Last night I was browsing Quora like I always do and found an interesting question: What value do you put on “good” office space, and how do you measure it?
This is something I get asked a lot. If finding a new home for a couple is difficult, imagine how stressful this can be for a 10+ people company or more! When moving your company (or setting up your first office as well), there are a lot of things you have to consider to make the most out of it. Once you move somewhere there is no turning back, and if you made a poor decision you’ll have to stick with it for a long time…
- What if the place turned out to be small and you can only accommodate a couple more people in there?
- What if, after you settle in, you realize there is no access to high-speed internet connection in the area.
- What if most of your employees complain about how the new location is far from their homes now?
There are several things you have to look out for when moving to another office, here are the most important ones I’ve come across after setting up 3 different offices:
1. Potential for expansion
Does the new office have space to let you grow comfortably for the next few years? This depends on how bigger you plan to get, but if you are to move, look for a place that allows at least twice the people you have now to work comfortably.
There’s no point in moving to a place only to have to move again in 3 months because you can’t get more people in there anymore.
2. How nice it looks
Doesn’t have to be the most amazing office in the world. But it shouldn’t make you feel ashamed if an important client wants to visit. A nice clean place, well lit and painted should be enough. Nothing fancy.
3. Location, location, location
If it is a production mostly office, is it easy for your people to get there? Is it close to stations, restaurants, banks, shops, etc? If it is a commercial mostly office, is it in a nice area where clients can easily arrive, close to a few nice restaurants where you can take them for lunch?
Location will always be one of the most important things. Specially if your business depends on people visiting it regularly.
Does it have room for a relaxation area? Is there enough space between desks so people are not all bothering each other? Does it have a nice view or at least some natural light coming in? You and your employees need to work in a place where you feel good. If the office is dark, depressing and people can’t move freely they will not be able to give their best.
Is it in a low crime rate area? Does it have security cameras, security guards, someone at night? This is overlooked sometimes, but it is important, nothing worse than arriving to the office after a long weekend to see all your stuff gone.
6. A nice landlord
This is a plus, nothing worse than having to deal with an annoying owner for years. If things break, you need someone to fix them. If you want to modify the place or build to improve it you will need their consent. Also, if you fall behind with your rent payment for a few days, you need someone that understands.
7. Access to services and reliability
Moving somewhere without high-speed internet connection, or an area where power goes down frequently can really mess things up. Try asking around if everything works as it should.
8. Setup and relocation costs
Not only how much it will cost you to clean it and condition it, but also the costs of relocating your people. If the offices are really far from where they used to be, it will impact negatively on your employees, specially on those who now have to spend more money and time to get there.
Is there any other thing you consider important when choosing an office? Please write it down in the comments section below!
“8 Essential Things To Look For In Your Next Office” syndicated with permission from TheStartupRecipe.