Considering a move into a new office space? Maybe your business has blossomed and needs
more space, or you simply need a change of venue to impress clients and attract talent. Time to
dream of new amenities or a better location — the possibilities seem endless.
Be prepared to minimize anxiety and stress for yourself, managers, and employees, often a very
avoidable part of a thrilling time for everyone. Consider as many factors and potential pain areas
to make informed decisions. Everyone you ask will have an opinion on where the office should
be, as well as what it should come with or cost. Experts agree that today’s office spaces benefit
most with these 10 must haves. At least, you can consider them when you’re ready.
1. Talent-Attracting Location
There are many things to consider with regard to location. Obviously, the price is a factor, which
can lead managers to move the office further from desirable city hubs in order to save money on
the lease. Yet this decision can cost the business long-term, in a harsher way than you may
realize. To attract the most talented employees, your business needs to look like a desirable
place to work. You can dazzle with great benefits packages, growth opportunities, or maybe a
free gym membership — but if your office is located in a scrappy part of town, that could instantly
be a deal-breaker. Top talent wants to work in top areas, so find an office that is well-located to
attract the best and brightest that can propel your business forward. A bonus here is, a trendier
location can have a positive effect on how potential clients view your company, which can
attract more business directly.
Everyone loves a space with amenities, especially millennials. There is a reason everyone
wants to work at Google because the place is a playground of desirable amenities. This keeps
their talented workforce so happy they are willing to work long hours and on the weekends —
because it doesn’t feel like work! There are many things to consider with regard to amenities,
but some of the basics to lock down include a relaxing eating area, decent restrooms, and some
sort of engagement facility for team building. Additionally, find a space that is well located to
local attractions is a must. Check that there are decent restaurants nearby to entertain clients.
Find someplace close to banks, post offices, or shopping areas so staff can get errands done
3. The Ideal Layout
Every business needs a unique space for their unique business. Consider how many walled
offices there are for senior staff, and if they are suitable for your respectable talent. From there,
how are the open areas if cubicles are part of your model? Would an open layout make more
sense or something more sectioned off for a privacy-sensitive business?
4. Let the Light Shine in
Face it, every office space can’t have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking oceans, mountains,
and breathtaking cityscapes. But indirect sunlight can enhance employee productivity and
improve well-being, so be mindful of how to take full advantage of what light exists. Skylights
help in a big way, as do interior offices with window panels which allow natural light from
external windows to the outside.)
5. Reduced Traffic – Commuter-friendly
Have you ever endured an hour and a half commute? Oh pardon me, that’s an hour and a half
both ways, totaling a 3-hour a day commute. Over a 5-day work week, that’s 15 hours of your
life sitting in the great parking lot that is the busy freeways in the United States. It can be
maddening, and so insufferable even happy employees will look for opportunities elsewhere just
so they can get 10-15 hours of their lives back. Find an office space that is reasonable to get to
traffic-wise, or is at least in an area where public transportation can get your employees to work
in a timely manner.
6. Realistic Square Footage
Don’t take on more office space than you need. Perhaps the entire purpose of your move is to
get more space, but be careful in your projections for growth. A crippling lease price can stymie
that growth, choking the entire purpose of your move in the first place. Make sure that your new
office is suitable for sustained growth, without consuming an excessive chunk of your resources.
7. Avoid Hidden Costs
When comparing any sort of real estate, price comparison is an obvious must. Yet not all
properties can be compared apples-to-apples, as some present their price as an inclusive total
while others surprise you with hidden costs you’d assume should be included with rent. Have an
upfront conversation with the landlord or leasing agent to ensure you are truly getting everything
you need at the price presented.
How big of a pain in the face is the parking situation? The second most annoying thing about
getting to work after traffic is hunting for parking — and the last thing you need are disgruntled
employees who have spent the first part of their day grumbling. If the space is in the center of
the city, check if there are parking passes you can provide for employees, or at least give them
discounts for. If not, public transportation is another option and something you could provide as
part of a benefits package to keep your commuters happy.
9. Secure Building
Everyone wants to feel safe, especially your employees. There are several ways to approach
this important factor, and it all depends on the location of the chosen space. If the building is in
a low crime area, safety could be easy to overlook, but is absolutely not something to forget
about. For example in more remote areas, make sure the parking lot is well-lit and the building
is reasonably secure with alarms and security surveillance. In more urban areas, higher security
precautions should be taken. Is there a security guard on duty, or ID-required building access?
Whatever the area, make sure to ask questions. Have there been any recent break-ins? Are the
windows and skylights secure? A safe environment makes for an at ease labor force.
10. Room to Expand
As previously discussed, make sure you choose the right square footage for your space. But
remember to think ahead at the possibility of rapid growth. How difficult would it be to expand
your business to more space in this building? Could you easily rent the office next door? Or is
there enough space in the larger areas to section off for more employees? It’s never too early to
In the hunt for a new office space, there are clearly many things to consider. Yet the juggle of
possibilities is well-worth the effort, to ensure your decision is an improvement on your current
space, which will lead to a happier, more motivated staff.
For more ideas, check out our Office Relocation Checklist.
Is wireless technology right for your business?
The majority of office buildings continue to use a conventional Local Area Network (LAN) utilizing wired connections or cables to network computer hardware and printers. Mobile Networks, often referred to as Wi-Fi, however, are increasingly being used as more businesses move in the direction of versatile work spaces that enable their workforce to cut the network cable.
A wireless platform allows staff to roam freely throughout the building while staying linked to the online and linked to the company network. This kind of set up tends to make teamwork and cooperation much easier mainly because co-workers are no longer bound to their particular workstations and can meet in each other’s work areas, meeting areas or even on an outdoor patio beyond their building.
When contemplating whether or not to go with a Wi-Fi system, it’s necessary to consider the costs associated with the two technologies. A hard-wired LAN could be more costly, particularly if you’re cabling a pre-existing structure. Cabling and wired connections need to be threaded through any walls, ceilings, and partitions. The cost is typically not recoverable, since the wiring is going to be abandoned once you relocate. A standard hard-wired set up will cost you somewhere between $100 and $200 for each person in your office.
A wireless system is less expensive to install, since as the name suggests there aren’t any cables or wires to run. The device needed to develop a wireless platform is moderately priced at approximately $100. Then, each computer or laptop would require a wireless network card which usually costs about $50 each. The benefit of a wireless network is that once your lease expires and you move from your office, the wireless system moves with you.
For most organizations, security and reliability are the most significant challenges in converting to a wireless network. The file encryption standards are regarded by some network experts to be less secure when compared to a typical LAN.
As technologies improve, don’t be surprised to discover a growing number of firms implementing Wi-Fi to reduce networking expenditures as well as to free employees from their workstations.