7 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Choosing Office Space

The office you choose for your business has a direct impact on your employees, your clients, and your bottom line. Get this incredibly important decision wrong and the consequences can be devastating.

Picking the ideal work environment for your organization is a complex, time-consuming process. But if you can avoid these seven common mistakes, there’s a good chance that your next office will deliver the commercial benefits you’re looking for.

1. Forgetting about future expansion

All business owners have their sights set on growth. But all too often, they choose their office space based on their current business needs.

It’s important to think about the future when leasing an office. If you’re signing a medium- or long-term deal, your options could be very limited if your business grows but your real estate is inflexible. Depending on how bad it gets, you might end up needing to lease a second office, which is not usually a cost-effective way to do business, and can be destructive to team cohesion and culture.

2. Signing an inflexible agreement

Traditional leases are often inflexible. You’re stuck in one space in one building at a fixed price for a predetermined time frame.

Imagine you signed up for such a lease agreement. If your business were to grow during your lease, you may very well need to wait until the end of the term before looking elsewhere for a new office—unless you wanted to pay double rent or absorb the tremendous costs associated with subletting.

Whenever you were ready to switch, you’d also have to spend a lot of time looking for a new office and planning your move. The same would apply in the event your business were to temporarily contract, as you’d probably need to downsize.

The time you spend searching for offices and negotiating leases is time better spent with customers—and otherwise growing your business. By signing a modern, flexible office lease, your work environment can adapt to the ever-changing needs of your business.

3. Making leasing decisions based on price alone

Every business owner wants the best possible office deal they can find.

But cheaper doesn’t always mean better. And, in many cases, choosing the least expensive option can end up costing you a lot more over the long run—particularly when you think about the impact a less-than-ideal office can have on employee engagement.

When choosing an office, there are many factors to consider: how close the space is to public transportation, the image of the building, the safety of a neighborhood, the availability of nearby top talent, what amenities are available, and more. Overlook any of them and you may end up regretting your decision.

4. Thinking only about desk space

Very few businesses these days keep their employees tied to their desks all day.

Productive teams get opportunities to relax in leisure or communal areas. And group working is usually more effective in breakout areas—away from desks.

Consider how your business operates and how your employees go about their daily duties. While desk space is important, there are other open areas that your business will probably need for meetings, collaboration, and inspiration.

5. Not thoroughly checking the condition of the office

It’s not enough to simply walk around an office and quickly assess its condition. You need to check everything carefully. And you need to ask a lot of questions.

Will needed repairs be carried out before you move in? Are there sufficient power outlets? Is the office wired for data? Are all areas of the office space heated and air-conditioned?

Only when you’ve carried out a thorough inspection should you consider signing a lease.

6. Not negotiating terms

Landlords and leasing agents often know when someone doesn’t have much experience in business. Some of them tend to quote artificially high prices at first. Others initially withhold special incentives and inducements.

If you don’t haggle over the price or ask questions about incentives, odds are you won’t be offered the best deal possible.

Go into the process with knowledge of the local office rental market and don’t be afraid to push back a bit.

7. Underestimating the importance of design

Some business owners think that, as long as the space is big enough, any old office will do. But studies actually prove that well-designed spaces help increase productivity and creativity.

If you want to take your business to the next level, it’s critical that you look for offices that were designed to engage modern workers. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult, at best, for your team to do their best work.

The good news is that you can avoid these pitfalls by partnering with Knotel. You’ll get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have office space that grows with your business—giving you more time to invest in your most important priorities. What’s not to like?