The environment that your employees work in every day has a huge impact on productivity and morale. Additionally, the size and location of the office that you lease has a big impact on your budget. Because your office is so important to many aspects of your business, it's vital that you choose wisely when it comes time to sign a lease. Following these tips will help you to avoid leasing a space that just isn't right for your needs:
1. Solicit Input From Your Entire Team
Every member of your management team will have a unique perspective on your prospective office. To ensure that you're considering every aspect of your needs, take the time to discuss the topic with each member. Find out what their biggest concerns are and compile a list of their top priorities for your new office. Make note of which priorities and concerns you hear the most from your team.
2. Survey Your Employees
Before you begin your search for offices, conduct an online anonymous survey of all of your employees. Some good questions to include are:
- What do you like best about our current office?
- What do you like least about our current office?
- How do you travel to work each day?
- Which do you prefer: a desk or cubicle in an open floor plan, a private office, a shared closed office or some combination?
- What types of businesses would you be likely to patronize on your lunch break or directly before or after your shift? You can make this question a checklist and include things like restaurants, bars, dry cleaners, doctor's offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc.
- What is your current commute time? How satisfied are you with the length of time it takes?
3. Balance Current and Future Needs
Size is one of the most important considerations when you're selecting an office. On the one hand, you want to choose a space that is large enough to comfortably accommodate your employees and give you room to grow if necessary. At the same time, you don't want to end up paying for unused floor space. You'll need to carefully consider your likelihood of growth in the future and your current spatial needs.
4. Do Thorough Research
Take the time to thoroughly research the building, the landlord and the property manager. Go and introduce yourself to your potential neighbors. If there is bad blood between the tenants and management, you're likely to find out quickly.
5. Be Realistic About Improvements
When you're touring a space, don't tell yourself that you can change every flaw with a build-out. Often, landlords are frugal when it comes to tenant improvement allowances. Compile a list of all of the changes that you'd need to make and what elements it would be nice to change. Do some research to find out what the prospective costs are. If it will take an astronomical sum just to ensure the space is usable, it is better to look elsewhere.
6. Use a Tenant Rep Broker
Having a tenant representative by your side can greatly increase your chances of finding the absolute best office for you company. Tenant reps can use their knowledge and experience to ask probing questions to determine your needs and then match you with the offices that are the best fit.
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