Workplaces are one of the greatest costs any organisation has to meet so how do business owners and managers select the right space to suit employees, clients and budget?
A well-designed office in the right location can help boost employee wellbeing, raise productivity and make recruitment easier. And with the average desk in London costing £12,000 per person per year, it’s a decision that can also have a big impact on the bottom line.
Shaun Baker, head of Crown Workplace Relocations – experts in workplace design – has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and believes the key to choosing the right office space is in the detail.
He said: “A lot of companies only focus on the ‘big picture’ and neglect the finer details – which can prove costly in the long term.”
“An office in a good location may seem like the principal thing to consider but, if it doesn’t allow for expansion, provide break-out areas for staff or have access to natural light there could be significant implications for both productivity and staff wellbeing in future. In fact, you may find yourself paying to move offices again sooner than anticipated.”
Here is Shaun’s eight-point check list for a successful relocation:
- Appoint a project leader – Assign someone to cascade information about the relocation to the rest of the organisation.
- Choose the right location – Make sure the office is accessible to both employees and clients and consider what amenities are nearby. Is there a train station, airport or supermarket nearby? It is also important to think about the commuting distance – a long journey to the office could make it more difficult to attract new talent and new business.
- Know the true cost – From rent to legal fees, insurance, furniture and additional security, everything comes at a cost. Devise a plan that includes all expenses, expected and unexpected, and appoint a solicitor to help with the mountains of paperwork.
- Aid productivity – Good surroundings and access to natural light can help reduce employee stress and increase productivity. Check whether views from the property could change in future.
- Think about the detail – Consider carefully whether the office space will be on one floor or spread over many. Multiple floors can be costlier due to duplication. Check whether the electricity supply is sufficient to power all data and IT equipment and if the office space is large enough for employees, office furniture and storage.
- Prioritise information management – An information audit should be carried out to identify what data is currently stored, how it is stored and the procedures in place around it. This could help save money and reduce the risk of data breaches.
- Keep the workplace green – A sustainable office is not only good for the environment it can help increase productivity and reduce energy and water bills.
- Work in partnership – When selecting a design and fit-out company, choose one that understands your organisation’s culture and employs people you will get along with. Ask about their track record and their financial stability, you don’t want to pick one that doesn’t have the budget or credentials to execute the move.