How do I choose the perfect office space?

30 April 2021
Choosing the right office location and space for your business can be daunting. You don’t want to be locked into an expensive contract that limits your freedom to upscale, downscale or even move. This top nine list will help you navigate the pitfalls and give you the inside track to make the best office space choice.
The kitchen facilities at Access’ Basingstoke office space
  1. What is the right location?

The question of where to rent office space is the first one that businesses need to consider. The location needs to be a perfect balance between accessibility and convenience for employees – and clients – and cost. Offices closer to city centres are often quite expensive, so most businesses are better suited with a well-connected office near a transport hub slightly further out.

No one likes starting or ending the day with a long, challenging commute, so it’s important to choose an office that is within 30 to 45 minutes of where your staff live. A good office should be within walking distance of public transport and offer fast access to major roads and motorways, as these both help keep the commuting time down. This is especially important if clients will be visiting your office frequently.

  1. Facilities

What should you look for in a new office space?

Your staff will need a kitchen to take coffee breaks, eat lunch and possibly even dinner. At a minimum, this kitchen should include tables, chairs, a kettle, a microwave, a toaster, a sink and some tableware – but more is always appreciated. A coffee machine is always a popular addition, in our experience.

For businesses renting limited office space, a bookable meeting room is also a major plus, as it enables the business to put a professional foot forward when meeting with clients or suppliers.

  1. Internet

These days, the wired internet speed to the office should be one of the major factors in choosing an office space. While the strength of the Wi-Fi signal is something you can change as a business owner, the maximum speed that arrives at the office is another matter.

Office network access comes almost exclusively in the form of a wired connection to an internet service provider, and the speeds delivered by the connection can vary significantly. Some offices may offer fibre broadband that delivers near-instantaneous speeds, others may be connected to decades-old infrastructure. There’s no easy way to change this, although internet providers are upgrading the network at their own pace, so be sure to check the wired internet speed while looking at offices.

  1. Wellbeing

The age of fluorescent-lit cubicles is over. Modern employees prefer an office that offers a more open, flexible workspace, breakout rooms and some security measures. Most of these changes don’t necessitate a lot of additional spending, and they create a positive and safe working environment. This can have a significant effect on your staff’s wellbeing and productivity.

Physical health is also important to today’s employees, so access to outdoor space for some fresh air or a walk is a valuable trait in an office. Similarly, employees who cycle to work also appreciate a secure bike rack and on-site showers. Some offices even reach an agreement with a local gym to offer discounts to employees in exchange for consistent business.

  1. Parking

Staff that drive to work will need parking. On-site office parking is often very limited – and in some cities, it may not even exist – so you’ll need to assess what on- and off-street parking is available nearby and how much it costs before choosing an office.

At Access, we’re pleased to offer expansive parking, as well as long-term vehicle storage, at the majority of our locations.

  1. Contract lease term

Knowing how long you’re prepared to stay at your chosen location will allow you to best negotiate contract terms. The longer you can commit, the better the deal you might be able to get. Alternatively, if you want greater flexibility, you may choose to pay a little more for a short-term contract of three months or less with just a one-month notice period.

There are also other costs that you need to understand while negotiating a contract, including the deposit and any legal fees. Be sure to ask about these, as some less scrupulous office providers like to bury additional fees to present a lower up-front cost. A provider guaranteeing up-front, transparent fees will make your life a lot easier!

  1. Flexibility

One of the most common questions that businesses ask is “how much office space do I need?” This varies depending on what sort of tasks your employees normally do, but most experts suggest 50 to 80 sq. ft. per person. If arranging your office in a particular way is important to your business – the physical space is a reflection of the brand, after all – be sure to ask the office provider questions about this before signing the lease. If in doubt, make sure to visit in person first so that you can visualise the space.

When you’ve found the ideal office space, the last thing you’ll want to do is move. However, circumstances change in business, and you may need to upsize or downsize your office space. Choosing an office space with up- and downsizing in mind ensures that you won’t have to move to another building as your company develops.

At Access, we offer a range of offices from 150 to 500 sq.ft., as well as configurable space up to 1,000 sq. ft. and our flexible contracts make it easy to change size as necessary.

  1. Price

How much does an office space cost?

Choosing the right office space online can be tough, especially when it comes to getting value for your money. The calculation that agencies or landlords use to promote a price per person per month, or office space per month can differ from one supplier to the next. Ads boasting the cheapest office space may be hiding that cost in additional fees, so it’s important to understand what’s included and what’s not so you can accurately compare.

Making an online or phone enquiry is necessary to truly understand the calculation as well as what’s included in the price. You’ll also need to remember that insurance is not included, and that all office space providers will require you to independently take out office contents insurance.

  1. On-site storage

The cost of office space is typically higher than storage space, so it’s often a better option to store stock, equipment or infrequently accessed documents rather than allowing them to clutter the office. However, several self storage suppliers provide both storage and office space – the best of both worlds.

By utilising on-site storage, you can reduce your overall costs by storing stock and equipment rather than renting valuable office space to keep it in. At Access, we’re proud to offer cheap, modern business storage at all of our sites around the country.

Flexible office space with Access

At Access, we offer cheap office space and self storage for businesses across the country. Learn more about our flexible office space offering, or get in contact today for a custom quote.

Affordable office space with flexible leases

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