Geraint Evans gives some pointers on making the most of your office space.
Office space is a major investment for any business, particularly for one which is looking to grow and doesn’t yet possess the same depth of cash reserves a larger competitor would. That’s why it’s vital to make the most of your office space, and not fall into one of these five common pitfalls:
1. Location, location, location
A survey by the British Council for Offices recently found that location can have a huge impact on recruitment, retention, employee happiness and productivity – all crucial for successful growth. And while flexible and remote working may be on the rise, the majority of British employees still see the office as the place where they can be most productive. The way we work and the way we structure our office space is likely to change, but people will always seek to work together in clusters where ideas can be shared, relationships formed and fun can be had.
Incubators and co-working spaces can be a great option for start-ups, but for ambitious businesses looking to grow quickly there will be an expectation among suppliers, clients and staff for the business to have a professional, centrally located hub of operations. Ignore these expectations at your peril!
2. You’re locked into the wrong contract
Far too many companies find themselves locked into a long-term lease which is poor value for money and heaps unnecessary risk on the business. When deciding where to base your business, the flexibility of the contract should be a key consideration. Being able to work payments into an arrangement that suits the business, and scaling the size of space needed up or down without fuss, are both hugely valuable assets for a business setting its sights on growth.
3. The office doesn’t represent the values and image of the business
If your office doesn’t match up with the goals and values of the business, that great ‘company culture’ you’ve been yearning for will never be fully achieved and you are missing out on the opportunity to turn your workspace from a cost burden into a genuine competitive advantage.
Not only that, but your offices are the first thing many suppliers, clients and prospective employees will see – and will play a key role in the first impression they form of your company. Why wouldn’t you want to make sure it aligns with your own vision?
4. You’re still on Windows 98
Ok, so you might not be that far behind – but it’s becoming ever-more important to have the latest tech at your employees’ disposal. Research has consistently shown that this is no longer considered a perk by workers around the country – it’s an expectation. Meeting that expectation will play a key role in luring the best talent to work for you instead of a larger competitor potentially offering a higher salary and more luxurious benefits.
And, while it may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that slow technology hinders productivity – and low productivity hinders profitability.
5. You’ve given in to the one-size-fits-all approach
While some people prefer to work in teams and in open-plan spaces, others may need a quiet spot every now and then to focus on one task. Offering a workplace and culture that can accommodate different working styles and personalities will help to engage employees and enable businesses to get the most out of their people.