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6 Best Practices for Securing Professional Office Space

More and more professional services firms are focusing on the needs of their employees rather than on what executives want when it come to the workplace.  This is a useful strategy for attracting and retaining top talent, and it’s changing the way that those firms choose office space.

The emphasis now is on the type of walkable urban locations that suit the taste of millennial employees, with less concern for the convenience of executives. This means a location that offers a mix of residential options, entertainment, dining, and access to transit.

The millennial mindset carries over into the interior, where employees want the flexibility to move around the work space in the course of the day, with areas designed for specific tasks rather than specific people. Dedicated space for team projects, flexible meeting options, and multi-use space provide the environment that attracts and retains top talent.  There are several key practices for firms to keep mind if they’re looking to secure this sort of space.

Consult the staff

Before the search begins, it’s wise to survey workers as to what specific features they would like to see in a new space. They’ll point out some easy-to-accommodate needs that management probably never imagined, and this step also improves the likelihood that everyone will be happy with the new space.

Look for employee amenities

Keep in mind the preference for locations in the urban center. Employees prefer to work where they live, and not face a major commute every day. Popular amenities include informal work spaces, like lounges, large kitchens, or outdoor spaces.  Parking is another important factor; if it’s insufficient this is not the space for your firm.

Layout

The best floor plan facilitates a firm’s way of working, so consider this when selecting a space. Accounting or law firms will want some collaborative space, but the nature of their work also calls for some private spaces. Rooms for returning phone calls or having one-to-one or small group meetings can be extremely useful to this type of organization.

Check on accessibility

For professional services firms, it’s critical to consider the client when choosing office space. A good choice is a workplace that makes your customers feel comfortable and projects your desired image. Is the location easy to find and clearly marked? Is it close to major roads and highways? A quality lobby, and convenient entry and elevators are a must for professional services locations.

Investigate the management

Building management is a huge factor in satisfaction with office space. An ideal workplace has a property manager that keeps tenants happy, maintains the property impeccably, and responds promptly to communications.

Consider security

Depending on the location and hours worked in a firm, it may be important to secure a property with extra security features. For example, some buildings offer 24-hour security patrols of the property, as well as cameras to monitor exterior and interior areas. Ask about things like exterior lighting, which can be critical for after hours work.

As with any important decision, assessing needs and getting buy-in are the way to start when the search is on for office space.  A qualified broker can be a great help in identifying properties that stack up to the expectations of professional services firms.