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What do Britain’s SMEs need to support the next stage of growth?

Agile working environment with computer notepads and pens

Did you know that your business could fall behind if it isn’t geared up for the next stages of growth?

We conducted a survey of 500 SME business owners across Britain that found that Britain’s SMEs know what they need from their office space to achieve the next stage of growth, but they need help getting there.

Our survey identifies the reasons that SMEs can’t achieve their optimum workspace, and what business leaders aren’t willing to compromise on in this pursuit. Some of the most exciting research we found includes:

What SMEs need from office design to support growth

  • More than a quarter (28%) need more areas for quieter working and confidential matters
  • Just over a quarter (26%) require open and flexible space
  • A quarter need better storage
  • A fifth (21%) requests energy efficient measures, such as LED lighting, their own heat and power source
  • A fifth (19%) need better broadband speed and wireless technology
concept design

The barriers preventing SMEs from obtaining the optimum working environment

  • The cost of rent is a barrier to more than a third (38%) of business owners
  • Not having enough space is a barrier to a third (33%)
  • Length of tenancy and the lack of available suitable office space is a barrier to more than a fifth (22%)
  • The inflexibility of their landlord is a barrier to just under a fifth (19%)

What SMEs are least willing to compromise on in order to get an optimum office space

Good office spaces are very competitive, so compromise is a big part of making the ideal office space achievable. However, there are some aspects of the office space that Britain’s SMEs simply aren’t willing to compromise on.

Of course, how people get to work and the cost of rent are the most important factors when organisations look to change office spaces. Our research found that organisations are least willing to compromise on the following:

  • 25% stated the cost of rent / mortgage
  • 21% stated location and commuting time to work
  • 20% stated car parking
  • 17% stated open plan office space
  • 9% stated the provision of bike sheds

All occupiers want value for money from their office space.

They want to be easy to commute to, easy for clients to access, and adaptable for the firm’s future needs. Offices should be built with these needs in mind: providing the right office space and facilities, in the right location, and at the right price.

Of course, this is easier said than done, especially in areas where land is difficult to source and development is expensive. However, developers and planners should think of new ways to repurpose unused spaces or changing the class of a building to produce new office spaces in a range of sizes and price brackets. Landlords need to be more open to occupiers changing the space to suit their needs as well. Technology has changed dramatically in the past few years, and will continue to change in the next, so it’s critical that businesses are given the flexibility they need to create their ideal workspace.

SMEs should take advantage of their lease deal and maximise their funds during an office redesign.

A working environment that promotes agile working but doesn’t break the bank would include:

  • Sound proof booths to restrict noise in open plan offices,
  • Quiet areas for working,
  • Changing in desk footprint
  • Moving storage to create more space
  • Creating anchor spaces for people based in the office full time and promote shared desk space for floaters.

Are you considering redesigning your office space? Download our whitepaper to discover how to create the optimum workspace.

Download whitepaper

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