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Should I stay or should I go?

The combination of the current economic climate and the popularity of the hybrid model is leading companies to re-assess their real estate portfolios and office space requirements. 

The "Stay vs. Go" decision, concerning an office space is a multifaceted process that would benefit from a workplace strategy exercise. This decision impacts not just the immediate operational capabilities of a business, but also its long-term strategic positioning.  

In this blog we’ll outline crucial considerations for your decision-making process when choosing between staying in your current location or relocating:  

1.  Explore the Space Requirements for Your Business 

When it comes to making decisions about your workspace, one crucial factor to consider is your space requirements. Here are some key aspects to consider: 

Current vs. Future Needs: Take a close look at whether your current space aligns with your business's growth projections or potential downsizing plans. Evaluate both the size, in terms of square footage, and the configuration of the available spaces. Consider factors such as open-plan layouts, individual offices, meeting spaces, as well as areas dedicated to socialising and employee well-being. 

Flexibility and Scalability: Assess the flexibility of the space to adapt to evolving business needs – can the layout be easily reconfigured to accommodate changes in workflow or team structures? Additionally, consider the scalability of the space – its ability to scale up or down in response to fluctuations in your business requirements. 

2. Consider Employee needs in Workspace Decisions 

As you navigate the decision-making process regarding your workspace, it's essential to consider the perspectives and needs of your employees. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind: 

Commute Times: Understand how a potential move would affect your employees’ commute times and transportation options. Accessibility plays a significant role in employee satisfaction and retention, so it’s crucial to consider the impact of your team members’ daily journeys. 

Work Environment Quality: The quality of the work environment has a direct impact on employee productivity and well-being. Factors such as natural light, ventilation, and facilities all contribute to creating a conducive and comfortable workspace. 

Talent Attraction and Retention: Your office location and the quality of your workspace can significantly influence your brand and your ability to attract and retain top talent. Prospective employees often consider factors like the office environment and location when evaluating job opportunities. A desirable workspace can enhance your brand and give you a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining highly skilled professionals. 

3. Leverage your Workspace for Business Objectives and Brand Image 

As you weigh the decision of whether to stay in your current office space or explore new options, it's essential to align your choices with your business objectives and brand image. Here are two important aspects to consider: 

Alignment with Business Strategy: Evaluate how your office space supports your strategic goals. Whether your focus is on growth, consolidation, or operational efficiency, your workspace should be a strategic asset that facilitates these objectives. Consider the adaptability of your current space and the potential changes required to align it with your evolving business strategy. Factor in the associated costs, potential disruptions, and implications of change as you assess your options. 

Brand Representation: Your office space serves as the physical ambassador to your company’s culture and brand identity. It's essential to consider how your current space - or any potential new space - reflects your brand image. Does the environment communicate the values and personality of your organisation? Assess whether the aesthetics, layout, and atmosphere align with your brand identity and contribute to a positive perception of your company. 

4. Navigate Market Conditions and Location Choices 

When contemplating a move or evaluating your current office location, it's crucial to factor in market conditions and the strategic advantages of different locations. Here's what to consider: 

Real Estate Market Trends: Stay informed about the latest trends in the real estate market. Pay attention to factors like supply and demand, rental rates, and emerging locations. Understanding these dynamics can help you make informed decisions about whether to relocate or renegotiate your lease. 

Location Benefits: Assess the advantages of your current location compared to potential alternatives. Consider factors such as visibility, nearby amenities, proximity to clients or partners, and access to a skilled workforce.  

Client Interaction: Choose a location that enhances your interactions with clients. Accessibility and convenience for clients visiting your office are essential considerations, particularly if face-to-face meetings are a regular part of your business operations. Evaluate how the location aligns with your client-centric approach and enhances the overall client experience. 

5. Minimise Operational Disruption 

Transitioning to a new office location involves more than just physical logistics - it also requires careful management of operational continuity and change. Here's what to keep in mind: 

Business Continuity: Anticipate and plan for potential disruptions to your business operations during the relocation process. Develop strategies to mitigate downtime and ensure that essential functions continue seamlessly throughout the transition. 

Change Management: Moving to a new location represents a significant change for your organisation. Effective change management is essential to navigate this transition smoothly and minimise disruptions for both employees and clients. Communicate transparently, provide support, and proactively address concerns for a successful move.

6. Navigate Cost Considerations 

When it comes to deciding whether to stay in your current office space or move to a new one, understanding the financial implications is essential. Here are some key cost considerations to keep in mind: 

Lease Costs: Start by comparing the costs associated with renewing your current lease against those of moving to a new space. Look beyond just the base rent and consider factors like concessions, fit-out contributions from the landlord, and any rent-free periods offered. Understanding these financial incentives can help you make a more informed decision. 

Moving Costs: Moving to a new office involves various expenses, from logistical costs to outfitting the new space with furniture and equipment. Take into account the costs of hiring movers, transporting equipment, and setting up the new office layout. Additionally, factor in the expenses associated with designing and fitting out the new space to meet your specific needs. 

Operational Costs: Evaluate how each option impacts your ongoing operational expenses. Consider factors such as utilities, maintenance, and technology infrastructure. Will moving to a new location result in higher or lower operational costs compared to staying put? Understanding these long-term financial implications is crucial for making a well-informed decision. 

7. Navigate Legal and Compliance Considerations 

When contemplating a move to a new office space or renewing your current lease, it's crucial to consider the legal and compliance aspects. Here are some key factors to keep in mind: 

Lease Obligations: Before making any decisions, thoroughly review the terms of your current lease. Pay close attention to any penalties associated with early termination or conditions for lease renewal. Understanding your lease obligations will help you avoid potential financial penalties and make an informed decision about whether to stay or move. 

Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that any new office space you're considering complies with relevant regulations and standards. This includes health and safety regulations, accessibility requirements, and guidelines for employee well-being. Failing to meet regulatory compliance standards can lead to legal issues and negatively impact the safety and well-being of your employees. 

 

As businesses navigate the evolving economic landscape and embrace hybrid work models, the decision of whether to stay in their current office space or seek new accommodations becomes increasingly complex. This "Stay vs. Go" dilemma is a multifaceted process that requires careful consideration, impacting not only immediate operational capabilities but also long-term strategic positioning. 

Want to make sure you're making the right decision for your organisation? Get in touch with our workplace experts. 

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