When looking to rent an office space in Surrey, a bit like choosing a home there are many factors to consider. Picking an office you love is great, as it’s important you are happy at work. However, selecting an office space needs to incorporate practical considerations as well as the quirks and perks of the facility.
1. Location. City or town centre office spaces, whilst more convenient in terms of surrounding facilities such as cafes, shops and other businesses, are likely to be more expensive. There are also potential issues with parking so if you’re looking at a town or city parking should be a big consideration for both you, your team and visiting customers or contacts.
Surrey is, of course, relatively reachable to London. There may be a temptation to live in Surrey but have offices in London for the number of surrounding businesses and the postcode. You will pay a serious premium for this depending on the area. Parking as well as congestion charges if driving becomes a more prominent issue, or the unpredictability of a longer journey on public transport. It may also bring the price of staffing up, as people face London living costs or a longer commute.
Looking at ‘out of town’ office spaces in Surrey doesn’t mean becoming isolated. If you’re looking for more affordable spaces but want to remain connected, it’s worth looking at those with good motorway connections and free parking. They often have kitchen facilities, communal areas for networking and eating, more room for meetings and more outside space. Location should actually be what you look at first, alongside what additional facilities you get for the reduced rent for a location out of a city centre.
2. Office space available. Getting an office in a shared office facility means that you can rent an office with only the space that you need without having to pay for what you don’t. They offer the added bonus of scalability. If you’ve got a 5 man team now but think in 2 years this will double, you’d be able to move to a larger office space without having to use removal drivers.
If you’re renting an office in Surrey that is more of a standalone unit – perhaps a high street office, above a shop or in a converted residential building, it’s important to ensure you have that space to grow in the future as well as getting an office space with an area for meetings. It might mean temporarily paying for space you don’t use initially, but will save you moving costs at a later date. This is assuming you plan on your business growing.
3. Costs. It will come down to what you can afford, and bearing in mind any potential downturn in sales at quiet times. It’s best to be cautious, or ensure that you chose one of the office spaces in Surrey that offer flexible contracts. Fixed contracts that are pushing you financially will lead to potential cash flow issues and stress you don’t need when trying to run and grow a successful business. Always keep your eyes open for ‘hidden costs’. Get in writing what is included in terms of facilities, utilities, maintenance, repairs and insurance. Always check if prices include VAT or not.
4. Safety and Security. If you’re keeping valuable items on site such as computers, printers, equipment, phones and other devices, you need to make sure these are secure.
Look for CCTV, alarms, good quality locks and automatic doors. Not only will you feel safer but this will help your insurance costs stay low.
Ensure health and safety legislations are being followed. Most serviced office spaces in Surrey will cover this for you, whereas more independent office spaces will leave this in your hands (this might also add a cost).
The safety of you and your team should always be a serious consideration.COVID-19 has added an additional consideration here. Whilst this is an area that will – hopefully over time – will be less of an issue, for now it’s worth checking they have policies in place.
5. Technology. There are few businesses these days that run without the Internet, especially with the rise of cloud storage and online meetings. To maximise productivity and ensure professional communication, look for a facility with the fastest fibreoptic Wi-Fi, and ideally back up Wi-Fi should there be any issues to minimise downtime. Other considerations might be mobile phone signal, onsite shared facilities and ensuring the most environmentally friendly utilities.
6. First impressions. People might come to your office – clients, suppliers, future team members etc. You want them to pull up and walk in and get a good impression of your business. That might mean modern décor, a busy ‘hub’ feel, clean and comfortable surroundings, nice views, or attractive outside space.
When you walk in, think about the impression you got and be sure that’s the impression you’d be happy with other people having.
With towns such as Woking, Guildford, Staines and Farnham, as well as the proximity to the big smoke of London, there is a lot of office space in Surrey to choose from. Checking the items from this list will give you the best possible idea of what you might want to consider and if you’re making a good choice.