Finding or designing an ideal office space can be among the greatest challenges a business owner faces. The goal is to impress clients, fill all major work needs, and keep employees happy—but it can be difficult to draw the line between a luxury and an absolute need. Can you do without a foosball table? Is a jukebox worth the plunge? What is needed will depend on the budget available, and there are some useful guidelines to making some tough office planning decisions. Overbury’s Chris Booth provided Forbes with some great tips on saving dollars on office space:
-Make choices with your head, not your heart. It is obvious that you ought to look at the rent pricing and how it fits your budget. However, it is also imperative to make sure the terms of the lease are acceptable. Ask yourself some questions—is your business planning to grow in the near future? Is it likely that you may want to move into a larger office space sometime? If so, make sure that you are not going to be locked into an overly long lease! And remember—beyond rent, there are many other costs to an office space. Bills, maintenance, and appliances can combine to be 80% of a space’s total costs—so make sure you leave room in your budget for running costs!
-Be flexible. Make sure the office space you are looking into can be adapted if your business’ needs change. And be sure that a wide variety of potential hires will find the space aesthetic, appealing, and inviting. Younger employees especially will appreciate bike racks, close proximity to public transit, and office showers—if you aim to attract younger recruits, bear this in mind!
-Coffee is a very high priority! Stereotypes of office workers as massive caffeine fiends have some truth to them. Surveys of Overbury’s employees’ desires in an office frequently placed a demand for good coffee very highly. Seemingly small touches like these can make an office feel much more like home to the coffee drinker, a dominant creature in the office habitat.
-Light can make all the difference. Quality of lighting is known to have a major effect on those trying to study or work. Getting as close to natural daylight as possible is a good plan, as most employees will work efficiently in it. Studies have also suggested that working spaces with plants correlate to higher office productivity. If you don’t believe it, give it a shot!
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