Flexible office space considerations
As a number of workers across many sectors continue more hybrid home/office working arrangements, there will be many businesses re-evaluating where and how much office space they actually need in the future.
All businesses value the opportunity to bring their teams together and according to Knight Frank there has also been a ‘flight to quality’, with an increased demand for well-equipped, flexible offices with a range of premium amenities, especially in London and the South East.
Flexible workspaces can offer a great solution, but what should you consider when negotiating office space?
It is crucial to consider whether the rent is fully inclusive for all that your business requires or if there are any additional fees, ie for meeting room hire. Costs can quickly creep up, so what on the face of it might seem a good deal, could end up costing a business more depending on how it uses the space.
It is also wise to consider if your business will actually use all of the facilities on offer, or if you are paying a ‘vanity’ premium for space that will ultimately lie dormant.
Will the space really be as flexible as your business needs, especially if you need to increase or decrease the space required at short notice? Does the provider have the capacity to be able to offer more space if your team grows in the same location?
Does the space offer a secure working environment – think about all aspects of security from doors to shared Wi Fi. Can your staff work with confidential materials or data in an open and shared working environment?
Do your employment contracts and company handbook need reviewing and updating to reflect the move to a shared office space and the use of premium facilities? If you are moving your offices, do you need to offer a relocation package to any of your staff?
As well as providing flexible terms for you as a tenant, is there actually a risk that the lack of security which is usually offered by a longer lease mean that you may be at greater risk of being moved on with little notice to find new premises?
Finally, what are the terms for a deposit being taken and held and when can it be drawn down? It is important that the deposit is held separately from the overall assets of the office provider
There is clearly much to consider for businesses before they finally decide where they work from in the future.