Moving from your home office into a proper, professional workspace is an enormous decision. It sounds like an obvious progression but actually going ahead with trying to find something can cause you stress. Everything from finding the appropriate size space to combing through the lease agreement can feel nightmarish, especially if you are lacking in guidance.
Choosing a professional estate agent to assist you will certainly help with understanding what you can expect from your budget as well as assist you with the legalities of the lease and so on. Unfortunately, commercial property can cost a pretty penny to rent and unlike with residential homes, you’re getting little more than an empty space. Often times, even the bathroom is a communal space shared by other surrounding companies. Because of factors like this it is wise to do some research before you contact the agent and make sure you have an idea of your non-negotiables. For instance, does your company require ample parking space for your company vehicles? Or, do you specifically want a lot of natural light to fill the room? You are allowed to have these deal breakers but know what you want before you head out to view places. Don’t waste your time making appointments to view properties that will never suit your needs or budget.
There are some basics to bear in mind when looking to move your company from your spare room to a commercial space. Here are the two biggies you want to consider from the get-go.
Size matters when it comes to office space. Especially if you will be employing staff members. You have to account for their comfort and needs. There’s a general rule of thumb that indicates that each employee should have at least ten square metres of space available to them. But, again, this is dependant on the type of work they’re doing. A team of administrators won’t necessarily need enormous desks, especially if most of their work is online. However, if you’re going to employ a team of developers who need to operate with two or more computer screens you’re going to have to account for the space the equipment will use.
Then, you need to consider meeting areas, casual areas for lunch breaks, a boardroom and so on. But this depends on whether or not you are planning on growing your company quickly. If you have a goal of ten new employees by the end of the year then you should look at an office space that can accommodate you as your business scales. But if you are going to simply just see how it goes with your current team, then start small and be prepared to start the space hunting journey all over again when you are ready to grow. It’s well known that a cramped, stuffy environment reduces productivity.
Many commercial spaces are not standalone offices. In fact, most commercial spaces form part of a communal property. You need to find a space that offers the infrastructure you need so that you don’t have to outlay additional cash to get your business off the ground in its new office. For instance, there are no companies or business owners that can operate and succeed without a reliable internet connection. Many offices work the wifi access into the rental fee and those who don’t have the infrastructure available for you to set up internet if you want to. Also, if there is internet access available then you need to find out how strong and fast the access is. There would be nothing more annoying than a digital company running on a slow internet line that drops connection constantly. This will result in a total waste of money, paying for a service that doesn’t work properly.
Consider other infrastructure that may not appear pressing currently but will matter down the line. Can you install a landline if you wanted to? What’s the deal with the postal service (you will need this when dealing with important and original, certified documents)? And, of course, you must check out the security systems. Are there turnstiles at the entrances for crowd control and so on which are armed by security guards who check everyone entering and leaving the premises? Having the likes of turnstiles and CCTV systems on the premises means that there is crowd control and that everyone who has access to the space is screened and allowed to be there. This may not seem like a big deal now but it will be when you’re working late at night, housing expensive equipment in your office or inviting a crowd of current or potential clients to your new offices.
Choosing the right space for your office depends entirely on the type of company you are. Also, who will be making use of the space on a daily basis? If you expect clients to come to your office then you need to pay attention to the surrounding area. Similarly, if your office space is where you and your team are doing all the admin, answering phones and managing the backend of your operation you can’t choose office space next to the train tracks because of the noise pollution.