A few partners and I recently launched a new business venture and one of the first major decisions we had to make was regarding office space. Should we simply all work from home and have a more virtual office space environment where we connect every day through skype, email, and phone, or should we shell out a few bucks to secure physical office space? This can be a tough decision for new companies that are not producing revenue yet.
One of the challenges of a new company is that you do not want to lock in to a 12 month lease for an office space that is not incredibly desirable. For example, if you lock in a 12 month lease on a cheap office space in an undesirable location, simply because you cannot yet afford a really nice space, then you may be a bit perturbed if the company starts bringing in solid cash flow 6 months later, and you can afford the nicer space, but you are locked into a 12 month lease.
One solution is to consider negotiating with business parks where you really want to set up shop. See if you can get into a very small office in an environment where it would be easy to upgrade during the life of your lease. The space may be smaller than you really want, but it also helps you get into the actual location you want to be at a price you can afford. Then, when working capital becomes available, it is easy to transition to a larger, nicer workspace.
Other possible low cost office solutions are to pay for a virtual office space or Coworking style space. Many top-tiered virtual office spaces actually provide conference room access on an as needed basis. These deals come in many shapes and sizes, but it is common for some conference room access to be included in the deal, and for additional hours to be available on a per-hour basis.
Remember to think long-term when you are considering your office space plans.Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Virtual Office Space
According to their annual study of 105 office space markets, Knight Frank reports that London's West End has passed up Tokyo as the most expensive office space in the world. The cost to rent office space in the West End of London rose 31 % in 2010 to £90 per sq ft, nearly $150 USD per sq ft. By comparison, Midtown Manhattan office rental is less that half of that at $65 per sq ft per year. Slower development and growth in the financial and media sectors has led to a drop in vacancy rates and increase in rental rates.
London Office Space , Office Rental , Tokyo Office Space , UK Office Space
Here is a list of resources I found of the Workplace Experience Group on LinkedIn. One of the keys to a productive workforce is happy employees and a positive workspace not only helps productivity, but also reduces the number of employees leaving.
- American Psychological Association - Psychologically Healthy Workplaces
- Organizations of all types, large and small, for-profit and
not-for-profit, from across the U.S. and Canada, are implementing
programs and policies that foster employee health and well-being while
enhancing organizational performance.
http://www.greatplacetowork.com/ - Great Place To Work Institute - We has been listening to employees and evaluating employers since 1980 in order to understand what makes a workplace great. We know that the foundation of every great workplace is trust between employees and management. Our employee survey, culture assessment tools, research, and advisory services have made us leaders in helping organizations build high-trust workplaces.
http://www.grahamlowe.ca/subject.php?subject=26 - Creating Healthy Organizations - The Graham Lowe Group (Canada)
The Graham Lowe Group offers research, consulting, and learning and development in these areas of expertise:
- Healthy organizations
- Work environments
- Human capital strategies
- Employee research (e.g., surveys, focus groups, interviews)
- Performance indicators
- Organizational change strategies
- Workforce analysis and planning
More good news for the office space market worldwide. As Regus goes, so does the rest of the executive suite market.
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Regus (UK:RGU), the worlds largest prvoider of executive suite and flexible wokspace, was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse on Friday. "We had thought that occupancy in particular would have continued to decline throughout the first half of 2010 focusing investor attention on shorter-term earnings risk rather than longer-term value. But management now notes that pricing and occupancy has stabilized," the broker said. "With a trough in the first-half, we expect earnings and cashflow to more than quadruple between from 2010 estimates to 2013 estimates," the broker added. Shares rose 2.9%Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace