Location has always been an important factor in choosing an office space, but it’s arguably never been more so than now. If you’re looking for the best place to base your new business, or you’re thinking of relocating to a new office location, there are a lot of things to consider.
We’re here to provide you with a complete overview of why where your business is located is so important, and how you can choose an office location that excels.
More and more businesses are adopting flexible or hybrid working models, splitting their time between working from home and an office space. But rather than making where you base your business a less important decision, this shift has made it even more crucial to choose the perfect office location.
Now the office is no longer a daily necessity, what it actually has to offer has become more important. If employees can do their work from home, the office needs to provide more value. It needs to be an attractive proposition to employees, ensuring their time spent there is a better experience than working from home. Office location plays a big part in this.
Even if your business isn’t adopting flexible working, your office space’s value proposition is now a bigger factor in employee satisfaction. In the light of the option of working from home in another job, your employees will be looking for an office space that makes their days better, not worse.
When you’re looking for a new office location, these are the factors you should keep in mind. An office location that meets all of these criteria has a huge head-start in becoming a space that your employees want to spend their time in, and in making sure your business can thrive there.
Ease of access is the single most important factor when choosing an office location. To be valuable to your employees, your office simply has to be easy for them to reach. They’ll never get to enjoy a day spent there if it requires two hours’ travel each way.
In most cases, this makes large city centres like London the obvious choice of location. They’re generally the most well-connected areas, often featuring local and national rail connections. They also act as epicentres for other forms of public transport like buses, and tend to have the best cycling infrastructure.
However, that doesn’t mean suburban workplaces are out of the question. Provided they’re in an area that has ample road networks and rail connections, they can still be easily reached by employees.
Similarly important to how easy the office is to access, what’s nearby can make or break its suitability. Local amenities supplement what your office itself has to offer, giving employees access to the cafes, shops, and attractions they need for a properly fulfilling day in the office.
Again, city centres get the edge. A city centre office location will generally have the highest number of nearby amenities, and often the best quality ones too. This can be a big value-add for days spent in the office, meaning they can double-up as days out to enjoy or get things done.
Also look out for locations that have nearby green spaces. While not quite an amenity, having natural spaces to explore within walking distance of an office can make a big difference to employee satisfaction and health.
Like it or not, where your business is located is a factor in how it’s seen. If you’re operating purely remotely, with just a home address as your head office, you’re unlikely to be taken very seriously by large enterprises, for example.
Alternatively, if your small business is based out of a beautiful period building with a prestigious SW1 postcode, you might be seen as having larger influence. While this is superficial at first glance, the impact it can have on the traction your business can generate is very real.
There’s also the factor of the associations that a location has on your brand. Tech businesses located in East London Tech City (otherwise known as the Silicon Roundabout) might get a reputational boost, for instance.
Provided you’ve not gone all-in on offering employees the option to work remotely, your office location will also roughly dictate your future hiring pool. People based anywhere outside of an hour’s commute to your office will be far less likely to want to work for you.
This factor again favours city centre locations, where the local talent pool is likely to be both most dense and skilled. Statistically speaking, people looking to build a career tend to flock to major cities like London.
Basing your business accordingly means that you can draw from the most compelling talent pool. This has long-term implications on the success of your business, so it’s not to be overlooked!
Cost is always a factor when deciding on an office. Even when a certain location ticks all of the right boxes, if it’s simply too expensive, it’s not an option. But it’s important to factor in the value on offer when considering the relative cost of an office location, rather than seeing the prices in a vacuum.
Looking at cost by itself, it would be easy to make the decision to choose an office in a cheap, rural area. But if that location is low on value – if it is too far out of the way for employees and lacks nearby amenities, for example – the low cost doesn’t really improve the value.
Instead, weight your cost assessment with value and make a more considered choice. Instead of going for an office in the most expensive area of a city, for instance, look a little further afield and find an office space which offers more value per pound spent.
Finally, you want to make sure that the location you choose an office in can accommodate the growth you project for your business. There’s no sense settling in to a small office in a quiet suburb when you expect to be doubling your employee count in the next year and need to draw from a large talent pool.
Consider what the future holds for your business and factor those plans into your decision. You’ll be happier in the years to come because of it.
So, now you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to begin the search. Take a look at The Boutique Collection, our portfolio of serviced office spaces spanning London and beyond, and find an office in a location that suits you.
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