Office Space and what will bring employees back…

CoeoSpace provides its “take” on Cohesion’s blog titled “Want to improve your building’s indoor air quality? We’ve got the solution.”  CoeoSpace then further explores what will bring office tenants back to their office space.

Learn more here about how to bring employees back to enjoy the workplace!

Is commercial office space for lease “dead”? What will allow employees to feel safe?

At CoeoSpace, we are seeing tenants making indoor air quality or “IAQ” a key consideration in determining which commercial office space to rent. Because air quality will impact when employees will feel safe enough to return to their workplace, this is critical. Cohesion, a leading-edge company, headquartered in the Windy City of Chicago, that provides a smart building platform for commercial real estate, discusses in How to Improve Air Quality the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) for office workers.

We agree 100% that a building’s air quality is an important topic. Because, it concerns every worker. Solutions range from the old-fashioned method of opening the windows to new technologies for air flow and circulation.  Returning employees are also interested in other wellness and sanitation features. Specifically employees are now focused on:

  • The cleaning schedules for the lobby, elevators, shared tenant spaces.
  • The property’s social distancing policies.
  • Touchless doors, elevator cars.
  • Population control in high traffic and high visitor areas such as the lobby or fitness center and regular reporting so trends can be understood.

These new policies and technologies focused on the health and wellness of a building and a space have become paramount. However, we anticipate that future occupants still hold a high priority for:

  • Outdoor space.
  • Natural light.
  • Fitness Centers.
  • Indoor parking and convenient or free parking.
  • Café’s and shared tenant areas.
  • And perhaps even basketball courts, bowling alleys and recording studios.
A Fantastic Example of Office Space for Lease in Chicago

One fresh delivery in Chicago’s West Loop CoeoSpace – Find Space. Share Space. Promote Space is 1201 West Lake Street. Because of all it offers, CoeoSpace’s Co-Factor gives this building a Platinum rating. In addition to premium amenities and quality, the property is in an amazing location. This office building offers exceptional options on every level from ground floor retail space to many office space choices. From a beautifully done, move-in ready office suite for 70 -80 people to spaces to design and build your own space for up to 24,000 square feet can be found here. So, it’s a great find for someone looking for state of the art space, top air quality, best in class management, and many amenities.

Hybrid Office Space?

CoeoSpace is hearing that the “hybrid” workplace will be the new world order. Because, employees are seeking “choice” or the freedom to work where they feel they can be the most productive. However, the details of how this will work is still unclear to most business leaders.  So, workplace design will and should now be focused on health and wellness elements. This will allow their employees to feel safe and supported. 

Gensler Statistics from survey on back to work and office space, air quality

Over 80% of office workers want to get back to their office space.

Most humans that CoeoSpace has spoken with do not believe that complete remote working is an effective long-term strategy. Because “people need people” to collaborate and be creative and isolation hurts companies growth potential. So, the five day a week commute into the office seems to be a thing of the past for most companies.

The CoeoSpace prediction on back to the office.

We predict that in addition to office buildings becoming wellness oriented, that tenant workspace and design will evolve to support a company’s culture, brand, and employee engagement goals. Office space will now be created to meet employees “where they are and where they want to be.” So, we envision tenant spaces of the future will incorporate amenities such as a meditation room, socially distanced collaboration rooms, employee lounges and even sanitation stations for IT equipment. And, perhaps even a “mudroom”! As mudrooms are commonly cherished in many homes as the place to leave the dirty items until they are cleaned.

No one really knows what the office will look like post-pandemic. So, now is the opportunity to reimagine how space and buildings can evolve to maximize productivity. Also, how the office can improve an employee’s quality of life and ability to choose how and where they work. I believe the possibilities are boundless.

And that’s our take at CoeoSpace. Thank you Cohesion for opening the space for this important and timely discussion.

How To Improve Air Quality for Back to Office Space by Cohesion

Not Perfect, but Yours: Three Steps to Finding the Office Space You Need

DISCLAIMER: This article will NOT lead you to the perfect office space for your business.

The perfect office space—like the perfect home, the ideal spouse, and rainbow-colored unicorns—is nothing but fantasy.

If you approach your office search thinking you really can have it all—that there’s some amazing spot out there that the rest of the world has missed despite its great location, free parking, abundant natural light, and rooftop deck, all for very minimal monthly rent—you’re about to waste a lot of valuable time. Worse still, you’ll end up feeling like you’ve had to settle for a space that can never quite measure up.

While not perfect, your new office space can still be—as the Rolling Stones so wisely told us—what you need. It can be fabulous. And functional. And the way you find it is by figuring out what’s really important to your business.

Step 1: Prioritize

There’s a reason office spaces vary considerably in everything from design to location: not everyone is looking for the same thing. And that’s good—or we’d all be competing for the same limited spaces. The key to successfully finding the office space you need is to know at the onset what your top priorities are, and what things you’re willing to compromise on.

Maybe you’ve been running your business from home and just hired your first employees. Money’s tight, and you’re sure of only one thing: your new office space must be inexpensive. Or maybe you have a more established business that’s ready to expand. You’re looking for a bigger office in an up-and-coming area with lots of restaurants—and free parking. Your priorities are different, but the process for finding the space need not be.

List all the factors that it would take to make your new office space “perfect” for your company, then determine which are the most important to you and your employees. Some of the most common considerations for finding space include:

  • Location. It’s easy to say that you need a good location—the hard part is determining what that means to you. What constitutes a “good location” for your office may be quite different from that of another business. Some companies prefer a location that minimizes commute times for key employees. Others want to be easily accessible to clients. Still others highly value proximity to restaurants, gyms, and childcare. Being close to trails and a park system may be a top consideration for a wellness-focused company. Consider your corporate culture and business priorities and use those factors to help narrow down possible locations.
  • Space. A good rule of thumb is to provide 125-225 usable square feet per employee, but that’s only a starting point and will vary depending on layout. While you certainly don’t want to lease a space so large that you are paying for a lot of unused room, if you anticipate growth during the lease period, you will need to ensure you have space to accommodate it.
  • Layout. How you want the space to be laid out—open floor plan, traditional offices, or cubicles? How does your team tend to work? Do you need an elaborate conference room to meet with clients or host networking events, or would a few smaller huddle rooms work better? Would a modular set-up that can be changed perhaps provide the best fit? How much control will the landlord give you to modify the existing space?
  • Parking and Exterior. Are there enough parking spaces included in the lease to meet the needs of your employees and customers? If parking is not included, is there ample free parking nearby? Public transportation? Bike racks? Have measures been taken to ensure the security of your employees and equipment?

Step 2: Involve Your Employees

Whether you have two employees or one hundred, involve them in this decision as much as possible; office space is important in attracting and retaining top talent. While you may be able to anticipate some of your employees’ concerns and desires (a convenient, centralized office location, for example), they are sure to also have priorities of which you are unaware (a bike rack, perhaps, and an area to shower and change after they bike to work).

Step 3: Get Professional Help

Ask for recommendations for a commercial real estate broker or agent from people you trust. When you’ve found someone with a proven success rate, provide him or her with your list of priorities. This person will be able to help you to add to the list and possibly even reprioritize.

A broker or agent is in a good position to advise on matters such as lease flexibility, something that might be needed if you outgrow the space quickly. He or she can also help you consider less traditional leasing options, like subleasing (a good option for growing companies, often allowing you to go month to month), or co-working (allowing you to save money until you truly need a dedicated office space).

In addition, your broker can help you negotiate the lease, possibly saving you a significant amount of money, and can assist in getting answers to questions such as who is responsible for repairs and other expenses, and in what ways you are allowed to take steps to customize the space to best suit your company’s needs. All of which can help to make your new office space, if not perfect, exactly what you need.

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What is your top priority when looking for new office space?

Written by: Kim Pierson
for CoeoSpace

CoeoSpace Live from ioi Pitch Battle

We were thrilled to participate in the ioi summit in Seattle, Washington in August.

CoeoSpace was selected as one of the 14 finalists for the live Pitch Battle. Check it out now…

It was a great experience for our entire team and it was truly a pleasure working with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Commercial Reach Accelerator program.