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How to Make Your Office Space an Asset Versus a Liability

This article, “How to Make Your Office Space an Asset Versus a Liability,” was originally released by Money Inc. and is reproduced with permission here.

Real estate is one of the top expenses for businesses both new and established. Making the most of this investment is critical. It’s not only a question of how much space you need, but whether you have the right type of space. As your business prepares for ongoing growth, what is the space that will have the right value proposition and work for your company?

Thankfully today, the workplace landscape offers a number of options and price points to choose from. Here are a few insider tips and questions to be aware of when choosing a space that best suits the needs of your operations.

What’s your type? Yes, office type.

Businesses take various forms. From size to industry to the stage of growth, both new and established operations have different needs. Identifying the right office environment may not be an immediate find, but as a first step it’s important to identify what office type will suit your needs.

  1. Traditional Office Model: This is the most familiar model with a direct lease that generally involves a longer commitment with limited flexibility as it pertains to your business’s potential growth. There are also traditional subleases that can have a bit more leeway in terms of flexibility, but may require obligations from all parties involved (tenant, landlord, etc.). Regardless, if you are looking to for a direct lease, ensure you have the resources to create the proper technology environment for your operation and only sign a lease with a reputable landlord.
  2. Shared Office Model: Newer office models have recently become increasingly attractive to entrepreneurs both new and established looking for office space.
    1. Co-Working Spaces: A recent report from Green Street Advisors estimated there would be about 14,000 co-working locations world-wide by the end of 2017 and they don’t seem to show signs of slowing down.  Co-working spaces offer varied services along with a range of amenities including “plug and play” telecommunication services, access to conference rooms, internet access and more. Typically, tenants from separate companies work in an open floor plan and find sharing a space with other like-minded companies fosters innovation and synergies.
    2. Full-Service Office Suites: An alternative to the open floor plan model, a full-service office suite offers individual companies private, dedicated offices with shared common spaces and customized infrastructures. Catering to a more established business, spaces such as these are an amenity in and of themselves. Emerge212, a full-service office provider in NYC offers stylish and modern designed spaces, featuring state-of-the-art technology, and seasoned staff and support services; all features highly valued by energized entrepreneurs and businesses.
  3. Virtual Office Space: Great for businesses that may be just starting out and/or solo-entrepreneurs who may not be require full time space.  Virtual office space is a great way to secure a prominent address at a minimal cost and have full access to book day offices, meeting rooms or even space to host your own event.  A huge advantage of a virtual office space is that it’s typically easy to deploy your business with this model and you can utilize your capital to enhance other areas of our business while maintaining a certain image thanks for your virtual space.

Growth & Financials

It’s important to consider your current financial position and your growth plan. It may be difficult to foresee the trajectory of your growth, but you have to evaluate the full financial impact of your office space at the upfront of your venture. Some costs may be easy to identify: rent, real estate taxes, furniture and moving costs. There are costs that may end up being higher than you may have anticipated such as utility bills, maintenance and cleaning services. It all adds up in addition to the effects that may not be so obvious if a space is being underutilized. For example, if you have more office space than you need, the associated costs will increase. It’s crucial for businesses to identify and allocate funds for all costs involved when looking for space and ensuring they are choosing the right size for their current needs.

Technology: Bandwidth, Privacy and cutting edge infrastructure

Office space today isn’t just about the physical space, but also the technological needs to ensure your business runs smoothly and effectively. First, ensure you fully understand what your technological needs are and ensure the spaces you’re considering can accommodate those needs. What will be the expense to build it out? What capabilities will you need? Think through the three “S’s” – speed, storage and security. If you aren’t in a Full Serviced Office Suite or Co-Working environment, you’ll want to consider hiring a Managed Service Provider or ‘MSP’ to assess your needs.  Find a reputable one in your area that can build out your platform and subsequently monitor it in perpetuity.  Your business is ongoing and the technology needs to reflect that, 365 days-a-year, 24/7 hours a day.

About the Author

James serves as the Director of Emerge212, overseeing all operations, branding and strategic alliances for the full-service office suite provider. James has driven property expansion and has worked hand-in-hand with his business partner, Alexandra Bogen to concept and design each location with the modern entrepreneur in mind. With a background in business and hospitality, James understands how important one’s environment is—whether it’s in the home or at the office. James sees the office as a space that should always be elevating your company’s image and reputation as well as meeting your operational needs both today and in the future. Prior to joining Emerge212, James was the Marketing & Events Manager for the Time Warner Center at The Related Companies. There he focused on creating dynamic, experimental environments at The Shops at Columbus Circle. James holds a Master’s Degree in Real Estate and a Graduate Certificate in Hospitality Management from New York University. Follow James at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jameskleeman/.