Choosing your workplace
Next to your home, the office is where you are likely to spend most of your life in, where you earn your living and hone your skills.
It can, however, also affect your productivity and happiness. So if you have the opportunity to choose where you work, it’s best to do it with several considerations in mind.
Choose a convenient location
In selecting your office location, remember to keep two elements in mind: your employees and your clients. The location must be convenient for both. Consider the proximity of your office space to transportation routes, main roads, and business districts. Even if rent seems cheap in the outskirts of the central business district, keep in mind that it might drive away people who will find difficulty accessing it.
Think about your image
Your office location dictates your client’s first impression of you. Basically, your work place tells people how well you earn in the business and how much you are capable of spending. If you have an office that is too grand and opulent, it might lead clients to think that you charge sky-high rates for your services. If your office seems too shabby and threadbare, however, it might send the message to clients that your business is about to go down the drain.
You may want to consider renting from an old building and renovating your lease space. Convenience remains a good reason in choosing an office, and even an old one can please your clients if they will have little difficulty finding it.
Work with your budget
While most companies benefit from well-located offices, not everyone can afford to rent in central business districts. If you’re a start-up company trying to build your name in the market, consider paying for a shared workspace or a co-working space.
The first one has a longer lease period but offers more professional equipment such as fax machines, copies, audio-visual equipment. The latter is geared toward entrepreneurs and start-ups who can benefit from socialization, networking and short-term rents.
Consider growth prospects
Think about how your office will look like five to 10 years from now. Will the space that you are considering be able to accommodate additional employees? Do you have enough room for storage and equipment? Your office should be able to grow with your business. If you feel already cramped in your current leased space, it might be time to look for a bigger place.
Check your health
Buildings can actually make you sick. If the lease space you’re looking at has minimal ventilation, has pesky pests, or display signs of mold, run away. You don’t want to expose yourself and your employees to potential health hazards while at work. If you experience headaches consistently whenever at work, or if you ever feel claustrophobic in your workspace, it might signify that the office is damaging your health.
Assess safety features
While the office might look nice and may belong in an upscale area, consider the safety features of your building. Do you have a fire exit in your lease space that leads directly outside? Does the building feature sprinklers? If your leased space is located on a high floor, is the fire exit staircase easily accessible and always open for use?
When a catastrophe strikes while you are at work, you only have a few seconds to get out or keep safe. Protect your company’s people in the case of earthquakes, fires, and other unexpected disasters.
Check for stains, cracks and holes
Stains might signify a leak in the pipes above your lease space. Though it’s the responsibility of the building administration to fix this, it can prove difficult to work around this during office hours. Cracks, meanwhile, may be a sign of structural deficiency in the building’s supports. The building might give way during a strong earthquake if it already displays too many cracks. Lastly, holes might signify infestation of rats, termites, and other pests.
Assess building utilities
It doesn’t take an engineer to see if the building’s current facilities are right for your company. For example, if your business requires hi-speed internet but your building only features cabled connection, it might not be your best option.
Electric wires should remain hidden from view. If you see the wires dangling from the ceiling or exposed along the walls, you have to renovate your lease space. Lastly, ask the building administration if the units have access to sprinkler pipes. While you may choose to provide fire extinguishers in your office space, the existence of sprinkler pipes assures you that the firemen will have a way of putting out the fire immediately in your office.
Meet your neighbors
Determine which companies will be occupying the offices next to you. This is important for you to know if the services that they provide pose a danger to the nature of your work. For example, a bakery should not be situated next to an LPG outlet. Likewise, consider if the spaces adjacent to you might be in conflict to the purpose of your work.
At the end of the day, the right office for you depends on your personal preferences and restrictions. While most companies are in a rush to rent office spaces, taking your time and assessing your options will always pay in the long run.
Offices should be spaces which you and your employees enjoy despite the challenges of work. It should be a stress-free, nurturing environment to promote maximum productivity and minimum dissatisfaction.
Overall, you should choose your office space the same way you choose your home. It’s a long term investment that affects you and your business in the long run, so choose wisely.
Sources: Philipp Birmes, Cadeau Maestro, Nguyen Nguyen, and Riccardo Bresciani from Pexels; www.wunsystems.com; www.commercialrealestate.com.au
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