Question: What is one often overlooked thing I should consider when looking into a new office space?
Whether There Are Enough Meeting Rooms
"One conference room is never enough. Try to have two to three conference rooms for people to reserve. This will help with meetings and give people a different environment to work in from time to time."
Whether There Are Good Landlords
"A landlord might be great during the lease negotiation process but once the lease is signed and you and move in, you might see Dr. Jekyll turn in to Mr. Hyde. If possible, find other tenants and ask them what they think about the landlord or management company. Once you sign a commercial lease they are not always easy to get out of, so do a check on the landlord as they can make/break a lease."
Whether There's a Place to Chat
"I don't mean a conference room. I'm talking about a room employees can call a "cool hangout spot," where they can visit and chat with their co-workers. This is where our most important company ideas usually occur. Employees in the creative world tend to get up and walk around a lot to refresh, so it's important to us to get a place that would instill familial bonding."
Whether It's Future-Proofed
"When we moved in, we invested in the IT infrastructure to last us years and paid for the fastest possible package. We got twice as much space as was needed at the time. We thought we were planning ahead. However, I've just negotiated a four-year lease extension on this space during an expensive market and we've just had to redo some of our tech. We didn't future-proof enough."
Whether There's Flexible Space for Freelancers
"Since Hubstaff specializes in time tracking tools for remote teams, we also encourage our own talent to work remotely on their own schedule. If you've also got team members who get to work remotely or telecommute, or you have freelancers who need to come into the office occasionally for meetings, set up lots of flexible spaces, for those employees who come and go, that encourage collaboration."
Whether There Is a Community
"Joining a co-working space is less expensive than a traditional office space and you belong to a community of smart entrepreneurs who are going through similar challenges. This network of like-minded coworkers provides you with strategic partners to bounce ideas off of and who understand the unique challenges you face as a business owner."
Whether It's a Multi-Purpose Space
"Yes, a game room and a nice kitchen go a long way, but if you have an all-purpose space, you can offer your employees countless opportunities to get to know each other beyond their water cooler talks and Gchats. By having space where you can host panels, parties or even yoga, you create the unique opportunity to foster community through diverse interaction platforms in the comfort of your home."
Whether There's Parking
"In bigger cities, parking for commuters can be a nightmare. Prohibitively costly lots and scarcity of public spots can sour even the happiest employee. While a fancy downtown location may prove promising for your up-and-coming brand, you need to make sure your team feels truly at home and won't have to suffer finding safe and reliable parking each morning."
What the Neighbors Have to Say
"When deciding on a new office space, make sure to meet the neighbors. Whether you're in a co-working space with a lot of other companies, or in a larger complex, it's a great idea to meet with some of the other companies nearby to get their feedback on the space before you move in."
Whether There Are Move Out Costs
"When working with a turnkey office provider, make sure you read the fine print of what you are signing. Many companies will hit you with extensive move out fees that can be crippling for a new business owner. Make sure you look for the rent increase percentage also if you decide to stay past the set term. "