The right office space is the heart of a business. This is where staff come together to work and make the company a success, and the right working environment plays a big role in how people feel about the jobs they do.
The right office can help a business reach their goals and grow into a larger, more successful operation. This can be through hiring staff – and having room for them to work comfortably – or changing the layout to encourage collaboration, improve productivity, and boost staff morale.
How a business uses their office space will have an impact on their success and growth, and because no two organisations are the same, there’s no right answer. A lot depends on what you want to achieve, where you want to be based, and the type of people working for you. Understand this, and you can make sure the commercial property you choose next delivers everything you expect.
What Is An Office?
An office is a commercial space used by businesses to conduct their operations. This can take many forms depending on the type of company and the industry it works in, but having a centralised location for employees to work in, even in the age of remote and hybrid working, comes with many benefits.
It can store equipment and information in a safe and secure place, be used for meetings to acquire or keep business, and provide a space where staff can work together rather than through a screen or over a phone.
This shift to flexible working makes finding the right size of office space a challenge, but it also presents opportunities.
How Do Businesses Use Office Space?
The amount of work that can be done in an office space is huge, which is why they are one of the most common types of commercial property – both in the cities and in more rural areas.
Organisations use an office for:
- Design and creative
- Customer service
- Client meetings
How Important Is An Office To The Success Of Your Business?
The right office space can unlock potential in your business you didn’t realise was there. Combining how your staff work, what people expect from an employer, where you are based, and what you want to achieve can give you a list of factors and conditions to meet.
This isn’t a silver bullet, but a part of making sure you fully use the assets available to you in the best way to compete against your rival businesses and come out on top.
Knowing how you plan to use your business’ next office will help you choose the right one, whether you plan to buy or find an office for rent. Consider all of these before deciding on a commercial property to ensure you make the right decision.
Choosing The Right Size Of Office Space
Key to finding the right office space is choosing the right size. Most businesses use their offices for extended periods of time because of the stability doing so provides. Changing locations often is a burden to staff who have to work out new routes and travel times to work, and it doesn’t provide a stable base in the community.
Sometimes a change is necessary, but you can take steps to future proof the location of your office by working out your current needs, future needs, and even your finances.
A Small Office Vs Large Offices
The size of your office space is crucial. Considering buying an office locks you into a physical location for a long period of time, and any office for rent you choose will be yours for a set number of years. A small office could become cramped very quickly.
While a small office is usually cheaper – depending on its location – than a larger office, they come with their own challenges. They could be in unique locations and lack facilities such as parking, or be in an older building with poor accessibility. Larger offices might be in dedicated buildings with their own car parks, but this could also mean they are further from local facilities that staff might want to use.
Plan For Growth
If your team expands, or more equipment takes up space needed for new staff, the size of your office space will become a lot more noticeable. Hiring new employees is a good sign your business is doing well – after all, you’re bringing more people to help with the increased demand of your services.
A small office can feel busier with the staff you have but this becomes uncomfortable with new hires. Your office space should reflect this, and you can use your business plan to work out what kind of growth you can expect with your staff.
Decide If Hybrid Working Is Right For Your Needs
One way to make a small office work for you for longer is to embrace hybrid working. Flexibility has become a key part in how many people work, and a lot of organisations allow some remote working.
The risk for some business owners is paying for an empty office that feels like it isn’t being used, but with hybrid working, you can hire more staff and arrange for certain teams or departments to use the office space on certain days. This can create a thriving atmosphere and provide opportunities for staff to see each other and collaborate in person.
Learn more about if hybrid working will work for you.
What to Look For In Your Office Space
Once you know the size of your next office space, you can consider other features that should accompany it. Depending on the nature of your business, some will be more important than others. Identify the features and amenities you need from your next office – for both staff and customers – and you can ensure it’s the right choice.
The location of your office space will have a huge impact on your business.
Even businesses that do not sell directly to customers in person can benefit from a small office in a busy area like a town centre. This is likely to be a location that people can get to easily, and a higher level of visibility will help improve awareness of your brand. For those companies that need passing trade, this location makes even more sense.
While locations further afield might be cheaper and larger, it can be harder for some staff to get there – thus limiting your pool of talent. Public transport links and good road routes can help, but this is going to be a trade-off you have to make.
Ease Of Access
Choosing an office that is easy to get to is more than about travelling to the office itself. Good road links and public transportation is important, but parking matters, too. Without parking, those driving in will struggle to find a suitable place to park – and any customers or clients will have to be local to visit.
The location of your office space will sometimes dictate how easy it is to visit or turn up to work. City centre locations will struggle to provide adequate parking in some places, despite their central location.
Some of these offices themselves will be in old buildings that have been converted into office space. That means they were not originally designed for this purpose, and some accessibility issues, such as lifts or cooking facilities may not be present. This is something to think about before making a choice.
Offices can be set up in a variety of ways to suit your needs. Open plan offices have been popular in the business world for a long time to bring staff together and encourage collaboration, but how they are laid out is dependent on you. How much space you have and how many staff can fill it will help make this choice for you.
From rows of desks to hubs. From quiet working areas to meeting rooms. From social spaces to private offices. Each office space you look at will offer something different. It’s up to you to decide how you can use it best.
There are plenty of ideas of how you can use your office space, as we’ve talked about here.
Is A Serviced Office Worth It?
A serviced office is another option for business owners. These are generally offices for rent, as the management company will provide the cleaning service. This type of office space is usually more expensive but removes the need to handle such matters yourself.
A serviced office can offer features and services, beyond cleaning, that are included in the cost, such as:
- 24-hour access
- Meeting rooms
- On-site security
- Manned receptions
For some businesses, this is a good option to make everything simpler. It allows them to focus on their business and nothing else, but you might find similar services for a cheaper price.
Not all offices will offer what a serviced office does, and while a serviced office is a good bonus, it’s not something a lot of business owners will hinge their decision on. There are pros and cons to both options, but the right size, location and price will be bigger factors in your choice.
Find out more about serviced offices.
Should You Find An Office For Rent Or To Buy?
The big question for many business owners is whether to buy an office or find office space for rent. This is largely a financial decision, as there is a much larger cost involved in buying a commercial property than renting one – but it also has to make sense for your business.
While buying an office gives you stability, and allows you to avoid paying another company your hard earned profits, this is a serious undertaking that will commit you to that commercial property for many years. This makes finding the right size and location more important than ever, as you have fewer chances to change – and when you want to, it’s a much longer, drawn out process.
An office for rent will have terms you have to follow, but at the end of each term you can evaluate what’s best for your business and make the necessary changes to guarantee your future success. This might be remaining in the same place, or it may be moving to a new location. You will know the timescales you’re operating with from these leases, which can make things less stressful.
Find out more about whether you should buy or find an office for rent.
Williams Sillitoe Can Help Find The Right Office Space For You
Finding the right office space can be a challenge, and deciding whether to buy or rent is a particularly difficult choice. Relying on the advice and experience of an expert can make all the difference – and ensure you make the right decision for your business. Whether it’s a serviced office or a long-term let that gives you stability, the team at Williams Sillitoe can help.
We work with you to understand where your business is at, and where you see yourself in the future. This lets you plan ahead and make sure the office space you choose is right for the time you spend there. Moving from a small office to a larger space can bring big costs but the returns are worth considering, and finding a location with easy access can help bring business in.
Wherever you want to be in south Manchester and Cheshire, make sure your advisor knows the local area and can show you the best office spaces available – or are coming up – in the places that matter to you. This can keep you ahead of the competition, which is the difference between success and failure. To find out more about the commercial properties available in Wilmslow, Altrincham, Knutsford, and nearby areas, contact our team at Williams Sillitoe now.