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Choosing the right office space is so important because it has a big impact on employee productivity. It’s also important that you have a professional looking office if you’re going to meet clients there because if you don’t, it sends the wrong message. Renting office space is one of your biggest overheads as well, so it’s important that you pick the right space. The problem is, a lot of offices look great on the surface but then after you move in, the problems start to show up. If that happens, you might have to go through the whole process again or learn to live with it. But if you know what you’re looking for when you’re viewing offices, you can spot the signs of potential problems before you sign the lease and avoid paying out for an office that doesn’t suit your needs or one that has lots of issues. These are some of the things that you need to check before you sign the lease on your new office.
Accessibility is a very important thing to check because it can cause you problems further down the line. You don’t want to alienate potentially great employees because they have mobility issues and the office isn’t accessible to them. Check that there are suitable ramps and functional lifts so the office is accessible for everybody. If it isn’t, it could cause you problems with clients as well as employees because it doesn’t look good at all if your office isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.
As well as accessibility for people with mobility issues, you need to think about how easy it is to get things in and out of the office when you’re moving everything over. If it’s got very tight stairwells and the lifts are small, how are you going to get all of your furniture up there? You’ll end up having to take everything apart and put it all together again which is just wasting a lot of time. When you shut the business down to move offices, you’re losing money, so you need to get it done as quickly as possible and an office that isn’t very accessible is going to make that difficult for you.
If you move into an office that needs regular repairs, you’re going to waste a lot of money, so you need to check that everything is in good working order. The first place to start is definitely the plumbing. If you get a burst pipe in the office it can cause a lot of expensive damage and you’ll have to close the office for a few days while it’s fixed, so you’re paying for loss of earnings as well as the repairs. It’s always a good idea to request that you’re allowed to get a plumber in to look at all of the pipes and boilers and let you know if you’re likely to have any problems in the future. You should also get a Legionella risk assessment carried out to make sure that the water isn’t contaminated with viruses that are going to make you and your employees sick. This is a legal requirement in a lot of places anyway so it’s best to do it before you move in, rather than afterwards.
Not only will an electrical fault be expensive and time consuming to repair, but it could also be incredibly dangerous to you and your employees. A large electrical fault may also damage equipment around the office so you might end up having to replace computer equipment as well. Electrical work can be very invasive if all of the wiring needs to be ripped out and replaced, which means there’s a chance you’ll have to shut the business down for an extended period while it’s fixed. It’s not that expensive to get an electrician to come in and do a check of the full building but it could save you a lot of money in the future.
Most of the time, the people that you’re sharing the office building with won’t be a problem, but it’s worth meeting them beforehand and getting to know a bit about their business, especially if it’s a shared office space. You don’t want to move into an office right next door to one of your competitors because there may be an issue with information security if your employees are in regular contact with theirs. You should also consider the nature of their business and think about whether their day to day operations are going to distract your employees in any way.
It’s important that you check these things before you sign the lease because if you don’t, you might have a lot of problems to deal with a few months down the line.