Modern businesses don’t have to begin life in an office. Thanks to remote working software and outsourcers, it’s not hard to run a company from your living room. For SMEs, this is exactly what happens in the first couple of months of life as overheads are expensive and an office only adds to the cost.
However, you’ll inevitably have to move out at some point. While working out of Starbucks is cheap, it’s not feasible as the business grows. You need a place for employees to work and communicate, as well as a focal point for the brand. There’s only one thing for it: an office.
Like searching for a house, there are some things you need to watch out for during the renting or buying process. Otherwise, the company will end up tied into a long-term, ironclad lease. Continue reading to find out more about the must-have features of a corporate building.
Location is important, but so is the cost. Plenty of bosses opt for an affordable option and sacrifice on the area and you are no different. In this case, you need to work doubly hard to ensure there is no extra hassle in getting to and from the workplace. Not only will employees moan and morale will take a hit, but clients and customers won’t want to travel either.
Parking spaces, while basic, are the features which everyone from the staff to the shoppers needs to make their life easier. As silly as it sounds, lots of businesses lose money as a result of lateness or a bad first impression due to a lack of car parking spaces.
If there isn’t a dedicated area, can you turn part of the premises into a temporary car park? Or, are there secure places outside of the building close to office? It’s essential to have access inside and outside of operating hours where possible.
Often, bosses look for the physical things that they can see with their eyes, the stuff that’s quantifiable. However, zoning visibility isn’t going to stand out and grab your attention right away. It’s only when you want to do something with visuals that it becomes an issue. And, if you haven’t considered it, it might ruin your plans.
Health and safety are vital in a modern office, and zoning visibility plays a major role. Without the type of signage, you won’t be able to warn employees and guests about the potential hazards. A wet floor sign isn’t effective if it isn’t in people’s line of sight. Marketing might be a problem too. An HQ acts as a branding opportunity, but zoning restrictions could stop you from taking advantage of advertising ideas.
Always ask the realtor whether there are zoning requirements in place and how they might impact specific scenarios. Be savvy and get a second opinion from the local authority too as estate agents can play fast and loose with the truth sometimes.
The last thing you want to deal with is subsidence as it’s a massive problem. Even if you aren’t liable for the cost, the office will be uninhabitable and you’ll need to leave. This can cause issues with productivity and output and the company will lose out as a result. With this in mind, it’s best to check the main features – floor, ceilings, and roof – are structurally sound. Watch out for gaps, cracks, and mold.
Also, it’s important to pick a building with flexible features as you might want to renovate at some point. Black malleable pipe fittings are strong yet can be pressed into shape without breaking. So, they are an excellent aid as you won’t have to replace or remove everything.
Last but not least, be sure to research the building’s compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act. Everybody who enters the premises has a right to comfort.
Right now, it might have everything you need yet that will change in the future. As the company expands, you’ll need to provide a range of extras. Examples that spring to mind is desks, chairs and conference rooms for meetings.
Without extra space to grow, this won’t be possible when the time comes. Therefore, always think about the future when viewing potential rentals or outright purchases. For money and cleaning purposes, you shouldn’t try and find the perfect twenty-year property.
Instead, think two or three years ahead and then move when the building runs out of usefulness.