Christian Logue, MD of Sagal Group, gives some valuable advice.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of ‘One size fits all’.
I’ve a wardrobe full of ill-fitting T-shirts that backs up my theory that the label should say ‘One size fits badly’. Yes, these shirts cover the essentials, but so would a potato sack. The reality is, if you really want your ‘One size’ T-shirt to fit like a glove, you’ll need to take a trip to a tailor to adjust it to your individual needs.
Where am I going with this?
The ‘One size fits all’ approach is increasingly being adopted in the office rental market. For completely understandable reasons, more and more businesses are moving into fully furnished offices (traditional, serviced and co-working spaces) where the layout has been predetermined without reference to the residents.
In a perfect world everyone would design and furnish offices that perfectly match their requirements, however, as anyone who’s ever tried to find a supermarket trolley that will travel in a straight line knows, this isn’t a perfect world. Far from it. Let’s be honest, there are real benefits of renting a fully furnished office.
- You can walk in on day 1 and simply get to work.
- There are no logistical project management worries to bother with.
- There are no questions about how much fitting out the office will cost.
So, rather than getting on my high horse and decrying the ‘One size fits all’ approach. I thought I’d give some advice. Here’s what you should think about before taking on a fully furnished office.
- Can the space be tailored? Look for a space that is 75% fitted in advance, with the final 25% to be completed in a customised way, based on your specific needs. If the landlord won’t accommodate this approach, I’d see it as a red flag.
- What are the ratios? Do you have 100 desks and 1 meeting room when you really need 50 desks and 10 meeting rooms? Are there collaborative areas, a mix of formal and informal meeting spaces, private thinking space and social areas to relax and unwind? Do the maths.
- Can the space grow with you? As the requirements of your business change, will the space be adaptable to your new needs? How might your office look in 3 years’ time?
- All in all, is the space a good fit for your organisation? Sum the space up. Yes, some offices are hugely aesthetically pleasing – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be the right environment for your staff to get the job done. Go with your gut.
By asking these questions of yourself, your business and your potential landlord you should avoid turning a fully furnished office into a big mistake. The key is to prioritise your business’s specific needs, otherwise (like one of those ‘One size fits all’ shirts) you’ll end up with something that does the basic job, but not at all well.
Christian Logue, MD Sagal Group.
Your office should serve as the centre of your business. It should ooze everything that defines you, your dreams, your mission, and your culture.
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