Posted on: 16th November 2022
Reading time: 8 mins
Choosing the right space for your business to take its next steps isn't something you can jump into without asking questions. Flexible work space options have removed a lot of resistance from the workforce where previously employers have expected employees to uproot themselves and change their patterns. Having said that, it's important to look into your real business needs before deciding on commercial office space, without an assumption of the physical space required.
Obviously, there's no single answer to this question that satisfies all businesses looking to find an office. Some will be happy with some desk space, while others need a floor of a prestigious city centre address with a mix of small offices and communal space. It's easier to break the task down to a series of factors in your search for office space. Bear in mind that the perfect office, which fulfils all your needs, might not exist, so often it's about making smart compromises. For example, it would be more challenging to find a quiet city centre office with parking for 100 cars and acres of countryside to spend your lunch hour in. But you can more easily find a suburban office that fulfils some of those needs if you know what you can do without.
Here's what to look for when renting an office space, with considerations ranging from client and employee locations to opportunities for growth and scalability across the globe.
Before embarking on an office space search, ask yourself one vital question: do I actually need a dedicated office space for my business? Sure, professional office spaces come with a host of benefits like centrality, networking opportunities, amenities and flexibility, but there are still times when you can get by without a formal space – especially if you're just one person with a laptop and a great business idea, in which case hot desking maybe the best route forward. When you grow, you can consider moving, but it's sometimes better to concentrate on the business itself.
When you've decided on the type of workspace, the location becomes perhaps the most important factor. If you're on your own or part of a small team, somewhere close to your home is probably important, but there are other things to consider. For example, where are your clients based? Is it important that you're close to them? Are you part of a sector that has its own recognised quarter in the city? (Banking, law and digital sectors often cluster together, for example.) Do you have a brand image that means you need to impress clients with a prestigious location? Where is the centre of gravity for your employees' homes? Is it easy to commute to? What are the typical rent costs like in a given area? What are the local amenities like, for example, restaurants, shops and parks, and is that important? These questions and more should be answered when seeking new office space.
A small business will usually be fine using an open plan office space where everyone works together. But once you start growing, or if you're dealing with sensitive information, you might want some private offices or meeting rooms in your new office. There's also the question of whether you'll be stuck with the landlord's layout or whether you need a custom office to stamp your personality and needs on it.
Office space is one of many costs associated with running a business. Needless to say, you need to balance the books, so cost is a critical issue, and is perhaps the single factor that can stand in the way of you securing "the perfect office space". Sometimes, a contract that you find will be negotiable, so it's always worth pursuing a deal. But balancing the cost of the rent with the potential profitability a particular office can bring should be at the front of your mind.
Agreement terms aren't just about the length of the agreement for the space, although that's vital. You should also know exactly what's expected of you, as some non-serviced office contracts will demand that tenants pay for cleaning and maintenance, repairs and so on, and the amount you need to pay for energy or even Wi-Fi also varies from landlord to landlord. It's not uncommon to pay per employee with some contracts, so that's something to bear in mind if you're expanding. Our professional advisors can walk you through all services and provisions that come with a bespoke flexible office package. A standard, cost-effective and flexible office space package with Regus can help you spend less time managing bills, and more time focusing on your business.
Speaking of expanding, can you see your business growing in the near future? Or perhaps you're planning on switching to a hybrid model with coworking and employees working from home some of the time. Either way, it's useful to have commercial property that can flex with your changing business, with a little wiggle room for growth and the ability to cut costs if you shrink or change models.
The nature of your business is a key consideration when finding a space. Some business owners like a collaborative environment, with open, frictionless workspaces. Others need space for employees to get their heads down and concentrate on the job with the minimum of interference. The layout and design of the office all contribute to that mood, and some might prove to be wholly inappropriate. A custom office allows you to take control and design a work space that perfectly matches the style of your business.
Finally, office spaces come with a range of facilities, from a simple desk and socket right up to kitchens, gyms, bars, car parks and as much free fruit as you can eat. When leasing your space, it's good to know what's included in the cost, what's available at a price and what you'll need to go elsewhere for (or bring your own). Almost every office will have a minimum of Wi-Fi, printers, scanners, reception desk and toilets.
Within these options, there are also a few distinct types of arrangement that you can choose from when you're looking for the right office space. We've written about them extensively in another article, but here's a quick summary:
We hope this article will help you to make a better decision, whether it's your first office space or whether you're upscaling or reaching out into a new region. Have a look at all our office space options for more information.
Want to know more about how we can help with hybrid working? Give us a call.
We’ll get you set up straight away.