Anyone who has been given the duty of finding an office in London will tell you that it is not an easy task. Simply deciding where to start is an arduous process. Nowadays, businesses in London face a dizzying array of options for where they want to work, ranging from coworking spaces that fit creatives from multiple companies together, to offices for rent that take advantage of modern aesthetics to create a workspace that generates productivity.
Faced with these options, it can be overwhelming to start, but it doesn’t have to be! To help you narrow down the search for the perfect office for you, we’ve come up with a list of ten things you must consider when finding an office – a new home for your company.
1. Location (and accessibility) is key
When choosing an office to rent in London, location is a crucial aspect to begin with. Where do you want your business to be located? Is foot traffic a factor you need to account for? Or can you get away with a suburban location? What’s around the office space you’re going to be working in?
Depending on the nature of your business, you may find it beneficial to find a location in a commercial district close to similar business to take advantage of networking possibilities. For companies who regularly meet with clients, you’ll want to find a spot that’s with easy access for them.
You’ll also want to make sure that the space is within easy access of your key employees. A long or expensive commute might drive them to seek employment elsewhere.
2. Keep it well within budget
Budget goes hand-in-hand with location. When searching for the right London office, you want to make sure that you don’t overstretch what you’re able to afford. The best office space means nothing if a few months down the line, you find your funds scarce.
Before even looking at office spaces, determine what you can afford. Ensure that your budget is flexible enough to allow for sudden or last-minute changes. Think about what additional costs you may have to pay, such as parking or maintenance fees. You’ll also want to make sure that you can afford the deposit.
3. Check out what facilities you’ll get
Nowadays, the best offices come with amenities. When choosing an office, you’ll want to make sure that you have everything that you need to work. This includes the basic necessities such as Wi-Fi, reception, and parking. Past that, other amenities might include what’s around the office. Are there places nearby where you can buy food or supplies? Having a few good restaurants nearby will work wonders for when you want to arrange company lunches.
A happy employee is a productive employee. An office that’s also well within shopping areas, banks, and pharmacies will make the lives of your team members easier, helping them see to their own needs without going far out of their way, and that will in turn, help them feel great about the company that they’re working for.
4. Is there space for breaks?
Hard work is tiring, and it’s only natural that we need to take breaks every now and then so that we can get back to work freshened and with a new perspective. Break spaces are important not only to allow your team to rest, but also to help build company culture.
These break spaces can range from snack bars stocked with healthy foods to cafes where your team can meet and talk. Some offices even offer gyms for use, or roof terraces that allow for jaw-dropping views of the city. All this combines to allow your team a space to recuperate before they return to work.
5. Do you have spaces to meet?
We’re all familiar with the image of an office worker, huddled in a cubicle that they work in alone for the entire day, but that’s not necessarily true. Many companies, especially ones that demand collaborative and creative work, require spaces for team members to be able to meet and discuss their work. When browsing your options for office spaces in London, check to make sure that these spaces are included. Depending on the needs of your team, large office spaces are available that include meeting rooms that ensure privacy for entire teams.
6. What does the office look like? (To you? To your team? To your clients?)
A nice looking office is more important than you think. Businesses who bring potential clients to their offices will need to consider their aesthetic appeal. For instance, a startup group of creatives looking to get business might find it easier to sell themselves if they are located in an office that reflects their work.
How your office looks is also tied with your team’s productivity. We all recognise that a dark, dreary office is not the most pleasant place to work. An office filled with light, taking advantage of natural lighting and colourfully equipped with plants and pictures helps a feel great about where they’re working.
7. Consider coworking spaces
For the past few years, coworking spaces in London have grown exponentially, and it’s easy to see why. Working alongside like-minded people helps foster a sense of community. Nowadays, many companies are taking advantage of coworking spaces, placing their team close by others who are similar to them. The result is collaboration and an environment that invokes inspiration and a sense of belonging.
Another benefit of coworking spaces is shared resources. In the best coworking spaces, everyday necessities are taken care of by the building administrators, leaving you more time to focus on your work. It’s a win-win situation.
8. Make sure there’s room for growth
When you’re searching for the right office space for your team, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough space for everyone involved, but at the same time, you’ll want to make sure that there’s room for growth. The last thing you want is to get an office space in London that becomes cramped and hard to work in.
Keep an eye on the forecasted growth of your team when you’re looking for office spaces, and make sure you have enough room for any newcomers to your team.
9. How’s the building management?
When viewing office spaces, knowing the building’s management and their involvement in the building can be just as important as the space itself. A good management team will work to ensure that everything in the office is as it should be. They will make sure that things like air conditioning, heating, and ventilation are properly maintained, that the office is clean, and all of the facilities work.
Without good building management, even the best office spaces can fail, and the last thing you want is your team’s productivity dropping because the Wi-Fi isn’t working properly, or giving a client a bad impression because the office hasn’t been properly cleaned.
10. Know the small print
Knowing your license or lease inside-out is important for a smooth stay. You want to be clear on your obligations so that you don’t run into trouble down the line.
Make sure that you’re thorough. You don’t want to move to a location only to discover a price increase, or find yourself with a nasty surprise if you have to move again before the contract is up. As long as you know what your responsibilities are, you can ensure that your stay with your new office is as smooth and pleasant as it can be.