Finding Office Space
The Finding Office Space Guide highlights best practice when it comes to finding office space and then securing the best office lease terms possible.
Tenant's Guide to Finding Office Space
The selection of your new office environment will be central to the continued success of your business. In order to make sure you end up in the office space that best suits both your operational and financial requirements make sure you consider the following:
SPACE: How much office space do you need?
This will, of course, vary depending upon your specific office space requirements & the space efficiency of the building but it is generally accepted that you should work on allocating approximately 125 sq ft per employee. This office space calculation includes a proportion of meeting rooms & reception areas well as a desk, chair & the associated filing for each employee.
Other points to note include: do you expect clients to visit your office (this might impact on the size of reception area required)? Do groups of your employees hold regular project meetings (this may require a number of small meetings rooms)? Keep in mind future growth and account for that too.
Download the Office Space Calculator here to work out what size office is best suited to your business.
ECONOMICS: How much can you afford?
Your objective will be to determine how your company’s property costs can most effectively satisfy your office space requirments. You will need to have an appreciation of all the moving office cost components. In addition you will need to identify your office space costs (based on researched market information from local Commercial Property Agents). And, finally, you should set a realistic moving office budget and stick to it.
GEOGRAPHY: Where is the best office space location for you?
Which area is going to work best for you as a business? Where do your staff live? Where are your customers based? Which location best represents the “sweet spot” to satisfy your business needs?
The easiest way to do this is to identify each factor that is important to you as a business – and then evaluate & rank each one. Going through this simple, but important, process will enable you to weigh up your office space options more objectively and thereby arrive at a sound decision that is based on business needs.
OPERATIONS: What do you want the office space to do for your business?
Always consider what messages are being transmitted about your choice of building & location. Are your offices a recruitment & retention tool? Do you want your office space to be a functional place of work to keep your staff safe, warm & dry or are they intended to highlight the nature of your business and emphasise your corporate values? Your choice of office space can enable you to grow your client base, improve your operational efficiency and give the right first impression to your clients.
When deciding what purpose you need your office space to fulfil it is always useful to think about your expected everyday activities, for instance: size of reception area will be influenced by the regularity of client visits to your office; number of parking slots you need; open plan offices to foster teamwork & collaboration or individual offices to allow for those tasks that require more quiet concentration (or a combination); meeting rooms and break-out areas; kitchen facilities and so on.
TIMING: What is the best timing for your company?
Best practice says that you should start reviewing your office space options 9-18 months prior to your office lease expiration regardless of whether you are considering renewing your lease, renegotiating your lease or relocating office. It is vital that you allow enough lead-time to increase the amount of leverage & competition between the various options – which can result in substantial savings. Give yourself enough time and opportunity to make the educated - and right - decisions.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE REPRESENTED: Want to get the Office Move right?
Getting this wrong is too large a risk (both operationally & financially) for you not to utilise the services of a professional. Make sure you use a Commercial Property Agent that specialises in representing Tenants in your geographical area.
Once you have fully briefed them about your business objectives (which form the basis of your office relocation requirements) they will be able to ensure that you end up in the very best office property available at the keenest rental levels and on the most advantageous terms.