Even before the pandemic, satellite offices offered interesting opportunities for businesses.
For one, having offshoot teams in different cities (and even countries) allowed them to have boots on ground in underserved areas and to more effectively expand their market share.
It also meant they could offer unique quality of life benefits for remote staff, such as a place where a culture of socialization and collaboration could thrive, and made it easier to tap into top talent without worrying about geographical limitations.
And in the wake of the pandemic, as employees are actually quitting their jobs in order to stay remote, satellite offices may become a key component in a business’ retention strategy.
So, if the time has come to establish a satellite office, what can you do to ensure it’s successful? We’ve compiled some considerations to keep in mind.
The first step is to consider the optimal location for your satellite office. There are a number of important factors to consider when making this choice, including:
- The safety of the neighborhood
- Access to parking
- Accessibility by car or public transit
- The amenities closeby, such as restaurants, coffee shops, fitness centers, retail, and more
- Proximity to where your team members live (while city centers are the go-to, suburban areas are becoming a more prevalent choice in the wake of the pandemic)
Finding the perfect location is an important piece of the puzzle.
2. Employee Engagement
When you’re looking for an office for your satellite team, there’s more to the picture than just finding a space with four walls, desks, and chairs.
While your satellite team members are part of your organization, they’ll be working away from your office and culture. So, finding new ways to ensure they’re engaged is important.
This includes making sure they have adequate technology to keep in touch with the rest of your organization.
But it also means setting them up in a space where they’ll get to network, interact with others, and immerse themselves in a professional community.
Running a business is dynamic and ever-changing, especially for a satellite team.
The problem is that traditional office leases are anything but.
You should consider whether you’re ready to lock into a multi-year lease for your satellite office. Don’t just think about your current situation. Try to envision where your team will be in six months or a year from now.
If there’s a possibility that your team might grow and that you might need more space, then the traditional office lease might not work for you. Instead, you might be better off looking into a flexible office agreement that doesn’t lock you into multiple years and will let you scale the size of your space as the needs of your team change.
Business is ever-evolving. Just remember that your ability to adapt and pivot don’t have to be pigeonholed by your office space.
4. True Costs
Running an office isn’t cheap. Beyond the obvious costs, like your monthly lease, there are also a ton of other expenses to consider, including:
- Utilities like water, gas, and electric
- Tech infrastructure including WiFi, computers and hardware, software, printers, scanners, phones, and even things as minor as stationery
- Coffee, tea, and snacks for staff
- Maintenance and repairs
- The time commitment it takes to get an office up and running
Depending on your business needs, you might even have to think about the cost of administrative support, like having someone to answer your phone, receive mail and packages, and greet your guests.
When you’re weighing all these costs, do some comparative research and look into alternative options.
Flexible office spaces, for example, allow you to benefit from economies of scale that drastically reduce your overheads. They’re also designed to be turnkey so that you can sign an agreement and have your team working in the space the next day.
You’ll be surprised how much you can save, both in time and energy.
5. Team Size and Function
When considering the right office space for your satellite office, think about your team’s size and primary functions.
For instance, if they’re in sales and are frequently out of the office visiting customers, or if it’s a team of two to three people, is a full-sized office space a worthwhile investment? It may be worth looking into flexible workspace options that allow you to use communal workspaces or to get dedicated desks for your team members rather than shelling out the cost of a private office space.
On the other hand, if your team is bigger and works primarily in the office, then maybe a private workspace is worthwhile.
If your team’s going to be public or client facing, think about the optics of your office space–both its location as well as the space itself.
What impression do you want people to have when they first walk into your satellite office?
Do you want them to be greeted by a receptionist? Do you want them to feel like they’re in a polished, professional workspace? Is it important that you’re able to serve them a refreshment from a well-appointed cafe? Do you need access to meeting and conference spaces?
Leasing a typical office space might not offer that “wow” factor, so make sure you know what’s non-negotiable for you.
Remember, your satellite office is a reflection of your brand so it’s important that your space conveys the right message.
As the world moves increasingly towards remote work, there’s no doubt that businesses will be able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by having satellite teams. And with the right approach, these teams can be an incredibly valuable asset to organizations.
If you’d like to learn more about why flexible workspace is the ideal option for satellite teams, get in touch with us today.