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Commercial property has many challenges. Commercial property has many challenges.
18 March 2014 Posted by 

There is more to just leasing that just office space

By John Siciliano
Director Cushman and Wakefield

OVER the years I’ve certainly noticed a swift in attitude to leasing office space.

The shift has revolved around the historical and simplistic two dimensional transactions to a multi-faceted process that covers a variety areas; prime among these is a better assessment on one’s spatial needs.

The traditional view of leasing office space was to simply go out to market based on a preconceived idea that you need a certain amount of space.

The view asserted that leasing office space is easy and can more often than not left to the last minute.

This last point amazes me because we are talking about a place of business that creates wealth.

I’ve seen many an instance whereby more thought has been given to leasing luxury fleet cars than to the workplace office environment.

The message that I want to put forward is that leasing office space is relatively easy and so is the process, but it’s not given the time and most importantly the priority it deserves.

Gone are the days ‘the boss’ just goes out to lease new office space  and then the staff finds out they are moving to a new location.

This old school process is being transformed into a more structured process, that includes staff in the decision making process.

We now know that a more holistic approach centered on staff, timing, the actual requirement etc is likely to have a positive effect on staff retention and productivity.

Strategize – it’s easy to define and determine what your actual office requirement is – allowing for expansion.

Office environments have changed to more open plan versus the traditional perimeter offices.

This has allowed more efficient use of space and better staff interaction. Workspace ratios are now commonly used to determine / define an office requirement.

To put things into perspective a call centre typically uses a ratio of one person to 8m². The other side of the spectrum is 1 person for 20m² which reflects a more traditional hardstand office fit out.

Companies that are taking advantage of these cultural changes with office environment are certainly reaping the rewards.

It’s well known that office space that captures a work-life balance result in greater staff retention.

Building owners are aware of workplace environments and accordingly transforming their building to accommodate showers and end of trip facilities.

Timing: At a minimum, six months, preferably nine months, prior to your current commitment ending, you need to start thinking of the strategy behind your move. Here are some points to consider when moving:

1.    Definition the requirement, inspections and short-list (6 - 8 weeks).
2.    Space planning and due diligence (2 - 4 weeks).
3.    Determine preferred option and commence Lease Negotiation (2 - 4 weeks).
4.    Lease documentation (4 – 6 weeks).
5.    Relocation and make good obligations (4 – 8 weeks).
      
While this is a very broad description the process is simple. It’s the time required to facilitate and work through each of these parts that tenants seem to underestimate. To avoid frustration a dedicated person should be made responsible to coordinate this process.

Overall, communication is the key; asking the right questions and devoting the time. Commercial real estate agencies provide this assistance and it’s in their owner’s best interest that the leasing process is made simple to those that enquire.

Contact John at: john.siciliano@ap.cushwake.com



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