So you’ve taken the first step, done some research, and gathered a shortlist of eight or nine offices that seem like they could work for you.
OK. What next? Suddenly this “shortlist” doesn’t look so short after all. You’re tight on time, you can’t see them all in one day, and you’re suffering from analysis paralysis.
The quick answer is...
...pick three at random and go check them out!
We could wrap things up here. Seriously, once you’ve done the hard work of thinking through your requirements and picking out some options, the best way to move forward is to get out there, crank open the dressing up box and try a few offices on.
What “feels right” about an environment is a deeply personal thing, rather than a science. The only gauge that can tell you for sure how a space feels is when you actually stand inside it. Even the location or size of an office take on a clearer meaning when you experience them in the flesh.
Once you’ve seen three or four offices, you’ll be able to revisit your shortlist and identify any other options which you now realise could suit you better. Or go back to the drawing board and flip your search criteria 180 degrees. Or you might even hit the nail on the head first time...
Not comfortable judging by vibe alone? Fair.
We have some suggestions to help you narrow down your office shortlist.
Narrow it down by type
Pick at least one leased office and at least one fully-managed flexible office. It’s not uncommon for our clients to change their mind about which type is right for them halfway through their search. There’s a huge range of possibilities, and what you get for your money varies, so we heartily recommend you view at least one of each.
Narrow it down by price
Pick the most expensive office in your list, the least expensive one, and one that’s in the middle. This will show you what you can get for your money and help you decide if the nice-to-haves are worth the extra. (Please remember though, prices are negotiable, sometimes by quite a chunk.)
Narrow it down by location
Two options. To give yourself a solid “yes” or “no” for one area in particular, pick a few offices that are close to each other. Or to develop a sense for how the offering varies from postcode to postcode, choose a cross-section from your shortlist that covers the widest overall distance.
Narrow it down by size
Take a leaf out of Goldilocks’s book. Pick the largest option, the smallest, and the one in the middle. With your current office as a frame of reference, you’ll get a sense for which size of workspace is right for you. Seeing a range will help you translate square footage from an abstract number into a room full (or indeed not so full) of people. The number of desks in the brochure is a useful guide, but who’s to say you’ll have the same vision for the space?
Outsource the narrowing-down
Loop in some colleagues and ask them to vote for their favourites, with a word or two about what caught their attention. Important: set expectations that this is just a preliminary vote to put out feelers, not a guarantee that their opinion will seal the deal.
To recap... your first viewing is where the magic happens. Bring it on!