From Remote Working To Office: The Concerns To Consider

6 Mins read

There are many things to consider when growing your business, especially when you are making a big change, from upgrading your premises from the standard office at the back of your home, all the way through to a real business location. At this point, it’s where you finally realize your ambitions in business, and you are taking that next exciting leap into trading as a tangible company, not just a small, homespun business out of your back room. Moving into a business premises, whether it is a warehouse, an office, or part of a rented space that you share with other like-minded freelancers, there are some things that you need to consider on how it will impact your business overall. There are some practical concerns, but there are also concerns when it comes to your workforce …

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Picking The Location

Location, as every estate agent would tell you, is vital. When you are picking a business location, it’s easy to make the assumption that larger premises are better, because you think it makes for a more flexible and dynamic working environment. In actual fact, this isn’t always the correct assumption. So, location wise, you need to think about a few things. Firstly, the proximity of the business to your customer base. If you are operating a company where your client base is predominantly online or in other countries, it doesn’t matter so much. However, for those that are looking at being close to their customers, the best example to follow is the model of any department store. They are located in centralized areas, and this means that they have a lot more foot traffic. The second thing to think about is the layout of the property. If you got a team that relies on each other to provide support, either professional or moral, then the layout will have a bigger effect than you realize. And not only should you think in terms of the collaboration between staff members, but also the culture of the workplace itself has a lot of bearings on the productivity. If you are striving for a relaxed atmosphere, and a positive workplace culture, you should have this reflected in your office layout. Lots of companies now rely on open plan offices to help spur on creativity and productivity, as opposed to the segregated approach to everybody working individually. And while you are thinking about what is best for employee productivity, you should also consider the location of the premises in relation to its accessibility. If you’ve spent a long time building up a solid base of employees, and you’ve been working with them remotely, and it’s now time to bring them all together, they need to be able to access the building! Making that change from remote working to an office environment will be quite a culture shock. So if they are unable to access the location because it’s far off the beaten track, or they very simply don’t have transport means to get there, you are going to have lots of people express their concerns about how long they can stay in the job for. So, if you have no choice but to pick a location that’s far out of the way, you’d better start thinking about riding to work schemes, or carpooling.

What The Right Place Can Do For Productivity

As you’re making this leap from a home office to a real one, the approaches to work will differ exponentially. This is why you need to start thinking about how the real office will impact your productivity. And this goes back to the workplace culture, what kind of an atmosphere do you want? It’s been shown that a positive workplace culture has had a bigger impact on productivity than we realize, and especially now the holistic approach to running a business has shown to result in more positives than we could have imagined. So, this means thinking about, not just the internal aspects of the location, but the external. Morale and frame of mind are vital, especially if you are in a location that’s far out of the way, or in an industrial estate, where the views are less than inspiring. Morale is a very hot topic in young businesses, but finances prove to be the deciding factor above everything else, so it seems the employees don’t get their fair share of what they deserve. And these could be very simple things, from an air hockey table to a few couches, or something like a relaxing garden. The thing about a relaxing garden, especially if you managed to create one, is that it disguises the view of the sterile office building, and so your employees can properly relax. But, of course, there are issues with regards to cost, and while there are resources you can invest in, such as ProIrrigation to help maintain the quality of these relaxation areas, it’s something you have to find in your budget. However, you need to invest in your employees’ relaxation time. If you are expecting them to put 110% in, especially if there’s a tight deadline, or you need them all to work late or at weekends, you’d better make sure they feel good. Otherwise, they are not going to be productive. And this is why a nurturing and positive office space needs to be high on your priority list.

To Buy, Or Lease?

The overriding factor is budget in relation to this. It’s always worth remembering that mortgage companies will demand a 25% deposit, and of course, you need to think about the interest rates also. But in owning your own premises, you can get tax deductions, as well as make extra money renting out the space you have spare. But, if you go with a property agent, it takes most of the stress out of it for you, because they can truly assess your needs, and find something that is right for you.

The Brand Image

This is something that lots of businesses might not consider, especially if you are making that move from your home office to a business location. But, are you sending out the right image, based on your choice of location? You don’t want to send mixed messages with regards to the brand. So if you are in charge of a business that is cutting edge, and has the feel of an independent organization, such as a record label, does moving to a posh and swanky office send out the right opinion to your clients and your customers? If you are starting to embrace vlogs and business videos of what your company gets up to, which involves a lot of filming within the company, if you’ve got people seeing your office layout as something fit for a king, do you think this will help you win more customers? It’s very unlikely.

Making It A Space For Growth And Opportunity

The right office space does a lot of things, it creates a thriving atmosphere, it gives employees a place to relax, but it helps to develop the business. Our frame of mind impacts our productivity, and the environment we work in impacts our frame of mind. And, if you really are dead set on an office environment that is holistic in its outlook, this can be a very difficult thing to get right, which means that, in conjunction with keeping the business flowing, especially during the difficult move, you need to implement a gradual upscaling process. This means that instead of going in all guns blazing, hiring 100 new staff members, and the equipment to go with it, instead, by growing your business bit by bit, and employee by employee, you are able to better maintain the bigger picture. And this is why lots of ambitious entrepreneurs pick an office space that is too big. It’s a very difficult thing to get right, but by choosing a space that is capable of housing your employees, but also has an opportunity for growth; this will be something that impacts your business morale. Remember, by gathering all of your workers from a remote location to being all under one roof, there is going to be a lot of teething issues. So, in keeping the upgrade manageable, everybody has the opportunity to forge working relationships, and you will be able to manage them better, in a personal sense.

Making the leap from a home run business to an almighty organization is more than a little shock to the system. And in hiring remote workers, it means that there will be a lot of trepidation in implementing this working environment. The concerns in upgrading to a business premises means a lot of practical concerns, such as health and safety, but the environment is the one thing you need to think about when picking the right place. Lots of people choose their office based on the size, but, as we see now with modern offices, such as contact centers, these sorts of environments can be very demoralizing. So you need to ask yourself if this is going to make your business better, in other words, more productive, or worse.

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About author
Annie is a passionate writer and serial entrepreneur. She embraces ecommerce opportunities that go beyond profit, giving back to non-profits with a portion of the revenue she generates. She is significantly more productive when she has a cause that reaches beyond her pocketbook.
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