If you’ve been tasked with finding your new office space, it may seem like a daunting task at first. With many different people to please and dozens of options to consider, you may not know where to begin. By asking the right questions from the very beginning you’ll be able to find the office space that is inspiring, cost effective and right for your business.
You've identified office space in your dream area, but location is about more than just the neighbourhood, there's more to consider. Have you thought about the other things that can make your new workplace a success or a living nightmare?
If you're in London you will need to consider the closest underground stations. Which lines are nearby? Are there alternative stations in case of closures? If addition to the tube, check the nearest mainline station and how frequent the trains are.
Road, rail and tubes may all be subject to closures which could affect both your staff and visitors during their journeys to your new office. Are there any long term closures planned? Tube and rail stations can close for years if there are major upgrades planned. Check before you sign on the dotted line.
A long or stressful journey can put employees in a bad mood before they've even reached the office. Consider the journey into work for your staff. If you are relocating to a different area you may want to consider the impact on employees' commutes.
If your staff or visitors will be driving into the office, consider local traffic patterns. When are the busy times? How will this affect the journey to your new office? Is the proposed location in a notoriously congested area? Take a test drive to and from the office during rush hour.
The reputation of the local area can have a big impact on the way potential clients see your business. Your staff and visitors will feel safer visiting your office if the area has a good reputation.
Consider your potential neighbours, in and out of the building. Are they competitors? Could they cause problems? A 24/7 call centre should be cautious of a nightclub next door, for example.
Is the proposed office space close to residential areas? You may need to consider this when carrying out the works and your local authority may insist on a noise test report.
If you are relocating to a new area you may want to consider the local labour market, especially if you are not near a large city.
If your business requires staff or visitors to travel regularly to and from the office, you may need to consider the quality and availability of local taxi companies.
Consider the location of your competitors; are they nearby? Will this pose problems? Are they located in an area that has a better or worse reputation?
Your staff may need to regularly visit clients' offices (and vice versa) so you may need to consider this when finding your new office space. If your new office is far from your target market, your sales team may spend more time on the road than with clients.
As with local taxi companies, nearby courier companies may also be a consideration, especially if you are looking for space outside of a city.
Employees spend in excess of 8 hours a day in the office, so having a secure neighbourhood where your employees feel safe should be a priority. Consider the route staff will need to travel to and from local transport, especially if travelling by foot.
Nobody wants to think about serious accidents at work, but it is possible you may need to call out the emergency services. Think about how close the nearest hospital, fire station and police stations are.
What's nearby? Will you need to design in client hosting areas in your new space?
Do you (or your clients) have a global presence? Are your staff likely to need to travel abroad for business? Locating far from an airport can waste precious time and cause hassle for your staff.
Take a look at the local area; are there enough places to eat? How far will staff need to travel during their lunch break? Are there suitable places for both dining in and take away?
Life carries on when we are in the office; your employees will have errands to run after work or during lunch. Find an office close to a bank, pharmacy and shopping area and your staff will thank you forever.
Are there any current or planned construction projects nearby? These can not only be unsightly, but also cause noise and air pollution. Major works can change a nice view into an eyesore.
Map your employees' new journeys into work to assess how the move will affect their daily commute. You may also wish to pull together a travel plan to identify alternative routes for visitors and staff
Will visitors need to stay overnight? Consider how close the nearest hotel is to your office, and the possible travel time.
If your employees need to travel between offices, you may want to consider the proximity of your proposed new space to your other sites and how easy the journey will be.