On the move: Navigating your way to a new office
If you're considering an office relocation or a new build, consider factors like growth, space usage, and talent retention in your strategy
Should you stay or should you go?
At some point in your company’s lifetime, you will likely find yourself facing the difficult decision of reevaluating your office space.
The thought of a new office space can be exciting and refreshing. But, before making the switch, businesses must carefully evaluate the long- and short-term impacts of a move.
Whether it be a capacity issue, an expiring lease or just the need for a change of pace—consider all factors to ensure no detail is overlooked.
Evaluate reasons for moving
According to Knotel, 47.2% of businesses move due to growth. While this is a valid reason for moving locations, don’t overlook important factors.
Before making the switch from old to new, first consider why your current space no longer suits your needs. Evaluate the pros and cons of occupying a new space with the help of company decision-makers. Ask questions including:
- What is our projected growth?
- What amenities will the space offer?
- What businesses will be nearby?
- Will the space be newer and more innovative?
- How will commute time change for current employees, if at all?
- Will the change benefit employees more than disrupt their day-to-day?
Once you have assessed the pros and cons, work with your team to decide if the need for change outweighs the reasons to stay.
Consider key incentives to fuel employee happiness and operational success
If you decide a new office space is the right move, there are a number of incentives to evaluate when selecting a new site. They include:
- Location to clients, vendors, partners and influencers
- Local transit options
- Overall employee experience
- Tax breaks / opportunity zones
Additionally, consider amenities and incentives that are critical to your company (i.e. fitness centers, communal conference rooms and local dining options). Identify any unique needs, and consider them when searching for new space.
Determine size of space needed
In addition to popular incentives, you must also consider the size of the space you will be utilizing.
Ask yourself these important questions to narrow in on a perfect fit:
- What is the optimal amount of space for my office?
- How much space is too much?
- How much are we projected to grow in the next 5 years? In the next 10?
- How much storage will we need? How much will be available?
- On average, how many square feet will each employee utilize on a daily basis?
Additionally, in the modern age of technology, you may not need every employee in the office. Consider working with a project manager throughout this process. They can be especially helpful in this process as they specialize in analyzing space utilization, designing office layouts and managing construction needs.
Ensure you have a strong team
Before making the transition, make sure you have a strong team in place. Doing so will ensure the switch from one office to the next is as seamless as possible.
If you’re opting for a new location or new build, consider the support from a commercial real estate broker. As a critical ally in any real estate project, a broker can help you navigate your way to the most favorable deal for your company by acting proactively versus reactively and negotiating terms on your behalf.
While it’s important to have the right external team to help you execute your project, it’s just as important to have the right internal support, including employee buy-in.
Buy-in from your employees is crucial prior to moving to maintain company operations during and after. Develop a plan for how and when you will communicate changes to your employees, and how you will involve them in the process to ensure their needs are met.