We Need a Lovely New Building
Turner Dixon-Brown

Turner Dixon-Brown


23 May 2023

We Need a Lovely New Building

As companies expand and evolve, the need for a new or additional place of work often arises.

This should be an exciting and invigorating process that gives a company team the chance to build anew on success and surge forward to ever-greater things. However, all too often, it turns into a disruptive, expensive, and sometimes downright traumatic process that leaves everyone exhausted and disorganized for weeks, if not months. The key to a successful business move, as with so much in life, is to stop and really analyse what your business is going to need for the next three, five, and ten years, or your best and worst expectation.

Here are some key considerations when choosing new commercial workspace:
Do we really need to move? Moving is expensive and disruptive to the smooth running of any business, so the first question to ask is whether it is necessary to move at all. Does your existing building have potential? Often, business space layouts evolve over time, losing cohesive form and function. A space analysis by a professional company could show how your existing team can use the space better or how an expanding team could fit into your existing space.
This may just delay the expenditure of moving for a year or so, but it is better to move when you have to than early and then find business changes mean moving again.

Yep, we’re going to have to move!! Assuming that a move is necessary, the next question is what size space is needed. This can be a tricky one to nail down flat, as future expansion is not always clear, and each building footprint will vary greatly, making straight square footage comparisons unreliable. In the first instance, it is best to identify the major spaces and facilities that are needed, such as a reception area with a desk and receptionist or an unmanned area with or without seating, meeting areas of varying sizes, toilet and shower facilities, and other facilities like break areas and kitchens.

How to find a new building and what to look for. The fundamental first thing to consider is the area you wish to move within. This is so important because your existing team needs to be able to and want to get to your new premises, and when they are there, they need to feel both safe and catered for. If your new site is remote from public transport and facilities to provide food on the doorstep, then you may lose the goodwill of your staff who might then move on to better-positioned businesses.

Once you have defined the area, it should be comparatively straightforward to find properties of the correct size and nature that are for sale or to let within the catchment area. There are various online sites that specialize in commercial property, and these sites will also show the agents marketing properties in your selected area. Contact the agents – they will know the ins and outs of the marketplace and may also know of new properties coming to market. Find a couple of good local agents and brief them on your company’s building needs and listen to any advice they may have.

The agent will show you a selection of buildings, and it is a good idea to take a building fit-out specialist with you on each viewing. The fit-out specialist can give you opinions on the likely fit-out costs of each building and the ease with which each building can be molded to your needs. The ease with which a building can be fitted out will make a major difference to the cost of your fit-out and ultimately the image the building will portray of your business.

Having found your building, work with your selected fit-out specialist to fine-tune your needs and expectations for your new building. This will allow the space planners and design team to provide the best possible plans and specifications for your project. It is essential to be clear and certain to look as far as possible into your future business needs and personnel.