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Moving your office location, or expanding your business premises is an exciting step in any company’s journey. For some businesses, location is everything and therefore it’s important to be able to act quickly when the perfect opportunity arises. For others, location is not as important but other factors are, so taking time to research and prepare for a move is slightly easier. No matter what business you’re in, here are some pointers of what to look for in new office premises.
Even if you don’t require a visible high street presence, it is still important to ensure that your office is still accessible for your staff and if any customers or suppliers need to visit you. Consider the transport links nearby – particularly if you’re looking to grow your workforce in the near future. Job applicants will be researching how they might commute to you, so if you’re near to a train station or easily accessible by bus or cycle then that will certainly appeal. If your business needs to use or host a range of different vehicular traffic then consider parking and road access. For example, if you need to receive large deliveries by van or lorry, consider the access points for these. Or if you hold conferences, make sure there is somewhere either on site or nearby for your guests to park without too much hassle.
When you consider the location of your office also think about the work-life balance that location will offer your staff. We are very lucky to have some stunning locations throughout Sussex – offices by the sea or with views of the downs for example. Staff will feel happier turning up to work if they can enjoy the beautiful Sussex scenery on the way or during breaks. In addition, natural light and fresh air are proven to increase productivity too so if you can find somewhere with plenty of windows that’s a real plus too. If you don’t have space for a break area, you may want to consider what local amenities there are so that your staff can refresh during their lunch break – are there any green spaces for the summer? Or a good café or two to eat a sandwich in?
Character or lasting first impressions
We have facilitated moves into 16th-century and 21st-century offices and what makes the spaces appealing is either some charming character or the opportunity to create a lasting first impression on visiting customers. For example, some of the older Sussex properties with beautiful beams are a real talking point and icebreaker. More modern offices can lend themselves to quirky furniture, bold signage, and bright interiors to motivate staff and impress clients.
Lease terms that work for your business
It can be easy to get distracted by the novelty of moving offices without consider the long-term impact on your business overall, in particular business stability and cash flow. There are a wide variety of different lease agreements and each landlord is entitled to create a lease that works to protect their investment, but this may not always align with your business’s needs. If you’re a start-up, consider whether entering into a 10-year lease is the right option straight away. Also, look at the repairing terms of the lease and whether you’re prepared and able to cover costs if for example windows were to get damaged. Another question to ask is how often does the rent need to be paid? Some landlords will require quarterly advance payments others will be happy with a monthly direct debit. And finally, make sure the notice period is acceptable – whilst a rolling contract may seem more appealing, it can also mean a shorter notice period if the landlord wants to use the office for another purpose, would your business be easy to move with 1 months’ warning? Our Oakley Commercial team deal with a good mix of lease types from short term serviced offices to long term leases, stand-alone outbuildings and even land.
If you’d like to discuss your business premises needs, contact our Commercial Team and we’d be happy to talk you through the different lease types to match you to your perfect Commercial Landlord from our portfolio.
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