Office Space » I Can No Longer Work in My Home Office, What’s Next?

I Can No Longer Work in My Home Office, What’s Next?

I Can No Longer Work in My Home Office, What's Next?
Working from home has its advantages: you can often set your own hours, design a workplace that satisfies you, and have the coffee machine you want instead of the one installed in the office. Unfortunately, if you’re truly going to grow as a business, then a home office simply isn’t going to work. It’s time to take the next step.

Shared Office Space vs. Traditional Direct Lease

A shared office space is exactly what it sounds like, a business location where you and one or more other tenants share a number of common facilities. These can include conference rooms, technology areas, a receptionist’s desk, and even utility providers. Shared office spaces come in many different sizes, as well, from small units in a large commercial building to a tiny service center that hosts both an insurance office and a collision repair center. In general, a shared space is great for small businesses who want to have larger facilities with room to expand without paying for everything or finding themselves quickly trapped by a small location. Shared spaces are also a good consideration for any business whose growth is more about adding new locations than increasing the number of people at a single office.

In contrast, a traditional direct lease is what most larger companies use. In traditional space, terms may be longer, start-up cost higher, credit of your business a bigger concern, and nobody else is responsible for maintaining the facility. This arrangement will offer far more freedom to arrange the workplace to your satisfaction. This can mean adding signage for branding, complete control of conference rooms, and even restructuring the inside of the facility to improve communication amongst employees. Price can be a major concern here, so traditional leases are only good for companies that are growing past the start-up phase and have both the time and resources to invest in a private office environment.

What Does Your Growth Strategy Look Like?

If you’re expanding rapidly and have the resources, then a traditional lease is probably going to be the best choice. It’s true that traditional leases are considered the best choice for larger companies, but that doesn’t mean that every location is a big one. It’s entirely possible to find a small office location, ideal for businesses with a steady number of employees, that’s offered on a traditional lease in a variety of building classes and price points.

On the other hand, if you still need to establish your business track record, like the idea of meeting and collaborating with other companies, and would like to have flexibility to significantly increase the number of employees you have, then shared office space can provide a better fit.

In the end, the most important consideration is your growth strategy and how you plan to develop yourself as a business. Shared office space and a traditional direct lease both have benefits that you should take into account, especially with an eye toward your future development. Focus on identifying your current needs and where you expect to be over the next few years. This will serve as the best guide for making your choice.

If your growth strategy is uncertain, then your best choice is probably shared space instead of a traditional lease. It’s typically much easier to negotiate shorter terms and options on expansion space with a shared office provider, and this can prove to be very valuable. It also reduces both your financial burden and your level of responsibility at a time when a traditional lease is essentially jumping straight into the deep end. Above all, your goal should be to have an income that’s as stable as possible. You should be able to afford the rent even during your leanest times.

What’s Next?

Once you’ve decided whether you’re going for a traditional lease or a shared location, it’s time to contact an office space professional. The right professional relationship will help you through the process of identifying, negotiating, executing a lease or contract, moving and planning for the future. Some will even assist in obtaining the technology and furniture that you’d need in your new location. The goal is to get you as much as possible at the lowest cost. A professional with experience in this field can reduce the cost of your move.

A professional tenant representative, sometimes called a broker, who is trained and licensed to search, find, and negotiate traditional direct leases is your first point of contact if you head down that path. The market is huge, and prices do fluctuate, so merely knowing that you’d like to have your own direct lease versus sharing space doesn’t mean that you’ll have much luck finding a place that meets both your needs and your budget. Get professional help when looking for any new space, as it is more complex and time-consuming than most think. You should never do it alone.

Image credit: Andreas Levers