Blog - Commercial
WHAT DOES YOUR OFFICE SAY ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
Research is vital when seeking suitable office space. You need to have clear objectives and a strong sense of where your business is headed. Follow this guide to find the best commercial real estate in Sydney…
Your office is more than just space. It’s a big part of what shapes your business’ identity. Finding the right home for your business isn’t just about how many desks it will accommodate. There are a myriad of factors to consider.
What image would you like your office to project? How important is that perception to your clients? What matters to employees (both existing and prospective)? Do you anticipate imminent growth?
All of these questions – as well as your budget obviously – will determine whether you’re in the market for traditional, shared, serviced, open-plan or warehouse space. Creative agencies, for example, should be seeking space that’s conducive to inspiration and workshopping ideas. Cubicles in a rigid high-rise office won’t do the trick.
In any case, narrowing the parameters will speed up your search and give you a better chance of finding an office everyone loves.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
First-off, your office needs to work for your business. You can’t choose any old space and hope your business will adapt.
Start by revisiting your business goals and what fuels success – whether that’s measured by growth (of revenue / client base / workforce), maintaining results, work-life balance, talent retention, or all of the above.
What do you primarily use your workspace for?
- Meetings (internal / external)
- Quiet desk-based work
- Physical activity and / or retail
If on-site meetings are important, make sure there’s space to conduct them. Are the rooms capable of housing screens, projectors and speakers to optimise those meetings? Are they always available and is there a booking system?
SORT YOUR ‘MUST-HAVES’ FROM YOUR ‘NICE-TO-HAVES’
Your ideal office (you know, the one you daydream about) probably has tons of bells and whistles. Massage chairs, meditation pods, a printer that actually cooperates – fanciful things like that.
But beware of favouring luxuries over necessities. It’s important not to get sidetracked by flourishes that force you to compromise on the things you really need. Keep a shortlist of your top priorities and try not to stray from them.
In terms of location, you want to find a happy middle ground that minimises travel time, fits the size of your workforce (with room for growth), and projects the right image.
For businesses with corporate clients, a location near the CBD is probably most convenient. This will minimise costs and time in transit moving to and from meetings.
If your space also acts as a storefront, you need to know that the area has sufficient demand and you have the right visibility.
It’s also necessary to consider the commute and work-life balance of your employees.
Hiring and retaining talent is a key challenge that can make or break your business. Choose an office with convenient transport links. If possible, find something that fosters a healthy work-life balance with nearby amenities like cafes, bars and gyms.
Converted terraces, 2-8 Elizabeth Street, Paddington
Public perception may seem superficial, but when you’re in the business of attracting new clients (not to mention highly-skilled employees), it helps to project an image as an industry leader. That might mean having a killer view, or the universal symbol of a welcoming workspace: the ping pong table.
Having an office you can show-off might just be the thing that tips business in your favour.
WHICH OFFICE TYPE ARE YOU?
Shared space is useful for start-ups and smaller businesses. It helps dilute costs and also provides the opportunity to collaborate with neighbouring enterprises. If you do opt for a shared office, it’s best to move in among businesses that are likely to complement your own.
Serviced offices can be overlooked simply because the monthly fees are higher in direct comparison with basic leased space. However, what you pay in rent is what you save in hassle. Things like furniture, cleaning, reception and security are all taken care of. You also gain flexibility with the option of short-term leases.
In contrast, traditional office space usually locks you into a fixed lease for at least two to five years. Weigh up the cost versus the headache of having to arrange everything yourself.
Serviced offices eliminate setup downtime
Open plan offices have become near ubiquitous, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all system. While there’s an argument for panoptic productivity (spurring motivation from the fact that you’re always in view), it doesn’t work for everyone.
That said, open plan layouts are flexible and allow for reconfiguration as your business grows. One example is the Salvation Army-owned property at 140 Elizabeth Street.
The building is offered as a ‘core and shell’ space across six storeys. Companies are encouraged to create their own identity within the space. This means tenants are able to select colours, fittings, carpet and whether concrete ceilings are exposed or not. Floor plans are malleable and the landlord even chips in to assist tenants with their proposed fitouts.
Flexible fitout…140 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Warehouses are often utilised as creative offices due to their spacious interiors. Again, layout is critical, as well as how you wrangle the acoustics. Spaces such as these have basically become an exercise in town planning.
Different roles – not to mention personality types – call for spaces tailored to various tasks. The biggest mistake you can make is a half-hearted attempt at pleasing everyone, achieving nothing.
For example, you don’t want to stick quiet workers next to salespeople who are constantly making calls and having loud discussions which disrupt focus. Makes sense, but it’s amazing how often it happens.
Something as simple as equipping employees with laptops might enable you to better utilise space, giving everyone the freedom to shift around as needed.
Warehouse possibilities, 40-42 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria
Despite predictions that the fixed, physical office is nearing extinction, it will survive thanks to the need for face-to-face interactions and collective productivity. Few things help us focus more than a room full of people working hard and relying on others to do the same.
It’s then up to business owners to create the right kind of atmosphere. You need to eliminate distractions – or at least facilitate the right kind of distractions – to get the best out of employees and ensure your business is attractive and sustainable.
TGC has access to a variety of office space in Sydney and an experienced team of commercial property experts who would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Contact us or call on 1300 458 800.