Blog - Commercial

20 August 2018

WHAT DOES YOUR OFFICE SAY ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?

Research is vital when seeking suitable commercial office space. You need to have clear goals and a strong sense of where your business is headed. Follow this guide to find the best commercial office space 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 many factors to consider. For example:

  • What image would you like your commercial 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, co-working (shared), serviced, open-plan or warehouse space. Creative agencies, for example, should be seeking space that’s conducive to inspiration and workshop ideas. Cubicles in a rigid high-rise office won’t do the trick.

The bottom line is that narrowing your 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 commercial office space needs to work for your business. You cannot choose any old space and hope your business will adapt.

Start by revisiting your business goals and what fuels your success – whether that’s measured by growth (of your revenue, client base or workforce), maintaining your results, work-life balance, talent retention, or a combination of all of these.

What do you primarily use your workspace for?

  • Meetings (internal / external)
  • Quiet desk-based work
  • Collaboration
  • Design

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?

Interior of a commercial office space at 5-11-Harris-Street-Pyrmont

5-11 Harris Street, Pyrmont

SORT YOUR ‘MUST-HAVES’ FROM YOUR ‘NICE-TO-HAVES’

Your ideal commercial 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 short list of your top priorities and try not to stray from them – take any emotion out of it.

If you’re a tenant, remember that you’ll also likely be expected to ‘make good‘ at the end of your lease. And this can be a significant cost, especially if it has not been budgeted for.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

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. So, choose a commercial office with convenient transport links. And, if possible, find something that fosters a healthy work-life balance with nearby amenities like cafes, bars and gyms.

Facade of a commercial office space at 2-8 Elizabeth Street Paddington

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 that you can show-off might just be the thing that tips business in your favour.

WHICH COMMERCIAL OFFICE TYPE ARE YOU?

Co-working (Shared) office space

Co-working spaces are increasingly being sought by many businesses. They’re great for small businesses, start-ups and the growing number of independent contractors. Even larger organisations are jumping on the coworking bandwagon as a means of staying flexible and on top of the competition in terms of innovative new products and ideas.

Co-working spaces help dilute costs and also provide businesses with the opportunity to collaborate with neighbouring enterprises. If you do opt for a shared commercial office, it’s best to move in among businesses that are likely to complement your own.

Serviced office space

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.

Stock image of a modern commercial office space

Serviced offices eliminate setup downtime

Open-plan office space

Open-plan offices have become very common, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all system. While there’s a productivity argument (that staff will always be motivated to work because they’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.

Stock image of a commercial office space with a flexible fit-out

Flexible fit-out…140 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

Warehouse office space

Warehouses are often utilised as creative offices due to their spacious interiors. Again, the 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. Avoiding that situation makes sense, but it’s amazing how often it happens.

Something as simple as equipping staff with laptops might enable you to better utilise space, giving everyone the freedom to shift around as needed.

Warehouse space at 40-42-ORiordan-Street-Alexandria

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.

There are a number of office design trends that can impact on how staff interact with a commercial office space. For example, when it comes to unconventional (yet practical) workspaces, the right layout can foster staff productivity, collaboration, innovation and well-being.

It’s also 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 your staff and ensure your business is attractive and sustainable.

Get in touch with TGC today!

TGC has access to a variety of commercial office spaces for lease and sale 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.

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Date: 20 August 2018 Author: TGC Writer
Commercial
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About the author:

TGC Writer

TGC is the largest privately owned commercial real estate agency in the Sydney CBD, with over 20 years experience servicing the CBD, City Fringe and greater Metropolitan property market. We’re committed to assisting you with your total property needs, including buying, selling, leasing and property management.

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