Looking for office space? Check out these tips first
A company’s office space can be the underlying factor that either enhances or disrupts workplace culture and productivity. If you’re on the hunt for a new office, each space should be carefully considered. In the current commercial markets in cities such as Sydney and increasingly Melbourne, space is in high demand. This means you might have to compromise, weighing up which office features are most important and influential to the business and be more forgiving on others.
We’ve rounded up a range of things you should keep in mind when inspecting offices, with intel from our team of experts.
When going on property inspections, the key features of the space and its surrounding area are the core points to consider. Regarding the space itself, make note of the natural light, quality of the air-conditioning, any columns interfering with the space, and the views. These could all make a major difference in the everyday environment of the office. Something else to watch out for is that not all suites have toilets on the same floor, which understandably can be an issue for many companies.
The location of the building can be a determining factor for many, particularly as rents rise in the Sydney CBD and tenants look elsewhere. Solid access to public transport and amenities is essential to consider as it will reduce the disruption of a major relocation for staff. Proximity to key clients and professional precincts, for example; the courts for legal firms, can also be a factor.
Who would be your neighbours?
The building itself is full of factors that can impact its suitability. Sometimes this includes the other tenants in the building. For example, schools, colleges, childcare centres and co-working spaces generally have a greater number of people entering and exiting throughout the day, putting pressure on services such as lifts and air-conditioning. This can also increase noise and raise questions around the building’s security.
Demolition or redevelopment clauses on the building or surrounding buildings should definitely be investigated. This means these buildings could undergo demolition or construction works during your potential lease. Neighbouring construction can be highly inconvenient for commercial tenants as it results in noise, dust and rodent/insect infestations.
Will building management help or hinder?
Building management can be the key to a smooth lease or a frustrating one. It can be difficult to tell how responsive or accommodating potential building management will be until you move in. However, your tenant representative could give you an indication or even steer you clear of any with difficult reputations. It also might be worth checking the tenancy board during the inspection to see if you have any connections within the building; get in contact with them and ask them about their experience. Alternatively, inquire as to whether the building management are onsite or not. Onsite management means they are likely to be more responsive and have a greater understanding of the building.
How does the building rate?
Are environmental and energy ratings important to your company? Some companies now have environment and energy rating requirements as part of their corporate social responsibility. If so, NABERS and Green Star ratings will be something to note. Both ratings are well-recognised throughout Australia, and rate the buildings sustainability. Recently completed buildings or those undergoing construction are likely to aim for Green Star certification and a strong NABERS rating, which are each ranked out of six stars.
As the emphasis on wellness in Australian society continues to grow, the WELL Building Standard Certification has emerged as a key rating for all new commercial developments to aim for. The WELL Certification measures the way a buildings design, operations and behaviours can enhance its tenant’s health and wellbeing. It considers features such as end of trip facilities and whether pets are allowed in the tenancy. Companies who place importance on this would best to focus on recently completed or upcoming developments.
Selecting new office space for your company can be daunting when considering its impact on staff and the business. However, take it as an opportunity to reinvigorate staff and improve space efficiency, leading the business into its next life cycle.