THE BLOG
01/06/2015 10:31 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Looking for a New Office? Don't Overlook These 13 Critical Features

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

A. Whether There Are Enough Meeting Rooms

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One conference room is never enough. Try to have two to three conference rooms for people to reserve. This will help with meetings and give people a different environment to work in from time to time. - John Rampton, Host

A. Whether It Has High-Speed Voice and Data Cabling

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Any office space you may be considering MUST have high-speed voice and data cabling already installed on the premises. Not all office spaces will have the capacity to handle your company's data requirements and the last thing you want to do is end up paying to have it designed, installed or upgraded yourself. - Justin Bailie, FR8nex.com

A. Whether There Are Good Landlords

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A landlord might be great during the lease negotiation process but once the lease is signed and you and move in, you might see Dr. Jekyll turn in to Mr. Hyde. If possible, find other tenants and ask them what they think about the landlord or management company. Once you sign a commercial lease they are not always easy to get out of, so do a check on the landlord as they can make/break a lease. - Tim McHugh, Saddleback Educational

A. Whether There's a Place to Chat

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I don't mean a conference room. I'm talking about a room employees can call a "cool hangout spot," where they can visit and chat with their co-workers. This is where our most important company ideas usually occur. Employees in the creative world tend to get up and walk around a lot to refresh, so it's important to us to get a place that would instill familial bonding. - Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

A. Whether It's Future-Proofed

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When we moved in, we invested in the IT infrastructure to last us years and paid for the fastest possible package. We got twice as much space as was needed at the time. We thought we were planning ahead. However, I've just negotiated a four-year lease extension on this space during an expensive market and we've just had to redo some of our tech. We didn't future-proof enough. - Brennan White, Cortex

A. Whether There's Flexible Space for Freelancers

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Since Hubstaff specializes in time-tracking tools for remote teams, we also encourage our own talent to work remotely on their own schedule. If you've also got team members who get to work remotely or telecommute, or you have freelancers who need to come into the office occasionally for meetings, set up lots of flexible spaces, for those employees who come and go, that encourage collaboration. - Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

A. Whether There Is a Community

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Joining a co-working space is less expensive than a traditional office space and you belong to a community of smart entrepreneurs who are going through similar challenges. This network of like-minded coworkers provides you with strategic partners to bounce ideas off of and who understand the unique challenges you face as a business owner. -Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

A. Whether It's Close to Home

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If you are able to find a location that lessens the commute for your employees, you will have employees who are more productive and spend more time at the office. Employees who don't sit in traffic for an hour are happy employees. - Adam Stillman, SparkReel

A. Whether It Supports Your Culture

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Every company culture is different. Find something that supports your culture, don't just pick something that looks cool. We're in our fourth office in six years, and this one was designed around the way we work, configured around our agile team structure and supports the culture of our organization and our people. You might be surprised how much the wrong office can inhibit that. - Kevin Eichelberger, Blue Acorn

A. Whether It's a Multi-Purpose Space

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Yes, a game room and a nice kitchen go a long way, but if you have an all-purpose space, you can offer your employees countless opportunities to get to know each other beyond their water cooler talks and Gchats. By having space where you can host panels, parties or even yoga, you create the unique opportunity to foster community through diverse interaction platforms in the comfort of your home. - Shradha Agarwal, ContextMedia

A. Whether There's Parking

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In bigger cities, parking for commuters can be a nightmare. Prohibitively costly lots and scarcity of public spots can sour even the happiest employee. While a fancy downtown location may prove promising for your up-and-coming brand, you need to make sure your team feels truly at home and won't have to suffer finding safe and reliable parking each morning. - Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

A. What the Neighbors Have to Say

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When deciding on a new office space, make sure to meet the neighbors. Whether you're in a co-working space with a lot of other companies, or in a larger complex, it's a great idea to meet with some of the other companies nearby to get their feedback on the space before you move in. - Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

A. Whether There Are Move Out Costs

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When working with a turnkey office provider, make sure you read the fine print of what you are signing. Many companies will hit you with extensive move out fees that can be crippling for a new business owner. Make sure you look for the rent increase percentage also if you decide to stay past the set term. - Kris Ruby, Ruby Media Group