Coronavirus has certainly changed the way people work, with lockdown forcing around 5 million people to work from home and millions became furloughed waiting to hear if they could restart work or not.
For business owners and employers, it is an interesting time to review their office requirements and whether they stick with their existing set-up or look for something that is more accommodating in a post covid-19 world.
Here are just a few things that you may consider when looking for a new office today.
With the risk of a second wave, you may look for a quick commute from home and avoid commuting on a heavily congested train where you may increase your risk of catching the virus.
There are likely to be numerous business parks and offices available in your area or a short drive away. Rather than looking at the Centre of London, if you are based in North London, you might look at offices in Camden Town or Kentish Town and if you are based in East London, you may look for something in Dalston or Hackney.
If you are looking for something in the centre of town, maybe because you work in law or finance, you may look for something that has parking facilities on site or nearby or somewhere that is close so that you can cycle into work and place your bike somewhere safe.
You may seek an office contract with flexible terms, rather than committing to something like 12 or 18 months. If there is a second wave or you want to reassess your options later this year, you may look at something with an early exit, small penalty or the option to review in a couple of months’ time.
Flexible terms are usually associated with co-working spaces, although this sometimes comes at a higher price, but you should speak to your office agent or try negotiate with the landlord when you apply.
Easy Food Options
To avoid unnecessary commuting, you should ideally bring food from home, but there is also a desire to help local businesses and restauranteurs who have suffered in this recent downturn.
If you get an office in a remote area, you may be limited in terms of food or lunch options, but you may need to find a balance and find something that is not too far from a high street or at least has some options. You ideally want something that is a quick walk away and limits human contact where possible.
Hygienic and Coronavirus-Friendly
In these times, you want to find a place that corona-conscious and can limit the spread of the virus where possible.
This includes having a location that is regularly serviced and cleaned on a daily, rather than a weekly basis.
You want to avoid sharing the office space with too many other people or companies. In certain buildings, there may be dozens of companies and thousands of people going through the doors every day and this is not ideal when you need to share meeting rooms and elevators.
You will need an office provider that takes hygiene seriously and has sufficient measures in place such as protective screens around the kitchen, regularly cleaning schedules, attention to detail such as hand sanitiser around the office and a place that hands out masks and gloves every day.
Close to a Key Client?
If you serve a key client, you can ask about working in their offices in case they have extra space or finding somewhere nearby.
Again, you want to avoid any unnecessary commuting or have to regularly go back train or tax to their offices – and ideally someone that is just a quick walk away would be ideal.