Choosing office space

Thinking about choosing office space? Learn about the pros and cons in this guide from Company Formations 24.7.

Deciding where to work is an important part of your business strategy.

Your work environment not only impacts things like productivity, but also plays a role in how your organisation physically develops. If you are just starting out as an independent worker for example, you may be content with a home office. Having some space in which you can dedicate and focus on work can be positive for your concentration, and also save you money in things like office rent.

However, should the time come to expand your business in terms of the number of staff you employ, you may also find yourself faced with the issue of space. As your staff grows, so too does the need for resources, and if you have been working independently until this point, it could be that you are grappling with whether or not to opt for office space. If you are wondering about whether making the move into a physical premises is in fact the right choice, there are a few things you should consider when weighing up your options.

Is office space right for me?

Deciding whether or not to invest in office space is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. Lease terms can run anywhere from three to five years, especially in sought-after locations like London, and so it is vital to think through your choice before making a commitment. Some factors that may weigh in your decision could include:

  • Is the need for further space temporary, or part of growth that can be sustained over the long term?
  • How much square footage will I need to not only satisfy my needs now, but allow for further growth?
  • Do I need an office for employees only, or a space that can be client facing as well?
  • Where is the best location for the office, and what are the local rents like in this area? How does this fit with my profit forecasts?

Different types of office space

If you think that office space is the next logical step for your organisation, then you can then start to look at what is available for your budget and needs. Some options for office space include:

Hot-desking

This enables you to use a spare desk in any number of specific hot-desking spaces, for which you can either pay a monthly fee or pay-as-you-go. This option is great if you travel a lot and need space in various locations rather than one specific office.

Office sharing

The wave of start-ups and co-working hubs that have emerged post-recession has transformed the British office scene, and can be great places for innovation if you are a new business. Many large businesses will have unused office space, while other older buildings have been repurposed into office space that can be shared among organisations. This way, freelancers, contractors and small businesses can all work in this sublet space, which means you have access to a wide range of skillsets and contacts that can help you grow your business.

Virtual offices

As the name suggests, a virtual office does not occupy any actual floor space, but rather exists in cyberspace. This means you and your staff can work collaboratively online, using tools the internet provides such as the Cloud and communication tools like Skype. Some virtual offices can provide things like call answering services and a physical address mailbox to help you create a professional image associated with being in a physical office.

Leasing office space

Lastly, if your business has grown to the point when none of the above will do any longer, renting out your own office may be the best choice. Purpose-built facilities can house your growing workforce, and help you expand your business with a physical premises. You will need to look at a number of things such as square footage, capacity, cost, and what grade of office space (grade A, B or C) you will need. This option provides you with the ability to make the place your own, and to take the next step in developing your business.

As acquiring or leasing office space is a big step, it’s important to have an exit strategy in place before making any decisions. You can also speak with a small business consultant before committing to determine which of the above options may be right for you if you’re considering office space.

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