Questions to ask during an office space showing
The purpose of an office space showing is not only to get a feel for the premises, but also to get answers to crucial questions concerning the lease. Our experts tell what kinds of questions you should consider during an office space showing.
The cost-effectiveness of the premises is primarily determined by how well they can be adjusted to suit different purposes. When examining an office space, find out how well the conference room functions as a quiet workplace or a place for creative brainstorming. Does the open area have sufficient access to more private rooms for telephone calls, etc. or whether the property has common conference rooms or storage space available for businesses?
If the placement of the workstations and conference rooms is less than ideal, we recommend asking an expert for tips on how other office spaces in the same building are designed. The owner of the office space may arrange a visit to the furnished premises of a company operating in the same building to give a better impression the potential of the space. Lessors specialising in office spaces know the special requirements of various industries quite well and take them into consideration when planning spatial solutions.
How does the space support the well-being of employees?
The success of a company depends on its personnel – when people are happy, the company thrives and brings in profits. Are the basic factors that ensure employees’ comfort in order? Is the lighting sufficient, does the ventilation work, how are the views from the windows? How flexible are the premises in terms of establishing various work teams? Co-operation is easier if the people and teams working together are close to each other. Branding the space with an inspiring innovation room or an exercise break room can create a sense of community and improve customer satisfaction. During a showing, pay attention to whether the premises have enough space for a quiet place for resting or for a break room to support the employees’ energy levels and work capacity.
The ideal location of break rooms and rest areas allows for employees to work undisturbed. Can these areas be separated from the rest of the premises or do the employees have to walk across the entire office space to access the coffee room? Employees who cycle or jog to work would benefit from good-quality showers and storage areas.
How does the atmosphere strengthen the company’s brand?
Where are the premises and what do they look like? What other businesses are located in the same property? The office space, the interior design, the property and its location have an effect on the characteristics associated with the businesses operating in the property. Your brand message is supported by carefully made choices. It is no coincidence that traditional consulting firms opt for premium properties in city centres. During a showing, find out what other businesses operate in the building and whether the building’s surroundings are in line with the company’s brand. You should also pay attention to the atmosphere of the premises and potential spatial solutions. Ensure that the space allows for a design that supports the brand’s visual look and that the message of the premises is in line with the company’s brand.
How can customers and visitors access the premises?
During a showing, think about the movement of customers and visitors in the building. Can customers easily find parking in the vicinity of the building? Can customer facilities be separated from the employees’ work and meeting areas? In addition to employees, the office space should serve the customers and other stakeholders of the company and allow all the users of the building to work undisturbed. Special needs should also be taken into consideration: for example, customers should be able to visit the premises inconspicuously if the management-level recruitment processes are carried out in the premises.
What types of services are available in the area surrounding the premises?
During a showing, find out about the services provided by the property and other parties in the area. The further away from services the building is located, the more important it is to make sure there is a cafeteria in the building or in the vicinity of the building. The vicinity of other services, such as healthcare, banking services and public transport is also important for the work capacity and comfort of the employees. When the services are near, employees do not need to spend too much time or resources to have lunch or carry out some chores during their lunch break. An experienced lessor will also be able to tell you about any extra services in the area.
How is safety organised on the premises?
When looking for a new office space, it is also important to think about safety and security, including access to the premises and surveillance in the area. We recommend learning about the security plan of the property and asking the owner of the office space about any safety and security services they provide.
Many companies use lobby services as a safety feature. Are the premises suitable for outsourced or electronic lobby services? An electronic lobby service notifies the company when a visitor arrives and guides the visitor to their destination with the help of a map.
How long do alterations take?
Nearly every company wants to make some changes to their new offices. Smaller alterations, such as painting the walls, can be completed in a matter of weeks. However, the deliveries of room-dividing glass elements, for instance, can take several months. An experienced lessor will help you plan your work around an alteration process and tell you about alternative solutions for the duration of the exceptional circumstances.
In addition to the leased square metres, what else is included in the lease agreement?
The scope of a lease agreement varies between properties. During a showing, we recommend finding out about what services are included in the agreement and the rental rate in addition to the leased square metres. The alterations required in the premises are usually discussed during the showing. Alterations are commonly taken into consideration in the rent. This should be discussed and confirmed in the showing. If the premises are located in a business park, the rent usually includes other services, such as lobby services and a lunch restaurant. Major lessors may offer access to separate coworking spaces.
Potential annual rent increases should be openly discussed with the lessor as they have a long-term impact on the rent. The same goes for the company’s future plans: if you are expecting growth, we recommend enquiring about potential extra space in the same property or about other premises in the same area.
Experts behind this article include Sponda Plc’s Account Managers and Regional Managers.