If you’re starting a business or are looking to move because you’ve outgrown your current site, what should you look for in your new office space? Here’s a list of the top three things to think about.
Where you operate from is vital. Naturally, transport is a major concern, both public and private – can your staff get to work by bus or train? Is there enough parking for those who prefer to drive? Is it easily accessible for visitors and suppliers in terms of road and rail networks or even airports? Local amenities are also important. Are there any shops nearby where your staff can purchase lunch or good local restaurants for client entertainment? Also think about whether there are any banks or pharmacies close to hand – it’s important that your staff can access these during their lunch break if they need to.
The Space Itself
Your checklist should include items such as whether out-of-hours access and security are provided. Security must also be a priority, both for your staff and for any equipment. Check that windows and doors are secure and find out about any alarm or electronic entry systems. Does the building have an on-site manager who can deal with any day-to-day problems that may occur? Are the heating, lighting and ventilation systems new, or will they need to be updated? Are there enough power points for all the office equipment you’ll need? If not, you will need to factor in the costs of adding these to your total budget. If you have a medium to a large workforce, you should also consider whether there’s space for a staff canteen. Is there one on site already or will you need to create one? Similarly, is there space for an onsite clinic so that you might better help your employees if any health problems were to arise? More information about onsite clinics can be found on the Eden Health website for those interested in this point.
Does the building meet the current Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) regulations? You can check online to find out if the facilities comply with the law. You should also think about future growth – if your workforce increases, is there the potential to expand the space?
Find out who the landlord is. Is it an individual or a corporation? Where are they located? Are they easily contactable and will they respond quickly to any queries or problems you may experience? Look for one who is willing to be responsive to your needs and has extensive experience in property management. Facilities such as those provided by Goodman office space in Leeds exemplify the best qualities of contemporary business premises. Leeds is an ideal location for business as it has been reported by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research that the city supports more growth and jobs than most other areas in the UK. In fact, Leeds has the highest concentration of technology-based businesses in Yorkshire and Humber.
Do understand that not every space will be a perfect fit. It is quite common for commercial spaces to require some renovation work before they are ready for occupancy by a new tenant. While some spaces may be fully renovated, others might require you to implement your own design and renovations to bring them up to your company’s standards. More importantly, second-generation spaces that were previously occupied, usually require updating at the very least (or a total makeover in the worst of cases). That is where you might need a commercial build-out. The build-out is the work, which when done can make the property ready for your business to move in. These renovations can be as big and impressive as you like and the changes can add functionality, as well as personality, to your business. However, if you need a commercial build-out, you might need to know about the cost to build out office space. For that, you might need to contact construction management firms like Hurd Construction Management. To be honest, if commercial space is laid out efficiently, a build-out may not be necessary. In that case, you may take more of a utilitarian approach and simply freshen up the space with some new paint.
In today’s IT-dependent world, effective communication systems and the infrastructure needed for them are vital for any business to flourish. Older buildings weren’t designed with the amount of cables and power requirements that we need today, so it’s important to find a space which meets your needs in this regard. How far away you are from the exchange can also mean that the speed of your broadband is affected – you’ll need to check the distance to avoid problems. Does your business need a data centre? If so you’ll need to consider power, air conditioning and the extra security required, as well as its placement within the space you have available.
Image credit : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AOffice_block_Thorpe_Park_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1113603.jpg