By Vanessa Wood, Centre Manager, Business Central Darlington
Your company is growing, your office is old and tired, it doesn’t have great access to connectivity, your staff are always complaining about conditions, and you have enough on your plate trying to run your business – sound familiar?
Well that’s a position lots of business owners and office managers find themselves in and we wanted to give some ideas of ways to make looking for a new workspace a little simpler.
There isn’t always a need to use a large agent and these days there are a number of office brokers online who can make narrowing down your search much easier, but you still need to be clear on your criteria and here are some questions below to ask about areas that could cause you problems at a later date.
• Term – how long do you want to be tied in to an agreement for? To most people flexibility is key, however there are some great financial benefits to looking at longer term agreements, and most operators/landlords would want that security of occupancy.
• Deposit – Be clear on how much is required, is it fully refundable at the end of term and what might be deducted from it on exit? Make sure you get photographic details on move in and document any repair requests during occupancy.
• Furniture – Do you just want to transfer your existing, is there furniture packages included or will it be added on top? What type of image do you want to convey to clients and employees with your new workspace, can you afford new elements and will you need them for extra staff? What layout will you have and can new space be better utilised, especially with the aim of going paperless being a big factor, as there are less storage requirements.
• Decoration – will you have costs to re-instate areas of your old office and will you want to re-decorate the new space or add new signage, will your landlord or the operator cover this cost in your new space?
• Legal – do you need a solicitor to witness or review the agreement or can it be done between you and the operator?
• Transport – where do the majority of staff live in relation to that space, how do they travel to work, does it have easy access from public transport, is there parking or at least some nearby and could you encourage shared travel ?
• Broadband – is there a line already in place, what is the access to connectivity through the operator/landlord and is it charged as part of your agreement or added on top of your fixed cost? What capabilities will your business need as you look to develop and will there be some ongoing additional provision that needs to be considered?
• What kind of work environment do you and your team need? – is private space required, meeting room areas or just desk spaces? Is there a need for large breakout or outside areas for staff to utilise? Can well-being be considered in the initial plan and access to other service providers nearby?
Whatever your business does or what services it provides, you and your employees will spend over a third of your lifetime at work, so making sure you develop the company and can relocate or expand in a structured, considerate way to a your new environment, that adds value to your business and employees is vital.
If you require office space, co-working or meeting rooms in Darlington please contact us on 01325 526006