Three points to consider before choosing your next office

Research this topic and you’ll find many opinions and trending theories and on the most efficient and pleasing office environments. Contrary to what some of these theories may try and tell us, I don’t subscribe to the belief that one solution fits all.

There are some useful tips available that is worthwhile considering to help make informed business decisions.

Considerations before you begin

Staying where you are may be an option. Trying to facilitate a renovation with minimal business interruption can be a challenge.

The size of your office and the number of options available on the market will influence how much lead time you require. In many cases, the question should be considered about 18 months prior to lease expiry.

In an earlier post we explored the question of purchasing vs leasing. Once again market availability of sale or lease options can play a part in that decision.

A commercial real estate professional can assist with questions such as square footage requirement and expansion potential, location, quality and budget.

ICR’s experience

Our property management division benefited greatly from the experience of relocating to the restored “Campbell Wilson Millar Building” a number of years ago.

The ambience of post and beam construction, high ceilings and reclaimed brick contributed to an overall increase in staff productivity. Simply put, when I feel good about my surroundings, I seem to focus better on the task at hand.

Our Saskatoon downtown brokerage office experimented with an open concept office with half partition walls. It did not work well for most of us.

Our problem was the inability to focus on our own work while several different conversations were going on at the same time. The solution was to install floor to ceiling frameless glass partitions without doors. 

We retained a small central open desk area for those who prefer it, as well as the new agents who can benefit from exposure to the deal flow dialogue of experienced brokers.

The 3 – 30 – 300 Rule

I just read an interesting report authored by JLL. These numbers can vary but let’s just assume that a company will pay per square foot on average each year: $3.00 for utilities, $30.00 for net rent and $300.00 for payroll.

The report provides evidence to support the idea that a space that has been well designed for the intended business occupant can result in an increase of 10% in staff productivity. I happen to agree with that theory based on ICR’s anecdotal evidence.

A 10 per cent increase in productivity means a $30.00 per square foot annual saving. Deliberating whether you should stretch and pay the extra $3.00 – $4.00 for that more functional, appealing office?  It just may be a no-brainer!

Posted by Barry Stuart


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