Beware the hidden costs of leasing your own office
When you decide to commit to a lease and create your own office space, only some of the costs are obvious. The time, effort and stress in creating an office from scratch are often over-looked. In this article we look more closely at the issues and costs of setting up your own leased office and explore the benefits of the increasingly popular alternative – flexible workspace.
Long term workspace planning is a near impossible task
One thing is for sure, your future workplace needs are hard to predict. The pace of work and technology is accelerating and life-changing events like the coronavirus outbreak means that the only constant is change.
It’s virtually impossible for businesses to reasonably project their headcount needs into the future and for that reason it raises the question as to the wisdom of entering a lease for an office that will commit your business for five, ten or even twenty years. Your business may grow massively, contract or even be challenged to survive. Nobody knows – so getting locked into the wrong lease could be fatal.
Hidden Costs 1: Up front and annual costs are only part of the true cost of leasing an office
Some costs of leasing are more visible than others. The upfront costs are significant and will include; fit-out, furniture and equipment, Stamp Duty Land Tax, solicitor fees, landlord fees, agent fees, IT Way Leave and more. There are also core property costs to consider such as rent, business rates, service charges and buildings insurance. Then you will need to budget for annual costs for services such as IT and telecoms, cleaning, security, dilapidations, maintenance, health and safety management and more. But what are the hidden costs?
Hidden Costs 2: Complexity, wasted time and lack of expertise
Building a new workplace from the ground up is no easy task. Although real estate and facilities experts are relatively expensive to engage, they represent much better value than doing it yourself. Creating an office environment is so important that it often ties up valuable CEO and senior executive time.
Consequently, people who aren’t experts in real estate and design end up negotiating with experts who do this task for a living. Many valuable staff will get distracted from their core tasks and get side-lined into creating the new workspace.
Hidden Costs 3: Don’t pay for office space that you don’t use
Predicting how many staff you need to accommodate in the future is extremely difficult. Expanding or contracting your space may be very difficult both physically and contractually. Building conference rooms, huddle spaces and quiet areas and having staff away from desks means that you are creating a lot of space that is under-utilised. Even on busy days, there are at least some staff members who will be on work trips, taking sick days, or working remotely.
If your office accommodates your full team, you may be able to save money by building out a smaller space than you think you need, but what if you get it wrong and need to expand? Additionally, in all office leases you pay for more square footage than you actually use, such as “dead” areas behind pillars and shared space areas.
The Solution For Hidden Costs: Flexible workspace is the solution for agile post lockdown office space
Flexible workspace offers a more agile solution for today’s unpredictable times. The high upfront costs associated with building out an office space are gone. You won’t need to pay construction costs, legal fees, architect fees or even buy furniture. That’s all included. In most cases you will be required to pay a monthly rental per desk which will include all services and any shared spaces or facilities.
Company leaders don’t have to become construction experts. A flexible office space is already thoughtfully designed by architects and ready to accommodate your workforce. That means senior leaders at your company won’t have to spend months labouring over the project, choosing finishes or negotiating with contractors. They can do what they were hired to do — run the company.
1. Flexible offices are ready to move in as soon as you are
Flexible offices don’t require any upfront build out. They can quickly accommodate small or large groups of employees right away. Once you’ve decided upon the ideal office you are simply required to sign a short, easy to understand agreement and you can move in.
2. The best of both worlds – private office space with fantastic amenities
Your office is “your” office i.e. private, self-contained space, not shared with anyone – the only space that’s shared is the communal areas so loved by everyone: break-out spaces, meeting areas, event spaces, gym, library, roof terrace etc.
Flexible workspaces are being configured to provide unbranded space that can accommodate all size and layout requirements, providing a health-conscious high-end space with state-of-the-art technology and amenities.
3. Hassle free flexible office space
Flexible office providers take care of all of the hassles related to the daily operating and maintenance of your workplace, saving you additional time. Whether its reception staff, IT provision, or security, with a flexible office, it’s included in the rental. Often the coffee and snacks that people expect are included too.
4. Flexible terms – avoid getting trapped in a long-term lease
Flex terms are far shorter than traditional office leases. You can rent month to month, for twelve months or more if you wish. A traditional lease will commit you for anything from 3 to 20 years. Flexibility of terms is crucial because business culture and economic climates change rapidly, making it hard to accurately forecast how a company will grow or contract depending on economic shifts. Flex space builds in that all-important agility to your workspace portfolio.
Let Office Freedom help you find your next office
To find out how Office Freedom can help you find the right office solution for your business contact one of our experienced property consultants today:
Call: 0203 603 2576
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