Rosanna Elliott explains why you can’t afford to cut corners in choosing your office space.
In a time where digital communication is almost limitless, you might think that a physical base for your business is no longer essential. You could probably save a lot of money if everyone just “worked from home”, right?
The first thing you should know about business, however, is that initial overheads aren’t everything. Acquiring a business base is an investment, but it’s one that can really pay off in terms of your team’s productivity, communication and satisfaction.
That being said, it’s only worth doing if you do it right. A bad base is potentially worse than no base at all. Here’s three reasons you need to make choosing a quality office space a priority.
1. Clients will judge you on it
Would you want to do business with a company who shows you around a mouldy office? Unless you have absolutely no standards, I’m guessing not.
You might think that an office space hosting actual mould (complete with the pervasive smell of decay) is an extreme example, but trust me on this — I’ve seen it. And for the small price of several hundreds of pounds a month in rent.
When you’re choosing an office space imagine giving a client a tour. I know different businesses have different expectations from their clients, but can you honestly say that a mouldy wall could ever be deemed appropriate for a “client facing” venture.
Unless you’re some sort of mould farmer than sells odor mould to misguided hipsters, then I’d say no.
2. You’re there a lot
You’re going to spend most of your life at work. I’m not here to debate the fairness or desirability of this fact (I mean, I totally am but not in blog posts for my place of work — which as places of work go, is actually pretty great) but I will say at the very least that you and your team deserve a pleasant office environment.
Of course, a big factor in this is tied to workplace culture and the people on your team. It’s not the only factor though. You can give yourself a much better chance of having a reasonable time at work if your physical surroundings are positive.
You’re probably best going for somewhere with enough space for people to not feel claustrophobic and with a good access to natural light. Unless you run a team of vampires, in which case you do you.
3. It reflects your goals
You can think of this one kind of like that snappy cliche “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. You should choose an office space that fits the business you want to be, within reason of course.
I’m not suggesting you look for somewhere with a built in heated pool and a cocktail bar because you’ve been watching too much Wolf of Wall Street. What I am saying is consider your goals and make sure the office space you choose reflects them. If you know you want to expand in the near future, look for a little extra space than you necessarily need right now.
Know that, unavoidably, the location, appearance, and facilities of your office will say something about your business. Make sure it’s saying something good.
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