viewing space checklist

Here's a practical list of things to look out for when viewing space:

  • First impressions count - ask yourself is this somewhere you would really like to work?
  • Is the location right for your staff and clients/customers?
  • Is the image right for today and for your business moving forward?
  • Is the building secure?
  • Is the neighbourhood safe? Think about walking about on a dark night.
  • Is there any visible security presence or patrol?
  • Do reception and security personnel ‘meet and greet' visitors well or seem disinterested and ineffective?
  • Is the building well maintained externally - does it look wind and water tight? Are there any visible defects?
  • Do the public areas look cared for? Are they clean, well decorated and maintained?
  • If the toilets are not looked after you can guarantee neither is the rest of the building.
  • Are the doors and windows properly secured from break-ins? Is there a shared alarm system or will you be able to install your own?
  • Is the amount of natural light right? Too little light can be depressing, too much could cause glare and over-heating. Are blinds fitted to give you control?
  • Is the quality of artificial lighting right for your business and if not will you be able to change it?
  • Think about the orientation. South facing will give you maximum daylight but might overheat.
  • North facing will be darker and cooler in summer but colder in winter.
  • Being too hot or too cold is the most common complaint in business space.
  • Check that you can control the internal climate by opening windows, adjusting thermostatic radiators or other temperature controls.
  • Will the space work for you?
  • Ask for a floor plan or be prepared to sketch your own grid plan.
  • Typically for office requirements allow 8-10 square metres per person.
  • Are the floor and wall finishes suitable? Can you change them if they're not right?
  • What are the fixtures and fittings? Does the space come with any furniture, light fittings, shelving?
  • If it's an empty shell are there any rules about what you can do with the space?
  • Does the building have a smoking policy and if so are there suitable arrangements for smokers?
  • Is the building fully accessible for the disabled? Does the building comply with legislation?
  • Does the building comply with fire regulations - are fire escapes well signposted with clear access?

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