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Five things to consider when setting up an office

By Rebecca Siciliano, Managing Director of Tiger Recruitment

For many small firms, the time will come when instead of working in your home office, you’ll need to move into an office or hotdesk in a small co-working space. While it may, on the surface, seem quite straightforward, there are plenty of moving parts to manage when setting up an office. Here are our top five:

Permissions

It’s essential to know what changes you can make to a space before moving in. Some rented offices will have restrictions on what you can do, ranging from hanging artwork or branding on the wall to installing additional power points. As such, before touching anything, you will need to review your contract, establishing what is within your remit as a renter. It is also worth understanding from the outset what condition the office is expected to be left in upon departure – knowing this upfront will influence any changes going forward and potentially save a headache further down the line. 

Layout 

The layout of the office will depend on the working styles of your employees, the work you’re doing and the culture you wish to encourage. If your teams are required to collaborate with cross-functional teams, an open-plan working environment might work best, but if it’s more of a heads-down environment, a closed-plan design may be more appropriate. This will also be impacted by the size and shape of the office as a whole, as well as the location of internet ports and power points. 

Equipment

No office is complete without equipment, but it’s much more than ordering desks and chairs and hoping for the best. The space will need to be measured and a floorplan drawn up, depending on your layout decisions. 

You will then need to choose the types of desks that best suits your team – will they be adjustable, or flexible in terms of offering a standing option? Once this decision is made, you can look to source chairs and storage options. It’s at this stage where budgets will also come into play. With a huge range of makes and models on the market, knowing how much you have to spend will guide your choices. 

And if you are strapped for space, why not consider hot-desking? This option is particularly effective these days, as many employees like to have the option to work flexibly, or from home. 

Technology

Technology can be broken up into two areas: the technology employees will use, and the infrastructure required to operate them. 

If you are welcoming new employees, you’ll need to make sure they have all the equipment they need – this could be desktops, phones and accompanying tools, or laptops and work mobiles. 


If you are working with desktops, internet ports become an essential consideration – will there be enough for every computer? Will you need to install additional ports and, if so, how much will this cost? Laptops offer a little more flexibility as they rely on WiFi. However, this means you’ll need to investigate the scope of the internet connection – is it strong enough to have every employee using it at the same time? 

You’ll need to take the same approach to phones, printers, photocopiers and servers, considering where they will be placed and what infrastructure you’ll need. 

Supplies

With the desk, computer and storage sorted, it’s now down to the detail. You’ll need to source printer paper, pens, mouse mats, notebooks and other stationery supplies, depending on the requirements of the team. You may also want to order more kitchen equipment such as crockery, glassware and a coffee machine. If you use letterheads, business cards or compliments slips, now is the time to design and order these with your new address. 


It is at this point that you can also consider extra details that will make the office a positive place to work. For example, will you be introducing indoor plants to the space, or hanging artwork on the walls? Perhaps you could investigate decals (wall transfers) on the wall or other branded materials? It is worth asking your colleagues about their ideas for this, as the more input they have, the more likely they’ll enjoy the working environment.