7 Questions to ask before choosing an office space

By 10th October 2018 July 20th, 2020 Interior Design, Office Design Tips

Whether you’re an existing or new business owner, choosing the right office space from the start is crucial for staff morale and overall productivity.

Choosing an office space to fit in with your requirements is not an easy task, but with the help of an office interior designer, you won’t have to ask the difficult questions yourself.

According to Cort, a furniture rental company in the United States, “Designing a space that meets employees’ work needs is an important part of enhancing productivity, and it also affects their attitudes… Tasteful brand identification and comfort actively increase employee satisfaction while also contributing to their sense of community.”

Before choosing an office space, it’s essential to involve an experienced workspace designer from the start as they’ll draw up a building specification list based on the results of an in-depth needs analysis into your company’s requirements. Furthermore, the space chosen should synergise with the company’s needs, values and culture. This is not a decision to be taken lightly as office space is a long term commitment and potentially an expensive one.

Your office space should be chosen based on a number of factors, including:

  • company function,
  • team interaction,
  • communication and workflow,
  • proximity of location to target market,
  • clients and staff,
  • suitable address,
  • flexibility of space,
  • transport and parking,
  • building facilities,
  • company expansion and growth.

But, what questions should you ask before choosing an office space? We delve into eight important questions here:

1. How much space do I need now – and in 3-5 years’ time?

You know your business best, so it’s important to understand how many employees you have or will have and what their requirements will be in terms of the size of your office space. A small office will definitely be detrimental to the overall well-being and productivity of staff members, so make sure you choose wisely.  If you’re thinking of expanding, make sure there’s enough room for this. For example, if your five-year business plan includes growing your employee base you will need space for increased workstations, chairs, access to toilets, and so on.

2. What are my anticipated operating costs?

Always calculate the full cost of a space before signing on the dotted line. These should include all utilities, construction and rental costs and other expenses.

3. On a scale of 1-10, how does the space make me feel?

If you’re already in love with your empty office space, make sure about how the space makes you feel first before choosing it. Whatever image you’d like your company to portray, it’s important that your office space reflects that too and make your staff feel welcome and appreciated.

4. Does the space tick all my functional boxes?

So, you already know it’s important to have an office space, but now you’ll need to keep a few other functional factors in mind. Firstly, think about the location of this space: is it a desirable location which will help your company attract the right clients and staff members?

Secondly, keep the amount of available parking spaces in mind. Entrepreneur Magazine says, “negotiating special employee rates and validating customers’ parking tickets are good ideas, but they need to be worked into your budget… If it is difficult and costly for your employees or customers to park, they might not be your employees or customers for as long as you would like.”

Thirdly, carefully consider the layout of the space. What does the space look like and how many floors does it have? Is it big enough and does it have a floor plan?

Need help with choosing the size of your office space? Use our space calculator and find out how much space you need based on industry norms

5. Will my office space be conducive to productivity?

The impact an office space has on employees is often overlooked. A poor, badly lit office has a direct impact on a person’s productivity and concentration levels. Make sure your office space has proper lighting and provide an ideal work environment. Different colours also impact the mood of a person, so pick colours for your office space which are inspiring and creative. The temperature of your workspace also influences productivity levels, so make sure the space you choose is not too hot and also not too cold.

6. What’s the infrastructure of the office space?

No company can function without a proper infrastructure in place, so make sure this won’t negatively affect you. It’s very important that your space has a proper internet connection and this will often be included in the office rental costs. Business First, an online rental company recommends asking these questions beforehand:

  • Is internet access included? If not, how much extra will this cost me?
  • Can I get in touch with other businesses that utilise these offices to discuss how they find the infrastructure?
  • Is there a dedicated postal address?
  • Will the owner provide me with the data from a speed test so I can see that the ISP provides necessary bandwidth/speed?

7. Can I take my time to choose the right office space?

It’s extremely important to think carefully about choosing the right office space for your needs as it can have a long term effect on the rest of the business. Make sure you take as much time as needed before choosing a space as it affects employees, clients, the business and overall productivity.

As you can see, the impact of an office space is huge and can have a direct influence on a lot of factors in your business. Think carefully before you make this big decision and consult a commercial interior design company before you start your search. Always remember: if you don’t love the space, neither will your clients or staff members. Good luck with your search…

If you’d like to get insights into how we can help you choose the right space for your needs, download our guide to improving your office design. 

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Derek Stedman

Author Derek Stedman

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