At first glance, an office is just a building: a place where you rent space. But its implications are much more than that. It’s your business. For you and your employees, it's almost like a second home.
There are many more considerations involved than just how big your office is and how much it costs. It's an environment that supports you, fuels your—and your employees’—creativity, and affects the way you work.
When deciding on office space, make sure you lease from someone who understands the broader implications behind your decision. When deciding on your next location, here are five important considerations to keep front-and-center in your evaluation process:
1. Your Business StrategyRemember: the goal is not to lease space, but to manage a business. You have specific objectives for your business. The question you need to answer is what space, and which landlord, can best help you achieve those goals. You may think that a landlord can’t do anything to help your strategy. If that’s the case, you’ve been working with the wrong landlord.
2. FlexibilityYour business is designed to grow. Everything you do is a step toward expanding your scope and your reach. For a large corporation, a little bit of growth doesn't have a huge impact on the status quo, but for small or mid-size businesses, adding just a few employees can mean you've outgrown your current facilities.
Then there’s always that time when you win a new customer and the need arises for you to have a location close to that customer. Or, you may have a short-term contract, and being close to the customer would be valuable, but you’re not ready to commit to a long-term lease.
When evaluating facilities, ensure that your landlord provides you the flexibility to allow your business to run effectively and efficiently by providing options and flexibility, both before you enter the lease and after.
3. Type of Space
Not all space is created equally. Whether you are looking to lease class A, B or C office space, you need to be certain that your landlord can meet the requirements you have today…and tomorrow.
- What layout do you need? Are you prepared to handle your own tenant improvements or do you want a landlord who can both advise and execute that for you?
- What level of connectivity do you require?
- Do you need specialized space (i.e., SCIF or other specialized requirements, such as raised floor data center space)?
- Is minimizing your business’ environmental impact important to you?
Your space, like everything else you use in your business, is a resource, so make sure you’re maximizing it.
Increasing collaboration and cooperation can be critical to winning new business and attracting top talent. In some industries, such as cybersecurity and defense information technology, it's important to be surrounded by like-minded companies who may become teaming partners with you, or prime or subprime contractors. You may be able to collaborate and solve problems more quickly than if you were geographically isolated.
If this is the case for you, it would benefit your company to be in an office environment with similar companies in the surrounding area or even the same building. You’ll also want to have various amenities nearby, such as a restaurants and a gym, to contribute to the sense of community and support employee health and productivity.
Office rent is one of your top controllable expenses. In today’s competitive world, where it is important to do more, do better and do it with fewer resources, your landlord must be a partner that enables you to run your business efficiently.
- Does your landlord provide timely, accurate information you need to manage your business?
- Are you able to isolate cost-drivers?
- Does your landlord work with you to lower the total cost of occupancy?