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How to Choose Your London Office Location

Updated: Jan 8

London Office Boroughs

Are you researching the best location for your new London office as part of planning an office move? Are you unsure if you should refurbish or relocate, and are researching both options? Deciding where your new office should be is a big decision. It will have a major impact on your real estate costs, brand image, and access to talent in the years to come.


Before you can start researching potential new offices, you need to define your new space requirements. Along with size, specification, and amenities, the rough location of your new office is crucial. In a previous article, we explored the 11 most popular London districts for office space. But how do you know which area is right for you? That’s what we’ll go through in this article.


Every week, we speak to companies starting to plan an office move. One of their biggest questions is “Where should our new office be?”. There is no one answer to this question, as it depends on your industry, budget, workforce, and specific company characteristics. However, there are some key considerations every company needs to think about.


In this article, we’ll go through those 6 considerations. By the end, you’ll know the most important things to think about when choosing where your new office should be. You'll be in a much better position to make the right decision for your company. But first, why does the location of your London office matter?


To learn more about the entire office relocation process, download The Ultimate Guide to Office Relocation. It’s one comprehensive guide that will help you understand everything that goes into an office relocation, what it costs, and how long it will take. Download your office relocation guide here.


Why Location Matters

In the age of hybrid and remote working, you might think the location of your office doesn’t matter anymore. This is not true. In recent years the emphasis has switched from quantity of office space to quality office space. No longer is work a place your people come, it’s a thing they do - from many locations.


Now the office is no longer an everyday default, what it offers has become even more important. To attract your people back to the office you have to create a high-quality workspace that makes it worth the hassle and time of commuting. Which area of London your office is in has an important role to play.


It’s true that the location of your office doesn’t matter as much as it did 100 years ago. In the digital age, physical proximity to clients and competitors is no longer as important. However, the location of your office is just as important as it was 5 years ago. Where your office is located sends a clear message to current and prospective clients and staff alike. It will have an unavoidable impact on your brand reputation, access to talent, and real estate costs.


Top 6 Aspects to Consider When Choosing Your Office Location

Obviously, there is no one “best” part of London for every company to locate their offices. Every borough has different advantages and disadvantages, as well as unique factors to consider.


Cost

Unsurprisingly the costs of office space in London vary hugely by Borough. These costs are driven by the prestige and reputation of the area, as well as the availability and quality of nearby office space. Costs range from £70 sq/ft in Canary Wharf to £140 in Mayfair. For tower blocks or prestigious buildings, the rates will be higher.


It’s important to note that costs, while important, are not the most important factor - maximising the performance of your company and staff is. You should prioritise the ROI of your office space over minimising outlay.


Availability

Some boroughs have a lot more readily available office space than others. For the areas with low availability such as Marylebone, office lease rates will be higher. Conversely, areas such as The City, Midtown, and Canary Wharf will be relatively cost-effective.


You also need to consider what common types of office spaces are available when determining your new space requirements. There may be no spaces in your preferred borough that meet your current requirements. For example, Mayfair & St James are dominated by relatively small buildings built in the 1600’s. As a result, finding very large or modern offices may be difficult.


Brand Image

Arguably the most important reason why your office relocation matters so much is its impact on your brand image. Especially within a major city like London, the area your office is in will say a huge amount about your company’s prestige, success, and expertise. Potential staff and clients alike will judge your company partly based on your office location, so it’s important to choose wisely.


You should also consider where your competitors or companies in similar locations are based. For example, Mayfair is very popular with wealth management and law firms, so having an office here would convey prestige as a law firm.


Demographics

You should also consider the population and demographics of the area where you are planning to relocate to. Certain areas of London have their own sub-culture, which attracts different people. For example, Shoreditch is popular with creative companies because there is a large young population attracted by the sub-culture and nightlife.


Depending on your company, you may also need to be near certain locations. For instance, many pharmaceutical companies place themselves near hospitals and universities. In certain areas such as The City, this will be less relevant because there are very few residential areas. However, you should still consider your office’s proximity to where your staff live.


Transport

Ease of access is an absolutely crucial consideration when choosing your new office location. While it will vary a lot depending on your specific office, some areas of London are better connected than others. When considering ease of access, you should consider where your staff live, and how they will get the office. Most London boroughs are easiest to access by train, so good Underground links are important to key overground stations.


If your office is difficult to get to, you will find it more difficult to attract staff back to the office, as they will find the commute very frustrating. You will also struggle to attract and retain talent for the same reason. The commute is one of the main reasons so many staff are reluctant to return to the office, so making it as painless as possible will encourage them to come into the office more.


Local Amenities

In much the same way as transport, you should also consider the amenities available near your potential new office. Primarily, you need to think about entertainment (e.g., bars and restaurants) and health (e.g., gyms and parks). While they aren’t part of your workspace, they are part of the experience your people have when they come into the office, so you need to consider them.


Choosing Your London Office Location

Deciding where your new office should be is a big decision. It will have a major impact on your real estate costs, brand image, and access to talent in the years to come. The availability of office space and ease of access will help you set a baseline, which you can ensure all locations you consider meet. By comparing the cost of different locations with their demographics, amenities, and impact on your brand image, you will be able to decide which area is best for you.


Now that you know the most important things to think about when choosing where your new office should be, you’re in a much better position to make the best decision for your company.


To learn more about the process of choosing a new workspace, read How to Find a New Office. We’ll walk you through the process we use when helping our clients to find a new office space – from strategy to negotiation.


To learn more about the entire office relocation process, download The Ultimate Guide to Office Relocation. It’s one comprehensive guide that will help you understand everything that goes into an office relocation, what it costs, and how long it will take. Download your office relocation guide here.

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