Do we go for cost or convenience with our office location?

I’m trying to select the best location for our office and am stuck between a city location that costs a fair amount of money and a perfectly nice space that would be tricky for people to get to. What should I do?


The location conundrum is one that many businesses face, and the balance of cost and convenience is a tricky one to get right.


The first thing you need to do is decide why you want the city location – is it the convenience for clients and staff, or is it the benefit of having the right address to match your company image and industry?


Either way, there are solutions that will work. Many small companies and start-ups bypass the traditional approach and use a virtual office.


You enjoy the image boost of a prestigious business address, plus a local phone number, and receptionist to handle calls and mail, even pay-as-you go meeting spaces to host clients when necessary – all at a fraction of the cost of renting physical workspace in the same location.


Meanwhile, you and your staff can work anywhere – including the tricky space you mention.


However, why not go one step further? Congestion and transport costs have hardened people’s attitudes to commuting.


Your staff want the facilities of the office, but closer to home. Thanks to technology like smartphones, tablets and cloud computing this may be possible.


In a 2011 survey for Regus, 59% of people said they already had the technology to do their job anywhere. By now, the percentage is probably higher.


So why not give your staff some flexibility over where they work? For example, a Regus BusinessWorld card provides walk-in access to Regus workspaces all over Australia – ten different centres in Sydney alone.


By the way, offering employees flexibility about where and when they work is a great way to attract and motivate staff. Over seven in ten businesses say that flexible working leads to greater productivity.


So, instead of agonising between an expensive city office and cheaper inaccessible office, you could avoid the dilemma and opt for a ‘deconstructed’ approach of using flexible, convenient workspaces, and a virtual office at a great business address.


The possible side effects? Productive staff, an impressive image, and maybe some rent savings as well.


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