The new workplace you move into will have implications for everyone within your business and also your customers/clients.

At the outset, it is essential that the decision to establish the business in a certain location is taken at the highest management level and that there is an individual who will ensure the project moves forward and achieves the desired objectives.

To ensure you secure the right property on the right terms, it is essential to seek advice from a number of internal and external sources. Directory

The City Property Advisory Team can provide substantial advice and guidance on many of the issues touched on here and also how best to access the advisors involved. However, at the outset, the emphasis should be on getting the views of your own colleagues.

Getting your team involved

At the early stages of looking for a new workplace you may not want to consult with all your personnel as this may create uncertainty in the business. However, you should seek the views and advice of key managers/team leaders as to what characteristics your workplace ideally needs. This operational requirement will heavily influence your final choice of property and its configuration.

Keep your people informed

Once you have incorporated these views into your plans you should share your outline ideas with the whole workforce to prevent rumours circulating as to the reasons and timing behind a relocation of the business. If you require further input as to what the new workplace will need to provide, set up small reporting groups who can feedback from each area of the business.

Liaise with your staff closely so you can identify all the positive and negative issues involved with sourcing a new workplace.

Assemble a team of external advisers

Depending on the scale and complexity of creating your new workplace, you will need to draw on the expertise of a range of external advisers.

The key external advisers in the process initially are your property agent and solicitor:Directory

a) Your property agent

A property agent Directory will give you an overview of the relevant property market, help you shortlist properties and act for you in forthcoming negotiations. Being represented by an agent will also lend your requirement additional credibility and ease of communication with target landlords and letting agents. More advice on what you should expect from appointing an agent can be found in the Searching and Shortlisting Section

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Once you have selected a property you will then have to work with a selection of consultants when you are preparing it for your occupation.

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Depending on the complexity of the fit-out of the workplace, it may be necessary to appoint an expert external project manager. Similarly, it is also essential that there is someone within your business who is responsible for monitoring the project and making decisions. Without this external and internal management, a workplace project can be delayed and/or not deliver what it was required to do.

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b) Your solicitor

Appropriate legal advice is vital throughout the process of acquiring new premises. You should be assured that your solicitor has an extensive track record of working on commercial property and advising businesses of your scale in the relevant location. As with the agent, always ask for references and examples of recent work undertaken.

Assessing the Property & Delivering the Project

When you have identified a property that seems right for your business you have to determine whether it is fit-forpurpose. To do this you need to seek opinions and projected costings from a range of consultants. The list below is fairly extensive but - depending on the condition and required configuration of the property involved - you may not need to access all these consultants.

Similarly, landlords are often willing to provide information and assistance in these areas in order to encourage an occupier to take space.

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Checklist of external consultants

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These are the consultants that you typically may have to take advice from when sourcing a new workplace.

  • Space Planner: they can determine whether your business can fit into the space with the desired/most efficient configuration. This service is often supplied by a landlord as an incentive to attracting a tenant.
  • Architect/Planning Consultant: if the space may need remodelling you should get outline plans and design costs as well as an indication if there are any planning permissions required for what you will be doing.
  • Fit-out Contractor: will supply costs of fitting out the space to your requirements.
  • Mechanical + Engineering Consultant: can evaluate if the existing "plant" (air conditioning, power etc) at the property may need adjusting to meet your requirements.
  • IT/telecoms: you may already have in-house expertise in this area but, if not, it is essential to ensure that the property is technologically appropriate to your business or capable of being brought up to your requirements .
  • Furniture Consultant: can provide options on the most costeffective route for sourcing furniture (cf. leasing vs. buying) and match the style choice which suits the business image you wish to project.
  • Environmental consultant: do the property and its management regime conform to your stated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environmental policy?
  • Project Manager: to manage the fit-out and any required alterations.
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Once you have selected a property you will then have to work with a selection of consultants Directory when you are preparing it for your occupation.

Depending on the complexity of the fit-out of the workplace, it may be necessary to appoint an expert external project manager. Similarly, it is also essential that there is someone within your business who is responsible for monitoring the project and making decisions. Without this external and internal management, a workplace project can be delayed and/or not deliver what it was required to do.

Next Steps

Having identified the advice and expertise that you will need to access during the process of selecting a new workplace, you can then progress to identifying the costs of both sourcing your new workplace and its ongoing operation.

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