When is the Right Time to Find Your First Office? | Soul Spaces

Founders Thoughts: When is the Right Time to Secure your First HQ?

Joe Gillam
Published: October 1, 2023

In this post we look at the all-important question for growing businesses: When should you secure your first Office Space? Our founder Joe shares his thoughts on this pivotal decision, drawing from his experience to guide you in today’s evolving workspace landscape.

Traditionally, businesses often waited until they had around five team members before dipping their toes into the real estate market in search of a small yet creative space they could proudly call home. The first office space can be an emotional purchase for many! I know for us, it felt like a huge move and perhaps like we were at least on the runway.

Recently, we had the privilege of completing a fit out for a company who have taken a 16,000 sq. ft. office space in Old Street. They have decorated the space with artwork of their old office spaces, for nostalgic reasons but also to remind the wider team where the business has come from.

Today, with the rise of hybrid working, flexible spaces and third spaces, we’re noticing that the first move generally happens a bit later in a company’s growth journey, typically when they reach a team size of 10 to 15. It’s a logical choice, given the array of options available.

Our early movers often share common traits:

Steady Clientele: They have regular, consistent work from one or two major clients. For instance, we’re currently collaborating with a client very much in bed with Amazon. This not only provides them with a solid platform for the next 18 months but also instills confidence in taking on a regular overhead.

Operational Essentials: Facilities are critical to their operations. We’ve had the privilege of working with health-tech and environmental businesses that secure funding and require facilities to start piecing together their next steps.

Growing Teams: As teams expand, there’s a need for a central hub where collaboration, learning, teaching and communication can flourish. It becomes all the more important when you’re employing individuals you may not know as well or trust as implicitly.

Recruitment: Recruitment plays a significant role. While most candidates seek flexibility, a compelling workplace is still a key draw, especially for younger talent. Work is increasingly viewed as a social experience and the office fosters spontaneous connections over drinks, lunches, and socialising.

We’re here to lend a listening ear and offer guidance. If you’d like to dive deeper into the finer details of both initial and operational costs or discuss your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Joe Gillam

Joe leads our Office Design and Build team. With over a decade in the workplace industry and five years as MD of the UK’s fastest-growing construction team, he has collaborated with brands like Red Bull, Badoo and Methods. Joe is dedicated to putting people and teams at the forefront of the workplace, maximising investments for ambitious businesses and ensuring every workplace journey is done with SOUL.

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