Setting Up An Office

Setting up an office is an undoubtedly exciting but challenging prospect for any new company. In other cases, as companies grow they need to look for larger and better facilities. Whichever the situation might be, setting up an office requires careful planning and taking into consideration some key factors.

The basic elements involved in office set-up can be divided into two categories: legal aspects and issues related to location and equipment.

Legal considerations

A key legal aspect concerns lease agreements for commercial property. Some things to consider include the length of the lease and any restrictions on the use of the premises. It is not rare for commercial leases to have a seven-year term, but note that leases that last 7 years and over must be registered with the Land Registry. Often, this is not a convenient option for smaller offices or start-ups. Also, pay attention to clauses that refer to restrictions on hours of use, whether alterations, refurbishment, or redecoration are allowed or not, which aspects of buildings insurance the lessee is responsible for, and whether annual rent increases are capped or not.

Office space and equipment

When working from home or investing in commercial real state are not an option, business owners are left with three types of office space:

Leased offices

These are a good option for offices that are going to employ 10 people or more. Although overall costs might be attractive, business owners need to consider additional expenses that will be required in these cases, like office furniture, technological infrastructure, utility bills, and basic office equipment

Virtual offices

This might be a convenient option for those who only require services like telephone answering, post handling, and perhaps the use of meeting rooms a few times a month. Rental costs are much lower and office equipment is included in the fee. This arrangement also benefits those who cannot or don't want to commute on a daily basis

Serviced offices

New entrepreneurs might want to opt for this arrangement, as it minimises some of the typical inconveniences that affect start-ups, like investing in furniture, equipment, committing to a lease, and budgeting accurately for monthly expenses. Fees are often all-inclusive of bills, maintenance, and building services

Space saving tips

The Independent newspaper reported that British companies are wasting £42 million in unnecessary office space. With the average cost of office space standing at £40 per square foot, business owners will need to think of ways of saving space without compromising the functionality of an office. This is specially true for those who want to set up an office in cities like London or Manchester, where costs are significantly higher.

One option is to share some facilities with another company. Areas like reception, the staff kitchen, the bathrooms, and even the copy room could be easily shared with another company on the same building or floor. Also, consider maximising vertical space instead of looking for a bigger office.

Archives and filing systems take a considerable amount of space. Looking into alternative document storage systems like scanning could be a solution. When it comes to furniture, it is better to choose items that have multiple functions, like book shelves that double as room dividers, stools that incorporate storage or bins, and 3 in 1 copy machines.

While setting up an office is never an easy task, considering the points mentioned in this article can help new business owners have a less stressful experience and focus on the positive aspects of this challenge.