Have you ever walked into a fancy office space and got bowled over? You are not the only one to think that way. A good office space functions as an extension of a brand’s identity, profile and the image they want to send out. Choosing a suitable office space might seem easier but in actual it is not. There are many criteria while selecting an office space which makes it so much more difficult. With every decision you make in choosing an office space, there are ripple effects that spread out.
CHECKLIST FOR FINDING RIGHT OFFICE SPACE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
- Location –
Look out for a well-connected location for yourself and your colleagues. It should be accessible for your clients and other visitors who you might need to host. A well-connected space should have ample parking space. It should be easily accessible from different parts of town. It should be well connected through public transport which will make transportation options affordable for your employees and visitors. You need to think of the future and look for a spacious office area. After five years you might wish to expand or due to the capacity and growth you might need more office space. Keeping this in mind, always select the office space.
- Basic amenities –
Get the fundamentals right from the very beginning before renting the space. How is the internet connection? You need to test that out. What are the opening hours for the office space? A good coworking space should allow you and team to be the most productive you can be. And this might mean extra hours, i.e., air-conditioning will run more, access to the office space will be 24/7 & high-speed internet will be there. Flexibility in the duration and number of people is also a key consideration, can you add or minus team members easily? Can you lengthen or shorten your contract with some flexibility? These are what sets apart coworking from traditional office leases and is also its core differentiator. There should be post offices, banks and office supply stores for day-to-day business needs. There should be supermarkets, gyms, bars and cafes for entertaining clients, providing options for staff, and meeting you
- Accessibility –
Studies have shown how commuting to work still remains the deciding factor for any office space. Accessibility is the key factor. You need to find the office space which preferably would be centrally located, well-connected with bus stops, metro stations and even cycling paths. Proper accessibility can define plenty within the work ecosystem, including productivity, job satisfaction and general employee well-being. Your office should be visible to people. Employees, visitors and staff should be able to look up to your office. Being visible is an effective way to create brand awareness. But being not visible will only lose opportunities.
- Brand Image –
Your office space needs to put out feelers to bring in talent and clients. For that, it needs to look and feel the way you picture your brand or want others to perceive it. Your office space decor decides how others perceive it. If you want a fun-loving, laid back start-up, then bright colors and plush sofas will get that message across. If your brand image of choice is straight-forward and crisp, then perhaps a sensible-looking space with open desks and glass-door cubicles is more your calling. Once you’ve streamlined your target brand image, then you can finalize your office space.
- Hidden Costs –
It is there! Hidden Costs!!! When you are looking out for office spaces, always keep an eye open for the hidden costs. When calculating the overall costs of renting, consider hidden costs and future costs too. These go beyond rent, Wi-Fi costs, relocation expenses and seat costs. Restoration, extra furniture, additional expenditure and penalties against contract breach are just a few examples of the hidden costs. When going through the list of spaces, definitely ask for hidden charges that may come up. See if your budget matches the total costs.
- Security of Lease –
Always go through the lease papers. It is advised to evaluate the pros and cons of legal documents which you will be asked to sign. Keep in mind these key factors –
- Is there any minimum or mandatory lock-in period?
- Are there any fiscal repercussions of breaking a rent contract?
- Does the rent rate increase from time to time?
- Are you getting the value for money that you are paying for?
Now that you have the answers, it would be easier for you to negotiate on a few terms and see what you can get out of it.
- Neighborhood –
Having a proper neighborhood plays an important role. The office should be located in a safe & popular area. It should have the potential to carry out your brand image. A good neighborhood leaves a positive impact on your business. Cheaper rent may not always lead to higher profits and a successful business if the neighborhood has a bad reputation and discourages potential clients or customers.
It is always crucial to find the right balance between budget, style, location and employee happiness. Doing this might take a while, but once you settle on a workplace with a positive and supportive environment, that’s technically sound and has tons of coffee and mid-work snacks, you know you’ve struck gold!