Seven key questions to ask when moving offices
There are many reasons that you might be considering an office move. Perhaps you are starting up in business, expanding or relocating to a new area. One thing that we can all agree on is that choosing the right office has a direct impact on your business success. Therefore, we have put together a list of seven key questions to ask when moving offices to help you make a considered and wise decision when choosing a new office. By asking yourself these questions you can help avoid making the common mistakes companies make when moving offices.
1. How safe is the office?
2020 was a year like no other. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, regrettably but understandably, “how safe is the office?” has become the number one question to ask when moving offices. Whether you’re planning to bring staff back to the office, or need a space where you can welcome suppliers, customers and visitors, you need a safe COVID-19 secure workplace.
If you need help or advice in finding a COVID-19 secure office, simply contact Office Freedom and we can help.
2. Why do you need to move office?
With a current trend towards remote working, many businesses will be looking to downsize their office, fearful of the costs of underutilisation. Perhaps you are looking to find offices on more flexible terms or nearer to workers’ homes. Whatever the reasons, documenting your motivations will provide clarity and purpose for your search.
3. How is your current workspace being used?
It’s important to reflect upon how your current workspace is being used so it can inform your decision making for your new office. Do you have unused desks or are you overflowing? Are you making new hires and rapidly running out of space or looking to accommodate smaller numbers? Do you have all the facilities and amenities that you need, or perhaps you are looking to reduce office costs and are seeking a more flexible arrangement?
If you need some help to formulate your workspace strategy or are struggling to answer any of these questions to ask when moving office, then Office Freedom can undertake a review free of charge and make recommendations as to what workspace would suit you best.
4. Do you have the right resources and expertise for an office move?
Many businesses underestimate the time, resources and expertise required to make a successful office move. If you are not really sure what to do, you can waste valuable time, effort and money and at worst, a wrong move could spell disaster for the business. Here’s just some of the tasks that you will need to undertake:
- Define your requirements
- Consider all the options (location, cost, size, type of workspace, amenities, scope to expand, terms etc.)
- Conduct searches and local research
- Check reviews and credentials
- Make numerous calls
- Shortlist properties
- Arrange viewings
- Negotiate with property experts
- Agree contract terms
- Appoint contractors and suppliers
- Organise the office move
It’s for all these reasons that we’d recommend that you get professional help and advice i.e. Tenant Representation. This is what Office Freedom provides.
5. What is your timeframe and budget?
Establishing a budget for both costs and time are critical if you are going to derive a return on investment. Unless you are in a real hurry, for example your office has been flooded, and you need a business continuity space to move in next day, you will be able to plan ahead. This means reviewing all of the options available to you including hotdesking, coworking, serviced offices, managed offices and leasehold property.
There are offices to suit all budgets. Take a look at these flexible offices in London to get a feel for the range of prices available here. You should also be aware of some of the hidden costs of traditional leasing too before you commit long term.
Finally, do not underestimate the value of market knowledge and negotiating skills when looking at the commercial property market. Some of the best properties are not advertised and the best deals are struck between property professionals.
6. Should you take a lease or flexible office alternative?
This is one of the most common questions to ask when moving offices. Conventional leased office space involves renting directly from the landlord of the building, on a price per square foot per annum basis. Usually this involves a contractual commitment of between three and twenty years. It’s a long-term agreement. Conventional leases generally appeal to large businesses, confident of their future requirements.
If you want more flexibility and agility, a flexible workspace might fit the bill. Serviced offices are flexible “work ready” spaces. Offices come fully furnished with furniture, utilities, IT infrastructure, security and management supplied. Serviced offices encompass private offices and coworking spaces and are available to move in next day. They offer maximum flexibility, with contracts typically ranging from one month to two years. There’s no up-front capital expenditure, and as far as possible, all costs are wrapped into one all-inclusive monthly invoice.
Serviced offices are great for growing businesses who want maximum flexibility, shorter term solutions, great facilities and simple cost control.
7. Is your workspace strategy agile and fit for purpose?
This last question may well be the most pertinent question to ask when moving offices given the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Does your business workspace strategy have the flexibility and adaptability to respond to whatever challenges and opportunities your business might face?
Many businesses are currently counting the cost of being trapped in a long-term lease. Others are reaping the benefits of being able to downsize or relocate without penalty. Moving forward businesses will be looking to utilise more flexible workspace which embraces flexible working, promotes wellness, collaboration and drives productivity.