Taking the leap to rent a small office space is a tough decision for any small business owner, and the pandemic has not helped with this at all! Many people are asking how the current situation is going to affect office space and business, in general, moving forward. With the majority of businesses having to transition to remote working, the future of traditional office spaces is definitely a more flexible approach. To put you at ease, we have put together some of the essential things to consider when renting an office in North East Lincolnshire space post-pandemic.
Health & Safety Compliance
In this ‘new normal’, property owners are responsible for complying with government guidelines that have been set out to protect the public. Future tenants are also expected to adhere to these regulations and work with landlords to ensure compliance.
There are a few main general health & safety principles that you need to be made aware of when it comes to renting office space:
1. Risk Assessment
This is an assessment of the environmental risks, as well as the health & safety risks. It includes the responsibility of landlords and property owners when creating rental agreements.
2. Management & Reporting of Cases
This outlines the responsibilities of landlords and property owners to report any cases of COVID-19 during the period of lease. The relevant health & government authorities should be notified.
3. Implementation of Guidelines
After the health & safety guidelines have been fully explained to tenants, landlords and property owners should regularly monitor full compliance. If you employ several members of staff, it is your responsibility to make them aware of any policies that are in place.
Social Distancing Implementation
Before the pandemic, many office spaces were designed to be open-plan, allowing for collaboration, communication and teamwork. That is now not going to be quite as easy with the introduction of social distancing. Employee desks will have to be spaced wide apart, and you should probably look for office spaces that have individual cubicles to avoid the spread of infection.
Renting Extra Space
Closely linked with the social distancing rules, it is now impossible to fit the same number of people in an office space as there would have been pre-COVID. There are two main options here: increase the square footage of the office space, or introduce alternative working schedules for employees. This reduces the number of people in the office at any given time. There are some benefits of renting additional office space post-pandemic though:
- Being able to resume peak business operations, so you can increase your revenue from last year.
- Help businesses recover from low production and sales due to slower operations during COVID.
- It is a better option than compromising the health of your employees, and facing negligence legal claims!
Changes To Corporate Culture
Many people don’t realise that corporate culture is actually reflected in the way the office space is laid out. This is particularly true for open-plan offices which help to promote productivity. The office layout adjustments post-pandemic mean that there will be fewer meetings and get-togethers, so it is essential you keep staff morale up as much as possible.
When renting an office in North East Lincolnshire post-pandemic, there are a few challenges that you might face. It is worth having a think through these now and seeing how you can adapt your business to work around them. The main thing to review is your recruitment process.
Attracting new talent may be difficult, but then again with many people being furloughed and made redundant, there are lots of skilled workers out there. Final face-to-face interviews are still possible in office buildings as long as protocols are followed such as installing transparent plastic dividers between the interviewer and the applicant. It might just mean that the first couple of rounds of interviews is carried out remotely using the likes of Zoom.
Renting an office space post-pandemic may seem daunting but there are lots of steps you can put in place to ensure your business is in the best possible position. If you would like to know more about the services we will be providing at McCue House, please give us a call on 01472 287766.