The employment landscape is changing. A rise in mobile technology, increases in the reliability of internet and a significant shift in attitude all mean that the traditional office space is becoming increasingly rare.
With more people, especially those in creative industries, turning to freelancing as a way to build their own business, shared offices that focus on collaboration and flexibility are becoming more popular.
For many self-employed professionals, there comes a time when working from home simply isn’t the best option. Whether it’s because you want to go limited and plan to take on staff in the future or you simply can’t separate work from your personal life when at home, there comes a point when renting office space is the wisest choice.
But what does your first office need? If you are looking for office space, there are some key things that need to be factored in to ensure it helps and doesn’t hinder, your business growth.
Things You Must Have in Your First Office – Number 1. Reliable internet
It may go without saying that you will need a reliable broadband connection in your office, but it’s often something people forget when distracted by square footage and layout. Working in a creative industry or as an IT contractor, having internet that you can rely on – no matter what time of day or night – is a must.
Even if you don’t need broadband speed to do your everyday job, it’s important that you have a reliable connection so that you can get in touch with clients when you need to. More and more people are forgoing the stress and expense of travel and using video conferencing to have meetings.
When you are working from home, you can claim money back on your internet bill, but this isn’t the case when you start renting office space. Finding out about what can count as a business expense in a new office can ensure you make the most of your income, and helps you to make a decision about whether it’s a wise move for your company.
If one of the main reasons you are looking to rent office space is so you can have a professional environment to meet clients, it’s important to look at how easily accessible it is. If your office is in the middle of nowhere and relies on clients being able to drive, it may not be suitable – even if it is substantially cheaper than city-centre locations.
Likewise, somewhere in the middle of city – where parking is difficult – may mean clients are forced to get the train, restricting their travel options and potentially deterring them from visiting. Finding the right balance between the two is important if you want to ensure your office space works for your needs.
Working in a collaborative environment is fantastic, giving the opportunity to develop and grow your own brand. However, if you are wanting to meet clients in your office space, and potentially make pitches, it’s important that your office space has somewhere appropriate for meetings.
Bean bags and sofas may make a great casual working space but aren’t always the best places for conducting pitches, so be careful to consider this before making your decision.
Deciding to rent office space can be a big decision for self-employed professionals, as it significantly increases your monthly outgoings and ties you into a contract. However, there are various advantages to having an office, compared to working from home.