Wouldn’t it be great if there was speed dating for office spaces? Just an evening to establish which venue you’d be most compatible with before choosing your ideal match, ensuring a lifetime of happy memories. But the path to office love never did run smooth and with the ubiquity of flexible office spaces, how do you choose the right one for you?
We’ve put together some hints and tips to make sure your workspace becomes ‘Facebook official’.
Would like to meet. Consider your criteria for having a dedicated office space. What are your non-negotiables? Research the spaces available to you and rule out any that don’t meet your must-haves. What is your budget, will you need space for extra staff, and what is the potential to grow in the location you choose, i.e. are their spaces limited or physically fixed, or are they open to reconfiguring existing office space to suit members’ needs?
Long distance romance? Working out in the sticks isn’t the best choice for a growing business. An office space that puts you in the heart of a town, close to transport links and retail facilities ensures your clients have minimal hassle visiting, as well as providing a pleasant social and working environment.
High maintenance. It’s all or nothing with some providers when it comes to serviced or non-serviced offices. Endeavour to find one that offers both so you have the option to upgrade when the budget allows, or when staff expansion means you need a bigger office and more time to focus on your business and less on maintaining your space.
Commitment. With any new relationship, you want to test the ground first, iron out any annoying habits, see if you really get on. Check if your office provider offers short and long-term contracts so you don’t commit for longer than you feel comfortable. If all goes well, extend your contract, but without the pressure to do so in the first place.
Shared interests. What is the make-up of the space’s members? Do they complement what you do or could they be potential collaborators? Is there a good mix of ages, genders, ethnicities and sectors, if that’s important to you? Are they largely SMEs or entrepreneurs? Remember, although you’ll only have eyes for your office space, working around other members will be unavoidable – make sure they’re the sort of people you could get on with, both personally and work-wise.
Relationship baggage. What do people say about the workspaces in your area, and what do they in turn say about the businesses under their roof? How supportive are they? Spend a little time researching your beloved’s reputation. Visit the spaces in person for a tour. The length of time office occupants have remained is an indicator of reputation. Don’t be afraid to chat with members too.
Friends with benefits. So you have the four walls, fully furnished with your company branding, but what else? Does your venue host events to help you grow as a business such as talks, workshops or networking events? And can you have access 24/7 to your space with free printing and meeting rooms? Consider what the value of the space is to you beyond a room of one’s own.
GSOH. The vibe, atmosphere and ambience of your new surroundings are often just as important as finding somewhere that suits your budget and space requirements. Aim for a professional environment where the social aspects of ambitious self-starters like you are taken just as seriously as hard work. Remember, work to live, not live to work.
Success. It’s a tricky business. Not only have you managed to make your business grow but now you’ve got staff you’re responsible for. You’ve outgrown that one-person office also called your living room and pitching to your clients in a busy café just doesn’t cut it any more. If it’s time you had a dedicated office, book a tour at one of our many spaces now.