Finding the right office space is so important if you want your employees to be productive. If they are in a positive work environment where they are comfortable, and they have all of the resources that they need, they will be a lot more efficient. But if they are stuck in a cramped office that hasn’t been updated for the last 20 years, they’re not going to work very hard. That’s why choosing an office is a big decision that you shouldn’t rush into. Whether you are moving into your first office or upgrading to a larger space, there are a lot of details that you need to consider and sometimes, it’s easy to forget things. But if you follow this checklist of things to check before signing an office lease, you can make sure that you find the perfect office.
Your budget is very important because rent is one of your biggest overheads. If you rent an office space that is too expensive, you may end up with some serious cash flow problems in the future. But it’s not just the monthly rent that you need to consider because there are some hidden costs that you need to think about. If you are renting an office in a large building that is shared between multiple businesses, you need to ask about maintenance in common areas. In most cases, there will be an allowance given to all of the businesses in the building and you will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the common areas in the building. But in some cases, it may fall to you to cover those costs yourself. You also need to look at the capital expenditures. This usually refers to large maintenance projects like structural work on the building or fixing HVAC systems. If you are responsible for these costs, you should try to negotiate with the landlord so you don’t have to pay out large amounts of money if repairs need doing. If you don’t check for these extra costs, you may find that the actual cost of the office is a lot higher than you first thought.
The energy bills are another extra cost that people often forget to factor in when they are choosing an office space. If you rent an office that isn’t very energy efficient, you will be spending a lot of money every month on energy bills. It’s also not good for the environment, which is a big concern for a lot of consumers these days, so it could hurt your public image. When you are trying to choose an office, you should ask about the insulation and whether it has been updated recently. You can also ask for a few months worth of energy bills so you can see what the average payment is likely to be. When you are working out the cost, consider the rent plus the energy bills and get a total. It might be cheaper to pay a slightly higher rent if the energy bills are a lot lower.
The health of your employees is so important and as a business owner, it’s up to you to make sure that the office is free of health hazards. Health and safety regulations are strict and if you are found to be in breach of them, you will end up with some big fines. Most of that is down to you once you move into the office, but before you sign the lease, you need to check if there are any existing health hazards in the buildings. Dangerous building materials are fairly common in older properties, so you need to check for things like asbestos and lead paint. This list of frequently asked questions about asbestos should help you to spot the telltale signs, but you should also have a professional survey carried out. If there are dangerous materials present in the building, you will have to pay for the removal, so make sure to consider that when making your decision. You also need to make sure that the electrics are well maintained because if they are faulty, that puts your employees at risk.
The office space itself is the most important thing, but you also need to make sure that you have good parking outside. If you don’t have space for all of your employees to park, it could cause problems because people may have to pay to park elsewhere, and they won’t be happy about that. You should also try to find somewhere that has surplus parking in case you are inviting clients to the office. A lot of people are finding other ways to get to work these days because they want to be more environmentally friendly so you should consider that as well. Make sure that you have a space for people to lock up their bikes and try to find somewhere close to public transport links as well.
When you are viewing an office, you might not be thinking about the amount of natural light in there because you’re focused on the more practical things, but it’s very important. Good lighting is one of the best ways to create a productive office space and natural light, in particular, has been shown to make people work more effectively. When you are viewing the office, take note of where the natural light is coming in and think about how you would arrange the desks around it. It’s better for your employees and you will save money if you can rely on natural light instead of artificial.
Some office buildings will come complete with extra services, and that can save you money as well. Things like Wi-Fi, storage areas, and office furniture and supplies may be rolled in with the monthly rent. That means you don’t need to pay for those things yourself, and so it might be cost effective to pay more money for an office that comes complete with extra services.
When you are choosing an office, it’s important that you check these things before you sign a lease. If you just go on the monthly rent and the size of the space, you may not be getting a good deal.