Finding an office space that fits a startup’s business requirements and budget is challenging. From identifying the right location to choosing the right office space to setting it up according to the brand image, startup owners encounter hurdles in every step.
Startups usually have rapidly growing teams which makes it tough for them to choose a suitable working space to suit their scaling needs. Further, the poor utilization of existing spaces and the shoe-string budget they operate add to the challenge of finding the right office space.
As office spaces help in defining brand identity, startup owners should invest a good amount of time in researching the right place for the startups.
In this article, we will discuss seven easy steps to select the ideal office space for your startup.
Before starting the hunt for office spaces, startup owners must calculate how big an office they need. A wrong space size can make it difficult for a business to operate.
Imagine yourself working in an office that makes it tedious for you to move without disturbing the other team members. Wouldn’t it be inconvenient and affect the team’s productivity?
So, before searching for office space, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s my team size?
- Does each team member need an individual cubicle, or can they operate in shared spaces?
- By when am I planning to expand my team? What’s my target team size for this year?
The answers to these questions will give you a fair idea about how much space you will need for setting up employees’ workstations. Further, calculate the space you would require for the reception area, meeting rooms, and pantry. Remember the layout of the office space complements the work operations.
For example, let’s consider you have a technology startup. An open hall with shared desks is an ideal setup for the team as it would save space and foster better collaboration among employees. However, meeting rooms, the kitchen, pantry area, and other rooms can have a private room type of layout.
The next step is finding a good location. Before shortlisting an office location, ask yourself these three questions:
- Does this location offer an easy commute for my employees?
- Can my clients and vendors get here without any hassles?
- What kind of businesses are located in this area?
Responses to these questions will help you select a suitable location for your workspace.
Your office should be located in areas that are easily accessible via public and private transport. It should not pose any hurdles to the clients and employees when getting to you. Further, it should offer ample parking spaces with quick access to coffee shops, lunch spots, or supermarkets.
Here are a few points to remember while finalizing an office space.
- Research the pricing (lease or rent) structure of the office spaces in the said area. Remember, a rental agreement is usually short term but a lease contract can be applied to longer periods
- Ensure that the office is situated in a secure neighborhood.
- Avoid setting up offices in noisy areas, such as markets, bus stands, traffic hotspots, or other areas bustling with activities.
- Visit the office location in person to inspect the layout, lighting, and appearance of the office premises.
Coworking spaces are growing in popularity among startups because they eliminate the hassles associated with finding the right office spaces within the decided budget.
Further, coworking spaces offer numerous benefits, such as cost-effective pricing, flexible timings, modern furniture, high-speed internet, and other amenities required for carrying out business operations seamlessly.
Most coworking spaces are equipped with fully-functional meeting and conference rooms that can be booked on an hourly basis.
Let us have a look at why coworking spaces would make the best office for your startup.
- Coworking spaces decrease the costs incurred for the setting up and maintenance of an office. This includes the lease or rent, furniture, decor, and other office infrastructures.
- You can connect with other startup owners and share ideas to build commercially viable products or services. This also helps in identifying new business opportunities and collaborations.
- Coworking spaces offer the flexibility to expand your office space as your team grows. You no longer have to go through the tedious office searching process all over again.
- While giving the right infrastructure and tools, coworking spaces help you build and portray a professional image of your startup to attract excellent business opportunities.
Most office spaces provide commonly-required office infrastructures, such as high-speed internet, telephone, postal services, and more to the startups.
The following questions will help you decide if the office space fits well with your requirements.
- How many businesses are operating from this space? If you can, talk to them about their experience?
- Does this space offer me a reliable internet connection?
- Is this office space equipped with speedy elevators and an easy parking facility?
- Does this space have outdoor amenities, such as a garden, patio, or rooftop that would help my team relax, recharge, and socialize with others?
Make a list of amenities you are looking forward to having in the office space. Whether it is a pet-friendly office space or a building offering workout centers, listing down the requirements will help you choose the best office space for your startup better.
A fully-equipped office will also create a lasting impression on the clients and employees.
As a startup owner looking for office space, you must have already decided on a budget. However, rent is not the only aspect that plays role in setting up an office. Various other factors, such as the office amenities, space maintenance charges, internet costs, and more also affect the office space costs indirectly.
Connect with the respective personnel to understand if there are any hidden costs associated with the office space. It is better to clarify the terms and pricing structure before signing the contract.
In addition to the office rent, you need to arrange for office furniture, lighting, food and beverage supplies, and other office decor items. Remember a well-designed office space exhibits professionalism and facilitates a productive environment.
Moreover, if you are planning on getting an office in a coworking space, you do not have to worry about these additional costs. Most coworking spaces are already furnished with the above-mentioned office space necessities. The costs of which are covered in the monthly charges.
Security and maintenance are some of the vital aspects that an office space must support.
Understand the security features the office space offers. Here are a few things to consider.
- Do the office space and the premises have functional security cameras?
- Can anyone else, other than my employees and me, have access to my office space? Is the keycard access designed exclusively for me and my team?
- Is the internet protected by a firewall and antivirus systems?
- How secure is my business data on the network?
Besides the security of office space and business information, you should also focus on understanding the measures taken for the security and safety of the employees. For example, office spaces must have a proper exit system for the evacuation of people in times of fire or any other emergencies.
Maintenance of the office premises should also be done on a timely basis. Understand the procedures followed for waste management, interior management, building exterior management, energy-saving strategies, and more. Ensure that these maintenance schedules do not hinder your day-to-day office activities.
Office setup plays an important role in demonstrating your company culture. Creating a welcoming work environment helps you project your startup in a positive light, thereby attracting clients and talent to your brand.
Connect with the respective personnel or management team of the coworking space and clarify the following points.
- Are office customizations or office branding done at no extra cost?
- Am I allowed to make modifications to the space? If yes, can I hire an interior design firm to carry out the job?
- What additional documentation do I have to submit or sign to undertake customization activities?
Design the office space to exhibit your core values. Make it attractive with the help of themed spaces, natural elements like indoor plants, artwork, motivational quotes, compact work pods, and more.
Let the cafeteria be colorful as bright colors tend to elevate our mood and relax our minds. Ensure you have a spacious area to organize fun activities, workshops, birthdays, and other events for the team.
Searching for an office space can be a tiring activity. Before investing in an office space, conduct thorough research to check the suitability of the shortlisted office spaces with your requirements.
Follow the steps mentioned in this article to get started with finding an office space that not just attracts new clients and talent but also, builds your startup brand.
Aanya Rachel is the Content Manager at The Address coworking space in Vadodara, Gujarat. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge, experience, and extensive research in this field. She writes on a wide range of topics related to coworking, the growth of remote workers, startups, and real estate.