- Location, location, location Finding an office in a convenient location is key. A big day-to-day pet peeve of office working can be the commute so it is worth thinking about where the majority of your staff are based and opting for a central location.
Another important amenity to think about is parking. If you have staff or visitors that are likely to travel to your office by car, making sure there is reasonable parking close by or on the premises should be high on your list of priorities.
- Encourage wellness Choosing a location that has an abundance of local amenities could be seriously beneficial for your staff. Tasty lunch spots, green walks and local gyms are a great incentive to get your staff taking breaks away from their screens and doing things to support their day-to-day wellness and mental health.
- Size matters Making sure you have enough room for your current staff is key, but it is also worth taking into consideration any potential future growth to avoid having to move offices. Adequate office space is also more essential now than ever, making sure you have enough room to accommodate social distancing and one-way foot traffic, for a covid-safe workplace.
Initially, you’ll also need to decide whether your office will be more open-plan or will need enclosed working spaces for staff. Thinking about rooms, even the most open-plan offices need space for meetings to take place. So, think about how many meeting rooms and/or private offices you need. You can use tools such as this office space calculator to get an idea of how much space you’ll need, not only for staff but for general office equipment too.
- Figure out your facilities Covid-19 and the ever-growing popularity of the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme means that the return to work may include more cycling commuters than ever before, so looking for somewhere with secure bike storage might be a good idea. Other facilities that could make your staff’s lives easier might be on-site showers/ changing rooms, storage lockers and possibly even an onside cafe/dinner if your office is in a location with minimal local food options.
- Make it accessible
Access is potentially the most important thing to consider when looking for a new office space if you want to create a more welcoming and inclusive workspace from the get-go.
The basics of accessibility include easy (and ample) toilet access, disabled toilets, lifts and ramps to cater to all needs. Beyond that, you should also consider disability staff training and awareness, wide passageways and adjustable desk heights should be considered.
- Conquer your kitchen/breakout space
A sizable kitchen and/or breakout area might seem like more of a want than a need, but actually, having somewhere your staff can go to get away from their screens and have lunch and relax is really important. Not only does it create a healthy working environment but it will also allow them to relax and recharge, which will ultimately increase their productivity.
Kitchen amenities are also important, as you want to make it as easy and fuss-free as possible for your staff to get and do what they need, think coffee machines, microwaves, water dispensers, toasters and dishwashers. Not only will these things save your staff time, but they will also help those who want to save a bit of money and avoid splashing out on fancy salads and sandwiches from local cafes every lunchtime.
- Calculate changes in costs
If you receive physical goods as part of your business, consider whether your new space will be closer or further away from your suppliers. Moving further away could up your delivery bills significantly.
As well as this, moving to a bigger space will usually incur higher running costs. Not only the rent and deposit but also furnishing costs, parking space rentals, storage, business rates, internet and phone systems, cleaning costs, insurance and utilities. Take all these new costs and/or hikes into account when looking for a new office space.