Whether you are a small enterprise with few employees or a larger organization, finding the right office space for your business is a highly involved process. As your office will be the place where you carry out operations, it is essential that it is the right fit for your business. With this in mind, before you even think about trawling through office vacancies, you need to think about what you require. Everyone has different requirements; you need to think about space, amenities, transport links and much more.
This guide provides you with an overview of what you’ll need when searching for an office space.
Your business’s requirements
The type of space that you will require will largely be dictated by what your business does. Are you a marketing agency that will need lots of space for team meetings and brainstorming sessions or are you a firm of accountants that cares all about the number of desks that can fit into a confined space?
You’ll need to make your own list, but common requirements of office space include:
- Meeting rooms
- High speed internet area
- Strong local transport links
If you haven’t yet taken the plunge and started your own business, these small business ideas are bound to give you some inspiration and a clearer understanding of what is involved in running certain businesses.
Choosing the right location
Location is key, but you need look at much more than just the prestigious postcode.
Where are your employees based?
Speak to your current members of staff to find out how long their existing commutes to and from work are. The last thing you want to do is double their daily commute, it will only lead to them becoming frustrated and likely consider leaving in search of a job that is closer to home.
Whether its to help with the commute or provide you links to the rest of the country and further afield for meetings, having strong public transport links within walking distance of your office can be extremely useful.
Local labour market
As your business grows you’ll need to consider hiring new members of staff, so understanding what talent is available in the local area is a must. You want to ensure that your business is located in an area where healthy talent within your industry is available.
Assessing the office space
Once you have decided on a location that you’d like to be based, your next step is to create a shortlist of potential office spaces.
Access to the building
Some office buildings are only open during business hours, so if you have some extra work to catch up on over the weekend or late one night, you won’t be able to gain access to your office. If you think that you may need access to your office outside of usual working hours, it is important to check lease agreements for such conditions.
What amenities are available? Would you like a café on-site, photocopying services, a fully staffed reception and more? Make a priority list of what you require and assess how each space meets those needs.
Size of the space
You need to have enough space to fit the necessary amount of workstations that you require as well as meeting spaces and storage areas.
Some offices come with only a certain number of allocated parking spaces, if any. You need to think about how many you need and what your workforce’s requirements are.
Considering serviced offices
Serviced offices are an extremely popular option amongst businesses. By definition a serviced office is an office or building that is fully stocked with all the facilities that you require for your business to move in – all you’ll need is a laptop or computer to work on. Serviced offices are particularly useful if you don’t want the hassle of finding IT support, installing telephone lines and handling other tasks that come hand in hand with moving to a new office.
For a more comprehensive overview of serviced offices, please read our definitive guide to serviced offices.
Understanding the costs
Finally, you need to be fully aware of what you’ll need to pay for your office space. Is everything included in a fixed monthly fee or could your outgoings fluctuate according to electricity usage and other variables? It is essential that you are aware of any extras that may be included so that you can budget accordingly, but your accountant will talk to you more about that.