Now that working from home (WFH) is no longer recommended by the government, sole traders to large companies may be wondering what their next steps should be with regard to office accommodation. How to keep themselves and their employees happy whilst doing the best for their business.
We consider the options.
Sole traders whilst used to working from home, may want to alleviate day-to day loneliness that can result, and be looking for a cost-effective office base. Somewhere they can interact with others but not be tied into costly long term contracts. Or they may be thinking of taking on staff for the first time. If this is you, consider using a co-working space or a serviced office which offers ‘easy-in easy-out’ options where rent is inclusive and paid for on a rolling month basis. These types of premises are often more friendly, supportive and collaborative than other arrangements too. A recent survey revealed 50 co-working facilities currently operating across the county, boasting more than 60% occupancy for hot desking and 80% for private offices. In 2021 alone new spaces were opened in Maidstone, Dartford, Gravesend (with Thames-side views) and Ashford among others.
In contrast your company may have an established office and now need less space due to continuing WFH. In this instance, traditionally the company might sell up and purchase a new office, or in the case of renting, especially if you were towards the end of a lease, give up the lease and find a smaller office. This may be what is needed but can be expensive especially by the time legal expenses, the cost of ‘dilapidations’ and moving costs are taken into account, and finding an office in a suitable location can be challenging. An alternative, if you own the property, is to sub-let. This may also be an option if you rent but you will need your landlord’s permission. This has many advantages in addition to lower costs it enables you to expand if you need to in the future.
offer you more space or you own the building or space and can extend, perhaps by adding a mezzanine.
However it is worth considering, with hybrid working, whether you actually need more space? An office fit-out company will be able to help you re-plan your layout to suit modern ways of working and is nearly always more cost-effective than moving.
Recent evidence shows that employees who have to be office based, even if only for part of the week, or need persuading to return to the office, or are seeking a new role with a new company, are looking, as well as for flexibility, for a wider range of staff facilities. Whether that just be better kitchens/staff rooms, more relaxed spaces for working collaboratively or even gyms and exercise equipment. Better facilities, are becoming essential for companies who want to recruit and retain good staff which is fundamental to running a successful business.
In most cases, if you decide on serviced offices, professional advice is probably not needed other than to get a solicitor to look over the lease/contract. In every other case getting the appropriate advice is essential to ensure you are making the best choice and have all legal points covered.
For a no-obligation chat about your office requirements contact please contact Mark [email protected]