Moving to new premises represents a sizeable financial commitment. Once you’ve moved into a new office, you’re unlikely to be able get out of a contract without paying significant fees. It’s therefore worth thinking about what you’ll need from your new offices.
Why does the office matter?
It’s easier to get your work done in certain environments than in others. Sometimes, the differences are profound; sometimes, they’re subtle. Your office should be built with the productivity of your workers in mind. The happier they are, the better they’ll perform, and the better for the company.
You aren’t going to achieve your potential when it comes to productivity if your office is physically inhospitable. Among the qualities you should be looking for are: an abundance of natural light, controllable temperature, and great ventilation. You might also include plenty of plants, as they’re proven to make spaces more pleasant to inhabit.
Of course, many of these features can be added in after you’ve moved in. For example, replacement VELUX windows and skylights might make the difference in spaces where light is scarce. Similarly, you might install mirrors to help increase the sense of space, and to distribute natural light around the interior. If you’re considering a listed building, or one in a conservation area, then you should think about what modifications you will and won’t be allowed to make.
If your office space is difficult for workers to reach, then your business will suffer in several ways. You’ll find it more difficult to attract the skilled workers you need to thrive. Your existing workers will experience productivity-dampening stress. New clients will find it more difficult to visit. And, if commutes are lengthened, then your firm’s carbon footprint will be expanded.
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Think about where everyone is travelling from, and which sites are best placed for them. It might be that you need to compromise on accessibility to meet other needs – but be aware of what you’re sacrificing. It’s also worth thinking about how disabled employees and customers are going to get into the building: the law requires that services be accessible to everyone who needs them.
If your company is expanding, then it’s important that you have space to expand into. If your new office is packed to bursting from the moment you move in, then you’ll probably find yourself having to move again fairly soon afterwards. Look for spaces that support growth in the long-term.
The Wow Factor
Certain kinds of business need their premises to be impressive. You might need candidates, clients and collaborators to walk through the front door with a sense of awe. This means that aesthetic concerns matter, and that a glass-fronted out-of-town building might be worth the asking price, just as a period building in the middle of a historic high street might be.