- The nature and culture of your business
The first things to consider in the hunt for an office space is the nature of your business. If you’re a manufacturing business you’re needs for space will be very different to a fintech startup. Think carefully about what you will need as poor planning can lead to a cluttered or unsuitable workspace which may well be unproductive and unprofessional.
I’s also important to consider the culture of your company and the reputation you want to perpetuate. The ideal office space should enable you and your employees to uphold the culture of your business. Work environment can have a big impact on productivity and morale so don’t compromise when it comes to image and culture of your office space.
It’s important to be close to the places where you do business, but it’s also worth considering your employees. Map out where each employee live and try to find an office space that’s relatively convenient for everyone to get to. Making it easy for everyone to get to work means you’ll retain your talent and demonstrate to your employees that you value them and their time.
There are many parts of London which are central and easy-to-access for employees on different tube lines, whether it is the Northern Line or Overground. This includes offices in Camden, Kentish Town and Kings Cross.
- Size matters
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want about 1,000 square feet for every four to six employees. If you’re clever with your layout you might be able to go smaller comfortably, but as a guideline follow this rule. If you want to keep employees motivated, you will need to allow everyone enough space to work.
- Use an agent who comes recommended
Working with an agent may well take the pressure off when it comes to finding an office space, but it’s best to work with someone has successfully found an office space for someone you know. It’s an important job so find someone you know you can trust to take the stress out of office hunting.
- Everything is negotiable
When it comes to finding an office space, you want to know you’re getting a good deal. Remember, just because somewhere is listed as £4,000 a month doesn’t mean you’ll need to pay £4,000 a month. Always negotiate rent down between 5 to 20 percent below the listed price. It might just surprise you how flexible people are.
- A landlord you like
A bad landlord can make your life (and the lives of your employees) miserable. If you can, meet your potential landlord and make sure you talk to tenants in the building you’re considering renting space in. In the long run it will be invaluable to end up with a landlord who is professional and plays fair. See this guide on how to be a good landlord.
- Consider subletting or a co-working space
If you’re only just starting to create revenue but are not profitable, subleasing can be a great option. Shorter term subleases are often month to month and sometimes even week to week. If you’re still growing the business subletting can be a more realistic option.
Another great options for businesses on a tight budget and require a flexible, lower-cost arrangement, is a co-working space. Being around other like-minded startup can be a great for a new business. Co-working spaces also offer flexibility so if your needs change you can move back to working from home.
Rents can range, depending on location and your needs, with team-friendly environments, dedicated individual desks and entire meeting rooms available on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis.
- Read and re-read the lease terms
Once you’ve found somewhere you’re happy with, don’t rush to sign the lease document. You feel like you need to hurry, especially when the office is in a prime location, but don’t sign anything before reading all the terms and clarifying any cost implications of each clause.
Things to look out for are hidden charges and binding clauses in the fine print. Consider the length of lease too, moving from place to place regularly will have a negative effect on long-term profitability.