Member Article

Need to scale back on offices? Looking for an alternative to a traditional lease?

Many businesses are looking at their current office space in the light of Covid-19 to accommodate staff rotation, flexible working hours, working from home and commuting restrictions.

Office space needs before Covid-19 and after will almost certainly look very different and the impact of the pandemic on a company’s bottom line is causing many businesses to make changes.

We’ve been providing our clients with an ‘Office Space Checklist’ and advice to work out what they really need.

Step 1: Understand your costs Companies currently leasing an office will have high running costs and an empty or only partially full office can be an unnecessary expenditure in this tough period.

Start off with calculation of the overheads in your current office: you need to know your total projected annual cost.

Overheads for a leased office £ Rent Business Rates Service Charges Capital Costs (design, architect, fit-out, project manager, furniture, equipment, restoration, dilapidation costs etc.) Deposit. (How many months?) Receptionist Staff Utilities IT & Telephony Consumables (Coffee, Tea, Kitchen Supplies etc.) Office Supplies (Printers, Paper, Pens, Toiletries etc) Safety & Security (Key Cards, CCTV) Mail & Packaging Other Miscellaneous (Repairs, Rubbish Collection etc) Property Insurance Facilities Management

Step 2: work out your existing and future requirements Once the above total has been calculated, the next step is to work out what you need now for your existing or future requirements. The challenge is to work out the commitment you want to make to future proof your office space, especially if there is no clear picture of how ‘work’ is going to look like in the near, medium and far future.

Here are 5 key questions to help:

  1.  How many of your staff will be working from home vs coming to the office in the next months and years and how many days a week? 
    
  2.  What type of office configuration do you need to accommodate these staff and their working hours?  Consider the following five key elements: 
    

a. How many staff are or were using your current office pre Covid-19? How many desks are needed after allowing for self-distancing? b. What is your current configuration, ie. open space, colab zones, tea-point, break-out areas? c. Private Offices. How many, if any are needed? d. Meeting Rooms. How many and how big? Do you need your own or are you okay renting by the hour, half day or daily? e. Receptionist. Do you need your own or are you okay using the provider’s receptionist staff? 3. Do you want a custom or standard fit out/design?

  1.  What area are you looking to relocate to? Do you need multiple offices and or access to hot-desks as well for some of your staff?
    
  2.  What is your ideal budget for your new offices? 
    

With a clear understanding of the costs and answers to the questions above you are in a better position to consider your options.
It should now be clear whether you are looking for a new lease or, if you believe you want the most flexibility in the short term (say 1 – 3 years) then the serviced or managed office option could be the right route for you where the costs outlined in your initial calculations are all covered by your agreement.
You can still fit a large number of employees and inject your brand personality into the space, but it can work out as more economical as all your previous running costs in the leased office come as a package meaning less admin and considerable savings. We are consulting with many of our existing and new clients to help them make these big decisions based on our knowledge of the office space and industry predictions, and anyone wanting some free advice should get in touch with us at firstofficehub.com to see how we can help you navigate your new way of working and structure.

About First Office Hub Clive Buckley is Founder of global flexible workspace broker, First Office Hub, helps businesses find and secure their ideal offices. Liaise with a First Office Hub Consultant who will email you a report containing available options that best fit your requirements. Alternatively, you can browse available offices and submit an enquiry through the First Office Hub website.  First Office Hub will arrange for you to view the properties you like at a convenient time and can also arrange virtual viewings.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clive Buckley .

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