The time has come to find new office space. Whether you’re setting up shop for the first time or branching out to a new location, it’s undoubtedly an exciting chapter for your business. But it’s not a task that should be undertaken lightly, in fact there’s a lot more to consider than you probably realise. But not to worry, by taking your time and asking the right questions, you’ll be able to find office space that ticks all of your boxes.
Location, location, location
You may think you’ve found your dream area to work in, but what is your potential new neighbourhood actually like? There’s a lot to consider here.
What kind of reputation does the area have? While you may think it doesn’t matter, potential clients and prospective employees will see things differently, and the ‘vibe’ around your office has a big impact. Do you feel safe when walking around outside? Are people’s routes to and from work – either to their car or public transport – safe and well-lit?
Who are your potential neighbours, both in the office building and the surrounding areas? Are you rubbing shoulders with competitors who are already well-established in the industry? Could this cause a problem? What industry do your neighbours work in and could they clash with your own offering?
There are two kinds of people that are going to come and visit your office; employees and clients or customers. So when choosing your next location it’s of vital importance that both of these people are able to get to and from you with relative ease. Here’s a couple of things to think about.
What’s the public transport like? Do you have a train station within close proximity to your office? If so, how well does it connect to the biggest cities in the country? One train connecting your nearest station to the big city is perfect, but if you’re looking at more than that then you might want to rethink your location. When looking ask yourself how will clients based halfway across the country get to you by public transport? Don’t forget about buses and trams either!
If they’re travelling by car, how close is your new office to the nearest motorway? Of course you don’t want it to be on your doorstep but being nearby allows staff and clients to hop on and off easily during their commute. Do some recon and find out the traffic patterns they might be faced with. When are the busiest times? Does anywhere get particularly congested? Trial this by doing a few test drives to and from the office in the morning and evening rush hour.
Every business relies on vendors and suppliers to go about their daily business, but you may struggle if there aren’t many near to your new location. Is there a nearby stationery supplier who you can visit regularly or is it a long road trip? Can you get food and drink stocks delivered to your door?
If you have clients coming to visit you regularly, remember to check nearby hotel locations – think ones that are a little more upmarket if you want to impress – and taxis firms that are close to take them between destinations.
Finally, you have to think about the people who will spend five days a week there. Many people use their lunch break to not only feed themselves, but to run errands. How close is your new office to the town centre? What is there in the town centre? Could you check things off your own ‘to-do’ list? Are there plenty of nice places, both dining in and takeaway, to eat nearby or is it a trek?
Last but not least, try and look a little way into the future. There’s only so much research you can do but consider any planned construction work that may be going on in the future. Ask your new building owner or manager if there’s going to be any redecorating or even remodelling, as you’ll have to account for a certain amount of noise disruption.
Then you have to think about your public transport links. Road, rail and tube closures can affect both your staff and visitors. Short term disruptions happen all the time and can’t always be predicted, but what you need to be aware of is long term closures as these can cause disruptions for years. Check out the nearby motorways and train stations before you sign on the dotted line.
Your complete office requirements checklist
Taking all the above into consideration, we’ve condensed it into one nice and easy-to-follow checklist that you can tick along as you go. You’re welcome.
- Surrounding neighbourhood
- Nearby businesses
- Public transport links
- Planned roadworks and closures
- Traffic patterns
- Availability of local taxis
- Nearby competition
- Emergency services e.g. police station, hospital and fire stations
- Local amenities e.g. pharmacies and petrol stations
- Planned construction works
- Other office buildings