All too often business owners are rushed into making a decision for an office space they never really thought about in detail. It’s important that you understand that an office space is more than just a place you work, it is a true representation of your company. There are many things that you may base your decision on. We have put together a list of six which from our experience we believe are the most important!

1. Location

The first on the list is what you’d most likely need to establish first, where your office should be located? Location is more than just the area it is in. Below are three points that will determine whether your office location will be perfect!

  • Is it accessible? It needs to be easy for clients and employees to get there. So consider what the roads, traffic and public transport are like.
  • Facilities? This includes coffee shops, food outlets, gyms etc. These are all factors that will attract employees.
  • Appealing location? The location should make clients and employees want to travel there.

If you find a space that can meet all these needs than you are well on your way to finding a lasting working environment.

2. Office fitout

You have two options when it comes to your office fitout. Do you lease a space with an existing fitout or do you fitout the office space yourself? There are many advantages and disadvantages to both of these scenarios and the decision is usually based on cost and time. We believe the following should be considered when making your choice:

  • Company branding. Do you want your space to be a reflection of your company?
  • Costs. It is cheaper to move into an existing fitout however if you lease an empty office space you are going to get a cheaper lease agreement.
  • Timing. How soon do you need to move in to the office? Doing an office fitout can take anywhere from 3 – 12 weeks depending on the size of the office and work involved.
  • Purpose. Is the fitout what your office space needs? Doing a new fitout means it is purpose built for your requirements.

It all comes down to whether or not you see the value in a new office fitout. If you don’t that is fine, just make sure you are happy with the existing fitout as it will be a reflection of your business.

3. Size

You need to ask yourself how much office space is needed. There is a fine line between the perfect amount and either too much or too little! Too little means needing to move again. Too much can be a waste of money. Most premises are leased on a per sqm cost.

Standard requirements are 10sqm per person however we recommend about 13sqm per person. Don’t base this calculation on the number of employees you currently have. You will need to think about where your business will be in five years. I think it’s always best to lease a little more than you think is currently needed as hopefully your business is expanding and if the extra space isn’t being used you might be able to sub-lease part of your office.

4. Lease Agreements

Signing a lease is quite a commitment and one you need to be fully prepared for. With the right negotiation skills and knowing what to look out for it’ll make this a lot easier. I have put together a list of what we think you need to be sure of:

  • Fitout; if you are leasing an empty office space you should negotiate a rent free period and early access so the office fitout can be completed. You might also be able to get the landlord to pay for all or part of the fitout costs. Be aware of any clauses which make you responsible to defit the premises when leaving. This always comes as a surprise to tenants when they decide to leave.
  • Rental Fees; there will be a clause regarding when and how much rental will increase. It is usually based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index). This should be negotiable. Try and delay the time that the rent will increase. Be aware of who has to pay any maintenance costs as this should be the landlords’ responsibility.
  • Permitted Use; you should be able to sub-lease part of the office and make improvements to the office space if needed.
  • Option to Extend; as a tenant you should be protected and not forced out by your landlord. So make sure there are options to extend your lease and the ability to lease additional space if it becomes available.

5. Costs

Sometimes I find it hard to control my excitement and you might have the same problem. I often meet with clients who have HUGE ambitions on their office fitout. This isn’t a bad thing as it does make our job easier when we meet someone who knows what they want. These added extras do cost more money though so you need to establish a realistic budget and ask yourself two questions:

  1. What do I need? There are the must haves and nice to haves. You need to find a balance between these that will work within your budget.
  2. Can I afford it! Talk to your accountant and make sure your budget is realistic.

6. Seek Advice

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! There are many professionals out there who work with commercial real estate every day. Business owners often rush into signing a commercial lease before actually considering everything that is involved. If you haven’t done this before and don’t know who to ask questions to the following list of professions is a good place to start:

  • Real Estate Agents
  • Brokers
  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Architects & Designers
  • Construction Companies
  • Other Business Owners

There is also a lot of free advice and blogs on the internet that will help you get a full understanding of everything involved.

For more information contact myself on 02 9786 8899 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.