10 Important considerations in the search for the perfect office accommodation
If you’re on the hunt for new office accommodation, you may be facing difficult decisions as to the best choice of base for you and your team. Fear not, we have put together our top 10 tips of what to look out for to aid your search.
Location, location, location
Did we mention location yet? In a working world where hybrid models are increasingly important, an office location is still the most prevalent consideration for most decision makers when it comes to selecting office space. If you’re particularly interested in enticing staff back to the office either on a part time or full time basis, you’ll want to ensure your location is central and accessible to your staff, and one which allows easy access to your customer base also.
Formation Works locations are strategically selected in areas in which business communities are booming and where office space is in great demand. Many of our FW members will cite location as being the biggest draw for them in terms of framing their decision (that is until they came to visit, and the office spaces themselves blew their socks off…)
Shared v Standalone office spaces
Traditional office models will have seen detached or terraced houses renovated into everything from dentists’ surgeries to accountancy practices and everything in between. For many organisations, these spaces may still fit the bill of what they deem ideal. Indeed, some organisations naturally require a more private office space and may feel a standalone solution is the best fit.
At Formation Works, we are passionate about the power of collaboration and our locations are living proof of the benefits a shared workspace can bring in business terms. Our members thrive in each others’ midst and the growth mindset amongst them is palpable.
This does not have to come at the expense of privacy, however. Many of our office spaces enjoy separate entrances for customers and/or clients, should additional discretion be required. Our aim is to tailor spaces to suit the needs of those who utilise them.
Consider carefully the size of the office space you purchase or hire. Aim too big and your venture may fail before you’ve gotten properly started as you watch the money quickly disappear. Choose too small and you may hamper your growth and quickly discover your office space no longer serves your needs, particularly when you’re tied into an expensive purchase or a long fixed lease.
Our solutions put flexibility firmly at their core. Many Formation Works members begin their journey with us in a one or two person office and upgrade very quickly into larger office spaces (check out Marty McCoy’s story as a prime example by clicking here). The beauty of a shared office space is the opportunity it provides to upscale in a fluid way without disturbing the operation of your business.
Like it or not, transport by car is still by far the more prevalent means of travel in Northern Ireland so providing car park facilities is an important feature in any office space decisions. Free parking can even be a positive factor in recruitment as removing the stress and expense of sourcing parking is often an enticement for new staff. Similarly for customers and visitors, it is so important to be able to offer parking spaces to remove any hassle, especially for potential and important customers!
Electric vehicle charging units are becoming increasingly necessary as the number of electric vehicles on the road continues to rise steadily. At Formation Works, we’re fortunate enough to have Weev – a company specialising in the roll out of electric vehicle charging units across the island of Ireland – as a member so the roll out of EV charging stations is a priority for us across our locations. These, in addition to our ample car park facilities, have proved to be a huge draw for new members and we’re committed to ensuring we continue to provide the facilities our members need and desire.
Hell hath no fury like a business owner struggling for proper broadband! In our digital age, it is difficult to imagine how any of us managed to run businesses on dial-up internet or worse, without the world wide web at all!
Broadband speed is a huge consideration for the majority of organisations now and installing it can be no mean feat. Many businesses will move locations only to wait weeks to have their broadband installed, causing chaos in the interim period.
FW buildings could not be further from this scenario. Our high speed communal wifi is available to members – ideal for this interim period until such times as their own broadband is up and running (we find this works best to cater for the differing needs of each organisation). This means in the moving in period, all you have to do is turn up, plug in and begin working. Simple!
The beauty of shared workspaces is the collaborative vibe they achieve. If you’re considering a move to a shared office environment, make sure you inspect the communal areas to give you a sense of the culture of the space and also to identify what else the building can offer aside from your individual office space itself.
Our collaborative areas are what make us stand out from the crowd. We take great pride in our kitchen and dining areas as we know how important it is for people to have an enjoyable space to eat lunch or have a cuppa with a colleague.
We know the importance of having spaces outside of company offices in which to hold meetings, presentations and host customers, and our formal meeting rooms and boardroom spaces tick these boxes firmly.
For more relaxed discussions, brainstorming sessions or to lend a friendly ear, our more relaxed meeting areas and breakout spaces offer that variety and informality.
We don’t stop there though, and when we say we offer fully serviced offices, we really mean it. Our bathrooms are hotel standard, including shower areas – ideal for those who cycle to work or enjoy a lunchtime exercise class or run. Our mailbox facilities ensure you’ll never miss important correspondence and our storage spaces are ideal for those requiring additional space outside of their office environment.
So when it comes to choosing your next office space, think outside of the ordinary. Very often it’s the little details that can mean so much, especially to your staff.
The benefits of artwork in an office environment are well documented. Don’t settle for a space that doesn’t incorporate artwork into its décor, and if you’re decorating your own space make sure you add splashes of colour and artwork on your walls. Research suggests not only does it encourage creativity but that it improves productivity and can help promote connection amongst your staff.
Formation Works properties are awash with artwork in a variety of styles and genres – pieces that start conversations and encourage creative juices to flow. We know the importance of offering enhanced interior décor and see the benefits among our members.
Beware of hidden costs when doing your sums for a new property. Rental or purchase costs are the obvious expense, but when you take utility bills, insurances and rates into consideration, suddenly the costs of running a business can seem intimidating, especially in an era in which the cost of living continues to dominate the mindset.
There are no hidden costs with Formation Works agreements. None. We offer one package cost which includes contributions to all bills, meaning you know exactly where you stand month to month and year on year. In an era of such uncertainly, doesn’t that mean a lot?
Instinct alone is often not enough to guide the decision as to where to locate your business venture. If the opportunity arises to speak to someone who is or was located there, grab it, especially where a shared workspace is concerned.
When we ask for feedback from Formation Works members, we’re always humbled by the positivity that greets us. We’re so grateful that our members get exactly the experience we desire for them and that together they produce the very special Formation Works experience.