An office not only influences how your clients perceive you, but also makes impacts your productivity. So, when you set up a new office, start off with the three Cs: convenience, comfort and connectivity.
Apart from factoring in convenience, comfort and connectivity, it is important to consider the kind of business you are in when setting up an office for your business. For example, a florist needs a billing counter, a display area and a workshop. It also needs uninterrupted water supply, temperature control and storage space. A florist also needs a discreet, yet accessible back entrance for suppliers. A consultancy firm, in contrast, has completely different requirements. It demands a large workspace, conference rooms, cabins and utility facilities such as a canteen. An office with the right equipment and layout can stimulate efficient workflow. So, here are some tips to help you set up a productive office for your business.
Consider your budget
The budget for your business will vary depending on its nature and size. For example, a consultancy firm will need more funds for its office than a stand-alone florist. This is because a consultancy firm needs more air-conditioners, cubicles, conference rooms and facilities such as projectors and video conferencing equipment. Meanwhile, a florist could do with a much lower budget, as the set-up cost is negligible in comparison. So, depending on these two factors, create a budget that will help build an office that promotes efficiency and productivity.
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Pick a location
The type of your business also governs the location that you can pick for your small business office. For example, a florist needs to be in an area that is close to a mall or a shopping district, where its consumers are. This is not necessarily true for a consultancy firm that can thrive in an industrial estate, as the business doesn't engage in direct selling. Balance ease of access with peace and quiet so that your employees can work peacefully.
Think short-term rather than long-term
When purchasing a property for your office, ensure that it meets all your short to medium-term needs. For example, if your immediate goal is to lease an office that accommodates 50 employees for your consultancy, pick a property that will accommodate 75 to 100 people. This way, you’ll cater to your needs with a little wiggle room for the future. Investing in premises that are too large based on expected growth in two years may not be worth the high cost you will end up paying as monthly rent, especially if you aren’t able to expand in the future. Consider taking a business loan for the initial costs of setting up your office.
Use space efficiently
A sound structure is important, but so is effective utilisation of space. Design the interiors of the office so to make efficient use of the space while ensuring that it isn’t cramped and chaotic. A consultant firm, for example, will need work desks for employees while ensuring that they have space to move around and communicate with each other. A florist’s shop needs to have enough space for customers to walk around and choose flower arrangements from the display, while having a workspace where employees can trim the leaves, water the plants, take delivery and create flower arrangements without being too crowded in. Consult a professional architect or interior designer to make the most of the space. They will be able to guide you on how to create an ergonomic and utilitarian office.
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Spend more on the right facilities
When you set up the interiors of your office, prioritise making the office comfortable for yourself, your employees and your clients. An impressive-looking consultancy office is important, but comfort takes precedence since you expect your employees to work long hours. So, invest in ergonomic chairs, office desks, sofas and lounges as well as on computers. A florist shop usually has glass walls to attract customers, and the right air conditioning and water facilities since these two factors are important to its work and keeping products fresh. So, based on your work and clientele, focus on useful facilities rather than style alone.
Provide for the extras
Every office needs to have the essentials that motivate its employees and make working more comfortable and enjoyable. These include facilities like a pantry, clean washrooms, a roomy canteen, a recreation room or smaller things like coffee and tea machines and plates and other cutlery for eating lunch. Investing in some of these things based on your business could create a more positive experience for your employees, who may be motivated to work harder and be happier with your firm. A business loan can help you pay for these with ease.
Following these seven suggestions is sure to help you set up an office that is impressive and runs like well-oiled machinery.
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