Five things to consider when deciding on new office space

The following post originally appeared on VentureFizz.

There’s been a lot of talk in the news about office space styles, size, location, and whether or not your company even needs a designated office space. Some don’t believe in collaborative space – for others, their entire company ethos depends on it. Every company is different and operates as such, making it crucial to know what is important to your company and what is not when it comes to finding a comfortable home, which can also help to attract a specific kind of talent.

In Boston there are several new commercial developments popping up in Downtown Crossing and the Seaport District, among others, making it important to know what you must have versus something that you just want. Here are five questions to ask yourself when trying to nail down what kind of space or location is the best fit for your office:

1)  What kind of talent are you looking for? Are you looking to attract Millennials and tech geniuses? If so, it’s important to have a company culture that can support these professionals’ desires. You might want to consider the neighborhood and surrounding amenities the property has to offer (i.e. restaurants and accessibility to public transportation). Downtown Crossing, for example, is accessible via Red Line and Orange Line. If your employees live in the suburbs, or need cars for work, these amenities might not be important. However, a space with traditional cubicles and C-suites might be.

2)  Do you work with classified and confidential documents and paperwork? If you do, an open, collaborative office space without individual offices might not be for you. It will be important to consider office spaces where documents can be concealed, whether in individual’s offices or spaces with privacy and security. If your work requires a lot of brainstorm sessions and white board writing, it might be worth finding an office space that is more open with fewer individual offices.

3)  What’s your company culture? Do you have a happy hour every Thursday? You may need a space with a kitchen as its centerpiece. Or perhaps a space for a ping pong table. Is someone going to be riding by your desk on a scooter or is absolute silence the norm? These are important questions to think about to help choose your office space and design.

4) How big of a space do you need? If you have a small company with only a few employees or are looking to grow and hire, it’s important to know your sizing requirements so that you don’t need to move too frequently. Would a large space in the John Hancock building be best or a smaller space in the Back Bay work for the size of your company?

5) How much are you willing to spend? One of the most important considerations is cost. It’s crucial to budget accordingly and know how much you can and are willing to spend on your office space because with cost considerations, comes location questions as well. Are you looking to live in a Class A office space or is a brick and beam office more suitable for your budget? Could you afford to pay low $80s per square feet for the upper floors at 500 Boylston Street? It is also important to think about costs associated with moving – whether it is a move-in ready space or a building that requires significant renovations, dollar signs can add up quickly.

Dan Collins is a Vice President with NAI Hunneman in Boston. 

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