The office space your company inhabits is a critical factor in its success. It has an impact on employee productivity and job satisfaction, creates initial impressions on clients and partners, and contributes significantly to the company culture.
Finding the perfect office space can take months. It helps to identify ahead of time your firm’s specific requirements for the workplace, with regard to cost, square footage, location and other considerations. As you’re compiling a list of considerations, it may help to see what others are concerned with when it comes to choosing office space.
Of course the first consideration in business is generally money. A lease has got to be affordable before you can look into the property further. Remember that beneficial features come at a cost, so expect to pay more for the best locations, better management services, and amenities.
Leasing costs can be reduced if you’re able to find a subletting opportunity or choose to share office space. When negotiating a lease, it helps to have representation, put a cap on rent increases, and include a cancellation clause, option to sublease and option to renew.
The most desirable office space is in urban centers. This is due to a desire among many workers –particularly millennials- to minimize commute times and live, work, and play in one neighborhood.
Consider the location’s proximity to transportation options. Is public transportation an option? Is the neighborhood walkable? Does the location provide adequate parking? Keep in mind that the office space should be conveniently located for your clients as well as employees.
Our ideas about the ideal amount of space per employee are in flux, thanks in large part to technology. Some companies are adjusting this downward, considering factors like telecommuting and open office space.
As mobile technology has advanced, we are no longer tied to a desk, and as collaborative work has become the norm, private offices are not as desirable as they once were. In fact more than 70% of U.S. office employees work in an open office space.
The amount of space needed depends on the industry in question, but expectations overall have been for less space per worker. Electronic documents eliminate the need for a large amount of physical storage space, and multi-use rooms and spaces cut out redundancy that might otherwise result in a conference room sitting empty the majority of the time.
It’s predicted that the average space provided to workers in U.S. offices will stand at 151 square feet by 2017, but this figure should only serve as guidance. Your plans for the company and expectations for growth should also be considered.
Attracting and retaining top talent is important for most organizations, and one way to do this is by providing popular lifestyle amenities that make the office a fun place to be. Comfortable common areas, like lounges, kitchens, and even game rooms give workers a place to unwind a little, or just get a change of scene.
Many commercial buildings are adding outdoor features, like rooftop decks, to provide this needed space. These can be used for informal meetings and company gatherings as well as private contemplation.
The surrounding neighborhood is an important quality of the workplace, and nearby shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions can be considered amenities as well.
An environmentally responsible office space not only appeals to the conscience of employees, it also makes sense from a purely practical point of view. Sustainable building practices are increasingly important and can result in more comfortable, energy-efficient, and healthy places to work.
The number of new and existing commercial buildings to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications increases every year. The Green Building Council currently certifies 1.85 million square feet daily.
The benefits of certification are considerable: “LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. The market is responding to these cost savings and environmental benefits at a dramatic rate; this year, 40-48 percent of new, nonresidential construction projects will be considered green.