There's a lot to consider when comparing office spaces for your business. As you examine listings and tour properties, be sure to keep these 8 things in mind to ensure that you don't overlook a small, yet important detail:
1. What's Nearby
An office park in a remote location may offer reasonable rental rates but locating your business in a service desert can be a big mistake. To maintain a work-life balance, employees need easy access to restaurants, grocery stores, drugstores, dry cleaners, salons, day cares and other businesses. Choosing a location that provides easy access to these and other services will improve employee morale.
Take a survey to find out exactly how your employees commute to work and then keep transportation in mind when comparing sites. If a large portion of your team relies on public transportation, ensure that your office is readily accessible to subway or bus lines. Companies where employees drive or bike to work will instead want to carefully evaluate the available parking facilities to ensure that they are of adequate size, well maintained, secure and brightly lit.
3. The Neighbors
Moving into a building that serves as the headquarters for a key competitor is never a good idea. As you peruse the company directory, also think about how the lines of business represented match your own. For example, if you're a tech company that develops software for the health care industry, you may want to look for buildings that are occupied by potential customers or by tech firms that serve other industries.
4. Limitations on Your Line of Business
Will moving into a particular office restrict your future potential to expand into new lines of business? Some buildings may not be zoned for certain types of businesses. Non-compete clauses in the leases may prevent you from entering a line of business that another tenant is currently involved in.
5. Security and Safety
It's important to consider how easy it is for unauthorized individuals to enter the building, particularly if your company deals with sensitive information. The office should also be protected by a security system and fire detection system. Make sure to ask what systems are in place and when they were installed or last serviced.
6. Tech Readiness
Be sure to consider how well a particular building will fit your company’s telecommunications and computer systems. Also, pay attention to small details like how many electrical outlets are located in the office and whether or not you have good cellular reception throughout the space.
7. Your Brand
Does the decor of the office align with your brand image? For example, a large firm that prides itself on its rich, long history may prefer a historic building decorated in elegant traditional style, while a tech firm that emphasizes cutting-edge solutions may prefer a more modern location with minimalist decor.
8. Common Spaces
Carefully evaluate the common areas that your company will have access to, such as shared restrooms, lounges, lobbies, gyms and cafeterias. Make sure to tour these areas as well as your prospective office space.
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