When it comes to finding a new office space, there are many considerations to take into account. These can be divided into three main factors: location, size and price.
The type of business will determine the location, but no matter your preferred location, there are other considerations to account for which can turn the perfect location into a disaster.
- Are there planned road closures or long term roadworks? If yes, consider how your employees, clients, suppliers and deliveries will be affected. No one wants to spend an hour to travel 5 miles.
- Parking is always an issue for any office space and where there is not sufficient parking for staff and visitors, is there free side street parking available or low cost public car parks.
- Public transport links are essential, particularly where parking is not available or limited. Where there are no direct train or bus routes this can be off-putting for staff.
- Work/life balance – offices with no amenities or services within the local area can restrict lunch hours (or after work socialising) which in turn can impact on the general mood of the office - happy staff equals productive staff.
- Security for not only the office but also your staff and visitors travelling to and from the office.
- Construction and developments in the local area will not only impact accessibility to the office but can cause disruption throughout the working day.
Finding the balance between what is required now and potential future expansion should be considered carefully. No one wants to be paying for space that is sitting empty, but at the same time it is costly and time consuming to relocate every few years. Speak to the agent or landlord about the position of the neighbouring tenants and any future vacancies.
Open plan or individual offices – the former provides more flexibility as staff numbers increase. Consider whether landlord’s consent is required to erect or remove interior walls and partitions.
Storage in offices can be a dilemma. Going paperless may be becoming more widespread but many offices will still require some form of filing and storage, including space for IT equipment.
Cafeterias or lunch areas – a possible consideration where there are a number of staff in one office to reduce disruption during lunchtime.
The obvious consideration being the annual rent or purchase price – is it at market value for the location?
When taking a lease consider whether VAT is charged on the rent, how frequently the rent is payable, plus when and how the rent is reviewed – will it be fixed increases, at market rate or RPI? Ascertain what other sums are due to the landlord e.g. service charge, insurance rent and other shared costs together with Business Rates and utilities.
Some landlords may require a rent deposit, which may equate to 3, 6 or 12 months’ rent.
Are there any incentives? A rent free period or reduced rent for the first year. Perhaps a contribution towards any fit out works.
With excellent technical know-how and first class negotiating skills, our Commercial Property Department can advise and support you whatever your property requirements. Call our team in Hampshire now on 023 8022 1344 or our Dorset team on 01202 315005 or email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.