In the Market for an Office? Here are 9 Elements to Consider Before You Search

Are you searching for an office space for your business? Finding the right location can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Keep reading to find out what elements you need to keep in mind when finding your perfect office space. 

1. Square Footage Per Employee

     While the nature and culture of of your company will help determine how much space you need, on average, you should first factor in about 175-200 square feet per employee. For example, for 10 employees, you will need a minimum of 1,500 SF to accommodate them. Additionally, it’s important to think about space for social/recreation areas, storage, meeting/conference rooms, and extra space for growth. The floor plan also matters. Open floor plans tend to require less space, whereas offices with more hard-walled offices will require more square footage.

2. Security and Safety

    It’s important to offer a safe and secure location for your employees. Inquire about security features of potential office spaces, such as key fob or electric entry systems, security cameras, and after-hours security patrol.  

3. Accessibility

    Your office should be easily accessible to your employees and clients. An optimal location should be easy to get to via car or public transportation. Ask about parking to ensure your business has enough to accommodate both employees and clients.  
     If it is necessary for your staff to enter the office outside of normal business hours, make sure to include in your lease agreement that all employees will have 24/7/365 access and at no additional charge.  

4. Visibility

    The amount of visibility your space will require can be dependent on the type of business you are in. Are several clients visiting your office each day? Your perfect location may be on a busy road. Does your staff handle all communications with clients virtually? A quiet space away from traffic might be a better option. It’s important to take these factors into consideration to determine the best location for optimal visibility.  
     On a similar note, inquire with the landlord or property manager about signage opportunities, and whether it will be an additional expense or included in your lease. 

5. Proximity to Amenities

    Keep your employees in mind by choosing an office location near amenities like restaurants, pharmacies, supermarkets, gyms, and dry cleaning. Not only will this help attract and retain top talent but will also be convenient for your clients. 

6. Technology Compatibility

    Ensure the technology within the properties you consider can support your day-to-day business operations. This includes a stable and fast internet connection, an adequate number of outlets, and a network to support the use of smart devices.  

7. Work Environment

    Consider the space you will need for conference rooms, workstations, and coworking. Think about how your company functions to implement an efficient layout in your new space and consider engaging a qualified space planner to assist. Involve a professional to create a budget for your renovations before signing a lease. 
     Look for a place that matches the culture of your company. It may be a quiet design with private offices or a collaborative open work environment. Keep in mind the natural lighting availability. Your office should reflect your brand that inspires employees and impresses clients. Inquire about renovation policies and possible build-out allowances to customize your office space.  

8. Plan for the Future

    When looking at your next office space, ask the landlord what their long-term plans are for the building. Is there an opportunity to renew the lease beyond the initial term? Are there opportunities to expand into adjacent space? Is there a plan for building or site renovations? If you are planning to invest in your office, you will want to obtain renewal options and rights for expansion so that your investment is secured for the long-term. 

9. Competitors

    Before signing a lease or purchasing real estate, it’s important to understand the market. Set aside time to complete market research on nearby competitors and compatible businesses. NAI Wisinski of West Michigan provides comprehensive market and deal analysis to ensure you are making the best possible decision for your business, saving you time and money. 

Our team  is ready to help you on your journey to find your perfect location. With decades of experience and offices in both Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, we are ready to help your business every step of the way. Give us a call at 616.776.0100 or fill out the contact form below to learn more about how we can make our experience start working for you!



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