5 Things to Look for When Scouting for a New Office

With business success comes expansion. If you’ve recently hit the jackpot and landed an amazing deal with a new supplier, then you might have secured enough funds to move out of your dinky office and into a much larger one. Perhaps you’ll move for the sake of better transport links, or maybe you just want to get away from your old and outdated office with slow internet speeds. Whatever the reason may be, here are five things to look out for when you’re scouting for a new office.

Check the internet speeds

If you’re going to upgrade the technology in your business, then you’ll need a fast internet connection to be able to support it. Whether it’s backing up data to the cloud or hosting files on your own servers for your audience to download, it’s important to double-check all the internet speeds that are available for your proposed office. Even if the speeds are up to par, make sure the service itself is stable. The last thing you want is a subpar internet connection that cuts out every few minutes because it could ruin your office productivity.

Room for future expansion

Don’t forget that your office needs to contain enough space for future expansion as well. If you’re currently growing your business, then you’ll want to get an office that has plenty of extra space where you can put new employees. You’ll also need to worry about storage space. For example, if your office will have lots of servers to host your data then you’ll most likely have to dedicate a separate room to store them. In short, don’t neglect the importance of planning ahead.

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Signs of pests

Don’t forget to check for pests. Whether it’s termite inspections or looking for signs of rats, your new office needs to be pristine and worth the extra money. Far too many people think that you don’t need to put effort into inspecting an office because it’s listed as new. However, any area can become home to rats, pests and vermin if they aren’t properly taken care of. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t neglect your responsibilities as a business owner and ensure that the new office is suitable for use.

Local transport links

If you want to make commuting easier for your employees and also attract new recruits, make sure your office is close to transport links. You may also want to consider parking spaces for your employees to make it easier for them to drive to work. Expect to pay a premium if you aim for an office with local transport links.

Neighbouring businesses

Unlike renting a commercial location, competitors don’t present a huge threat when you find a new location. However, it’s never a bad idea to have neighbours that could help with your success. For instance, if you’re a business that relies on technology, then having local businesses that can repair your network and computers is a huge boon that should be taken advantage of.

How Much Office Space Is Too Much?

Hiring a large office space is quite a significant overhead that could be eating into your profits like Pac-Man. While it might be nice to have a good amount of space, if you aren’t using it all then you’re just burning money for no reason.

As long as you have enough space for your employees to work comfortably, that’s all you need, anything more is a waste. It will also cost you more money to have the office cleaned if it’s oversized. All that extra money could be put back into the business to help you expand so it’s definitely worth taking a look at the space you are using and seeing whether it is possible to downgrade.

Here are five (5) ways that you can reduce the space you use and move into a smaller office.

Servers

If your business stores a lot of data, it is likely that you will have servers somewhere in the building. These take up a huge amount of space so you’ll probably be using a whole room for it. It is important to have backups, but storing everything on an in-house server isn’t necessary anymore. Cloud IT solutions allow you to store that information elsewhere so you don’t have to bear the burden of the servers. Another benefit of cloud storage is that you can access things on the move a lot more quickly.

Outsourcing

You can easily cut the amount of people that you have in the office by outsourcing certain departments. When you are looking to outsource, identify which areas of the business you are weakest in, having an expert handle it for you will yield better results. It could end up costing you more than employing people yourself, but that cost will be offset by the savings that you’ll make by moving to a smaller office.

Remote Workers

More people are working remotely from home these days. Look at your staff and ask yourself which of them really need to be in the office all day. Those that don’t can be moved into their home and work from there, they will still be able to pop into the office if needs be, but you don’t need a designated area for them to work in.

Flexible Work Spaces

Certain spaces in the office, like meeting rooms, won’t be in use all of the time. These can be turned into more versatile spaces that cater for multiple situations. That way, instead of having two or three rooms, you’ll just need one. Foldable furniture is one simple way of doing this, it can be easily moved out or rearranged for various layouts. Flexible spaces also make for a more inspiring office because employees have more freedom over how they work.

Layout

Most office layouts are fairly typical, but they aren’t always the most practical. You need to be designing a layout based on the shape of the room and the space that you already have. Choose desks that have enough space for employees to work without any surplus. When you’ve got a lot of desks in one room, that bit of extra space will add up.

If you use these simple tricks, you should be able to fit your workforce into a much smaller space and make considerable savings.

Make Your Business the Place to Work

You’re staring down the barrel of a recruitment crisis!

As a small business owner, it can be a real challenge to find the right staff, and keep them motivated and enthusiastic. The irony, of course, is that as a small business owner it’s far more important to you than to the big businesses that you’re able to recruit skilled, motivated and happy staff who turn up to work with a smile every day.

These are the people who’ll help your business stand out against your competitors and grow from strength to strength. These are the people who are going to make your life easier so that you can spend your time planning and strategising without having to micro-manage them.

While a few painfully dull interviews may lead us to believe otherwise, these candidates are out there. How do you find them? By making your business the place to work so that applicants are clambering over each other to join your team.

But how do you do that? Well, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But by adhering to these principles you can make your workplace a desirable and productive environment that attracts new staff and keeps your existing staff happy and on-point.

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Your environment

I don’t just mean recycling your waste paper (although that’s very important too), I mean making sure the environment is a productive and enjoyable one. There are many cultural and practical factors involved in doing this, but each is vitally important in ensuring that your workplace is as attractive as it is productive.

Ensuring that you use janitorial services to keep your environment clean and safe at all times is vitally important as cleanliness and tidiness are always conducive to productivity.

There are, however, many other factors that can make or break the effectiveness of your working environment.

  • The ambient temperature (33% of workers attribute the temperature of their workplace as a factor that contributes to their productivity).
  • Daylight and view (believe it or not a workplace with a view results in a 10-16% increase in productivity).
  • Background noise (30% of workers find background noise such as co-workers conversations distracting).

Candidates want to work in a comfortable environment where they have the tools and resources they need to do their job well readily at their disposal.

But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Read: 6 Rules For A Happier and More Productive Workplace

Your culture

Your business culture and values will go great lengths to ensuring that you and your potential new recruits are ideologically compatible. A high-performance culture is essential in motivating staff and attracting candidates who are self-motivated and strive for excellence.

Valuing high performance doesn’t need to make you a slave driver, though. Show your employees that you value them as often as you can, rewarding achievement and reinforcing positive attitudes.

You shouldn’t be afraid of distractions. Indeed, you should embrace them. Make sure staff have opportunities to take a break from long or difficult tasks. Ensure that all staff have a work-life balance and the means to manage their personal commitments. Allowing some members of staff to work from home, or providing flexi-time allowance are great ways to do this

You should also ensure that your staff have access to exercise facilities, even if it’s just an after work running club, to show that you value their physical well being and give the energy of the place a boost.

Employees aren’t robots and will often come to work with some emotional baggage on their shoulder. No matter how dedicated they may be, some tears are bound to slip out sooner or later and it’s vital to create a culture that’s supportive of emotional wellness.

As well as creating an environment where employees can do their jobs well, the best employers are supportive and encouraging when it comes to upskilling and professional development. Make sure all employees have access to the means to learn, improve and progress in their career (even if that means you eventually have to let them fly the nest).

Your USP (unique selling proposition)

You know your business better than anyone and so you’re ideally placed to let prospective candidates know why your business is the right place for them. Make sure they know all about your strengths, your accomplishments and the things that make your business unique.

Your values should be an intrinsic part of your brand identity and you should lead by example by living and breathing them in your workplace, but establishing these to people outside of your workforce could be more challenging.

Why not put this into the wider world with your own content? Social media posts, blogs, and YouTube videos are a great way of establishing your identity to the world at large and making your appeal clear to prospective candidates.