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The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
5 Fundamentals to Remember When Looking for Office Space
Your office will become your castle once you start working, and so it pays to spend time finding the right space, asking the right questions and securing the best terms before you move in. As you look for the right office space for your company, remember these five fundamentals:
1. Is there enough usable space?
As you evaluate the available space, keep several factors in mind. First, make sure the space can accommodate your business as it is now. Second, consider how fast you will grow and what space you will need as you grow. Another factor to consider is storage space. Will the office space have enough room to store everything or do you need to also rent a storage space for items used less frequently, such as special event materials, signs and banners, and seasonal supplies.
2. Is the location convenient for employees and clients?
Finding the right office also means finding the right location. The office you choose should be ideally situated for both key employees and your clients. If employees have difficulty getting to work or a long commute, they may look for work elsewhere. Similarly, if clients can receive the same service from a competitor closer to them, they may not follow you to a new office.
Another consideration when thinking about location is that office space in prime locations costs more than it does in other areas. If your business is reliant on lots of foot traffic you will definitely want to keep that in mind when looking for locations.
3. Is the office space compliant?
Several levels of regulation will govern the office space you choose and you want to ensure the space complies will all codes and regulations without significant remodeling. Consider:
- ADA compliance for your employees, clients and customers;
- Fire code compliance for your local fire district;
- Earthquake standards for buildings in your state and city;
- Building codes.
The lessor should be able to answer your questions about compliance and provide documentation to prove the space meets all regulations.
4. What about utilities?
Some rental agreements include the cost of utilities, some include some of the utilities and some don’t include them at all. Ask up front what utilities your rent payment will cover so you aren’t caught off guard when the bills start showing up.
5. What are the terms of the lease or rental agreement?
When securing an office space rental or lease, you will want to understand some specific terms of the agreement. Specifically, the following things should be clear:
- The length of the agreement;
- Any CAM charges, common area maintenance, for the upkeep of the building area, parking lot, landscaping services and other common costs;
- Your right to modify the space and to what extent;
- Any other charges you might be responsible for such as property taxes, often referred to as “NNN” or “Additional Rent” in agreements.
Get the right office for your business by understanding the key fundamentals of finding office space. Happy hunting!
Image by Lars Plougmann and licensed through Creative Commons.
- License: Creative Commons image source
KM is an Associate at EZ Storage, a self storage company on the East Coast. She likes to read a good book outside and enjoy the summer weather in her spare time.