• White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Google+ Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

© 2016 Small Business California

Tracey Clayton
Nov 27, 2018

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Office Space

0 comments

An office is a place where your team spends at least 40 hours per week. Unless you include sleeping hours into the equation, you’ll get to the fact that they spend more time at the office than at home. This means that office choice influences the quality of your lifestyle in more than a few ways. Other than that, it also affects the reputation of your company and the productivity of your team. All of this combined means that the choice of the right office space might just be one of the most important business-related choices that you’ll have to make. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of it.

The location

The first thing you should think about is the location. This is due to the fact that the location affects two incredibly important factors: the cost of rent and the reputation of a company. The same company, with exactly the same marketing and exactly the same business model, looks different in the eyes of their clients, competitors and partners depending on the location of their headquarters. A company set in an industrial zone and the one set downtown aren’t looked upon the same. With greater prestige, however, comes greater renting cost. Therefore, the choice of location may be seen as a matter of marketing, as much as it’s a logistical or an infrastructural cost.

 

The size of the space

The next thing you need to consider is the size of your future office space. Why? Well, due to the fact that if the place can’t take your entire staff with all the necessary equipment, it’s simply not adequate, regardless of the price or the location. Sure, some may argue that in the age of the virtual office you can easily allow a portion of your staff to work from home or even pay some of them a seat in shared office spaces. Nonetheless, the availability of these offices depends on the region that you decide to work from. For instance, while it’s easy to find a reliable serviced office in Melbourne, further away from a major business hub this might not be the case.

Unfortunately, all of the above-listed works in a scenario where your business doesn’t grow or expand. When you take this factor into consideration as well, you’ll soon realize that you need to take a somewhat bigger office than you currently need. How much bigger? Well, that depends on your growth rate, as well as how quickly you expect to start bringing in new employees. In some scenarios, subleasing is an option, yet, at other times, this won’t be a viable option due to the fact that the landlord might forbid this in the original contract.

Proximity to public transportation

The next factor to weigh in is the proximity of your office to public transportation. As a company that wants to market itself as a green one, they need to provide their staff with means to make the commute eco-friendly. The problem with this theory lies in the fact that you simply can’t make your staff walk, cycle or carpool to work. You can encourage it, sure, but you can’t penalize or scold them for refusing to take this route.

The best you can do is provide them with an easy access to public transportation and offer a tad bigger reimbursement for using this method than is customary. Also, the term nearby or close by is quite relative. For someone, a 10-minute walk is more than acceptable while for others, this would be too great of a distance to even start considering.

 

Business type and infrastructure

The last thing you need to bear in mind is the infrastructure of the building. We’re talking about the broadband coverage, phone lines, access to roads and much, much more. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that while most of this may sound fairly basic, it’s not as common as you may think. Moreover, if your business has specific infrastructural necessities, like a larger warehouse or an area where you can fit production equipment and similar machinery, the search is even more complicated. Specific tools may be completely invaluable and essential to your business. So, if you can’t find a way to fit them within your new office, you might want to consider another option.

Conclusion

Of course, no guide can be elaborate enough to cover every single aspect for choosing an adequate office space. Still, for someone picking their first office space, the above-listed four should be more than enough to help you make a mental image of what you’re looking for.

New Posts
  • michel.j.deanne
    Apr 30

    When we talk about office space, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? A white and grey, square, boring looking room? Well, if it is, you’re definitely not alone. However, office spaces are now seen differently and what was considered formal and appropriate has changed over time. Luckily, for anyone doing their 9 to 5 in an office, it’s possible to work in a more relaxed environment that is just as efficient and productive as before but in a more colourful, freeing and happier place. Who would argue with being able to work from a couch or at a shared table if that’s to your liking? Having choice makes people feel freer and that increases productivity. If you feel more in control of your working space, you feel more confident and confidence leads people to greater things. Now, this freedom you’re getting does not mean you won’t have to follow certain rules, especially because you’re at work and rules aren’t always meant to be broken. What you should be doing is making sure your office is both productive and safe. If you want to optimize productivity whilst decreasing stress, here’s what you must do. Green is the Best? Yes! Green is, in fact, the best. Apparently, the colour green helps people be more creative and having plants around you helps them be more productive. Therefore, you heard it here first, add some plants to your office and your staff will get a boost of energy. And if the plants aren’t enough, try adding some green elements to the décor. All You Need Is Flow… No clutter allowed! You need to think ahead and design your office layout keeping in mind that your staff needs to move freely around the office and feel that there’s a certain flow in the space. Some office spaces add colourful lines to the floor, creating a path to follow while moving from one room to another. This creates an effortless flow and adds a pop of colour to your otherwise dull office. Light + Light = Light! Think of large windows. You need natural light in your office. This is one of the biggest musts. People work a lot better if they don’t feel trapped inside a room and natural light gives everyone a sense of peace which will optimize productivity. And if you think of large windows, don’t forget to also add them inside your office. Don’t create cement walls where they’re not needed. Add glass windows/doors all around the space, making certain rooms closed and quiet but still letting light pass through. Sharing Is Caring but I Want to be Alone! In the topic of creating glass doors rooms, I think it’s important to discuss shared tables. These are more and more common nowadays and they work! Tables where anyone can sit and discuss and share ideas with others while working increases morale. Unassigned desks are the go-to option and people need the freedom of being able to choose where they want to sit and change seating whenever they feel adequate. That way, you’ll create a space for brainstorming or for people who enjoy working with some noise around them, and then you’ll have rooms that are quiet, and they will be some of your employees’ favourite spaces. With unassigned desks, there is no clutter on top of tables and the office will look more seamless and organised. Pro tip: add sockets to every desk so people can plug their laptops in their working space and there won’t be cables laying around. Keep it Colourful! Adding some lines to create dimension and flow is one thing, but have you considered using colourful furniture? Maybe a touch of yellow with a chair here and a pop of red with a table there and your office space will look bright and fresh. Colours have a huge impact on people’s feelings and if green comes from the plants, then a splash of colour in your furniture won’t hurt anyone and hey, it’s all to increase productivity! Motivation Comes from Different Places: A simple yet effective way to boost your staff’s morale is to have a whiteboard (or glass wall, for that matter) where every single one of them can write or share something on. One day maybe you’ll have a board full of motivational quotes that others will read and enjoy, and perhaps another day someone will share an idea they had, and a project will come out of it because others joined in and brainstormed together. It bonds people and makes them happier to go to work; being surrounded by people who are motivated makes everyone more motivated. Common Spaces Everyone needs a break and studies have shown that we are more productive when we take regular breaks while working. Having common spaces that encourage your staff to take a break and relax for a few minutes is essential. A kitchen is an ideal space because it’ll provide your staff a place to eat lunch and have a cup of coffee or tea when they want to. Colourful and maybe even ergonomic furniture is, once again, recommended. A few large tables that seat 5 or 6 people (depending on the size of your company and kitchen) and large windows will keep the space simple but cosy. But don’t forget to keep safety measures, especially in the kitchen: keep a fire extinguisher on hand, preferably near the stove if you have one. Make sure your fire ducts are modern and reliable, and check them regularly. Slip-resistant flooring is also something to consider because they can prevent any unlucky slips (carpet pads work great too!). A first aid kit is also recommended as are signs to remind staff what not to warm up in the microwave. Just remember that less is more. Always. People need a blank canvas to work with, to feel inspired and to feel free. Using simple and colourful furniture will help you and your staff be more productive in the long run. Motivating them to create together and discuss will also lead to a higher morale and good teamwork skills. When designing your office space, remember these steps and you’ll make your staff happier and the productivity levels will soar, guaranteed!
  • Tracey Clayton
    Apr 30

    Employee and workplace productivity go hand in hand. They are fundamental for the well-being and success of your business. The majority of us spend a third of their waking life in the workplace, while some even stay longer. But longer work hours don't always translate into better productivity. If things become strained or there is a crisis going on, operations can stop completely. You need to learn how to manage your employees in a smarter, not harder way. Although we like to think we’re isolated islands in the sea of social interaction, such opinion couldn’t be more fallible. When we spend time in the office with fellow employees, everyone affects each other’s mood and emotions. Motivated employees work harder, better and help create a positive work environment while demoralized ones stall, affect others negatively and generally have destructive tendencies. We’re about to teach you how to avoid this and turn weak performers into productivity powerhouses. Here are some ways to motivate your workers and to increase their production and efficiency rates. Means of production Although employees' education and skills are important for a company's performance, the tools they utilize during work also have a big impact. You need to equip them with the right tools, or in this case, the right software. Your employees will work better while everything will convert into a streamlined process. Start with time tracking apps. The work day is short while there is a never-ending list of tasks to complete. This is where time tracking apps jump in, as they make it simple to track your workers’ hours and efficiency with activity rates. And your company ends up with improved productivity. You can assign to your workers' particular tasks and projects so they understand what needs to be completed and until when. Next are communication apps. Whether you have remote employees or everyone works in the same office, communication apps increase productivity. Instant messaging apps are way better than emails since they keep conversations organized while messages are simple to track. Many communication apps also offer file access and sharing as well, enabling a streamlined workflow. Collaboration tools, on the other hand, promote and deepen teamwork. Everyone working together in real-time builds team chemistry, while ideas flow more easily. Basecamp is one of the more popular platforms today, while Google Drive offers file storage and access. Improve worker satisfaction with great perks International companies like Facebook and Google are already using this principle and deeply understand the foundations of work satisfaction. And when such tech giants are implementing such ideas, be sure to follow. They are famous for their work perks like massage rooms, haircuts, nap pods and work gyms. For example, offer your employees Kindles, business books or free access to a local library. Give them employee income cards that enable your employees' quick access to their money – being financially safe will turn your workers into a motivated and productive workforce. Let them have more free days and subsidize gym memberships for them. Raises can only do so much, too much of them create diminishing returns, while perks can complement them efficiently. And you don’t have to be a tech giant to provide your employees with work perks that inspire loyalty and increase motivation. Encourage employees’ self-care When your employees take care of their health, their long-term productivity increases. To much work increases stress. And while some of us work better under pressure, most of us get crippled by it. Occupational stress and fears are even more dangerous than normal stress. Although present at work every day, overly stressed workers are unhealthier, both on the physical and mental plane. That ends in worse productivity. But you can manage your workers’ stress levels; the goal is to prepare for burnout beforehand. Encourage your employees on every level to take care of their emotional, physical and mental equilibrium. Create a healthy and communicative company culture. Offer your employees constructive feedback and listen when they have issues to tackle. Work should be meaningful but challenging. The parameters for goal completion need to be clearly established. Keep their equipment up to date too. You yourself also need to stick to the same values you try to express to your employees. Sleep enough and on time, balance social life and workload, and take time to properly train and relax. Although some of these ways may appear counter-intuitive at first, it has been proven through time that inspired, satisfied and engaged employees are more efficient. There is no need to invest thousands of dollars in high-end perks to create this though. Just imagine what it’s like to be in your worker's shoes and find ways to improve your company's culture. Work productivity levels will rise and your company will be that much more thankful and successful.
  • michel.j.deanne
    Apr 24

    Staying competitive in today's market requires so much more than just having a sensational product or impeccable service level. To maintain your success, you will need to invest in a proper software solution which will simplify your business processes. From collecting and storing your crucial business data to automation of interconnected tasks, the software can improve your efficiency but also save you time and money. As the number of software solutions is constantly increasing, businesses are struggling to find the one that will provide them with everything they need. Spending money on software which will not bring you any valuable results is not an option. To ensure you find the software you will actually benefit from, we bring you a list of 5 pieces of software every B2B business should use. Sisense: Business Intelligence Software If you're looking for a business intelligence platform that helps you make better business decisions, you should check out Sisense. The software is highly flexible for all businesses that want to turn their data into valuable insights and share it with their business partners, colleagues or clients through interactive and visually appealing dashboards. With easy access to the platform, Sisense allows you to fully explore your data by producing intelligent analysis for you. This comprehensive yet easy-to-use software has powerful features such as In-Chip engine which simplifies the data preparation process and Single-Stack System for performing multiple tasks in one platform. More importantly, you can integrate Sisense with other products very easily and get valuable insights from other business processes, e.g. accounting, CRM and project management. Salesforce: CRM Software Well, if your company is still not using Salesforce, you should definitely start right away. Having a quality customer relationship management solution which gathers valuable information about your customers from different interaction channels is essential for every business. With Salesforce, you will have details on every lead, prospect and customer but also information such as buying preferences and purchase history. This solution enables companies to manage every aspect of customer relationship in one platform, customize each interaction and serve all of your customers much better. HubSpot: Marketing Automation Software You have probably already crafted your B2B marketing strategy and looked for ways to achieve the best results. However, without quality marketing automation software, it will be harder to achieve these results. After all, manually adding all your valuable data would take forever, so it's crucial to find the best solution available which will do that for you. One of them is HubSpot, an inbound marketing tool that helps marketing and sales teams to grow a customer base and strengthen relationships with customers. With its numerous great features , HubSpot enhances your customer management, email tracking, lead generation, analytics and so much more. Also, this software provides a simple integration with other business applications you're already using which will improve your results in other areas. BigCommerce: eCommerce Software Running a B2B eCommerce store can be quite challenging as you're trying to deliver a high-quality product to your clients and maintain meaningful relationships with them. To do that successfully, your business needs to have a robust eCommerce software like BigCommerce. It's a terrific solution for every B2B business due to its features which are exclusively created with B2B companies in mind. With BigCommerce, you can enjoy bulk ordering and B2B specific checkout while not excluding the option for B2C eCommerce. Also, you can create captivating sites and integrate with other third-party solutions to ensure you customer data sharing between platforms is flawless and simple. Campaign Monitor: Email Marketing Software To keep your clients satisfied, you will have to focus more on communication. Establishing meaningful, long-term relationships with your customers is impossible if you don't engage with them regularly. As one of the most powerful communication channels, email is still very popular with B2B companies. The bigger the number of companies reporting the ROI of their email campaigns, the more obvious is becoming that email is something you can't ignore if you want to have loyal customers. Campaign Monitor is one of the favourite B2B software solutions for many companies focused on making the most of email marketing. By choosing this platform, you will gain access to numerous email templates for B2B users or even be able to create your own. With its exceptional tracking options for open, click and unsubscribe rates, you can modify your email messages so they are more appealing to your email recipients. More importantly, it helps you engage your target audience and convert them into customers. Conclusion Having an effective software solution will improve all business processes and help you achieve better results. If none of the suggested solutions above suits your business needs, you can always choose to build an in-house software solution. Another great item to have on your list is a chatbot that will help you take your customer service efforts to the next level. That way, you will have more time to focus on the more tasking tasks, rather than on replying to email after email. In the end, we can’t forget to mention cyber security which is one of the biggest concerns for the majority of companies when discussing software options. Luckily, with your own in-house software, your data will be secured and protected at all times.