Managing Your New Office Space
Posted on October 9, 2012
In business, the office space is the foundation of success, the starting point from which goals are achieved. Having a well-organized office in the right location can mean the difference between surviving or thriving, so when the time comes to set one up, choose wisely.
Is Anyone Home?
Technology has advanced to the point that many businesses can be set up and maintained through computers, giving owners the opportunity to work from home. In businesses with no employees or few employees, a home office is the ideal solution. Keep in mind, however, that working from home is no simple task. Sure, you can cut down on overhead costs and write it off on your income taxes but there can be pitfalls involved as well. If you opt to go this route, be careful to set aside a work-specific area that can be closed off from distractions. Trying to work with children running around or piles of leftover Christmas decorations getting in the way will only distract you and compromise your productivity. Recreating a bona fide office environment in the home requires that the area be task specific (for work) and that disturbances be kept to an absolute minimum.
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If you’re starting a new business, it may be tempting to buy all the bells and whistles up front to look more legitimate. When scouting multi-office rental locations for your new business, examine fellow tenants carefully: more than one business owner has found out too late about a headache-inducing tap dancing studio upstairs. Leases should also be negotiated to match the goals of your business; new business ventures that carry a lot of risk shouldn’t sign a 5 year lease.
Measure Twice, Lease Once
If you already have the furniture you’ll be using in your new office, take measurements of your furniture, string and thumb tacks when shopping for a leased space. These tools will allow you to mark off where desks, shelves and other furniture will be placed, giving you a basic idea for setup. You may find that a room that looks great empty will be a nightmare to navigate once your furniture is situated. This trick will prevent blocked windows, covered HVAC vents and general claustrophobia that can come with selecting the wrong space for your equipment.
Remember, your new office is a place that should help your business grow, not hinder it. Choose a well-maintained space that fits your needs, equipment, business growth model and employee numbers comfortably and the bottom line will likely follow.