Selecting the perfect office space for your business can be a difficult task. The space you choose can have a significant impact on your business in the future and offer an opportunity to enhance your company culture.
We talked to Emma Goodford, Partner & Head of National Offices at Knight Frank, acting for Chiswick Park, about the key factors to consider before selecting an office space.
In our experience, people and talent is always top of the list.
Attracting and then retaining great people powers productivity and company culture, and allows brilliant relationships with clients and customers to develop. So, the workplace selected must be relevant, in location terms, to those employed and the clients who you want to connect with. Diversity of transport is also important to provide range and choice.
Size depends on the type of office and specific business sector. At Chiswick Park, our Guest Companies are very diversified and the style of office buildings allows great flexibility.
Post-Covid there is greater focus on collaboration spaces and, naturally, attention on social distancing standards to keep people safe. This means a more generous use of space, but also more agility so people can work on the Park, inside and outside, or at home. The office fulfils an important cultural function with size and scale being adapted to current changing demands.
Brand and culture go hand in hand, and a workplace which reflects the nature of a company can foster great staff retention and productivity. Since inception 20 year ago, Chiswick Park has focussed on Enjoying Work - understanding that happiness creates better outcomes. With a focus on mental health and wellness, the importance of company culture and brand is intertwined.
Amenities provide service and fulfilment in so many areas. These must be diverse, varied and tailored to a broad range of client needs. At Chiswick Park, the Enjoy-Work team curate a programme of events annually, including educational and mentoring events, wellbeing workshops, food and drink events, health and fitness classes, as well as events that empower the ecosystem of companies on the Park.
Meeting others and sharing ideas and business concepts is a great benefit of being at Chiswick Park, where over 75 companies in 1.8 m sq ft of office space can meet and collaborate. But we also have 33 acres of outdoor space, with lawns, plaza events, a beach in the summer, an annual zip wire event and a big screen for watching sports or Guest promotions. We get amazing feedback on the vast array of choice.
Cost is a definitely a factor but as the largest cost to a Guest Company are people, this is the biggest focus. A combination of factors influence choice - rental cost, running costs - which at Chiswick Park provide incredible value with all the events and activities provided and the beautiful grounds.
Some tenants want ready to go space so we are now providing fitted suites where a Guest Company can have their own front door and a flexible lease. Offering choice is so important.