Aditya Verma, CEO & Founder, The Office Pass(TOP)

Aditya drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth. He enjoys creating workspaces that have energy, soul and momentum. Workspaces that makes “working” an enjoyable experience. He wants The Office Pass (TOP) to become a platform, for individuals and companies, to find high quality, yet affordable office spaces nearby. Prior to founding The Office Pass, Aditya was the Co-founder & CEO of Makaan.com (one of India’s leading real estate websites) which was acquired by PropTiger (a NewsCorp investee company) in April 2015. This was among the few successful exits in the Indian online real estate space. He also held leadership roles in Monster.com and Rediff.com.

 

Moving away from working out of your home or a neighbourhood cafe to an office makes an impact in many different ways. It improves your day-to-day operations, brings a level of formality into the office culture, boosts productivity rates and makes your team feel like a unit. 

Depending on the size of your team and your budget, you may decide to look at Coworking spaces or a traditional leased office. Let’s take a look at top 6 things an entrepreneur swear by when looking for office space. 

Prioritizing The Location Over The Looks

When it comes to finding office space, location is the first thing you have to check. Of course, the building must look presentable but it’s better to have a simple office building in a good locality rather than a swanky office in an alleyway or too far in the suburbs. 

Many companies choose to have an office that is close to a residential area and well connected. Look for an office on the main road that is well-lit at night and populated through the day. You want your employees to feel comfortable coming to the office and your office to be easy for clients to find. 

Having A Facility Checklist

If you’re looking at an office, you won’t have to worry about day-to-day maintenance issues and issues like getting the lift fixed, cleaning of common areas like washrooms and Café, office security etc. All operational issues and costs are handled by the building maintenance agency. But, you can’t take it for granted that they will have all the facilities you want. It helps to list out what your basic needs are and then see how many of them are being met by the space. 

For example, your employees will need lockers to keep their belongings, you’ll need access to printers and scanners, you may want to host a meeting with clients from time to time… Along with ensuring that the facilities are available, they will also coordinate with the maintenance agency on your behalf (saving you valuable time and effort).

Paying Attention To Connectivity

How are your employees and clients going to reach your office? The best spots for Offices (traditional or Coworking) are those that are close to Metro stations. After all, the metro is the fastest way to commute. Also, look into bus stops near the office space and the availability of other forms of public transport like auto-rickshaws and taxis. 

For people who drive themselves to work, parking is important. Having access to safe parking will also be important if you expect your clients to ever visit your office. One should choose an office that has higher connectivity even though it may come at a slightly higher price.

Ensuring You Have Enough Space To Grow

No matter what stage you’re at in your company’s story, there should always be space for growth. As a start-up, your team will grow as your business grows. For an established company, your team may grow when you branch into a new service or when you figure a need for specialists in a field. Teams may also grow temporarily depending on projects. Thus, when you rent an office space or take a Coworking Office, it should always be flexible enough to accommodate a few more people if and when required. 

This flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of Coworking spaces. Desks can be rented for as little as a few days whenever needed. 

Getting Adequate Branding 

Whether you’re renting a private office or a space within a Coworking unit, you must ask about the possibility of branding your space. If you’re leasing a private space within a Coworking Office for a long time, you may be allowed to customize aspects of the décor like the wall paints or bring in desk décor pieces. 

Prominent branding gives you’re a vision to work towards and builds team spirit. When you have a client visit, it gives your company the professional, experienced look you want to project. 

Moving Budget a Rung or Two Lower on the Priority List

Having the office costs match your budget is definitely important but it should never be given first priority. If you’re on a tight budget, you can get a really smart office space in Coworking. Even with a coworking space, costs can vary from one part of town to another and depending on the facilities offered. Look at costs on the whole, not just the rent. 

If you’re considering an independent office, you need to add on costs for security, air conditioning, internet services, a receptionist, office security, buying basic infrastructure like printers, microwave for your employees, etc. 

The total cost is usually much higher than what you would pay in a coworking unit. Coworking offices are 18-20% more cost effective when compared to a traditional office. That said, always ask about add-on costs such as booking the meeting room, using audio-visual equipment, etc when negotiating coworking space costs. 

Getting The Right Office For Your Team

Coworking isn’t only for freelancers and start-ups. Many established corporates are also looking into decentralizing operations with coworking units to make working more comfortable for their employees. Apart from being more cost-effective, it opens up networking doors, reduces commute time and minimizes the operational headaches to be dealt with. 

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