Like so many things in life, when it comes to selecting the perfect office environment there's a lot more to it than what you see on the surface. Deciding on a new office is a big decision - one that you and your business may be living with for a number of years. Most people are broadly aware of the big ticket items they need to consider when comparing offices such as lease term, monthly rental and the amount of space required to accommodate the team. However, when you look beneath the surface there are a number of sneakily important things which can dramatically effect the way you use the space and whether it will be a good fit for you and your business.
Location, Location, Location
We all know that location is a really important element when considering any type of property - be it a home or office. The location of your office says a lot about your business and will play a big part in how people perceive it. However the ‘location’ I am talking about is more focused on how you and your team will interact with the environment around the office. Things to consider include:
- Are there cafes and bars nearby for casual meetings and socialising?
- Are there spaces such as city squares and parks in close proximity to help you recharge during the day?
- Can you easily access bike paths or running tracks for a bit of before or after work exercise?
- Is the location easily accessed by car, bike or public transport for employees to get to work?
Spaces Away From The Desk
The days where an office floor was made up of a series of offices each containing just one person are long gone with more and more of us either working in an open plan environment or sharing an office with other people. This has led to an increased need for spaces away from peoples’ desks where they can meet and mingle. When considering an office space, formal meeting spaces (board rooms, seminar rooms etc) are generally identified, however too often little consideration is given to informal meeting spaces. Breakout areas give employees a casual place to get away from their desk and take a break, catch up on what other people did on the weekend or eat their lunch. This act of regularly getting away from one’s desk is really important as it helps to reset focus and improves overall productivity.
Flexibility is an intangible element that all office spaces need in some form. It’s difficult to explain the full benefit of flexibility until you consider that the way you use your office will almost certainly change once you actually start occupying it. Many of our clients will enter a space with firm ideas of how they plan to use it, only to turn those plans on their head after a relatively short period of time. An equally important element of flexibility is ensuring the office space can adapt to changing requirements over time. Most businesses plan for some growth into the future so it is important that an office space can handle this, however it is equally important that the space can also adjust if things don’t go to plan. Maintaining the optimal ratio of people to space is a constant juggling act, but one that can add significantly to the bottom line if done well.
No More Sweating At Your Desk
End of Trip Facilities (EFT) is a relatively new term for the facilities which help connect the trip into or out of the office with the workspace itself. Generally consisting of showers, bike parking, change rooms, lockers etc, EFT are fast becoming an essential part of any office space. Factors such as the blending of people’s work lives and social lives have meant that more people are looking better facilities within their work environment that help them transition from their commute to being ready for work and out of the office again. EFTs are easily overlooked unless the people designing the space fully consider the needs of all people who will be using it.
When you look beyond the obvious, there are a myriad of small elements which need to come together to create the perfect workspace for you, your team and the business as a whole.
What are the most important elements which mean your office space really works for you?