Finding the workspace that works for you

If you are currently looking around for new office space, it’s important that you do your research, talk to the right people, consider your options and, most importantly, take your time! Purchasing or leasing commercial property typically involves making some hefty financial decisions. Here are a few important considerations, to help you get it right.

The first question you need to ask is, ‘what type of office space do I need?’ There are all sorts out there these days, catering to a vast range of business sizes, set ups and situations – and they include the following.

Traditional office

This is the most conventional style of office, with customary features such as a reception area, private offices, possibly a ‘bullpen style’ area with cubicles, a boardroom and meeting rooms, plus a utility area and designated space where workers can take a break. Law firms, accounting firms, and professional services have typically gravitated towards this option, however with recent events (i.e., post-pandemic, and the introduction of offsite and hybrid working) some businesses are trending away from traditional.

Private office

This is, in general, a smaller, lockable space that is leased out to an individual or single business, and is situated inside a shared office building. It offers a secure, peaceful and private place to work - often comes furnished, and usually presents an affordable option as the occupant only pays for the floorspace they use.

Coworking space

This is a shared office that’s used by people from different organisations, typically self-employed workers, freelancers, start-ups and entrepreneurs. It’s perfect for those looking for flexible terms and a collaborative, vibrant, modern working environment. Advantages include enhanced cost-efficiency, more flexibility, social synergy and the ability to network. Often the rent is all-inclusive, meaning utilities, common area maintenance expenses, insurance and other costs are worked into the rental or lease agreement.

Serviced offices

These are usually pre-furnished workspaces with utilities such as an internet connection, phone lines and work devices already in place. They are also known as managed offices or business centres. Typically, businesses pay a monthly charge per desk on a pay-as-you-go basis. Unlike a coworking space, serviced offices are more like renting a private office space, but with the infrastructure and equipment already in place.

Commercial lease

This is where a company rents a property from an owner or landlord and uses it for business purposes for the duration of the lease agreement. Often it means the occupier will have exclusive rights to use the property so they can fit it out how they like. Unlike serviced offices or co-working spaces, privately-rented commercial properties don’t usually come fully equipped. Additional costs such as ongoing maintenance and repair are often also the responsibility of the occupier, over the time they are there.

Once you’ve worked out the type of office space you need, choosing the location is key. A number of factors will influence your decision here, including:
  • where the majority of your clients are based, and whether it’s important to be near them
  • where you and the majority of your staff live, and whether the location of the office is easily accessible/convenient for commuting
  • if you work in an industry that has a recognised hub in the city (e.g., banking, legal or digital sectors) you may wish to consider being located there
  • if your brand image requires an impressive and prestigious location, you’ll want to factor this in
  • rent costs in a given area will also need to be taken into account, as well as the availability of local amenities like cafés, restaurants, shops and parks, and whether they are important to your business.

On the topic of cost (which of course is a critical factor) - if this becomes a significant obstacle to securing ‘the office of your dreams’, remember that negotiation is almost always an option. Having an experienced property broker by your side in this instance, tends to pay off.

Commercial property is a highly specialised area, requiring specific knowledge and market expertise. A good sales agent can help you out in a number of ways, from drilling down on your requirements and helping you think strategically about your business, your ambitions and your future plans before starting the search – right through to actively helping you find the right space, negotiate the deal, finalise the contract and fulfil any legal obligations.

Feel free to talk to our team at Barfoot & Thompson Commercial.

We understand the complexities of this sector, we have a huge amount of experience and can offer insight into the current market and landscape. We also have strong connections and a vast network to draw on. Above all, we understand that your office space is more than just a few desks and chairs – it is a reflection of your business and your second home during the working week. We want to help you find that ideal space, where you can grow and feel inspired – where you can make your mark, be fully productive and feel 100% at home.