With COVID restrictions being lifted and normality gradually returning, now may be the perfect time to invest in a brand-new office space. But what do you need to consider if that’s your plan?
Chances are, if your business usually carries out its operations from a central office, that space hasn’t been properly utilised for the past 18 months. As the COVID-19 pandemic took a hold of the country, businesses were forced to suddenly revert to remote working, which meant that offices were left mostly abandoned.
But now, with vaccinations well underway and restrictions being eased, many businesses are now mapping out what returning to the office will look like. In many instances, that may mean transferring a commercial lease and investing in a brand-new office space that is better suited to the businesses in the wake of the remote working revolution.
If your business is looking to find a new office space post COVID-19, then there are a number of considerations you’ll first need to make. In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most important factors your business will need to consider when looking for a new office space. Take a look…
What You Should Keep in Mind When Looking for a New Office Space Post-COVID
Decide Whether You Really Need One
It’s been well documented that the pandemic brought about a seemingly irreversible change to the way we all work. While remote working was previously an option for many employees, the circumstances brought on by the pandemic have provided people with the chance to carry out their daily role from the comfort of their own home.
This needs to be taken into consideration if you’re interested in investing in a new office space. If your business is planning to allow your employees to work flexibly and choose whether to work from home, it may not be profitable, or practical, to start renting a new office.
On that same note, your business will need to carefully consider the size of the new office space you’re looking at. If your business is going to allow your employees to work flexibly, there’s a distinct chance that not everyone is going to be working in the office at the same time, meaning it could be easy to land an office that’s too big (and too expensive, too boot).
It may end up being more worthwhile to downsize rather than upsize when it comes to choosing a new office space. This will be more cost effective and will be better suited to the blend of remote and office work for your employees.
No matter what the world looks like post COVID, your office space needs to be easily accessible for your employees. This means that you need to be mindful of what parking is readily available for employees that drive, and what public transport links are nearby for those that don’t.
Transferring to a new office space that’s less convenient for employees to access is only likely to lead to discontent. It may even see more people working from home on a regular basis, potentially negating the need for a new office in the first place!
Flexible Lease Terms
If you’re currently unhappy with your commercial lease situation, or you’re looking to expand and find a bigger office space, you may be able to transfer your commercial lease using the process of assignment.
Typically, a commercial lease is transferrable with the landlord’s consent and they can provide a Licence to Assign authorising the transfer. However, the terms of the lease and tenancy will usually dictate whether this is possible, as some terms forbid assignment altogether.
Don’t Solely Focus on Rent
If you’re convinced that finding a new office space is the right move for your business post-COVID, then the price of rent is likely to be your biggest concern. But, that shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on during your search.
You also need to consider what is included in the lease, what amendments you can and cannot make to the office, and how long it lasts. These factors all come into play when it comes to deciding whether an office move is economically viable.
Shared Office Space
If you want to save yourself some money, the size of your business has decreased over the previous 18 months, or you’re focusing on remote working moving forward, you may want to consider a shared office space.
Here, you’ll share a space with other similar businesses, rather than having your own dedicated space. This has its benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll need to make sure you do your research before you decide to pursue or dismiss the idea.
Make Sure You Get Your Employees’ Opinions
Before you even start to look for new office space, you need to be open and transparent with your employees that this is the case. The last thing they’ll want is to have a decision made for them without being able to have a say in the matter first.
If you speak to your employees, you’ll also be able to get a better idea of what their plans are with regards to working from home. This will ultimately help to influence your decision on what type of office space you pursue.
What Sort of Office Space is Your Business Looking to Move into Post-COVID?
In this post, we’ve gone through some of the most important considerations your business needs to make when it comes to finding a new office space post-COVID. It’s always going to be a difficult decision, no matter the circumstances, so you need to be sure that you’re fully informed before you dive in with both feet!
Have you got any more tips or pieces of advice for businesses looking to move to a new office space post-COVID? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments below!