Many businesses have struggled in the last 6 months due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it has affected sales, enquiries, staff and property and left even some of the most well-run businesses without much in cash reserves. The positive to come out of it however is that it has made companies have a test run of what it would be like to have their employees work from home and most have been pleasantly surprised with the results. There have been very few instances of employees dropping their work standards or workload and it seems they have embraced not having to commute and are putting extra effort in to work because of it.
Whilst your business may still be profitable (even if it is to a lesser extent that pre-Coronavirus) there are still further savings to be made by downsizing your office space. As an example, if you we previously paying for an office to hold 20 members of staff and were paying city centre rates then you could now potentially look at only having 12 members of staff in the office at any one time, having the other 8 working from home and alternating being in the office and working from home for 2 or 3 days a week. By doing this you have almost cut the number of staff needed in your office in half and therefore you can look to get an office almost half its size and still retain the same staff and make the same money – increasing your profits.
The even better news is that as the Coronavirus situation has hit everybody, commercial office space is cheaper now than it has been in quite some time so the chances are you will be able to achieve favourable rates on a shorter term lease with clauses in to protect you against Coronavirus/similar pandemic or epidemic. Once you have found an office you like, negotiate with the landlord either directly or through a broker to agree on terms i.e. length of lease, break clauses, additional clauses, rent and service charge. When this is sorted you can then instruct your solicitors to begin the process of getting the property and dealing with the landlords solicitors. One of the single most important things to do prior to moving in to an office space which many people either forget to do, or don’t want to do because it costs money is get a Schedules Of Condition survey done to make note of, assess and take pictures of the condition of the property when you moved in so that you aren’t liable for any damage that you didn’t cause when you move out at the end of it. Many landlords try to make money off deposits by holding them back and charging tenants for damage that they didn’t even cause. Always protect yourself as much as possible.