Selecting the right office relocation agent is important for many reasons, but it means nothing if you cannot provide them with a proper brief of your desires and requirements. A greater number of tenants inform their agent of their desire to be in Central London, but of course, this is far too vague.
Your brief is an essential document that will guide the entire process of your office relocation. As such, it is imperative that you get it right to avoid losing significant time and pressure later down the line.
Rushing through drawing up your office brief and not being thorough at this stage can lead to complications. It may also result in significant delays as you try to sort through any miscommunication.
This post will guide you through what to include and how to structure your brief.
Your office relocation brief should comprise of the following seven sections:
The key operational areas you will require (e.g. meeting rooms, manager’s office, kitchen, etc.)
It can be easy to overlook all the additional areas you need in your office space when you are so focused on accommodating your staff and their direct work space.
If your staff are used to having a bathroom and kitchen on the floor they work on, they may resent having to go elsewhere in the building for these facilities.
It could be that you have expanded your business and are increasing the number of face-to-face interactions you have with clients. In this case, you will need dedicated meeting rooms. Every business will have unique requirements in this area, so it is important that you ensure your personal needs and those of your team are met.
It can be a useful practice at this stage to hold a meeting with pertinent staff members and get their input to evaluate how many – and of what size – meeting rooms are necessary.
The required size of the new office
As explained in our Office Relocation Planning Guide, most traditional property agents benchmark 100 square feet per employee as a guide to calculating an appropriate size for a new office space. In all honesty, the main motivation for specifying such a large office is that it will increase their fee.
From our experience 75 square feet per employee is ample space. With a good space planner, this will feel spacious for your staff and is likely to save you hundreds of thousands over the course of your lease term.
If you are unsure of how to estimate your required size, try our office space calculator.
This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of your office relocation and is often a main motivator for moving in the first place.
There are numerous factors to consider when choosing your ideal office location, the main driver being cost, but once you have established that you can afford it, you need to look at the additional criteria. We believe these are the most important:
- Good public transportation links
- Easy for clients to visit
- Easy for you to visit clients/partners/investors
- Realistic commute for existing employees
- Local amenities (shops/restaurants/pharmacies etc.)
- Access to major airports (if you conduct business internationally)
Failing to take these into consideration could have a serious impact on staff morale. Particularly if the relocation results in complex or lengthy commutes. A study conducted by the Office for National Statistics found that commutes over 30 minutes have a negative impact on emotional wellbeing. This in turn, can reduce productivity and affect employee retention rates.
Conduct a survey in your office to gauge your staff members’ feelings about which of these factors are important to them.
Current and projected staffing levels
If you have a small business and interact with every member of staff on a daily basis, this will not be a complex undertaking. However, in a multi-department company, you may need to contact human resources to get a full roster of your staff members and their role.
It may be that one department is especially large, so you will require sufficient space to accommodate them together in one area.
If you are planning to take on more staff shortly after the move, or are moving because you wish to expand your business, carefully plan how you should be use the additional space and configure the floor(s) so that it is being used efficiently to avoid wasting money.
Style of the new office
Do you need your space to be media, corporate, traditional or functional? Is it important that departments are kept separate or would you rather have it be open plan?
You must be able to communicate the style of office space that best reflects your company brand and working environment. Open plan offices are more commonplace these days, so if you want something cellular, you may have a longer search.
Despite this, you should not feel forced to compromise. A relocation agent that works solely for the benefit of tenants will work with you to find your ideal space and advise you how to best configure a potential property.
Required type and length of lease
Making decisions regarding your commercial lease can be one of the trickier aspects of office relocation and it is easy to make mistakes at this stage.
In general, shorter leases are more beneficial for the tenant and longer ones favour the landlord’s interests. The more time a business spends in one location, the more likely they are to stay and to agree to price increases. However, there are many factors to consider when deciding your desired length of lease and your property advisor will be best places to guide you.
We would highly recommend that you seek independent advice to help you negotiate your lease agreement as landlords will employ all the tactics at their disposal to increase both the length and price of your lease.
Finally, you need to make your office relocation agent aware of how much you are able to spend on your move.
Set out your brief in a word document under the above headings and be sure you have someone on hand to answer any further questions from your agents.
Ultimately, the more detailed and organised your brief is, the better equipped your office relocation agent will be to find your ideal office space, which will speed up the process.
If you wish to discuss writing a brief or would like independent advice on office relocations exclusively for the benefit of tenants, contact Aspire online today or call 020 3627 2555.