5 Reasons It Might be Time to Find a New Office

by | 21 September 2016

Let’s get right to it. Moving is a pain! I’ve moved my home and my office  three times in just three years. So I get it. But each time I moved, there were specific reasons driving me. I understood why they were valid reasons, but not everyone does. Here are five signs it might be time to find a new office.

Cramped quarters

Are you busting at the seams? Does it feel like you’re rubbing elbows with your colleagues (literally)? If so, then your space no longer accommodates your headcount. The amount of space needed per employee is shrinking and truthfully, it varies by industry. In the past, most industries allocated 250 rentable square feet (RSF) per employee. Today, that number is closer to 175. So, let’s assume you lease 2,500 RSF but you have 20 employees that should have 175 RSF each. That means you need 3,500 RSF (175 x 20) but you’re only in 2,500 RSF. No wonder your space feels cramped.

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Too much space

Sometimes, the opposite is true. If it seems like your nearest neighbor/colleague is several doors or desks away, maybe it’s because you have too much space. If you don’t foresee needing that space for future expansion, then it’s a waste. It will not only affect your bottom line but could also derail employee morale and hurt productivity. Use the same equation from above too see where you stand. For example, 175 RSF x 20 employees gives you 3,500 RSF. If you lease 5,000 SF, it might be time to contract and become more efficient.

Ownership is neglectful

Does it seems as if your Landlord isn’t paying attention to the building? Maybe some of the lights in the common area have been broken for weeks without being replaced. Or the bathrooms are perpetually messy. Maybe the landscaping is unruly. If so, it might be time to make a change. In the war for talent, you shouldn’t have to worry about an unkempt building that might deter your recruits from wanting to work for you. Your building speaks volumes about who you are as a company. What would your clients think if they walked into a building that was in disarray?

Outdated Workplace

As I mentioned above, there is a war on talent, and the workplace can be a driving factor when prospective employees are searching for a new job. If your workplace hasn’t been given at least a refresh in five years or more, it might be time to revamp your space. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move. If all you need is new paint, carpet and updated lighting, then you can handle that on your next lease renewal, which your advisor can walk you though. If it’s a major overhaul, then yes, you might want to start thinking about relocating.

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How does your location fare now, compared to when you moved in? Site selection can be a funny thing. It might be based on where the CEO lives or on a happy medium based on where the staff lives. Or, it can be determined by where your competition is located. Ask yourself this question: Does our existing location still make sense based on the evolving company objectives? If not, it’s time to start looking for a new office.

There’s no science to how many of the above-mentioned characteristics indicate that you need to move. They can be weighted differently depending on your organization. My objective is to get you thinking more about the space that you work in and spend a large chunk of your time. Office space is evolving at a rapid pace. If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to miss. So take stock of your current situation and see where you stand. If you think it’s time to move, call your trusted advisor and get their opinion on how to best move forward.

Based in Princeton, N.J., Vinny specializes in tenant and landlord representation for Colliers International, working directly with his clients in the acquisition and disposition of office space. For more commercial real estate insight and trends, follow Vinny on Twitter.