Whether you are an established business or newly-formed start-up, finding a new office space can always prove to be a daunting task. With what feels as if a never-ending list of requirements, along with a strict budget, it can prove somewhat tricky to track down options. To help you on your quest and take just a little weight off your shoulders, we have devised a guide on what to consider when looking for a new office space to rent, accompanied by handy tips.
What To Consider When Looking For An Office Space To Rent
The office is the home of your business, which means that it is vital for your chosen space to encourage your company to thrive. It needs not only to be large enough to accommodate all team members but also be a motivating space where employees feel comfortable. There are a number of different ways that you can guarantee an office that fulfils all requirements; here we run through the top nine tips to find the perfect office for your business!
Choose A Location
When searching for the perfect office space, it is imperative, before shortlisting options, that you choose a location. First and foremost, if you are an established business, your office must be as convenient as possible for your team members. It will be your employees who will be utilising the space the most, which means that it must be accessible for them to travel to each day. Aim to pinpoint a centralised location, ideally nearby to public transport connections. Offices that are a short walk away from a local train station, bus services or main roads would make a great choice.
In renting an office surrounded by public transport, you will also make it easier for your clients or customers to reach you. If you are a business with regularly meets with your target audience, then an office in a rural area would most definitely not be a sensible option as people may be reluctant to travel to you. An office in a populated area, on the other hand, will be super easy to find, meaning that meetings will be considerably more straightforward to arrange – everyone loves convenience!
As a start-up business searching for a team of employees, it is vital to select a location with the largest talent pool so that you can attract the best candidates for roles. The most talented, bright individuals will be drawn towards your company, again, merely down to convenience.
For more tips on how to choose the right office location for your business, take a look at Bevmax Office Centers.
Once you have chosen your office location, it is time to begin considering the ideal size. It is vital to ensure that each team member can work comfortably and enjoy their own workstation. A cluttered office which is way too small for your business will do nothing but reduce productivity and increase stress. On average, it is recommended to allocate 1,000 square feet for every four to six employees. Always add extra space onto your final sum, so you have plenty of room for future growth.
It is also vital to factor in other essentials that you know will need to be added to your office configuration such as storage, seating areas and servers. Measure your current fixtures to get an idea of how much space you much allocate for additional items.
Zoopla has a super helpful tool which allows you to calculate the amount of space that you will need in your new office. All you will need to do is submit each of your requirements and the tool will work out your final square footage.
Similarly to when finding a central location, you must also consider the amenities that you would like both inside and nearby to your office. An office which either provides catering or is nearby to restaurants and cafes will always be much appreciated. Not only will staff regularly require places to grab some food, but also any clients who visit for meetings, workshops or conferences. In many cases, particularly when arranging a large-scale meeting, visitors expect to be provided with tea, coffee and lunch. Having this in walking distance means that you will always make a positive first impression. Other essential amenities for a business include a bank, petrol station and a post office.
Spot Warning Signs
Just like when attending house viewings to purchase a property, there are a number of warning signs that you should not rent an office. It is crucial that you are well-informed on these signs to ensure that the space you opt for is reliable and will not come alongside a host of future issues. Common warning signs include:
- Lack Of Security – Your office will be the home of your business, which means that security must be of the highest priority. The office itself should be equipped, ideally, with a key card system or if the building is little older, a traditional lock and key. This will ensure that only members of your company will be able to access the office.
- Cut Edge Corrosion – This problem occurs when cladding panels have been cut down, but the protective cut edge corrosion treatment has not been reapplied. It causes the edges of panels to rust and deteriorate, which can lead to leaking roofs and draughts.
- Unreachable Landlord – You should never have any trouble getting in touch with your landlord, especially if you are yet to sign the tenancy agreement. If you are finding it tricky to contact the landlord, then it is a warning sign that you should look elsewhere. They are likely to be disorganised or even worse, a scammer.
- Damp & Mould – Never move into an office which shows signs of damp and mould, it will cause severe problems in the long-run. While the appearance of the pair is enough to walk straight back out of the door, they also come alongside health issues.
Think About Parking
Parking is often overlooked when viewing potential office buildings, yet proves to be an absolute necessity. A significant percentage of both your employees and visitors will travel via car, which means that there need to be plenty of parking spaces. You want to avoid the daily struggle of team members turning up late to work because they couldn’t find anywhere nearby to park. While a dedicated car park for team members would be ideal, as long as the area is secure and there are plenty of spaces, then it shouldn’t cause a problem. Along with parking, if you know that many of your employees cycle to work, then don’t forget to also look out for an allocated bike rack on site.
Factor In Redecorating
When moving into a new office, bear in mind that it is more than likely that you will be given a completely blank canvas. You are paying to rent the space, not furniture, technology or accessories. Due to this, when visiting potential offices, factor in how you plan to redecorate the space to make it your own. Don’t forget to ask to what extent you can decorate – Can you knock down any walls? Can you paint the walls? Can you change the carpet? Can you fit a kitchen area? Or hang artwork on the walls? You need to have a clear idea of how far you can decorate to avoid being charged for any damages.
Along with understanding the extent you can redecorate, it is also essential to add any renovation expenses to your budget. If you know that you plan to invest in brand new office furniture, then ensure that you have totalled the cost and set aside a percentage of the budget. Office improvements such as painting walls and fitting new flooring must also be accounted for. To save both time and money, many businesses opt for enlisting professionals to complete inside spraying to revamp their office. In doing this, a fresh layer of paint can be added to all services to create a clean foundation which you can then build on.
Find Communal Spaces
While, of course, remaining professional and getting daily tasks complete is vital in the workplace, it is also important for team members to socialise. Communication is key when working as a team, which means that your office must include a communal area, along with desks and cubicles. Ideally, you want to aim for an office which incorporates both a staff room and a meeting or conference room.
The staff room will be used daily for employees to get away from their desk on their lunch breaks, so it needs to be big enough to accommodate your team. There are a plethora of different ways that you can personalise your staff room to make it a pleasant place to spend breaks. For example, comfortable seating is a must; whether this may be sofas, a breakfast bar or even bean bags. If you have any budget leftover, adding complimentary tea, coffee and snacks would also go down a storm. More information on how to design a cosy break room can be found on Cort.
Visit With The Team
Before you make your office move official, why not bring your team along for a visit and walk around the building? Everyone is different, which means that team members may pick up on benefits or drawbacks that you are yet to consider. They may spot a problem with the space, which will need to be resolved by the landlord before you move in. You can also get a realistic idea on whether the office will work for your business when you have the opinions on those who will be working within the space every day. They can trial aspects such as parking, accessibility and perhaps even nearby food spots ahead of your move-in date. It also means that you will not have everyone turn up on the first day unsure of where they are meant to be.
Last, but most definitely not least, don’t forget that everything is negotiable. Whether the monthly rental price is a little over your budget or you would like flooring to be replaced ahead of your move-in date, there is nothing wrong with asking. Unlike when renting a home, office landlords can afford to slightly alter their prices as there are plenty of businesses within the building with an office. However, you must be careful when negotiating to avoid coming across pushy and arrogant. Bright Network has put together a guide on how to successfully negotiate including ten top tips, which is most definitely worth the read.
Find The Perfect Office Space
Renting an office space is a significant investment, which means that meticulous research is required to find a space that works for your business. Always spent time understanding the requirements of your staff, along with considering the roadmap for your business, to ensure that you shortlist offices which will allow your company to grow. Your final decision must not only be big enough to accommodate all team members but also in an accessible location surrounded by amenities.