In an article published in April 2016, the Financial Times highlighted the rising trend for flexible, employer-friendly office spaces in London – even for large blue chip companies. In this article, the paper suggested organisations should prepare for a workforce that is more demanding when it comes to the facilities, local amenities and transport connections available while they’re at work.
Combine this insight with the growth of the UK business sector and it’s clear that an office relocation is a likely necessity for most businesses during their lifetime. But how can you ensure your move is as meticulously planned as your rise in the corporate world?
We serve the interests of tenants only and are not instructed or commissioned by landlords, guaranteeing you impartial advice. Below is our step-by-step guide.
Moving offices is a challenge and not something that can be done too often for most businesses. That means it’s important to get it right first time. Understanding what you and your staff need from the new office space is the first step in making your relocation a success.
Our advice: Write a checklist of all the ‘must-haves’ for your office relocation. Create your list in order of priority. Download our free Office Relocation checklist here.
For example, do you need to be close to a Tube or train station? Perhaps you need a large meeting room for big client presentations, or space for your designers to brainstorm over coffee. Creating a list of what you need will be useful when you move on to selecting different spaces. You can also use our Office Space Calculator to help make sure you are considering the right amount of space.
Choosing the right office can take months. But if you’ve written your checklist, it’s a matter of short listing the office spaces that fit the bill. Sticking within your rent budget is important, but don’t forget there are other elements that can add costs on in the long term, such as energy efficiency or a need for a larger space due to inefficient floor plates.
Our advice: Initially, base your search on the top essentials from your checklist. Once you have found buildings or spaces that provide what you need, you can look more closely at their locations. People often forget to enquire about air conditioning, double glazing and recycling – all of which will have a bearing on the cost of your relocation. Download our Guide to Office Rents from this page.
Once you’ve carried out your research, you should be able to select three or four properties that are suitable for your office relocation and meet your size and budget criteria. But there are still a couple of things you need to do before you can sign your new lease.
Our advice: Visualise the way your office would look in these spaces. Consider where each department would sit and if that helps or hinders your employees at work. We also recommend getting a second opinion. At this point, it’s sensible to include other people from your business at a range of levels, to understand what they might like or dislike and gain different perspectives.
There is an art to space planning and creating an office environment that works for everyone. At Aspire, we are experts in this, find out more by contacting us or by calling 0203 627 2555 to find out how to maximise an office space’s potential. We can ensure each department is in the right location and that any visitors are clearly being guided to the correct place. This is also a good time to decide the aesthetics of your new office.
Our advice: Seek professional expertise to advise you on the best floor plan for your office. In addition, now is the time to consider how the new space will be branded. For example, how will it reflect the work you do and maintain or boost your professional reputation?
The ‘fit out’ phase, when all your new furniture or equipment is moved and installed, needs to be project managed properly. To ensure that your business continuity isn’t affected or that customers aren’t restricted from contacting you, you’ll need to ensure the support of your entire team.
Our advice: Make sure you engage key stakeholders from areas like IT, Human Resources and internal communications, so they are fully aware of your plans and timescales. Ask them to allocate ‘champions’ from each business area or department who can relay information to others when appropriate. This should ensure your move goes smoothly and that there is no down time when it comes to the service you provide.
Are you looking to relocate your office? Get in touch with Aspire here or on 0203 627 2555 to see how we can help guide you every step of the way.