COMMERCIAL PROPERTY: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
Every company wants to boost staff morale and increase productivity.
James Barnett and Jonathon Masri, the co-founders of WorkPad, believe that when it comes to the working environment, keeping staff happy and engaged is simple. So, what makes an office a great place to work?
“The two crucial ingredients are functionality and location,” says Barnett.
The relationship between people and the building in which they are working is vital. Many businesses, particularly in the early stages, could be overlooking the huge opportunity this relationship presents.
Why is location so important?
Studies show that comfortable, well-ventilated and well-lit, safe workplaces increase productivity as much as 16% and job satisfaction as much as 24%, while reducing absenteeism. “The environment around us plays a huge role in our mood and resulting actions,” states Barnett. “Inside the office, having a creative and inspiring space can help you focus and feel more positive.
However, what is offered outside the office is just as important! The local availability of amenities and services – such as shops, restaurants, healthcare, gyms and entertainment – is increasingly recognised in research as being important for employees. Transport options are also a key consideration – when the daily commute is easier and less stressful, worker wellbeing will improve and thus productivity.”
Location requirements are naturally distinctive for companies in different industries. For example, a lot of creative companies are specifically looking to be based in Soho, as the address adds a level of prestige to a company’s credentials for clients. However, as Barnett continues, “Something that applies across the board is that being in a central location can act as a morale booster for your staff. Being in a vibrant, buzzing area and having a wide range of amenities available is far better for staff culture than being based on a business park.”
After location, functionality should also be a top priority for businesses. “Offering freebies and installing office gimmicks seems to be very trendy at the moment,” says Barnett, “but, rather than having ‘cool’ workspaces, our customers are putting more and more emphasis on making sure their offices are functional and practical. Having a reliable, functional infrastructure in place is key to businesses keeping up in the constantly evolving, fast world of technology.”
3.9 million enterprises (72% of businesses) suffered up to eight Internet outages and 43 hours of downtime each during 2015, losing productivity worth up to an estimated £12.3 billion. So, companies are better off investing more time and money in reducing frustrations in the workspace. “Rather than pool tables and beer fridges,” says Barnett, “employees want reliable wifi to ensure productivity and instant access to a customer service support team. That’s why WorkPad provides high-speed broadband, customer support and a personalised service to all of our community.”
How can we help?
Overcoming the barriers to securing a perfect office space can often be the hurdle that businesses are unable to overcome when choosing their location. As Barnett outlines, “One of the main barriers for businesses is simply the availability of suitable space that is the right size. Affordability is the other restriction.
“In London’s key areas such as Soho and Covent Garden, office space of around 200 sq ft is almost impossible to find. Even if you are able to source a location, you will need a good ‘covenant strength’ [financial stability] in order to secure the premises. Often small companies or start-ups will never meet what is known in the industry as ‘the profits test’. Furthermore, with a long-term tenancy agreement you generally have to sign a contract for five years or more and a lot of small businesses don’t necessarily know where they’re going to be in five years’ time.”
WorkPad has a great choice of private office spaces based in desirable locations such as Soho, Covent Garden and Marylebone, which are home to a diverse range of businesses. “We offer short-term contracts,” Barnett concludes, “manageable notice periods and fundamentally, an approachable senior team which works with all of its businesses to make the space work for the client.”