After staffing costs, office expenditure is likely the most expensive investment your business will make.
A relocation can therefore impede or advance your daily operations; brand image and staff performance – depending on how successfully you understand your drivers. So how do you know what’s important to consider when moving? These are 5 essential features you’ll need to get right.
1. Location – Location is the greatest influence on cost and is often the primary factor driving property acquisitions. The difference in rental space between London’s West End and Slough can be as high as 150% per square foot, so it’s crucial to maximise the value from your location. Ensuring you stay close to target markets, networking hotspots, provide easy access for employees and clients, and remain close to local amenities are the most essential considerations.
2. Size – Acquiring too much space can have residual effects on your profitability; while too little space can limit performance and hamper your abilities to grow as a business. Sitting with an office designer or space planner will prove helpful further down the line; but what about now?
The general rule of office space is 80 – 100 sq ft per person, dependent on your industry. And as leases usually last between 2 to 5 years, we recommend adding 10% to 20% to account for future growth.
3. Functional requirements – Moving office is a great time to review your company culture and business objectives; evaluating how they might function in a new space. Do you want to flatten your hierarchy? This can translate directly into non-fixed workstation plans. Do you want employees to collaborate more closely? Providing a variety of bookable teleconferencing and touchdown spaces can work towards this.
4. Hidden costs – There are several major hidden costs to the key services in relocating, so what should you be looking out for? From legal costs, to IT and telecoms; to logistics and the dilapidation of your existing space; each can prove an expensive setback if not managed correctly.
When searching for property, you’ll likely need an agent to find an office space and negotiate the best rates and terms. Site surveys are also critical to ensure all structural and building integrity issues are dealt with before you sign on the dotted line – often your agent will be able to offer these services for a fee.
5. Design – Whatever your business, you’ll want to promote and protect your brand image and your office environment is a fantastic tool for selling your company. While you may not have made decisions on decor, layout and furniture; taking fixed aspects into consideration, such as the building’s facade, reception and the office’s layout and natural light is essential as they all work towards creating the pivotal first impressions for your clients, staff and stakeholders.
If you’re planning on moving your office furniture with you, you will need to hire an office removal company, use Compare My Move to compare quotes from office removal companies in your area. Booking your removals company well in advance is highly recommended, you should also consider hiring them to carry out the work over evenings or weekends to minimise disruption.
Typically, the removal company will take care of everything but it’s a good idea to declutter beforehand to avoid moving unnecessary items and adding additional costs. Relocating IT equipment and servers may need a specialist IT relocation company.
Providing a floor plan of the new premises for your removal company is a must. Ensuring that everything in its right place will help you get set up at your new office much quicker.
Top tip: Set a property wish list
When you begin your search, compile a list of criteria that the premises should meet. Then give each aspect a score out of 10 when you visit each property. Your list might include:
● Cost, size and location
● Structural condition
● Maintenance responsibilities
● Parking and accessibility
● Cosmetic appearance of building & reception
● Lighting (natural and building)