Part 2 Investing in a new office can be a daunting task. With more and more choice out there, it’s hard to know what the right property solution for you and your business is. There are a number of factors you need to think about such as cost, length of term, location, environment, accessibility for staff, accessibility for clients to name but a few. The first thing you need to decide before you even begin your search is whether you want to take a conventional lease or would you rather pursue a serviced office option. Below we take a look at the differences. 3 – Facilities When taking a conventional lease you are acquiring a certain amount of square footage off the landlord. Prior to you occupying the space you agree with the landlord what you wish to do with this space. By this I mean you submit a floor plan showing roughly the amount of desks you will have in the office, whether you will have meeting rooms, executive offices, kitchen / break out spaces, reception / waiting area etc. Once this is approved you then need to hire contractors to complete the fit out which costs time and money. You normally can’t start the work until your lease begins so be aware you are paying for the period which you can’t access the space. With a Serviced Office you rent out the amount of space you need to suit your business over the term of the licence. For example if there is 4 people in your company then you normally rent a 4 person office. The advantages of a serviced office is that the office will be built and set up with 4 desks and chairs for the day you move in. The business centre will also have the additional facilities you need such as break out space, meeting rooms, kitchen facilities, reception area, showers, toilets, etc already within the business centre. Access to all of this is included in the monthly licence fee. With meeting rooms you just hire them as and when you need. A lot of serviced office providers in the Irish market now give you a set amount of ‘credits’ which gives you a number of hours free every month. 2 – Plug and Play Infrastructure When moving to new premises, you need to think about the IT infrastructure your business needs to operate. Some companies need the bare minimum to operate which is a wifi connection. Other companies have far greater needs such as leased IT lines, state of the art telephony systems, video conferencing systems etc… Serviced offices are set up and ready-to-use or ‘Plug and play’, often to move in the next day. All communications systems and office equipment will be operational from the second you enter the office, meaning you will experience zero downtime waiting for phone and Internet companies to install your communication systems and infrastructure. Serviced office operators strive to maintain experienced staff and modern technology and will ensure that all services and facilities are of the highest quality, the levels can vary and correlated to the leasing agreement costs. When you take a traditional lease you are responsible for not only acquiring your IT infrastructure but also maintaining it. The landlord holds not responsibility for the hardware and the quality.