If your business is reaching the point where you need a new office building, you have a big decision to make – buy, rent, or build. This guide will look at the last option – building your own office. Here’s what you need to think about.
- 1 Get a survey before investing in land
- 2 Space is key
- 3 Choose a good architect
- 4 Plan for expansion
- 5 Design it to fit your brand
- 6 Put the infrastructure in where you need it most
- 7 Think carefully about the location
- 8 Spend time thinking about furniture
- 9 Choose the right technology
- 10 Make sure there’s plenty of natural light
- 11 Don’t forget storage
- 12 Think about your server room location
- 13 Make sure you have enough power outlets
- 14 Make sure you have good Wi-Fi coverage
Get a survey before investing in land
Before you spend your money on buying the land, get a survey done of it first. You need to find out if there are any problems with the soil down there – whether it has asbestos in it, for example. Another thing to check is how close it is to power lines and where they run etc. These would all be factors that may raise your property rates. You can find more information about land surveys at C&A land surveyors.
Space is key
When designing the office, you need to consider how much space you actually have. If it is a bigger business, then a larger swap would be required and if it is a smaller one, then a smaller size may be enough. For example, Google’s offices are 2 million square feet but they have 50,000 employees there. At the end of the day, it really depends on how much space you actually need.
Choose a good architect
You don’t necessarily have to hire a big-name architect, either. You can look at options like online reviews and word-of-mouth from other businesses in order to find someone who knows what they are doing. You should make sure that the architect has good references before you even consider hiring them.
Plan for expansion
If you’re looking to expand your business down the line, then it would be a good idea to design your office in such a way that it can grow with you. This means building an office that is flexible enough to allow for the addition of extra floors if required.
Design it to fit your brand
When designing the office, you should bear in mind that it is part of your brand. The colors and overall style should fit closely with the rest of your branding. It doesn’t need to be completely identical, but the design does need to be complementary.
Put the infrastructure in where you need it most
When it comes to office infrastructure, there are certain things that will be needed more than others. For example, if you have a lot of office workers who rely on internet connectivity, then your priority should be getting them a good Wi-Fi network setup. In addition to this, it would also be a good idea to have a lot of power outlets where they work. Other things that may be needed include air conditioning and heating if your business is located in a colder area, for example.
Think carefully about the location
It is important to consider how accessible the building is when you are designing it. For example, if you are designing an office for a busy city area, then the roads around need to be able to cope with lots of traffic. You also want to make sure that there are plenty of parking spaces available for your employees’ vehicles. If you are designing an office for a less busy area, then the requirements will be different.
Spend time thinking about furniture
When it comes to working out how much space you need, there is one important thing that you should bear in mind – not just the size of the floor area but the amount of furniture that will be needed. It would be a good idea to add extra space to your calculations when considering this. When designing an office, it may be a good idea to make use of ‘pods’ – groups of desks that are close together. This will help to create a team spirit and also help employees who need to collaborate with one another easily.
Choose the right technology
When designing an office, it is important to consider what technology your employees will need. For example, if they are likely to need to use swipe cards or biometric scanners, then you will need to make sure that this technology is already installed before the employees start using it. Also, check whether your business needs special software that may be required for certain tasks – e.g. Adobe Creative Suite for graphic design.
Make sure there’s plenty of natural light
If there is a lot of natural light in your office, then this is going to help keep energy bills down. Rather than turning on the lights all day long, employees will naturally gravitate towards areas with natural lighting when they need to use their computers or hold meetings, etc.
Don’t forget storage
When designing an office, make sure that there is enough storage space for everything that will be needed. In addition to this, you need to make sure that the location is convenient enough for any deliveries of furniture or office supplies, etc.
Think about your server room location
If you are not technically minded and do not understand the importance of having your servers in the correct location, then you may want to think about hiring an IT consultant. There are specific factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the best place for your server room – e.g. security, access, etc.
Make sure you have enough power outlets
The number of electrical sockets in your office should always be taken into consideration when designing an office, particularly if there are a lot of mobile workers who may need to plug in more than one device at the same time. Power outlets are required in computer workstations, meeting rooms and near any AV equipment, etc.
Make sure you have good Wi-Fi coverage
When designing an office, it is important to consider the type of Wi-Fi that will be needed by your employees. It may be a good idea to provide USB sticks that can be used on all devices for internet access. If you are employing many mobile workers who work remotely, then it is also important to consider the Wi-Fi coverage when designing an office.
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