Choosing the right office location and space can make a huge difference in the day-to-day operations of your business. You want your employees and any visiting business partners or clients to feel comfortable, welcomed, and productive in a space that is accessible. But do you know how to make the right decision about what office space is best? Read on to learn about what factors you should consider when choosing a location for your office.
Does It Match Your Culture?
Both space itself and the city or town it’s located in should match your business’s brand. Having a strong presence in a big city like New York isn’t right for every business, and getting such a prime piece of real estate can be difficult. Instead, find a town, neighborhood, or metropolitan area that appeals to both the clients and potential employees you’re trying to attract.
Don’t forget to consider your business’s values and culture when choosing the right space. Is your management style more laid back or more formal? Do you rely on teamwork and collaboration, or more on individual contributions? All of these will have an impact on where you choose to locate. Laid-back businesses may want to choose open-concept spaces in hip neighborhoods, while a more formal company may want a traditional cubicle-style office location in a city’s business district.
Is It Easy And Convenient To Get To?
The perfect office space isn’t of much value if it’s in the middle of nowhere. Look for an office location that is accessible by public transit or near major highways so that employees have a stress-free commute and any clients visiting you on-site will be able to find you easily. Having a dedicated parking lot or plenty of parking nearby would also be to your advantage. And it even helps to be located in a highly walkable area, as this can increase your business’s visibility.
And don’t forget about nearby amenities. It can be nice to take clients out to lunch at a restaurant right down the street, and employees love having cafés and shops nearby, so they can get out and take a break from the office. If employees feel like they’re trapped in the office because it’s surrounded by busy roads or it isn’t close to anything, employee satisfaction may be lower.
How Is The Office Space Laid Out?
Take into consideration how the space is laid out and if it works with how your business operates. Are there individual offices for senior management? If you focus on collaboration a lot, are there large conference areas? Do you plan on adding cubicles, or do you want to keep the space totally open? If you plan on meeting with clients in your office, is there space for that, too? You want a space that encourages productivity while discouraging burnout or isolation.
It’s also important to think about amenities like restrooms and break areas. Are there plenty available and are they in an area that’s accessible to your employees? It can be annoying to have to take a five-minute walk to the other side of the building just to use the restroom. And you’ll probably want a designated break or lunchroom, complete with space for, at the very least, a refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave. Having an area for dining or just relaxing can encourage strong relationships between employees.
And don’t forget about outdoor space as well. A park-like setting is always attractive, as this allows employees a chance to go out and get a breath of fresh air or some exercise in at lunchtime. But in big cities, having outdoor space, or even a dedicated parking lot is difficult. However, there will still be plenty of places nearby to walk to.
Is The Space Right For Your Image?
You’re working hard to grow your business, attract new clients, and build a solid reputation, and your office space should reflect the image you’re trying to project. Think of your office as a marketing tool. Do you have a welcoming reception space that matches the feel of your business? An industrial-looking space could be great for a tech startup, while the same space may be a turn-off for clients of a financial consulting firm.
What do you want your office to say about you? Are you fun to work with and work for? Then look for a relaxed space, where you can include elements like a ping-pong table or a recreational area. But at the same time, an ostentatious or over-the-top office space may have employees and clients wondering if you’re focused more on shallow elements as opposed to your actual operations.
Is There Room To Grow?
Think about the projected growth of your business before you decide on the right space. Even if you’re small right now, where do you think you’ll be in five or ten years? Of course, you’re undoubtedly hoping to grow, but think about it in realistic terms. You don’t want to be moving office locations every few years to adjust for growth, so look for an office space that can scale with you.
Even if you’re not using all the space right away, it may be good to have down the line. Most experts recommend having at least 80 to 120 square feet per employee, including both personal workspaces and common areas. If you only have twenty employees now but plan on hiring five to ten more within the next few years, you’ll need an extra 400 to 1200 square feet to accommodate them.
Are You Getting A Great Value?
Think about what element of your office location is most important to you. Is it being conveniently located close to public transit, or is it all about having a presence in the right neighborhood? Whatever is most important to you, make sure you consider this factor, along with the price of the space you want. Does it seem worth it? Remember, your office space is one of your biggest investments, and having an office that increases productivity, bolsters employee retention and satisfaction, and brings in new clients will pay for itself in the long run.