Big business. Big office. Big move. Why is finding the right office space so important for corporations? And when it’s time to find your new corporate home, where do you begin?
The right corporate office space inspires teams, makes doing business easier and more cost-effective. It helps build brand identity and directly benefits the bottom line.
But it has to be the right move, under the right conditions, at the right time. Here’s how to ensure that happens.
There’s no single right answer to this. The right corporate office space very much depends on the size of the business and the nature of the work. An insurer is likely to need a very different sort of corporate space to a media agency, a hospitality company’s head office or a retailer’s HQ.
Yet, whilst there is no single solution to what sort of space corporations need, there is a common process to help identify it, and it begins with some key questions:
To answer these questions, to explore the underlying issues and to create a workable blueprint for your corporate office move, try some or all of the following exercises:
What do organisational leaders see as the prime objectives and opportunities of the move? Take time to refine questions so they deliver optimum insight. Questions might include:
There are many forms of corporate office rental (see below) and determining the right one for your organisation will be critical to making a move that gives you the right balance of freedom, flexibility, security and cost effectiveness.
Additionally, siting the new office in a particular location, for example in an enterprise zone, could bring financial benefits.
Suppliers, clients, workers: who’s visiting your new office? Where is the ideal place, in terms of road, rail and other public transport links for your new corporate space? What’s the daily commute time for your teams? Is one location likely to be more beneficial in attracting talent? Does one location put you closer to your suppliers – or to sector innovators – than another, making it easier to develop new services and collaborations?
Who is using the new building? What opportunities does the move offer to better serve a diverse workforce? What facilities need to be in place to create an office inclusive to all ages, faiths, physical abilities and neurodiversity?
What other functions will the new office house and what space do they require? And what parking facilities does your office need?
Partly it’s a matter of scale – large corporations typically need lots of corporate office space and might lease whole buildings or multiple floors of office blocks to achieve the space they need.
But the real difference between a corporate office and others is the separation of functions. In a single site manufacturing business, for example, the manufacturing might take place on the workshop floor and the office suite will be elsewhere onsite. It’s a single, connected operation.
A corporation, on the other hand, will typically operate from many sites. Retailers, hotel groups, restaurants, major banking and law firms will all operate from multiple sites and branches, with the corporate offices serving as the hub for the common services within the business.
A retailer, for example, will see the day-to-day business of selling goods happen at its stores. But the corporate office may support the branches by housing the head office strategic function, buying, IT, HR, marketing, legal and more.
Corporate office rental takes several forms, each with its own particular advantages. Here are the most likely options:
All set up and ready to go from the date you move in, a serviced office is the simple, no-hassle option, with bills, utilities and day-to-day running all handled for you. Ongoing costs are higher than for a leased office, but the real draws of a serviced office are ease and simplicity. If the corporate move needs to happen fast, this could well be the default option.
Gives you all the benefits of a serviced office with the added bonus of letting you determine the precise specifications of the building. If you’re looking to mould a corporate HQ in a way that reflects your brand’s image or culture, a managed office gives you the freedom to do that whilst avoiding the hassle of arranging every cable, desk and coffee machine in the building.
Established corporations typically have a clear understanding of their growth ambitions. Unlike younger or less established organisations, they are unlikely to be surprised by booms, busts, and sudden market upheaval. That can make a leased office an attractive option. A traditional lease is a corporate office solution for organisations that are unlikely to move again for years, and which value the flexibility of having a ‘blank canvas’ from which to work.
Leased offices are usually unfurnished, and you’ll be expected to arrange the connection of IT, telecoms and utilities, so upfront costs are often higher than you might expect with serviced accommodation. Stay for three years or more however, and the mid-long term costs make that initial outlay worthwhile.
Giving your corporate office move sufficient time is essential to identifying your key goals, and to finding a space that matches them.
The amount of time required will vary for every organisation but beware of procrastination and delay. It’s never too early to start the planning process, but as an absolute minimum (and only when choosing serviced corporate office space) ensure planning is underway by the time your current lease is six months from expiration.
Where more work is required in fitting out the office, planning should begin considerably earlier (9-12 months). And where the process will involve building works and/or connecting utilities you’ll need to give the move a longer timeline of 12-36 months.
Hubble searches the whole market in real time, giving you the pick of available leased, managed and serviced offices. Filter by up-to-date pricing, live availability, location, amenities, exclusive offers and more.
We’ve made finding your corporate HQ as easy as booking a hotel room, and we’re trusted by the likes of Trustpilot, Accenture, and Citymapper.