Choosing your first office is exciting. Your office is your base of operations. Whether you have been working out of your home or are simply a budding entrepreneur who is ready for a first office, how you choose can make all the difference in the world. The wrong office space can hinder your productive just as the right space can make your productivity soar.
It is not unusual for people to move offices as they grow, but it is not always necessary. When you take time to browse available spaces and understand your options, you may just find that your first office is your last. Follow these tips to choose the perfect office for your business.
Rule of 175
If you have never had a physical office, you may not have heard of the “rule of 175.” What this means is that you should give between 175 and 250 square feet of usable space to each employee. Usable space does not necessarily equate to free space. Usable space can include a desk, chair and other work equipment.
Consider the Commute
This is especially important if you have employees. If the majority of your employees utilize public transportation, make sure your office is close to a bus stop or rail station. If your employees drive, make sure that the office space you choose has appropriate parking in close proximity. Some employees choose to bike to work. If this is the case, look for somewhere you can install a bike rack or make sure there is space for your employees to bring their transportation into the building.
You do not have to have the fanciest office on the block, but you do need to pay attention to its interior. You may only have money to hire professional carpet cleaners to spruce the place up. You may have the budget to tear down walls and reinvent the space. If funds are limited, you do not want a fixer-upper. If you lease instead of buy, you will be limited as to the changes you can make to the interior.
Lease or Rent
Speaking of leasing, it is often better to lease or rent your space than it is to buy. When you buy an office space, you are in charge of building and grounds maintenance. If you are too busy to keep after routine issues, you will be forced to hire someone to do the work for you. Having that kind of money in your startup budget is unlikely. If you can find a landlord that will permit you to rent month-to-month, strongly consider taking them up on the offer. This gives you the option to move should you need to without being tied to a long lease.
Paying attention to lunch options may seem strange when looking for an office space but, if you have employees, it is important. Happy employees are productive employees, and hungry employees are not happy. Your office does not have to be surrounded by eateries, but there should be at least a few places within walking distance that offer a cheap but hearty meal.
Look to the Future
Before you decide on any space, think about your company’s future. If you can envision it growing, you may need a larger space in the future. If you can afford it, get that space for your company now. Having an office that you can grow into prevents you from having to pack up and move next month or next year.
Buying or leasing an office space is about more than your budget. You want to be happy, and you want to make sure your employees are happy. Follow these tips to ensure that your workforce has a great place to do what you hired them to do.