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Moving into a new office – four items for your office shopping list

Office shopping list blog image resized

By Joff Sharpe, Head of Operations, British Land and Storey

Relocating to a new office can be an exciting experience for any business. It can also be a gigantic hassle: entrepreneurs have limited time and resources, and the moving process can strain both. The more energy expended on logistical tasks, the less is available for profit-driving tasks.

If you’re looking to maximise your resources during the moving process, you’ll want to tick these four items off your office shopping list first.

  1. Furniture and other equipment

This one is fairly obvious. Moving into a privately leased office means you’ll need furniture – a significant consideration on your office shopping list.

Desks and chairs should be top priority. Standing workstations may be in vogue right now, but it’s always good to give your employees options. Comfortable, ergonomic seats are good for staff health and productivity, and desks should be big enough for the employee’s items, but small enough to maximise the space available.

When you’ve got these sorted, it’s time to focus on everyday essentials such as cupboards and shelves. General office and kitchen supplies need to be accounted for – tea, toilet cleaner, cutlery, crockery, kettle, microwave, etc. – and stored appropriately, but you also need to have secure cabinets for holding confidential documents and company records.

It’s also necessary to secure the boardroom essentials. Table and chairs should be expensive enough to impress prospects, but not so expensive that your resource pool will be significantly depleted. Wherever you meet clients should also be located far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the main office area – a busy work environment is a good thing, but business can’t be conducted in the midst of a racket.

Beyond the boardroom, if possible, it’s worth allocating some space for a ‘chillout’ area. According to new research, having somewhere for employees to collect their thoughts, enjoy their lunch breaks, and host more casual meetings can improve staff productivity.

  1. IT and software

Technology is important to every business, but particularly those moving into their first offices. Mistakes made with your IT infrastructure in the early days can come back to haunt you later down the line.

So when you’re looking at the technology subsection of your office shopping list, basics should be accounted for first: mice, keyboards, monitors, desktop computers, and phones. Get enough for any current staff and any incomers, and make sure they’re high-quality enough to facilitate undisrupted work.

Computers, of course, are no use without relevant software. It’s vital to make sure that you’re equipped with enough Microsoft Office licenses for your team. Every business should also be equipped with robust anti-virus software: malware attacks are on the rise, so it’s worth protecting your documents as best you can.

  1. General office costs

Budgeting for utilities, professional services, and maintenance is crucial to the success of your office move.

That you will need agreeable rent, business rates, and office insurance won’t be lost on you. Electricity, water, and gas will need to be arranged for day one, as well as decent WiFi – without acceptable internet speeds, you may as well send the team home.

But as expensive as these costs can be, there are always more. Private business leases are complicated, and few entrepreneurs have the time or expertise to review them. You will therefore need to budget for solicitor costs too.

It’s also useful to maintain a rainy-day fund for any problems that require urgent attention. If the air conditioner breaks during summer for example.

  1. Office design and refurbishment

Finally, make sure the office environment reflects your company. The branding design process will require a level of input from you and other senior members of staff, but it’s worth giving it the time, attention, and investment that it needs.

This may amount to painting, buying beanbags or creating a reception area at the front. Regardless, it will cost you in time and money.

A conventional office shopping list can also help determine your company’s priorities. Prioritising necessarily means certain trade-offs. If these trade-offs are too much, it may be worth looking beyond the conventional office options: flexible workspaces, for example, offer simple, productive office environments for one inclusive rate, with fewer demands than their private lease counterparts.

But whatever you decide, account for everything you’ll need before the moving process. Surprises are great for birthday parties; for businesses, they’re rarely anything but nasty.

Contact one of Storey’s experts to discuss your flexible workspace needs.

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