5 Things to Think About When You're Looking for Your Next Office
- Future of Work
- 23 Nov 2021
- 4 min
Imagine this scenario for a second: your small start-up had an absolutely stellar year, and your product is growing by the day. To expand your company, you’re looking to hire 10 new sales representatives, 15 marketers, and 25 engineers. The only problem? Your HR team is talking about setting up offices in the kitchen. Unfortunately, your office is really starting to show its limits.
As far-fetched as it may seem, this scenario is pretty common in start-up hubs like Berlin—one that many scale-ups and fast-growing businesses face as growth kicks in. For many growing businesses, there comes a time when their existing office space no longer suits their needs—and they need to move to a new one. The problem is that many companies wait until it’s too late to start looking for a new office space.
Every company deserves a bespoke office space that matches their brand’s needs as well as personality. And planning ahead of time makes it much easier and way less stressful for a company to find the perfect office for its growth needs. But what should you think about before pulling the trigger on a new office space? Looking at these 5 overlooked factors will help you find the perfect space for your company.
1. Flexibility is key
As the global pandemic progresses, flexibility is likely to play a significant role in looking for a new office space. If you’re looking for an office space during this period, always remember that flexible options are always available. A few questions worth thinking about are: can your existing lease be altered with ease? Are there any details in the small print of a lease that may condemn you into staying for 10 years in a traditional contract? Which landlords can provide these options?
This type of flexibility is important when you’re scaling because it’s impossible to tell what growth—or downsizing—may look like in the next 5 to 10 years. Having no long-term commitments—no 10-year contract lock-ins, no architectural requirements on behalf of the landlord, no long-term internet contracts—ensures that you can have peace of mind as you grow, and your business looks to the future.
2. Tomorrow is still on the horizon
Even though you just moved into a new office, it’s still critical that you be conscious of the future, and always be a step ahead of your business scaling. On the office/architectural front, that means thinking about how your space may evolve over time if you do see your company growing in the next 5 to 10 years. Open plan offices may be useful to your brand, but only if you know you have the right amount of people to fit them. So too can large meeting rooms and an employee hangout area. As Joshua Fraser, CEO of Data Nerds put it, "no good entrepreneur ever rented an office too big"—so make sure you think about what’s on the horizon.
3. Location, location, location
It may sound like a trite adage by now, but this famous phrase should still be all the rage when you’re looking for a new space. However, the first thing to keep in mind is that location may not mean being in the hottest part of town. Instead, think about the following “4 c’s” before you move in:
The commute. Is it easy for my employees to get there? Is there public transportation nearby? Certainly, there’s no ideal solution here: it’ll be difficult to please everyone when it comes to traveling into work. But making sure your new office is easy to get to is imperative for both employees and managers alike.
The community. What other types of buildings surround your potential office space? Are there restaurants and cafes around? What about gyms? Settling into a neighborhood with none of these can put a damper on overall morale in your company, so it’s worth evaluating accessibility, amenities, and overall safety before you move in.
The competition. Is your arch-competitor in the office above you? What effect does that have on the way you do business?
The clientele. Moreover, do you have a business in which attending to clients is important? Considering the position of your competitors and your clientele is often overlooked by businesses as they start to grow.
4. What about those facilities?
You obviously want a space that has it all: meeting rooms, team suites, coffee machine, printing, internet and all of the hottest amenities. But more important than the what is the how. Is your landlord supporting you with your specific business requirements? Are you working with someone that can get you that new cutting-edge projector you want for the lobby? It’s easy to think big when you start growing and growing—and planning amenities for your new office space is one of the most exciting parts of the whole process. But before you start talking about design and architecture, it’s important to think about who you want to work with, and how to get the best facilities in your office with ease.
5. The added extras
You’ve got more things on your plate to worry about than bills and internet problems. As you scale, you want to focus on what matters: your core business. That also means not having to deal with the legalities, such as negotiating fine print in a lease, or trying to come to an arrangement about the final layout of the office. The same goes for when a projector malfunctions--or your internet cuts out after a rainstorm. Working with someone you trust—whether that’s an office provider, an architect, or a letting agency—is paramount in taking care of those added extras.
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