There is probably nothing more frustrating than moving into an office space that is insufficient in meeting your current and/or your future business needs. Avoiding this dilemma requires some proactive planning.
First, you need to know what you are starting with and what you want to end up with by the end of the lease term. You can do this by
- Acknowledging what you have and/or need in the short term (staff wise and equipment-wise)
- Having a five-year business plan that details anticipated changes in staff and equipment
Second, take measurements of all the office furniture and office equipment you plan to move into your new office space in the short term. With this information, you will be able to accurately plan the layout of your new office space based on actual rather than assumed information related to your office furniture and equipment.
Third, consider your staff (current and future) and the type of work spaces they will need to function most effectively. How many will need to be in collaborative workstations? How many will need closed-in offices? What about meeting rooms, lunch areas, storage areas?—how many would your organization need? Your answers to these questions multiplied by the knowledge that the standard space allotted to each room or staff member ranges from approximately 36 sq.ft (for a small cubicle) to 300 sq ft (for a large office) can help determine the total ideal size your new office space should be in order to meet your current and future business needs.
Fourth, when checking out a potential office space, walk with a measuring device and use it to document the square footage (or square metres) of the office space. If the office space is somewhat irregular in shape, then take note of wall lengths and heights and the angles these walls create when they meet.
Finally, before signing any lease agreements, take all the information from the previous steps and create basic office space design layout. This can be done either by using design software or on paper with 2-dimensional cut-outs representing the office furniture and equipment, or you can have a professional office space planner provide one for you if you do not have the time or resources to do this yourself. Having a visual of each potential office space can help you determine which space would be optimal for your business. Just make sure your office space layout is to scale so that your decision is an accurate one.
There are other factors to consider when choosing the right office space such as electrical and internet capacity, but following the above can at least help ensure that your next office space is the right size to facilitate your current and future business operations.