How do you create the perfect workspace for your company? Top of your list should be a welcoming place where people can come together to share ideas (in a recent survey by Harvard Business Review, companies that centre hybrid working, wellbeing and collaboration are the ones attracting and retaining talent).
You also need a place that provides all the practicalities too: a great location that offers your team culture, entertainment and wellbeing options on their doorstep; straightforward costs; good community and networking opportunities; inclusive accessibility and easy commutes; long-term sustainability plus excellent service and tech support.
So how do you make sure your workspace ticks all of these boxes? We’ve asked the experts at flexible workspace Storey to share their knowledge and insights and help you plan the perfect workspace for your company – while giving you a go-to checklist.
1. What are the basic needs for your office?
The size, the number of people in your business, how your company is growing, flexibility to adapt your space, how you want it to look, tech support and, finally, self-run vs serviced spaces are all the practicalities you need to consider when choosing your next office.
Once you have a set of clear answers, they’ll direct your next steps such as the length of your lease (there’s no point signing on to a long lease if you know you’ll be taking on extra space in 12 months’ time; you need a lease that can be adapted to your needs), budget (double-check whether your costs include cleaning services, business rates and extra facilities) and location.
Once you’re clear about what you need, you can contact companies directly for an idea of costs or a broker will be able to show you a good cross-section of the market.
2. How does your company work?
Understanding how you work day-to-day is crucial to planning your workspace. Ask yourself: What’s your current office environment? Are you adopting hot desking? Do you use quiet breakout spaces? Do you want to encourage diverse parts of the company to share ideas? Do you need spaces to welcome clients? Then, think about how it works in the real world.
As Sarah Coleman, Storey’s Broker Relationship Manager explains: “Storey works on a 50-sq ft-per-person plan which is generous in the market. We can also supply low-density plans and high-density plans for customers depending on how they work.
“We can show customers different ideas for their spaces such as open-plan desks, collaboration areas, phone booths and welcome areas including soft-furnishing. We help our customers to determine which types of spaces will work best for their team. With our in-house design team on hand to help with creating the right space for different teams.”
By considering these different areas, you’ll soon understand how a new space could work for you. It’s also the perfect time to think about branding, kitchen spaces, furniture and planting, access passes and whether you need your own reception space.
3. Meeting rooms, client events and collaboration areas are essential
“Collaboration areas are definitely a hot topic at the moment,” says Storey’s Customer Relationship Manager, Kate Johnson. “If you’re coming into the office then you’re here with purpose whether that’s to meet clients, share ideas or enjoy areas where you can work together.”
Conference rooms, pop-up events, client meetings, team collaboration… with people using their time at home for quiet, focused work – coming into the office is now about working together.
Whether you decide to incorporate meeting rooms into your office – or simply utilise a service such as Storey Club at 100 Liverpool Street and 4 Kingdom Street in Paddington which provides ad hoc spaces for team meetings, quiet working, conference calls and launches – knowing you have flexible, high-quality meeting spaces is vital.
4. Do you have office support from day one?
Ensuring that your new space is up and running for your team is a major consideration. If you don’t have an office manager then operational support is crucial. “Onboarding is one of our main priorities at Storey,” explains Kate. “That’s been so positive for a lot of our customers and they always refer to their Welcome sessions and relationships with their Community Managers as a godsend. Their role is to be our customers’ day-to-day liaison so if anything goes wrong (say for example a light goes out) then they will raise a ticket and ensure it’s resolved. You’re not having to spend time having to fix these things yourself.”
You’ll also need to consider support for your legal contracts, service charge and building insurance; phones and WiFi; kitchen spaces; tech liaisons and secure networks; cleaning and servicing; recycling and refuse (including confidential waste disposal); security and wayfinding. By choosing a serviced space, all of these areas can be provided as part of your lease with central points of contact.
5. Is your office in a good location and accessible?
Your office should be accessible for all with outstanding transport links, provide ample cycle storage and excellent disabled access (there are wheelchair access and lifts throughout Storey buildings) with visible welcome teams who are able to support visitors and members of your team.
You may also want to be somewhere close to your clients and business network. “100 Liverpool Street at Broadgate is a great example of kerbside appeal,” says Kate. “It’s so well-connected; its location means that you can go out and meet your customers in and around the area – such as Bank, Shoreditch and Spitalfields – and take them out round here, too.”
6. Why wellbeing is so crucial for your business
The impact of employee wellbeing on a business has been well documented so it’s an essential consideration when planning a new workspace. Whether it’s investing in your team’s personal growth, giving them access to a thriving community or, simply, green spaces where they can unwind, wellbeing can have a huge impact across your business.
“One of the great things about Storey is that we’re part of British Land, so we own and manage all our buildings. We can be really thoughtful about our mix of tenants, the food and beverage offering and how we enliven the space around you,” explains Sarah.
“We have campus-wide apps which have information about our events (such as plant giveaways) and fundraising; a huge variety of spaces in which to work alongside breakout areas that provide juices where people can be away from their screens. We also have a huge amount of greenery and seating in and around our buildings with a new park at Broadgate and the recently redeveloped amphitheatre at Paddington Central.”
7. Finally, how can you ensure your workspace is sustainable?
Long-term sustainability is a key consideration for all businesses but meeting targets can be complex (90% of executives believe sustainability is important but only 60% of organisations have sustainability strategies).
Because British Land is committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2030, it means Storey spaces already have world-leading credentials when it comes to sustainability. By choosing a space where sustainability is “baked in”, your company will be able to access detailed energy data to create your own successful sustainability strategy.
Inspired? Contact Storey for more insight into creating the perfect workspace for you at [email protected]
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