Future state of the office –

10 things to consider before relocating your business

As part of our efforts to support business owners and leaders navigate through the lasting effects of Covid-19, we have identified 10 key areas that should be taken into account when considering relocation.

Published

5th July 2021

Author

Mark Lucas

Category

Boxes stacked in a modern office for a relocation

 

 

As we transition post-lockdown, relocation could transform your business – whether you need to downsize in the wake of the pandemic or have been fortunate enough to expand in such an environment, there is much at stake. As part of our efforts to support business owners and leaders navigate through the lasting effects of Covid-19, we have identified 10 key areas that should be taken into account when considering relocation.

 

1. What are your business needs?

Whilst Government guidelines have stipulated that employees should work from home where they are able to do so, many premises have remained empty or only partially used. Consider what the future working environment will look like. Is now the time to review your home working policy on a more permanent basis? If so, this could mean moving to smaller premises, potentially reducing overheads. Think about what has been working well technically, and whether you need to invest in better IT solutions, telecoms, and video conferencing to give the best experience for your staff and your clients. Some businesses are redesigning their space to give a more flexible working environment, including Zoom booths, breakout areas and open space where staff can collaborate safely.

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2. Location is key

Relocating from one location to another could reduce your cost base. Do you need to be in town? Do you have a non-client facing business that works just as well out of town, in cheaper premises and potentially is easier to get to? A central location for some businesses is key and choosing the right premises, in the right area is essential to attracting new clients. Charles Cook, Managing Partner of Bristol-based Cook Corporate Solicitors who have recently opened a second office in Mayfair, commented: “Never underestimate the hugely positive impact the right location and office environment can have on both your team and your clients. A truly first-rate office in an enviable setting will make it easier to attract and retain staff and clients.”

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3. Costs and budget

In the short-term, what is your relocation budget? There will be moving and set up costs for disconnecting and reconnecting tech, paperwork, new IT and telecoms infrastructure to install. You may also want to consider asset finance to refit or refurbish new premises. Compare the new location overheads such as utility bills, business rates etc.

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4. Government schemes or grants

Depending on location, there are government schemes that give access to finance or give vouchers to access external expertise, facilities, and equipment to help your business innovate and grow. For more information see Finance and support for your business - GOV.UK.

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5. Staff wellbeing

The wellbeing of your staff and morale is key to productivity and retention. Agile working which gives the option of splitting time between working from home and the office allows a work/life balance you may not previously have considered before the pandemic.

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6. Staff relocation

Can your staff relocate with you? Do they want to? Are you willing to pay relocation costs if applicable or are you prepared to pay for these? Do you have a mobility clause in your contracts? For more information on employee rights when their employer moves the location of their business, see Employer relocation: your rights - GOV.UK. Other things to consider are the impact on your staff’s commute - are there good transport links or can you provide staff car parking? Will the new location help you attract and retain staff in the long term? These are issues that you should engage staff with.

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7. Vendors and partnerships

Does moving your business affect any existing business relationships both in terms of cost, brand or logistics – will they continue to work with you or supply goods to you in your new location, for the same cost and quality?

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8. To buy or not to buy

Consider the implications of buying vs leasing premises - asset growth potential vs flexibility of a rental. Involve your bank early on if funding is required to purchase a property or any other asset-based lending funding requirements you may have - this can take time to arrange where valuations and legal work are required. For advice on the best way to hold the property speak to your tax advisor, solicitor, and financial planner.

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9. Future-proofing

How does the new location fit with your long-term strategy for business growth, not just in space, but in recruiting the right staff in future? Can you see your business being successful in this location in say, five years?

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10. Planning & preparation

Be clear about your objectives for the move before you start your search. Put all your ideas on the table – what are your needs and priorities? Seek guidance from professionals and your bank from the outset. Most importantly, involve your team and consider their views in your decision-making process. It will make any move more productive in the short-term and improve employee wellbeing and retention for the future.

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Please visit our dedicated business recovery hub for more information positioned to help support your business and your teams, as you transition to a post-lockdown working environment.

 


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Author -

Mark Lucas

Mark Lucas

Director, Bristol Office

Mark Lucas is Director of our rapidly growing Bristol office with over 38 years of experience in banking, wealth planning and investment. He is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and family businesses, and continues to work with HNW individuals and their advisors through his own client portfolio and extensive professional network.