What do you need to set up a new office?

Before setting up an office, it is necessary to understand what is required to do business in your arena. Office requirements are dictated by the nature of the business. They are also influenced by how employees do their work. Office requirements are often determined on an individual basis. The following are some common considerations when setting up an office.

When setting up an office, understanding the space is crucial. The space should meet the current and planned needs of the company. The size of the office will also depend on what a business can afford to rent or purchase a property, as well as costs associated with setting up and running the office. The space should be able to accommodate staff comfortably with sufficient space for immediate growth planes. It should also accommodate storage and business needs, including meeting spaces and communal areas.

Designing a functional layout is also essential. The layout should promote productivity and a positive work environment for employees. It should also set the tone for the business and complement its ethos. A visitor such as a client or other stakeholder should have a positive reaction when visiting the office, which should be professional and organised.

A secure area to store products or documents is also essential for any office. Storage and filing spaces might include strategically placed filing cabinets in shared spaces or dedicated storage rooms. Depending on the sensitivity of the products or documents being stores, security features such as locks and CCTV may need to be introduced to protect items. Environmentally controlled rooms might also be needed for sensitive or important items. If there is insufficient space in an office to store important items, consideration should be given to rent or purchase an off-site facility.

Workstations can be arranged in a number of ways, including dedicated offices, shared workstations with hot desk capabilities, cubicles or open concepts. Whatever workstation type is selected, it should be appropriate for the nature of the work. For example, workers who regularly engage in confidential discussions should have offices while employees. Similarly, employees should have the right equipment at their work station. For example, workers who are on the phone often should have headsets.

Once a layout is designed, it is important to purchase furniture that suits the office space and its dimensions. A common design theme should be established to promote a cohesive 'brand' that suits the mandate or general approach of the business. Essential furniture includes desks and chairs for workstations, as well as tables and chairs for meeting spaces or boardrooms. Kitchen appliances for any kitchen or break room such as a microwave or dishwasher are also important, in addition to drinkable water either through a shared dispenser or a tap. Decorative items are also important to establishing a positive workspace, such as plants or art work.

The office must have appropriate shared facilities. These include meeting spaces, including boardrooms. Boardrooms should be equipped with necessary communication equipment for teleconferencing and, when appropriate, videoconferencing. Other communal areas include kitchens or break rooms for employees, as well as restroom facilities. Consideration must also be given to ensure the workplace and the office layout is accessible to visitors and employees with disabilities.

Having the right office equipment is also essential. Computers, printers, copiers, fax machines and telephones are essential for any office. Computers should have appropriate software installed to ensure employees can do their work. For example, designers should have design software while accountants should have finance software loaded on their computers. Purchasing multi-purpose units that are used for various tasks, including scanning, printing, copying and faxing can reduce costs and space requirements. Alternatively, outsourcing to a local print shop with a corporate account might be a cost-saving measure for high-volume printing.

In addition to a telephone, offices need other communications systems to function. Internet access is mandatory for today?s economy and business world. Reliable broadband internet and phone systems are one way of integrating telecommunications. Secure servers might be needed if operating an office network. Hiring an IT specialist to set up a secure and effective office network is worth an investment if a company does not have an in-house IT department. Space will be needed to house servers if they are located on-site.

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