The last year has seen a dramatic change in the way we use traditional offices, with many organisations now left considering whether they need to return to the large buildings that they’ve always been used to.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many of us having to work from home and business owners seriously considering a hybrid model of remote working, supported by flexible office space, to enable them to move out of large and expensive corporate offices in favour of a new way of working that can save costs at the same time as benefiting workers and the environment.
Research has shown that both employers and employees are thinking about getting back to an office of some sorts. For many, the novelty of working from home is wearing off - a recent study found that 75% of workers stated that they want to return to an office in the near future.
As we come out of lockdown and see an easing of restrictions we predict that there will be high demand for true flexible working, but what should you be considering when choosing the right office space? To help you we’ve listed the main considerations below...
The price has to be right
Searching for the right office is as important as searching for the right house, in that you have to do extensive research and work within a budget before you can make a final decision on the place that is going to be best for both you and your employees.
It’s key to find an office that you can easily afford right now whilst also keeping one eye on the future. We talk later about leases and scalability but in summary, it is important to choose an option that matches not only your current requirements but also your long-term ambitions.
Will it allow you to grow
Whether you’re a freelancer, a newly formed business or a larger organisation, chances are you’re planning to grow your business.
When thinking about your long-term growth targets it’s important to factor in the environment and facilities you’ll need around you to be able to achieve this. It’s better to think about the future now rather than have to make a complete change again further down the line because your current setting cannot grow as you grow.
When choosing an office make sure you investigate the upscale options – after all you want any growth plans to be as easy as possible and with minimal financial impact.
Location, location, location
Getting the location right for your new office can have a bigger impact on your business than you might think. Whether it’s who and where your clients are, the commuting time for you and your employees or other geographical reasons, there are many things to think about when deciding on the best location. It’s not just your current employees you need to think about – you also need to think about new staff and also any clients you want to attract.
To be a success your chosen location needs to be inviting, modern and offer a range of facilities. Studies have shown that giving employees accessible parking facilities, for instance, can help improve job satisfaction and decrease work-related stress. Nobody wants to have to pay for parking or worry about losing their space if they pop out for lunch!
Make sure your office matches your brand
Having an office that matches your company’s branding and values is just as important as the location of it. With the average person spending one-third of their life at work it is important to provide your employees with the right setting and equipment for them to work comfortably and happily.
The design and decor of your office can affect employee mental health. With proven links between a poor working environment leading to low activity levels and an increase in low moods, your office space must allow and encourage staff to collaborate and communicate with ease.
Find a lease that suits you
There’s nothing worse than finding the ideal office and then getting caught out by hidden surprises (or costs!) because you hadn’t researched the lease properly before signing on the dotted line.
At Agora3, we provide flexible contracts and transparency on price structures, so you’re always in the know and can plan accordingly. The key is finding an office that offers a flexible lease where you aren’t tied in or likely to be hit with unexpected fees further down the line.
Think about the building, not just the office
When looking at potential offices think wider than just the office space that you will accommodate. Most modern office buildings have a variety of communal areas and even receptionists that will deal with visitors and other administrative services. This can be a real time-saver if you don’t have the time to deal with it yourself.
In addition to reviewing the office space, make sure you find out what facilities there are for things such as meetings with clients. It will be important to have these additional spaces available as we can once again embrace the benefits of face-to-face interaction, which is so much more enjoyable than Zoom and Teams calls!
Work, rest and play
The more facilities that your employees have access to the more they will thrive. Whether it’s a local restaurant with amazing food or a designated games room, these types of social aspects are what help your workforce relax and get the right balance between work and play. Time away from the desk is just as vital and, in fact, often you will see an increase in productivity when employees have access to these types of facilities.
Talk to a workspace provider that’s already thought this through
Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a desk to help with your work-life balance or a business looking to move to a larger office space, Agora has an option to meet your needs.
Many of the issues highlighted above won’t be issues when choosing an Agora office. All our offices come with flexible leases, fully inclusive pricing, drop-in desks and free parking – so no worries about hidden fees and trouble finding a place to park.
At Agora we’re proud of the sense of community that runs throughout our office buildings and in addition to having access to all of our high-quality facilities, including Agora Heart Health & Wellbeing, there are many opportunities to collaborate on projects with our other Agora members.
To find out more get in touch or call us on 02382 356966.