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08.04.2020 Back to Blog articles

New Office Checklist, Co-Working & Office Sharing, Questions To Ask

So you want to move office? Great, but now what? As a business owner, there is so much to consider when looking for a new office. However, before you start packing up your existing office, you need to make sure that your new office is going to meet all your company needs. These considerations should include:

  • How accessible the office is?
  • What type of office space and atmosphere do you want?
  • What resources do you want/need?

Whether you are looking to move into a self-contained office, work within a larger office building or share office space with another company; there are some simple questions that you need to ask yourself. With this in mind, we have put together a simple checklist to help guide you through the considerations that come with buying/renting a new office.

The Basics

There are some key questions you need to be able to answer before you even start office hunting. Many of these questions simply come down to 3 main categories: money, resources and long term business objectives.

Before you start office hunting ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Are you looking to lease or buy?
  • Do you have to wait until the end of the lease on your existing office?
  • Do you need to sell your existing office before you can buy a new one?
  • Do you want room to grow? If so, how much?
  • Are you willing to share office space with another company?
  • Do you want a furnished office space?
  • What is your budget, do you have enough for the deposit required?
  • What lease period are you looking for (if renting)
  • Do you want/need weekend access?

Once you have nailed down these basics you can move on to assessing what you really need and want from your office space.

Location

Location, location, location. Choosing the right location for your office can have a big impact on your business. What works for one business will not necessarily work for another. With this in mind, take time to identify what are some of the key factors you want from your new office location for example:

  • How easy will it be to meet clients?
  • Does it have easy access links?
  • Does it have parking?
  • What would the commute be like for your KEY staff?
  • Will your staff be able to access fresh hot food easily?
  • Is it possible to get there by public transport?

Accessibility

7 out of 10 disabled people become disabled during their working lives. Therefore an accessible office comes down to not just meeting legislation but by attracting and keeping valuable, highly skilled staff. By law, all workplaces are required to facilitate workers with physical (and mental) disabilities. That said, many business owners are not aware of these requirements. As an employer, you need to ensure that you can attract and retain the best qualified and skilled staff for your company. However, without fully accessible office space you immediately limit the range of potential employees you can hire. Besides, companies need to consider the chance of clients being disabled or existing members of the workforce gaining a disability. With this in mind the key basic considerations all employers should make establishing an office should include:

  • What are your current needs and requirements?
  • Are there stairs? If so is there an alternative such as a lift or ramp?
  • Are the doors at least 32 inches wide
  • Do the doors require less than 5lbs of force to open?
  • How easy are the plug sockets to reach?
  • Is the office space already furnished? If so is the furniture accessible? Do they offer adjustable height desks, anti-trip hazard flooring, a range in types of seating etc?
  • Are there accessible toilets?
  • Is there disabled parking?
  • Is there adequate space between desks in the office (at least 32 inches)?

In short, according to recent studies an accessible office results in better employee safety, retention, profitability and productivity.

Resources

When looking for an office one of the first things you need to identify is what resources you need and/or want; considering both your current and expected future needs. These would include:

  • Are you willing to share resources with another company?
  • Do you require the use of printers, scanners or projectors? Do you intend to bring or purchase your own?
  • Do you require parking?
  • Do you intend to share internet access or have your own?
  • Do you need storage such as lockers or under desk drawers?
  • Are you looking for a furnished office?
  • Are there tea and coffee making facilities?
  • Do you need a staff kitchen?
  • Do you require collaborative ‘open’ spaces?
  • Do you need a private office or meeting spaces?
  • Will there be existing IT equipment and infrastructure in place?
  • Do you require specialised spaces? For example for large equipment

Hidden costs

Whether you are looking to move into a new stand-alone business, share office space or share an office building with another company(s) there are always potential hidden costs. So before to sign on the dotted line ask yourself (and the building or office manager) these following questions to make sure you don’t have any surprises when you move into your new office.

  • Are utility costs shared? If so how is this determined?
  • Will you have your own dedicated phone line? Is there a cost for this?
  • Can you get multiple direct lines? Is there an associated cost?
  • Does the office space have a receptionist? Is there an additional charge for this?
  • Are there parking charges?
  • Is there a building fee, landscaping fee or maintenance fee?
  • Are there additional costs associated with tea and coffee making facilities etc
  • Security charges (for example for CCTV or security guards)
  • Building and office insurance, who is liable?

Office Life

Finally, you need to ask yourself what type of office life you desire for you and your staff:

  • What sort of atmosphere do you want?
  • Would you like to collaborate with other companies in your building/office space?
  • If you have room to grow, would you consider renting out these desks short term as an additional form of income?
  • What level of security do you require, CCTV, access-controlled doors etc?
  • What impression do you want to set for clients?

Once you have determined what you do and don’t want you can start office hunting; safe in the knowledge that you know what is best for your business, your staff, for you and your budget.

Happy Office Hunting!

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