Coworking spaces provide small businesses with the opportunity to work in an office environment, without the financial commitment of a long-term let. However, despite the benefits of coworking, it’s impossible to ignore the perks of having your own office space: increased privacy, dedicated facilities, space to grow and an environment that reflects your brand and culture.
But, how do you transition from a coworking space into your own office? Well, there are several key things you can do to make the process as smooth as possible.
Take your people on the journey
An office move should be an exciting time – signalling business progression. But it is also a period of major change, and the process should be handled accordingly.
People are the cornerstone of any business. As such, you need to ensure you take your people on the journey with you. How do you do this? Well, with good communication. Consider carrying out a workplace survey to find out what your people want and need from the space, hold meetings to discuss the move, answer any questions or queries and keep your employees updated throughout the process.
Think about location
Coworking companies, such as WeWork, have a global network of offices; enabling members to “hop” from one workplace to the next with relative ease. Moving to your own office space will unavoidably reduce this sense of mobility. To make this easier, consider where your employees work now, and where they would prefer to work in the future. Will they want to move location? What will their average commute time be? What amenities are nearby?
If your employees are currently working across numerous locations, you could occupy a ‘core’ workplace, whilst allowing employees who live further afield to continue working in a more flexible capacity.
Invest in culture
In Oktra’s Annual Workplace Report, 67% of British employees agreed that the design of their workplace has an impact on company culture. Coworking spaces, such as WeWork, invest heavily in workplace design to create a desirable workplace culture. Having your own office space enables you to reflect your brand, people, attitudes and beliefs with your workplace design. Clients and employees should walk into your office and know it’s yours!
Make sure you know the terms of your lease
One of the perks of coworking spaces is the flexibility they provide. If employee numbers fluctuate, you can easily amend your coworking membership accordingly. When transitioning to your own office, be careful not to commit yourself to a lease that may put financial strain on your business in the future. Equally, be careful not to commit to a lease that doesn’t allow for future growth.
This may seem like a catch-22 situation, but there are ways to allow for growth without committing to an overly-large office space. If you’re unsure, work out your predicted headcount in five years-time, and use our office space calculator to work out how much space you’ll need. As mentioned earlier, it might be worth occupying a smaller, core office space while leasing an additional space in a coworking facility. Doing so would allow your workspace to flex with your business in its formative years.
Don’t underestimate additional expenses
Coworking providers typically include overhead costs in the subscription. These costs, which go beyond your office lease, need to be taken into consideration when transitioning to your own office space. Remember that furniture, maintenance, equipment, utilities, internet and in-office resources will now have to be paid for. Make sure you take all of these things into account when transitioning to your own office space.