As working life changes, companies face questions regarding the development of their working methods and the renewal of their business premises. In this article, Sponda’s experts answer three topical questions on the minds of business premises decision-makers.
1. Has the significance of location become less important in the choice of business premises now that working remotely is increasingly common?
On the contrary. You could say that the changes in the way people work, like the growth of remote working and the increase in project-style work, have made the location of business premises more important. When employees are more mobile and need more versatile space, it is essential to be able to arrange meetings in easily accessible locations.
For some companies, accessibility means being in the central business district or close to a public transport hub. For others, it might be office space along main traffic arteries with a large number of parking spaces.
"The growth of remote working and the increase in project-style work, have made the location of business premises more important."
Many companies that operate less centrally compensate for their more remote location by renting space for work and meetings at centrally located coworking spaces. They are also increasingly used by international companies whose guests and employees place a high priority on the accessibility of the premises where they work.
The location of business premises also plays a very significant role in recruitment and the creation of the desired brand image. The best people want to work in the best locations.
2. Who is the best person in an organisation to take charge of the business premises acquisition or renewal process?
The person in charge of the process should be someone who knows the company’s needs and operating culture. If the goal is to use the move to new business premises as a driver of change in operating culture, the senior management’s support for the process is essential.
When engaging in the renewal of working methods and business premises, it is a good idea to consult a business premises professional very early on in the process. These professionals have experience and access to empirical information on what kinds of spatial solutions are effective for different types of organisations and what solutions create added value for employees.
"If the goal is to use the move to new business premises as a driver of change in operating culture, the senior management’s support for the process is essential."
Negotiations are faster and easier if the person in charge of the acquisition or renewal of business premises holds a decision-making role in the organisation. Effective teams often include the customer’s project lead, IT expert, employee representative and someone from the financial management organisation.
It also makes sense to include an architect and interior designer in the planning process right from the start.
3. What kind of business premises should today’s medium-sized enterprises look for?
It depends a lot on the industry and the area the company operates in. A company’s business premises are not just a place of work. They also serve employees as a platform for meetings and chance encounters and as an enabler of operational functionality, and they increasingly function as a competitive factor in recruitment.
Today’s business premises are more than the square metres that make up the space. The premises must be an expression of the organisation’s culture, the special characteristics of its industry and the company’s image. They also need to provide employees with an environment that represents an effective response to a wide range of styles and ways of working.