When a business owner decides to purchase office space for their small business, considering their employees should be a key part of the process to ensure limited disruption to the business. In the following article, Phil Kubat, Principal & Managing Broker of Transworld Commercial Real Estate, answers key questions to help guide business owners in their office space search.
The landscape for office space has changed dramatically for businesses since the great recession. Many companies want more flexibility in their leases in case of a change in circumstances. Traditionally, most office users would commit to a 3, 5, or 7 year term, but with the exponential growth in shared workspaces, office leases have become flexible. Owners can commit to month-to-month terms with the ability to expand or shrink based on seasonality or the fits and starts of a startup business all while outsourcing amenities like the front desk, printing, and overall office management.
Meanwhile, the trend for open office space is being met as technology allows people to work remotely. Sales organizations are a great example of going from traditional private offices to more open and collaborative workspaces with meeting rooms and phone booths for private conversations. It is still up in the air if this makes employees more productive and happier, but this trend does not seem to be going away especially as rental rates continue to increase every quarter, especially in active commercial real estate markets like Denver or San Francisco.
Office space layout trends have changed a lot in recent years. No longer are companies seeking closed off office suites, we are now seeing a want for larger, open seating spaces that allow for collaboration and teamwork. As well as smaller private spaces for phone conversations. We’re also seeing the need for communal amenities for technology, fitness, and dining.
When you talk about commercial real estate, we know it’s all about location, location, location! And the main concern with office space is being close to where employees live. To identify a convenient office location, it is good practice for business owners to map out key employee residence locations and make sure they are relocating to a building that is near the middle. High traffic commutes in conjunction with an office relocation can cause turnover, so it’s important to account for staff drive times when searching for an office location.
Also, to attract new, top talent, businesses are looking to be close to amenities that boost team building opportunities and company culture. Younger generations of employees value open space to congregate and build relationships with other team members. So during office tours it’s important to check out the common areas to determine if there are amenities that encourage staff to get out of the office during appropriate times.
Lastly, proximity to commuter lines, hotels, bars, and restaurants is key. We are seeing more companies relocate to the suburbs to get away from high parking costs and congestion. If you’re in an industry similar to CBD or cannabis, make sure to find space in close proximity to light rail or major commuter arterials. The bottom line in identifying office space should be to bring your culture front and center and cater to your staff needs.
Any disruption to a business can be detrimental to the overall culture and, of course, productivity of a company if you’re not careful and intentional about an office relocation. Give yourself 6-9 months to identify and negotiate the lease for your new office space. Having a good commercial broker will help you not only with the search and negotiations, but they can be a resource for planning the move timeline. It is key to plan and implement your IT and telecommunication needs in advance of the move. This will ensure that when the time comes to move in, the infrastructure is already available for use. Where possible, be sure to include key staff members in the decision making process – this will ultimately help lessen push back for all the organizational change that will be occurring.
Once the lease has been officially signed, make a formal announcement to the organization and position the rollout in a positive light to help employees embrace the change. There are companies that specialize in office and business relocation, if the move is a concern for your business. These companies allow owners to focus on the staff and business operations while outsourcing the effort of a move. You don’t want the business to be down for any amount of time, so be prepared. Considering your office move carefully, will ensure that everything moves forward with limited disruption to business.
If you are in the market for office space in the Denver Metro area, and are concerned about how to ensure a smooth process for your business and your employees, speak with a Transworld Commercial Real Estate broker or visit transworldcre.com.
Phil Kubat is the Principal & Managing Broker of Transworld Commercial Real Estate. Under Kubat’s leadership and 15+ years of experience, stemming from roles at Transworld Commercial Real Estate, Transworld Commercial Real Estate, Covenant Property Group, and CoStar, Transworld Commercial Real Estate serves as a strategic partner to clients for their commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions. Transworld Commercial Real Estate began as a partnership with Transworld Business Advisors – Rocky Mountain, Colorado’s Top business brokerage firm, to better serve clients with a holistic suite of services. Visit transworldcre.com for more information.