Where you choose to host your office space can make or break a business, particularly in a competitive commercial hub such as London. Many companies run into the same issues, and whether you’re a start-up, relocating a growing business or opening a satellite location, here are five key points to keep in mind when choosing an office location.
How close are you to the competition?
It’s natural for related businesses to carve out a real estate niche for themselves in a large city. Office buildings that house banks, insurance companies, and corporate headquarters for national retailers are usually located in the same neighborhood, or often the same street. If you’re in the financial industry, for example, and want to rent an office in Bank, London’s finance hub, then browse websites such as The Workplace Company. Take a look at where your main clients or your competitors are housed, and try to keep your search for office space in close proximity.
How accessible is it?
Studies have found that longer commutes impact on workers’ physical and mental health and well-being, which in turn negatively affects their ability to work. While a train or bus ride is inevitable for most workers in central London, an office location closer to main transport links can drastically cut those long works or second buses and shorten commuting times, which results in happier, healthier staff. If you can, secure adequate parking facilities so clients can drive to your office space without the hassle of negotiating public transport, and employees who choose to drive to work are able to.
Is it appropriate?
An office where you host clients, engage in meetings and broker deals should showcase the best your company has to offer. The building should reflect the image you want your business to project; a quirky loft space in South London might suit an indie publishing house, but it would be a strange fit for a high-powered insurance firm or financial adviser. Make sure the neighborhood is also appropriate. Would you be proud to take a client out for a cup of coffee down the street? Would employees be comfortable leaving their cars parked outside? Remember during your search that office spaces don’t exist in a vacuum.
What will it cost?
Make sure that you’re aware of all potential costs before signing a lease. Some rental agreements only cover space, and insurance, utilities, parking, and cleaning staff cost extra. If you’re comparing two or three different spaces, then make sure you include the full cost of the lease, not just the rental space. It may be worth finding a rental broker or lawyer, who will clarify all hidden expenses for you and spare you from any unpleasant surprises when it’s time to sign the contract.
Finding an office space that’s fit for purpose in a busy office hub like London might be daunting, but deciding on a location should be easy once you’ve done the right research. Make sure you’ve accounted for your staff, your clients, and any hidden financial costs.