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          Whether you’re a business looking to expand and move into an office for the first time, or you’re already in premises elsewhere and you have to move for whatever reason, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of the decision you’re about to make.

          It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for serviced offices in London or office space in Bristol, there are plenty of factors to consider.

          For this reason, here is a straightforward guide as to what those factors are and how to approach them.

          Budget

          Obviously in the current economic climate this is of critical importance. You don’t want to end up tying yourself into a long-term lease on a budget you simply can’t afford to pay year-on-year.

          Also, consider the hidden costs – phone and utility bills, for example. A deal with no unexpected costs to come at the end of the month, quarter or year should be highly sought after. If you can get away with not having to pay a deposit, too – even better.

          Location

          Location, location, location – depending on the type of business you’re operating, this could be another make or break decision.

          As well as how prominent or prestigious the position of your office needs to be, there are other variables to think about here, as well.

          For example, do you need parking facilities? Lift access? Is it easily commutable for workers?

          Also, consider other businesses in the area and whether they would likely have a positive or detrimental impact on your own business.

          Size 

          Size does matter – and this can range from questioning whether an office is large enough to accommodate your staff and the nature of your business to whether the premises are too big.

          If the latter is true and you end up with way too much space, not only is it not very cost efficient, but having a workplace which is akin to the Mary Celeste can be damaging for staff morale.

          Of course, if you are looking to save space and in doing so, money – making use of hot desks could be an ideal solution.

          Do you actually need an office?

          Perhaps the most important point – again, depending on the nature of your company you may just be looking at a completely unnecessary expense when you begin your search for premises.

          According to a recent study by the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion, a third of employers believe that within the next ten years, half of their workforce could be based from home.

          If this does indeed become the case, then your hunt for an office could well one made under false pretences.

          An alternative would be to consider a virtual office – where a third-party company will give you the presence of big business without you having to shell out for the big spaces.

          Here, phone calls, faxes and mail will all be dealt with separately. A switchboard service acts as your professional receptionist – linking homeworkers together under one virtual roof. Advancing technologies like 4G superfast mobile broadband is also making this the perfect accompaniment to those who prefer mobile working.

          Whatever you decide, these key factors should get your started on the right track.

          Posted by Steve Moore

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