The best office space can pay itself back in no time. A functional office space makes employees more productive and happier. But lovely surroundings must be balanced with office rental costs. You can’t pay for more than you can afford, maximising the space for productivity and well-being.
Assessing your workspace needs
Before you hunt for the perfect office space, you need to know what you want. You can find all sorts of office spaces - big, small, open-space, cubicles, warehouse-like, in the city centre or away from the hustle and bustle. So where do you begin?
There are four keys to assessing your workspace needs are:
The size of the required office space
Consider how much office space per person you need. Your employees may have different needs, and your work schedule might even mean not everyone is at the office simultaneously. The good news is you can find unique rental space solutions, from renting in a serviced building to co-working spaces. Finding the right space starts with knowing how much space you need!
The required amenities and features
Aside from the physical space, you should also consider any specific features or amenities you may need. Everyday things to consider are:
- Do you host clients and customers at the office?
- Do you need an in-office cafeteria?
- What type of IT requirements do you have?
- Do you want to offer office benefits like access to gym or daycare facilities?
Consider which features are non-negotiable regarding supporting your employees and serving your customers.
Location and commute times
You want to find a balance between affordability and reachability. The location should make it easier for employees and clients to reach the office. Consider your needs based on public vs private transport. Check if parking is free and secure for those who might need it.
Prepare for potential growth
You don’t want to buy a space larger than you currently need. But you should consider how flexible the area is for future growth. Your business may grow - especially if you’re starting - and moving every few months can be costly.
Preparing a realistic budget plan for office space
Once you know what you need from the office, you can reflect on office space costs. You must carefully calculate the different expenses related to an office space.
The different moving parts include:
Evaluate office-related expenses
The most apparent office-related expenses include:
- Upkeep cost - including air conditioning, heating, and electricity.
- Furnishing - the possible price of office furniture and work equipment.
- Maintenance - cleaning the space, potential repairs, etc.
- Taxes and other costs - local and national real estate taxes and other such costs may apply.
These expenses can be calculated on a monthly basis, giving you a good idea of how much it costs to run the office.
Determine how much of your budget can go to rent and other costs
Consider all your recurring expenses and determine how much can go towards rent. The correct percentage depends on the industry and can vary between 2% to 30%. Note these might be higher when you’re starting, with profit growth reducing the amount that goes toward rental costs.
Identify any potential for cost-saving measures
Don’t forget to include cost-saving measures in your calculations. Local authorities offer special business rates and incentives that could help with costs. In addition, there are sustainable schemes that help companies employ more eco-friendly office solutions. These schemes can cut down the total cost of running an office.
Finding the right office space
Searching for suitable office space is much easier now that you know what you want and have an idea of the budget. You can easily direct your search to your desired location while avoiding wasting time on properties that are way above your budget or unsuitable otherwise. Research your options well and consider attending office space viewings. The viewings help you understand how the space looks and works better than looking at layout photos.
Negotiating process and the lease
It’s important to remember a few essential rules for good negotiating:
- Get it in writing - any offers should be on paper, so you know what you’re getting.
- Read the fine print - read the lease contract carefully before signing it to understand your obligations.
- Don’t make personal guarantees - sign the lease as the company and don’t make personal guarantees to avoid any costly financial liability if things go wrong.
The length of the lease is vital to get right. As a rule of thumb, you may want to avoid opting for longer leases if you’re a new business. However, always consider the pros and cons, ensuring you understand the consequences of getting out of a lease early.
Tips for maximising the most of the space
The work doesn’t end when you sign the lease papers and find the perfect office space. You want to plan how you use the area to ensure you maximise every inch, balancing the new space and your budget requirements.
So. what are the key things to look out for? Here are ideas for maximising the most of your space:
- Optimise your furniture - Ergonomic furniture promotes employee health and improves the office environment, saving money in the long run.
- Divide your spaces - Ensure your office has quiet, collaboration, and recreational spaces. A functional office space prioritises variety and guarantees employees have a spot for different work needs.
- Get employee input - shows employees perform better when they control their workspace setup.
- Prioritise lighting and temperature - You should implement plenty of lighting solutions, as light can improve productivity and well-being. Temperature is another important factor; you want to guarantee workspaces are comfortable in every season.
These are the keys to a functional office space design. Make sure to decorate with your brand in mind but don’t overdo it. Most importantly, the space is aesthetically pleasing - you want employees and visitors to feel welcomed and comfortable!
Excellent office space is both affordable and functional. It’s crucial to calculate office rental prices carefully, select a workable budget and then balance it with what you need from the space. Finding a suitable office space can take time. But when you know what you need and can afford, choosing the right place can be a breeze!
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