your employees to call a second home.