From furlough to freelancing, there have been plenty of changes to our working patterns in the last year. Many people are now looking for a more permanent business space ...

Working flexibly from home or another remote location has highlighted the importance of the working environment. As the pandemic restrictions are eased and our temporary working arrangements become more permanent, it's time to think about how much space you will really need, now and in the future.

While working from home provided an urgent solution to the problems caused by the pandemic, it also highlighted the need for defined boundaries in our lives. Having a dedicated workspace is important to create a focused work environment.

You will probably spend at least eight hours a day - one-third or more of your waking life - in the place you have designated for work. In the long-term you won't want that to be a corner of your kitchen table or your bedroom.

While garden offices are a popular choice, they can be expensive. One step up from a garden shed won't be ideal and if you live in a flat it won't be an option at all. Realistically, permanently committing part of your home space to work might not be the best choice because you will have limited room to expand if you need to.

However, if you are a sole trader or freelancer, you might not want to take on a long-term lease for an office or workshop and co-working spaces could leave you feeling baseless and restless.

During the last year, seeing people in their kitchens, dining rooms, or spare bedrooms for online meetings has been normal. However, as before the pandemic, your location will say something about your business as we move ahead.

You are investing in more than a place to work. The address will help your local marketing. Almost half of online searches are looking for local information, and you won't want to miss out on so many opportunities.

If you have employees or are planning to recruit, then you will need to provide an environment that people will want to work in. This might mean decoration and ongoing maintenance costs, or you could consider serviced offices or workshops with many of your costs included. And, of course, your customers will want to visit you from time to time, so you will want to welcome them in a professional environment.

Do you think of your wellbeing? You spend a lot of time at work so your space must be practical and comfortable. When you are in the right surroundings, you will feel more positive and motivated, and you will be more productive and creative too.

If you work alone or as part of a small team, you might miss the interaction with others. If you are based in an environment with other businesses, you will have the opportunity to interact and collaborate.

When you have an organised working space with the right equipment and office furniture you can reduce clutter, waste, and inconvenience. This is an easy, low cost way to improve your efficiency and to avoid wasting time searching for missing items.

As you prepare for business in the post-pandemic world, make your workspace a priority. Talk to Bucks Biz about your options and how our in-house design and maintenance team can work with you to create a working environment that will meet your needs exactly.