Running a small, fledgling start-up and needing an office space is a pretty tough position to be in. While managing remote workers is easier than it’s ever been before, there are times when you simply need a commercial premises to keep the business growing and operating healthily. Obviously, you want an office that’s going to be engaging and practical for your purpose. However, you also need to stay within budget! Here’s a few pointers for finding the middle ground.
As with any big decision, you need to start with the practical aspects of your office space, and leave your emotions to one side. The rent per square foot is obviously going to be a big deciding factor in your ultimate decision. Aside from that, you need to consider the terms of the available lease, and the realistic future of your business. If you’re growing rapidly, you don’t want the organisation to become too big for the office, and be stuck in the lease for several more months. Make sure you’re reading the fine print, as things like reinstatement costs may end up falling to you. Don’t forget your running costs, either. These are going to dwarf the lease if you use even half the electricity of some businesses! It may not be fun, but get the practical issues out of the way first. You don’t want to install a Google-style slide and realise you don’t have enough money for rubber wheel stops in the car park!
Next, make sure you’re thinking about flexibility. This is important not only for your keeping costs manageable, but also for making sure your employees find their workspace engaging and comfortable. Fixed partitions and spaces cost more money, and will only get in the way if you’re going through a lot of rapid expansion. Furthermore, having a flexible workforce is gradually becoming more and more important as the face of business changes. Make sure you’re accommodating for this need, maximising your employee’s productivity and flexibility. If one of your workers can start their day at a desk and finish it on a picnic bench outside, you’ll see more smiles and higher output all round!
Finally, take some time to consider the lighting in your office. This may sound like a relatively minor detail. However, it has a larger impact on a working environment than a lot of business owners seem to realise. People are happier and in turn more efficient when they’re getting exposure to natural daylight, so make sure you’re not taking an office space in a basement. Yes, I know how cheap those can be! Lighting can also be applied to create cheap, but effective décor features which will make a big impression on staff, clients and partners. A few quirky, suspended lights hanging right in front of an exposed brick wall is extremely effective and affordable. On another note, make sure you’re buying efficient bulbs. This will do a lot to help your energy bills.
I hope this advice leads you onto an office that’s both affordable and engaging!