Choosing an office space for your business can have a tremendous impact on employee job satisfaction, team engagement and productivity; what Dexus calls, “the three cornerstones of success”.
With over 70% of Australian executives claiming their office space directly impacts productivity, Aussie businesses may need to review their current space to ensure it meets their evolving needs and enhances (rather than hinders) overall business performance.
If your business is contemplating an office upgrade or relocation, some factors to consider include budget, location, size, modernity, infrastructure, adaptability, lighting, lease length, amenities and cleanliness.
Let’s take a closer look…
1. Balance Your Budget and Priorities
When it comes to getting your business off the ground or upgrading your premises, it’s all about striking the right balance. Before you even start looking for a new office space, think about what it is you really need first (the ‘wants’ can come later).
When listing your preferences, be realistic. Try to work out what you can afford to spend on a space and consider your options within that price range, remembering to factor in potential growth.
Changing locations later might turn out to be expensive, or potentially damaging to the business, so choose wisely and plan ahead for possible expansion.
Your business’ headquarters are going to become an important aspect of your brand, especially if you depend on customers visiting your location, so consider also how the office reflects your company culture and how prospective clients will feel about the space.
2. Lighting Makes all the Difference
Nothing makes an office more inviting than natural light. A space with large windows and an airy feel might be more expensive, but the investment will pay off…
Natural light has also been found to improve creativity and learning, and plays a vital role in physical and mental health.
If you can’t find a space with ample natural light, you’ll need to step up your game when it comes to artificial lighting. Working with experts, like this Sydney electrician company, to create an optimal lighting scheme will do wonders for your workplace wellness.
3. Check the Existing Infrastructure
Don’t be fooled by an inviting ambiance and the allure of what a place could look like, instead of facing the reality.
Faulty and dated infrastructure can be disruptive, unpleasant, and ultimately, it can cost you money. If you find a location you’re serious about, take the time to inspect the electrical installations, the plumbing and the air conditioning, before you sign on the dotted line.
If necessary, consult an expert to make sure everything is in top condition. You don’t want to choose a place only to find out afterwards it’s a fire hazard, or that you’ll be freezing in winter and sweltering through summer.
Also, talk to the landlord about who will be bearing the cost of repairs down the road to avoid surprises.
4. Size Matters
Take the time to calculate how much space your team needs to function properly. You need enough space to comfortably fit your staff, IT equipment, and products or materials (if you’re dealing with sales or production).
In general, you should aim for at least 6 m2 per person. Working in a cramped space is bad for office productivity, so don’t try to squeeze in as many people as possible to save a few dollars, when in reality you may end up paying for it in other areas of the business.
5. Is it adaptable?
It can be difficult to predict where your business will be even a year from now, making it hard to know what your future needs will be. This being the case, choose a space that offers flexibility to adapt the space as your business and staff evolve.
You may have greater flexibility with a large open-plan office, allowing you to create cubicles and hot-desk style offices, or erect mobile partitions. Also ensure there will be enough enclosed offices to accommodate the top tier of your company, both now and in the future.
6. Extra Amenities & Body Corporate Rules
It’s always nice when the place you’re renting comes with bonuses. For instance, is there ample bike and car parking in the vicinity? What floor is the office on and does the building have a large elevator, making the office relocation a breeze?
Will you have access to a fast and reliable internet connection? Are there parks and healthy fast food choices nearby for staff to access during lunch breaks? And importantly for the canine lovers, does the building allow office dogs?
7. Air Quality & Cleanliness
Moving into an up and coming business hub can be an attractive prospect, but it can also present risks to air quality and equipment failure if your office space is surrounded by construction and ongoing development.
Contaminants and sub-micron dust particles from even basic maintenance tasks like replacing air conditioning units, installing doors, removing walls and drilling holes can become airborne, causing serious equipment failure if the air is left untreated.
Chat to body corporate about hiring HEPA floor mounted air scrubbers for removing dangerous dust particles during construction, and if moving into an office with existing IT equipment, book a complimentary office equipment health check before commencing work to identify potentially hazardous bacteria present on the equipment.
Choosing an Office Space
Deciding the criteria for the perfect office space should be a collaborative effort to ensure all bases are covered, and no one person or department misses out on everything they need for optimal performance.
Start by prioritising your business needs, then balance these against market availability and you will find an office space that helps your business thrive, for a price you can comfortably afford.
Author bio: Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing and rock climbing. Connect with him on Twitter.