Let’s flip back the calendar and turn back time by a few months, back to perhaps the most unprecedented and trying crisis that humanity has faced in the recent past. The havoc caused by the global pandemic has led to severe consequences in every facet of our lives- work culture being one of them.
The pandemic marked the popularisation of the ‘work from home’ culture and the use of coworking spaces, forms of remote working that benefited most of us. But as situations are slowly getting better and the world is opening up once again, we’ll have to get back to our normal work lives… or do we?
While some companies are still in favour of working from home, coworking office spaces are also in demand these days as an alternative to working out of an office space to save rent. Conventional office spaces, coworking spaces, and WFH all have their respective benefits and pitfalls. So what should you settle for in the “new normal”? Well, if you are leaning towards the former, you’ve reached the right article to get an overview about how to find an office space.
Why Do You Need An Office Space?
If you are a business owner, you’d know the struggles of hunting down the ideal office space that can accommodate all your employees and you can successfully run all your operations out of. Unlike work from home or coworking, where employees don’t have to commute to the office at all, an actual office space must meet the infrastructural demands of both the employer and the employees.
How To Find An Office Space?
It is indeed a challenging hunt, and given the soaring rents of commercial real estate in these trying times, you don’t want to make a hasty or poor investment.
So, how to find an office space that perfectly caters to all of your needs? Here are the 6 factors business owners swear by when looking for office spaces:
1. The Perfect Location
A good location is the primary factor that you need to ensure when locking down on your office space. The location of your office makes a vast difference in not only the operations of your company and the convenience or productivity of the employees, but also your business’ “brand image”.
A “posh” locality, though expensive, is going to do wonders for your company’s reputation. A central location is definitely preferred, owing to better accessibility. On the other hand, if you have a relatively smaller team, think about where your employees live. Choosing a location that is close to your team would definitely be convenient and logical. If they can conserve energy and money by cutting down on travel, you wouldn’t have to worry about tardiness or lethargic employees.
How to find an office space that is ideally connected? An ideal office space should be well-connected via public transport, and should have markets and supply hubs at a stone’s throw. Parks, gyms, theatres, cafes, and other recreational or social hubs in the vicinity would amp up the rent a smidge, but your employees would definitely thank you for it.
2. Ideal Space Division
Office style and infrastructure are also a key factor to consider. Say, you get the perfect space in terms of location- near the subway station and on a posh avenue. However, all of that gets negated if your office space itself falls flat in terms of space layout.
You need well-demarcated areas for the different facets of your business. Where would you place your employees? Would you reserve a separate area for your senior employees or managers? Where would you have the reception or have client meetings? Do you often cater to VIP clients who need a separate lounge area? What about a break room or recreational areas? Do you need designated AV and conference rooms? Does the office space have enough storage? Are there enough washrooms? These are things you need to keep in mind when settling on an office space.
If you wish to maximise productivity, you cannot have a poorly ventilated and cramped space. In the right office, there needs to be proper demarcation of space for work, employee interaction, storage, client handling, and so on.
3. The Right Interior Design
Of course, once you rent a space, you can make interior design alterations. But there is a limit to the design changes you can do if you’re just renting the space instead of purchasing it. Be very clear on how much playing room you have with the interiors of the space, if rented. Either ways, you can definitely save costs by keeping an eye out for basics such as the amount of natural light and ventilation it gets, the flooring and plumbing, and so on.
A well-designed office space adds value to your brand. Even a few years ago, the style of the office space wasn’t given its due consideration. But nowadays, newly emerging startups or businesses are focusing on office style and designs, taking into cognizance the effect of the “vibe” on productivity and brand image.
Based on the function of the space, you can play around with colour palette, seating solutions, quirky decor, light fixtures, etc. However, remember there is a thin line between quirky yet functional, and jarring.
Make sure there is space available for setting up and integrating into your design additional storage units, projection screens, whiteboards, conference tables, and other resources. Your employees (and you) would be spending long hours in the office, and a pleasant environment would keep everyone productive and motivated.
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4. Convenient Lease Term and Conditions for Termination
Most young businesses start out by leasing their office space. This leaves room for growth and expansion. When you are choosing an office space, ensure you don’t get locked in a long-term lease or one with hefty termination fines. You don’t want to remain stuck if you outgrow it in terms of infrastructure and convenience. In fact, you can even explore sub-leasing an office space to start out with.
Find out beforehand the termination procedure and how much restoration you’d have to do before you officially let go of the space. It is quite natural that you may find the place does not suit your liking or convenience for the entire duration of the lease, after you move in. In such a scenario you don’t want to be subjected to a lot of hassle that’ll distract you from your business.
5. Conducive Environment
We often forget how the office environment can influence our progress. Imagine working in an extremely noisy office, who would want that? Choose an office that is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Honking cars, noisy processions and loudspeakers can hinder your productivity to a great extent.
The environment within an office is an important factor to consider. A quiet coworking office environment is essential to concentrate better on your work. Apart from that, meetings and collaborations with other companies should be executed in a peaceful environment, devoid of unwanted disturbances, to impress clients.
6. Budget Evaluation
Everybody wants to work in a well equipped, classy, and ultramodern space. But considering the budget, you might have to compromise on a lot of things. So, making a checklist of the things that are most required is crucial and you can make modifications later on depending on your budget. You need to be very sure of how much you’re willing to pay every month and the facilities that you want from your office space. Keeping track of your expenses and rent will definitely benefit you. Remember, it’s your money, and you wouldn’t want to splurge on an office space and amenities with unsatisfactory returns.
How to find an office space on different budgets? If you have a bigger budget, you can experiment with your office space but if your budget is limited, you’ll have to wisely prioritize your needs and requirements. Once you start handling your budget in the best way possible, you will notice a drastic improvement in your company’s, as well as individual, growth.
Coworking spaces have taken the world by storm post-COVID. It has been a total game-changer in the corporate world as well as with small businesses. Coworking office spaces are meant for everyone— whether you are a freelancer, or working in a corporate, coworking office spaces meet all your needs. But moving away from that and settling for an office space, places all the onus and responsibility on you.
Having a good office space that satisfactorily meets your enterprise’s requirements of infrastructure, utilities, and safety will allow you to maximise productivity and growth for your business. It is essential to hunt down the ideal office space to mark a great starting point of a journey that puts your employee’s needs and conveniences first.