For many a business owner or manager the office is seen as a necessary liability, but not necessarily as an asset for the business to leverage. So when the time comes to review and renew the office lease, the focus of the manager will more than likely be around worrying about future office rent and keeping costs down. There will probably not be much excitement at the prospect of exploring the possibilities that a new or refurbished office might bring. Does this sound familiar?
But, what if I could convince you that the right choice of future office for your business could; positively affect the accelerated growth of your business, attract the best and brightest to your business, directly contribute to reducing staff turnover and improve your workplace productivity. I could then go on to suggest that it is absolutely possible for the costs associated with your office rent to be completely offset as a result of these benefits, would that be worth exploring?
It was during the development of a new office building within Adelaide’s CBD that I realized that neither the office designers nor the real estate professionals selling the concept to prospective tenants, really focused on what was most important to them in making a decision about whether to lease or not to lease. That question was “how will this decision affect my business”? This was despite the fact that all of the presentations and sales pitches included answers to the great majority of each prospective tenant’s central questions; such as, location, access to services, property management, design, engineering systems and of course leasing costs. Unfortunately, most of the answers to these questions are delivered in a manner which makes it even more confusing for a tenant to make a clear, rational and definitive decision on a best for business basis.
So why is this so? There are a number of common reasons for this including:
- They have no framework to follow for determining value when considering issues such as location, access to services, property management and design
- They don’t have the knowledge of engineering systems to really understand the impacts to their business
- This translates to an inability to properly assess all of the options that might be available to them in the marketplace
- The market itself is confused about the various rating systems that might be useful in assisting a decision maker to rank options
- They don’t know who to engage to help them in the process as most of the consultants would appear to be too conflicted to provide independent advice
- There are very few resources available to business owners and managers to assist them with matching the needs of their businesses to a process for evaluating the various workplace options that might be available to them in the marketplace.
In response to this need, I have developed an approach, targeted specifically at those responsible for running a business or for making the corporate real estate decisions on behalf of the business, to show that their choice of office building can improve business performance by addressing four key elements of risk and opportunity that exist when occupying office space.
- Strategic – being situated in a location that does not suit the nature of your business.
- Resource – high staff turnover due to poor working conditions and low morale.
- Operational – poor operational efficiency and low workplace productivity.
- Reputation – failure to communicate brand and manage client expectations.
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The four questions I then ask to guide the reader in Don’t Worry about the Rent are:
- How can I choose an office that best suits my business?
By addressing the fundamental questions of why you are in the business you are in, what exactly that business is, and how it is that you do business, you will gain clarity around the context of location, office size, layout and facilities for your new office. These relationships are not always clear to business owners, but they are critical factors in contributing to business success.
- How can my choice of office attract the best and brightest staff to my business and keep them happy and healthy?
One of the major concerns for all business owners is the attraction and retention of staff. Not only can your choice of office be a significant draw or deterrent for your employees, it can also contribute to making them feel much healthier and happier.
- How can my choice of office increase operational efficiency and workplace productivity?
The ‘silver bullet’ for all businesses is to find ways to increase productivity while maintaining or even increasing efficiency. Understanding efficiency and productivity measures is key to adding the value that could offset your rental costs to the extent that you can get your office space for ‘free’.
- How can my choice of office enhance my brand and positively affect my clients?
A key focus for business owners is ensuring they have happy clients. Do your clients really care where your office is? Do they care what it looks like? Do they feel like they would like to visit? Do you want them to visit? Each of these questions needs to be critically evaluated when thinking about your next office.
Don’t Worry About the Rent: Choosing New Office Space to Boost Business Performance makes the argument that the workplace is not just a destination, but an important tool in the suite of instruments available to anyone seeking to improve the performance of their business. And although it is a resource that has been primarily written for tenants to assist them in navigating the complexity of commercial property, it has been written for anyone with an interest in commercial offices. Whether they are an architect, engineer, developer, leasing agent, in sales, property management, funds management or are a tenant looking for their next workplace, this book will provide them with valuable insights, lessons and pitfalls associated with the evaluation of commercial office space.
The eBook version of the book is available here on Amazon and a paperback version can be found here in addition to downloading 2 free chapters of the book from the Office Space Matters Website. Please take some time to explore the resources on our website and hopefully enjoy the possibility of FREE office rent into the future.