7 considerations when searching for your first office
Submitted by Catrin Fox on
We can all learn a valuable lesson from Professor Robert Kelly.
Unless you’re involved in political Korean affairs, your familiarity with Professor Kelly probably stems from his live BBC interview in March 2017, during which he was unfortunately (yet adorably) interrupted by his curious children live on air.
Professor Kelly taught us that even the most professional home offices don’t necessarily provide the best or most productive environment… especially when you’re sharing the building with inquisitive toddlers. There comes a point in the lifecycle of every business when it’s time to consider a change of environment, and for home-based businesses or consultants looking for the next step, a serviced office provides the ideal solution.
To help you get started, here’s our advice on some of the most important points to consider before searching for your first London serviced office:
There are many different types and styles of serviced offices in London, each with its own price tag. Whilst it’s impossible to pin down an exact rental figure until you’ve outlined your requirements, data from workspace broker Instant Offices (2016) placed the UK average for serviced offices in the West End at around £732 per person per month, and The City fringe at around £550.
This is a top-level indication that incorporates low-quality budget workspace alongside high-end luxury serviced offices, therefore your end price will depend on your style of office space. However, with a ballpark figure in mind, you can get a feel for workspace costs and how it fits into your business budget.
All-inclusive office space:
A conventional office contract will typically exclude services such as cleaning and maintenance, so remember that those costs will be added to your rental costs. However, a serviced office usually operates on an all-inclusive monthly arrangement, which incorporates both the cost and management of these services. It’s well worth opting for an all-inclusive package for your first office as it enables you to easily keep track of workspace overheads, plus it allows your team to focus less on managing the office, and more on growing your business.
Whether you’re seeking a short or long-term office solution, make flexibility one of your main priorities. Every business, especially start-ups and small firms, are susceptible financially to changes in the business environment; this is especially true in our current political landscape. Whether for Brexit or for any other cause of uncertainty, a flexible workspace agreement enables you to reduce risk (and sleepless nights) during your initial growth period.
Naturally, location is one of the biggest priorities when considering office space. In Central London, you’re never far from a tube stop or mainline station, which is good news if you’re a client-facing organisation with a high volume of visitors. However, it’s worth considering the complexity of your commute and that of your employees. Doubling their journey times for the sake of a small cost saving may not be a wise long-term investment; a shorter and easier commute ultimately equals happier employees and a more efficient workforce.
Perception and first impressions can make or break a business deal. Ask yourself, how do you wish to be seen? If you’re seeking a sleek, corporate image to reflect your brand and aspirations, you’ll need an office that’s up to task. For instance, Landmark specialises in luxury office space that goes hand-in-hand with first-class service by our on-site receptionists and management staff. Your visitor’s first impressions and their personal experience speaks volumes about your business, and it pays to make sure every moment is a positive one.
Room to grow:
If you have growth aspirations, you’ll need an office that can accommodate your expansion plans. Most serviced offices, including Landmark, are based within business centres that have many different sized office suites, typically ranging from two-person spaces up to larger suites of 10-15, sometimes more. Match this with flexible contract terms, and you’re free to expand into a larger office as soon as you’re ready.
Meeting spaces and boardrooms come as standard in professional serviced offices, but do they conform to your requirements? If you need regular access to a large room for training groups, a boardroom with videoconferencing, or frequent usage of an interview room, take time to visit the premises and ensure the facilities suitably meet your needs.
Taking the first step towards your first office can feel daunting, yet it’s also invigorating, as it demonstrates that your business is a thriving entity that’s ready for new challenges. Speak to the team at Landmark for expert advice or browse our portfolio of luxury serviced offices in The City and the West End, and give your business room to grow in an environment it deserves.