How to open a new engineering satellite office

Expanding your reach towards local client bases. Demonstrating your commitment to certain regions. Creating much shorter commutes for local staff.

There are many reasons why an engineering company might choose to open a satellite office in a new city.

But what are the key things to consider when you are planning to create a branch office? Let’s take a look:

Opening a satellite office – key considerations

1) Choose the right set-up

There are several types of set-up you might consider for your new satellite office:

Is it going to be an actual office? In which case, you need to factor in water, gas and electricity bills as well as ongoing maintenance costs in addition to other considerations listed below.

Or might a co-working space suit your needs? This can be a more cost-effective solution. Team members relocating for engineering jobs in a new city may be able to form better social connections as a result. But there are downsides in terms of brand reputation, control of your premises, and infrastructure.

2) Location, location, location

One of your key concerns will be where to site your new satellite office within the local region. There is a huge range of factors to consider here.

Commuting accessibility is probably going to be near the top of the list. In the post-COVID era, a greater proportion of your team may be working from home. In particular, commuting from a more distant area some days and working from home for the rest may become a more popular working arrangement.

But most of your team will still need to physically get to the office at least some of the time. This means siting your new satellite office near a transport hub is usually a smart move.

People interested in the civil engineer jobs of the future will probably note that this is likely going to be a driving factor in the way cities are organised in coming years.

3) Find local talent

Accessing a greater talent pool is one of the major reasons engineering companies choose to open satellite offices.

You can start to reach out to attract talent from universities and work with a local specialist engineering recruitment agency to find the right kind of professionals in your new area.

Start advertising the engineering jobs you want to recruit for as soon as possible. You will want to give yourself and your new hires plenty of lead time so that your opening isn’t rushed or missing key personnel because of existing contracts.

4) Set up locally, project nationally

The major common motivation behind setting up a new regional branch office is reaching out to more local clients. A new local office demonstrates your commitment to the region and advertises your knowledge of the issues that affect it.

But that doesn’t mean that all of your efforts to source new projects should be directed locally. Initially, some projects from further afield may be assigned from head office. Yet there’s no limit to the range your new satellite office can really cover.

The mantra for most branch offices should be “set up locally, project nationally”.

5) Create the right workplace atmosphere

Simple things like the furniture, efficiency of the layout, and basic amenities of your new office space can make or break it. Your aim should be the creation of a space that facilitates both collaboration and individual focus on tasks.

Plus, if you really want to attract the best local and national talent through careful engineering recruitment, you will probably want to be able to offer a workspace that features more than basic amenities.

The same is true of attracting new clients. Is there a chance that you might welcome a key potential project stakeholder around for a meeting in your new premises?

If so, you will want your team and your new branch office to be ready to impress.

Are you about to open a new branch office in a city?

Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering recruitment agency. Every day, we help companies in every field of engineering find the right talent for new jobs they have created.

Let’s talk. About the talent you need. And how we’ll help you find it.