19th September 2017
When fitting out a new office, it pays not just to think of what you need now – but what you might need next year, or the year after. From adaptable furniture to forward-thinking technology, what you start out with can affect how easy it will be for your business to grow in future.
With the current economy and uncertainty surrounding Brexit many business owners may be reviewing their position with regards to their commercial premises or considering whether obtaining a new premises should be considered. In either situation it’s important to consider how your business plan fits into the current building you are in and steps you could take.
Four points to consider when future proofing your office:
Research! Get help and advice from other professionals or other business who have looked into this. Start by getting inspired by looking at what your competitors or others are doing. Get a good grounding in the different types of commercial properties available in the area that you want to locate into. It’s important to draw up a shopping list of wants and produce a pro and cons immediately after the visit. A listed building in the high street will be completely different from a brand new office on a business park.
Flexible working arrangements with staff which can make for adaptable working spaces with the office. If space becomes an issue due to expansion can you look at staff working from home or utilise a meeting room for a temporary period of time. This type of zoning can work well and good design can create a multi-functional space that can be adapted easily. If the expansion of staff looks like it could be permanent, look at approaching your Landlord to see whether there are any other areas of the business that you could take on under a Licence or a new lease of part of the office space. Landlords will be keen to obtain a rent from space that isn’t being fully occupied and you get the benefit of having staff which are physically within the same building.
Make sure you have the best IT that you can afford now which has the ability to be upgraded and grow with your business needs. A good IT company will be able to offer you a competitive service agreement that could include upgrading your software and hardware as technology moves on. Ensure that your office has all the physical capacity to deal with the cable/media upgrades and check the terms of the lease for this, as older buildings may be more problematic and costly to deal with. A Surveyor will be able to advise on this. Its important to know whether you will need your Landlords consent for any alterations to service media and worth checking your lease on this point and dealing with as early as possible.
Ensure that the furniture that you purchase is flexible to accommodate the working arrangements. Modular and easily movable furniture which is not too heavy give you more flexibility along with adequate telephone lines and media connections as the there cannot be too much in the future. Look at desks which are also movable horizontally upwards so staff can stand without the need for chairs which can be more ergonomic.
For further information please contact our Commercial Property Team on 01256 84488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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