Location, Location, Location
How I have found a central working location great after working out of town
Where your business is based as a massive impact on staff, at least in my opinion.
I have recently started working in the centre of Belfast, which is the first time I have ever worked so close to plenty of places to shop and eat and I have to say I didn't think location would matter as much to be, but it totally does. And it subconsciously probably does to you as well.
Belfast is a small enough city that you can get to most places in the city centre in about five to ten minutes, which essentially means there are very few places you couldn't get to on your lunch break. This is a strain I didn't even know I had lifted of my shoulders.
Things like collecting your post from a collection point, grabbing a quick birthday present for someone or picking up a bit of shopping so that you don't have to on the way home are all massive plus points and it means that instead of sitting all day with a problem floating around the back of your mind you can take a quick note to pop out before work, at lunchtime or after work to do what you need to do, which leaves more capacity inside your noggin' for problem solving.
The other massively useful thing I have found about working in a city is that you can easily meet up with friends, peers and collaborators at a moments notice, doing so really helps to properly relax you during lunch and helps keep your social wheels lubricated (I can't believe I just said that, literally shaking my head at myself).
Finally, I really like the choices to do stuff for lunch, Belfast isn't the greatest city in the world for places to eat, but it sure beats being limited to one or two choices. I would say most people working in a large town or city probably chose from 3 places regularly, but even knowing there are options is just a really nice feeling.
From a business point of view I can't see why you wouldn't want to be in town, your clients will know how to travel into town, your workforce are happier and yes I am sure the prices are a bit higher but I would say the returns you get from happier staff and the value of opportune meetings at lunchtime would surely make up for this.
Now that I have been exposed to working somewhere in the city I don't think I could work in places like industrial or business estates again, and I don't think I am the only one - I would imagine this is why more and more startups are biting the bullet and paying up for good property in town instead of saving some pennies and moving even 10 minutes out of the way.
If you aren't in town, you should be.