Moving to a new office
If you’re moving to a new office in 2022 there is a lot to consider. From organizing post-pandemic working arrangements to ensuring that workplace electrical safety checks such as testing and tagging have been performed, here are some factors to take into consideration when moving to a new office.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed so many aspects of our lives and there are few people whose work routines haven’t been affected by the pandemic. Now that we’re moving into a new phase of managing Covid-19, with lockdowns being a thing of the past; many businesses are reconsidering their office requirements, offering their team hybrid working arrangements and considering a move to new office premises which are better suited to a post-Covid-19 world. Are you one of them? If so, here are a few tips to consider when you’re choosing your new office and getting ready to move.
It’s the new buzzword for the office – a hybrid work arrangement. With hybrid working, your team have flexibility to work from home or from the office, with the specific arrangements dependant on individual businesses. Some businesses are asking their team to come into the office for team meetings, others are requesting a certain number of days a week, but one thing is sure, for many white-collar businesses, the days of having a full complement of workers in the office for 40 hours a week are gone – at least for the moment.
Do you need a new office?
If hybrid work is right for your business, then it has major implications for the requirements of your office, what it looks like, what size it is and how many desks you need. Although, you’ll probably have fewer staff in the office at any one time, so ensuring that social distancing is possible at all times is a vital consideration. This means that communal areas such as kitchens or break rooms either need to take up a larger space than they did before or there need to be rules in place around the number of people who can be in an area at any one time.
In some situations, office space can be adapted easily, but for others it’s not going to be so easy. If you can’t easily adapt your current office to fit in with post-pandemic requirements, then you might be better off looking at moving to a different office space.
What to look for in a new office space?
Location. Location has always been everything in real estate and business. But in a post-Covid-19 world, the right location for your office could be different from what it was pre-2020 as many workers are hesitant to continue working in heavily built-up areas such as Melbourne and Sydney CBDs. This is likely to be a short to medium term consideration rather than a permanent preference, but it gives business owners more flexibility to choose office locations that might not be as expensive on a square metre basis as your previous office location.
Flexibility. If there’s one thing that we’ve all learned during the pandemic, it’s that we all need to be flexible. And that applies to the requirements for your new office as well. You need a space that’s flexible and adaptable – one that can morph and change as the number of people using the office ebbs and flows.
You should be considering office premises with large spaces, ideally open plan, lots of windows, minimal small boxy meeting rooms and offices, and bigger bathrooms, kitchens and communal areas.
With a hybrid work environment, your office needs to be an attractive place for your team to want to work in. You want to encourage them to have team meetings face to face and to see the office as a place they want to come to. The role of the office in your business has changed – at least for the moment.
Consider safety with minimal supervision
One thing that needs consideration in this new working environment (and that sometimes gets forgotten about) is how you continue to maintain a safe working environment for your staff when managers and senior staff might not be in the office.
Previously, managing safety in the office was a relatively straightforward process. If you put safety procedures in place and assigned responsible persons, then things should run smoothly. But do your staff know how to evacuate if there are no wardens in the office that day, does everyone know where the first aid kit is, and how do you do regular fire drills when there’s not a day when everyone is present?
Start with the basics. Make sure any new premises you are considering is already set up for the basics with fire extinguishers, fire hoses in common areas, sprinkler systems or smoke alarms. Once you’ve decided on a new premises for your office, call in the experts to make sure there is the correct emergency equipment on site, get it all tested and get your electrical circuits and office appliances tested at the same time. Jim’s Test & Tag can help to make sure you have your electrical safety and fire protection in place before you even move in. Phone 13 15 46 for more information on getting your new office tested and tagged.