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Years ago, it wasn’t even a question for businesses. If you launched a startup and expected to be successful, you rented or invested in a place of work. Today, tech has advanced to the point where a large percentage of millennial bosses and leaders put off making the decision. After all, it’s not as if you need it when you can telecommute thanks to video-calling software and the internet.
Still, while avoiding office space saves you a tonne of money, which is part of the reason why 61% of companies have remote work policies, it may be a necessary evil. When you judge your workplace against the extra productivity and esteem it provides, it can outweigh the negatives. It’s a tricky balancing act and one that entrepreneurs struggle with all the time.
Is it time to get an office? Here is a selection of the signs that will help you to decide.
You Need More Staff
Adding workers to your team is essential since employees are the lifeblood of the organisation. Without their help and daily grind, the business would never sell a single product or service and turn a profit. Staff is crucial, but they take up lots of space, and you may not have anywhere to put them in the short-term.
In this case, there’s nothing you can do but invest in office space and expand your operations. To cram everyone into a tight area, while more affordable, will impact morale and the working atmosphere, and productivity levels will decline. Therefore, it’s usually cheaper in terms of employee turnover rate.
Of course, how much space you rent is dictated by how many people you can manage remotely. Hiring workers on a freelance or self-employed basis is a fantastic method for employing the people you need to move forward while ensuring your overheads aren’t out of control. But, you must create remote work strategies so that the process is smooth and efficient.
You Schedule Lots Of Meetings
Whatever your view on meetings, they are healthy as they highlight that the company has goods and services that others desire. If it didn’t, there’d be no point in the appointment! Again, meetings are doable from anywhere in the world since all you need is a laptop or mobile device and an internet connection.
Unfortunately, it glosses over the fact that most successful negotiations occur face-to-face. Why? It’s because you can read a person’s body language, address their concerns, and use your persuasion skills to leave a lasting impression. Business appointments are as much about popularity as they are professionalism.
Therefore, you could find that you host meetings in rented space to avoid inappropriate environments (coffee shops, bars, restaurants). With that in mind, it may be cheaper to have your own place and negate needless expenses, especially if your team is getting larger.
The Numbers Add Up
There’s no point saying money isn’t an issue because it is for 43% of SMEs in the UK that spend around £4.4 billion in administrative costs. To make an investment you can’t afford is irresponsible, which is why it’s vital to crunch the figures thoroughly and come to an informed decision.
To do that, you must research the loan market versus the buying market. The former is common for businesses as a rental is more affordable in terms of monthly payments. However, the latter could save you a significant amount if you commit to it in the medium and long-term. An HDB loan calculator will show you whether it’s an option worth exploring.
Please don’t forget to include all the expenses, from overheads to rent to security fees, and to have about 10% more in your budget for unforeseen circumstances.
Distractions Are Impossible To Ignore
Things have changed a lot due to COVID-19, and it appears as if the world won’t go back to normal for a while. This means that you may have to put up with more distractions in the home than previously.
From an output point of view, this isn’t a positive as your partner, kids, or even the dog can encourage you to slack off when you should be working hard. The good thing about the regulations is, they allow businesses to return to Coronavirus-secure locations. So, as long as there are screens and social distancing policies, it may be a smart move.
After all, do you think you can put up with the noise and interruptions for the next year?
Only you know when it’s time to invest in office space. The key is to spot the signs above and evaluate them objectively.