Whether you're looking for your first office for a start-up, are opening a second office or need to relocate, the prospect of finding the perfect space can be overwhelming. To simplify the process, follow these tips as you begin to consider office spaces.
1. Get Real About the Future
The last thing you want is to invest time and money into a move only to outgrow your new office space before your lease is up; however, leasing a space that is far too large for your needs will result in unnecessary costs for square footage and utilities. Before you look at a single property, take the time to think critically about the future. What are the chances of your company expanding or downsizing? Will you be opening up opportunities for telecommuting that will reduce the size of your in-office team?
Having a clear vision of what the future might have in store will help you make the best decision regarding how much space you need.
2. Seek Input From the Team
You may be surprised what different employees may value the most in an office space. Departments where collaborative work is commonplace may want an open floor plan, while executives and human resources professionals may need the privacy of closed offices. Have your management team work with their subordinates to develop wish-lists for your new space, prioritizing the absolute must-haves to guide you as you compare offices.
3. Start with Location
Before you begin looking at specific buildings, decide on a general area for your new office space. Is there a certain part of the city that is known for businesses in your industry? Do you need to be located near key suppliers or clients? Look for places that are easily accessible via public transportation and that are located near other businesses like restaurants, drug stores, dry cleaners and medical buildings to help employees strike a work-life balance.
4. Consider Your Technology Needs
Most companies think about the needs of their employees but forget about what their technology requirements are in a new building. Do you have sophisticated equipment that needs a certain type of climate or wiring? What are your telecommunications needs? Be sure to think about how many electrical outlets are readily available in office spaces to ensure that you can accommodate not only all of your desktop computers and office equipment but also mobile devices and laptops that need to be charged at the office. It is also a good idea to check for cell phone reception by doing a walk-through with your mobile device.
5. Consult a Pro
Tenant rep brokers can make finding the perfect office space a whole lot easier. Brokers have advance knowledge about offices that are coming available in the near future and can give you an advantage if you are hoping to get space in a building where vacancies are rare. In addition, brokers can help you evaluate your needs and find a space that fits them. A broker's services are paid for by the landlord, so enlisting the help of one will not cost your company any extra.
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