Selecting the Right Property

Helping You Grow: Businesses

When it comes to finding the right property there are a lot of factors to take into account, here’s a list of some things to keep in mind when looking for business space.

The Location

Is it a safe neighborhood?

Employees spend in excess of eight hours a day in the office, so having a secure neighborhood where your employees feel safe should be a priority. Consider the route staff will need to travel to and from local transport, especially if traveling by foot.

Are there good transport links?

How easy are the premises to commute to?  Consider bus, bicycle and automobile routes. Your staff may be open to a different style of commuting if it makes sense. Take the time to sit down with your staff to look at their options, map your employees’ new journeys into work to assess how the move will affect their daily commute.  If relevant, visitors’ and clients’ access should also be a consideration. It’s always good to pull together a travel plan to identify alternative routes for visitors, if you struggle to make such a plan, then it may not be the location for you.

Are there amenities nearby?

Are there places nearby where staff can buy their lunch? Where you could take clients for drinks or a meal? Where you can buy essential supplies for the office?  Your employees will have errands to run after work or during lunch. Finding an office close to amenities like banks, pharmacies and a shopping area can be a huge bonus for your staff.

Is it in the right neighborhood?

Setting up in an area with a reputation as a hot spot for up-and-coming startups or promising young businesses can have a positive effect on how clients and staff view your company, as well as on hiring, not to mention being more likely to boast a thriving social scene.

The Building

Is the building secure?

Nobody wants to work in an insecure environment.  Ask yourself if the buildings you’re looking at will meet any security needs your business may have.  Questions such as: How secure is the building? Do you need extra security for different areas? Have there been any recent break-ins? Are windows, skylights and doors secure, or will they need to be altered upon occupation? These questions can all be helpful in assessing if a space is a good fit.

Is there major building work planned?

It’s worth asking about any long-term building work planned for the near future. Moving into a brand new office only to find out the floor above is being completely renovated could cause interruptions in your daily operations.

Is the building well-maintained?

Does the company that manages the building do a good job?  The best way to find out is to ask current tenants. Find out who is managing the day-to-day operations, security and services of the building. Is it a credible firm? Ask other tenants about the quality of service.

Is there out-of-hours access?

If you’d like access at all times, this is essential to determine. If your staff are likely to need access to the building outside of normal office hours, you’ll need to consider how easy it is for them to do so. Is there 24-hour access and security?

Is there parking or bike storage?

There’s no point analyzing how long it takes to drive or ride to the office unless you also consider what you’re going to do with your car or bike when you get there.  Are there enough parking spaces? If your building doesn’t have its own garage, is there sufficient parking nearby for employees and regular visitors? You may wish to consider renting out several individual parking spaces for client visits.

Are there competitors in the building?

It might seem an odd consideration, but you don’t want staff from a rival firm lingering in public spaces where they can overhear going-ons at your company, or worse still, elevator-pitching your potential new clients.

The Space

Is there enough room?

Rather than agonizing over square footage, if you’re hiring an office designer, get your office design company to do a test fit of the space before deciding on a property. That way you can be sure you’re getting exactly the right amount of space for your business.

Can you decorate?

You need to ascertain how much freedom you have to make the space your own. Are there any restrictions? If you can decorate as you see fit, will you have to return the space to neutral decor before you leave?

What are the acoustics like? 

There are things to consider which are easy to miss when viewing an empty office with the windows closed.  A noisy office is one of the most common complaints from staff. Check the acoustics of the internal space. An echoing space can be very uncomfortable to work in.  Be sure to consider the external sound, too. It’s worth visiting the premises at different times of the day to check what it’s like at rush hour, when schools get out, at night, etc.

Will the layout work for your business?

Take a long, hard look at the layout. It’s easy to be wowed by a clean, empty space or a tidy suite of offices, but how will the layout work for you? Is it on just one floor? Are there separate offices? Are they big enough or too big? Is it an open floor plan? Can areas be easily divided if need be? Will this work with your company’s existing style of work? Is it possible to carry out modifications on the space? And, if you are planning to divide the space (even temporarily), are there enough outlets, windows, heating units, etc., in each area?

Is there room to expand?

Finally, if you’re hoping for growth, then make sure that there is room to grow.