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Having an office for your business can be a great way to foster the right corporate culture, support a range of clients and centralise every aspect of your business.
It’s also a massive decision that requires a lot of planning and forethought if you’re going to get it right.
Most businesses choose to rent their office space rather than build one themselves or buy an office building.
Renting is a great way to reduce your costs and liability in business, but renting an office space is still a big commitment for any company.
That’s because office leases are usually long-term, so you’ll be tying yourself into a costly premise for some years and need to make sure you select the right option for your company.
While UK commercial property leases are getting shorter right now, they’re still usually in excess of 6 years.
That means that you’re making a major commitment by choosing an office space. Selecting the wrong property could cause you many issues and waste a lot of time, effort and money.
Here are some of the key considerations that you need to think about before you commit to a new office lease.
Factors to Consider While Looking for a New Office
How Much Space You Need?
One of the major factors you need to think about when choosing an office is the size. Most commercial offices are rented by the square foot, so you could end up spending more on space you don’t need if you choose an office that’s too large. Equally, not enough space might mean that you have to move quickly and don’t get everything you need from your new office.
The amount of space you need for your company will depend on a variety of factors, including how many staff you have, what storage you need, any equipment you require and more. It would help if you also thought about scalability and how your office space can be adapted as your company grows and prospers. Check out this resource from office refit experts Amos Beech about how to calculate how much office space you need, so you can work out what size office will work for your business.
Location And Outside Amenities
When you’re choosing an office space, it’s crucial that you remember that many things, such as the décor and layout, can easily be changed. They might take time and cost money, but fixes can be found. Two factors that can’t be changed is the location of the property and any nearby outside amenities, such as car parking facilities, public transport and local shops.
So, when you’re searching for a new office space, you need to think hard about the location and what you expect from it. Consider talking to your staff to find out what they need and what they would prefer, and then explore the properties that fit your criteria. You can then find a space in an ideal location that will give you all the outdoor facilities and nearby amenities that you and your staff expect.
Remember that the more central your office, the higher the rent is likely to be, so offset this cost with the value that a central location can bring to your business to work out where the best location is for your new office space.
Facilities And Extras
Some office buildings, particularly shared ones managed by an experienced facilities management firm, offer additional facilities that can make your office run smoothly. For example, some buildings will contain lifts, particularly if they have many floors. Some might also have added amenities that can be part of your service charge or paid for additionally, such as on-site gyms, cafes, and other entertainment services.
These extras can be a great way to attract talented staff to join your company and retain your existing team members, but they will also raise the cost of your rent and associated office costs. So, you need to make sure that you take the time to consider which facilities and optional extras are important to you and your employees.
Rent And Service Charges
When you’re choosing an office space, the cost is an important factor. The average rent for commercial office space in the UK depends on the location, but it can be as high as £110 per month per square foot in central London. As well as rent price, you also need to consider other major costs, which might include insurance, energy prices and service charges.
Many commercial offices are in shared buildings, so you might need to pay for communal amenities such as shared gyms, car parking, communal kitchen spaces and more. So, when you’re checking out office spaces to rent, you need to make sure that you understand what you’re getting into and how much the service charge will add to the total bill. You’ll then be able to ensure that you don’t go over budget on your office space.
Choosing a new office for your small business is an important decision that’s not to be taken lightly. These tips should help you to make a checklist and find a property that meets your company’s unique requirements.