When I saw a Cubes video featuring the Bloomberg office where a friend of mine works, the first thing I did was send her a tweet telling her how spoiled she was for working in such a swanky office.
While having an office with unique architecture and fixtures is nice, having a functional one is even better (not that Bloomberg’s office isn’t functional—I’ve never looked into that). If you’re looking for a more efficient office that better meets your needs, here is a checklist of things you need to consider.
The amount of space you need vs. want
The amount of space you’d like and the amount of space you need are often two different things. To get a good picture of what space you’ll need to run your business, break down your office into the different areas like Office Finder recommends:
- Executive offices
- Meeting area
- Useable square foot per person (each employee’s work area)
- Community area/kitchen/break room
If you’re just starting out or need a guide, Office Finder also has a nifty office space calculator that gives you a total square-footage estimate based on an efficient, spacious or typical office size.
The ideal office location
Having an ideal location means different things to different. An employee that lives on the west side of town will obviously favor an office on the west side. But the location is more complex than that.
Things to consider regarding location:
- Is it easily accessible by car, foot and bus?
- How much foot traffic is there?
- Is it in a safe neighborhood?
- Are there restaurants and shops nearby for entertaining clients?
- Is the office close to suppliers – You never know when you’re going to need to run to the office supply store for paper or Sharpies.
The ideal building
Besides the location and space available in a potential office space, you have to consider the building’s amenities:
- Is there ample parking?
- Is there an entrance that is well-lit and easily accessible at night?
- Does the building provide security on staff as well as security cameras?
Leasing vs. buying
Both leasing and buying an office space offer monetary and nonmonetary benefits. With leasing there’s more freedom to move in the future, but interest on the mortgage loan if you buy is tax deductible. For a full analysis on the decision, check out How Stuff Works’ page on the topic. Also keep in mind that if you are planning to sell your company in the future, there are valuation implications in buying vs. leasing. Talk to your CPA before you make any decision.
The No. 1 concern
Above all else, your happy employees are productive employees. Getting your staff to buy into the new space and even contribute to the decorating is key to ensuring that transition is as smooth as possible.need to like your new space. As we know,
One more quick tip since time is money: When you’re looking at potential sites, don’t waste your time or energy visiting or engaging in conversations about a space that is too large, too small or out of your price range. If you want it to work because you fell in love with it, not because it’s practical for your company’s needs, you’re creating bigger problems down the road.
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