As a business leader or office manager, one of the challenges you may face is dealing with the end of your office lease. Often, you aren’t used to negotiating these difficult and infrequent negotiations, because you are too busy crushing your day job.
So we decided to write this blog, where we will explore some key considerations and steps to take when your office lease is ending.
Evaluate Your Needs
This sounds simple but is often overlooked in the frenzy of the lease countdown. Before making any decisions, take the time to evaluate your company's needs. Your last lease renewal may have been before the advent of hybrid working, so this step can’t be overlooked.
Consider factors such as the size of your team, desired atmosphere, location, and specific requirements. Involving key stakeholders, such as the owner, board, and HR manager, in this process can help ensure that everyone's needs and preferences are taken into account.
Research Flexible Office Spaces
A lease renewal can be stressful, but it can also hold a lot of potential for a really great change.
Flexible office spaces have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous benefits and greater fit with the new hybrid model of working that most businesses are adopting.
A great benefit of flexible office space is the flexibility in commitment lengths. This allows your business to adapt to changing needs, so if you don’t know what you’ll need five years from now, you don’t have to commit to a long conventional lease. On top of this, a flexible, serviced office often provides a more homely environment, additional services, and social events that can attract and retain staff.
Research different providers and visit equivalent size businesses to get ideas and see how people use the space.
Negotiate Lease Contracts
Negotiating lease contracts can be a complex process. While some landlords may be open to negotiation, others may require you to find a new space. Keep in mind that securing an office in a flexible space typically requires a three-month notice period. It's important to have a dialogue with your current landlord and discuss your plans early on, to give both parties time to find the ideal solution
If you do decide to include flexible office space in your search for a new office, it's essential to consider all cost factors in your decision.
Flexible offices often offer a monthly all-inclusive cost, while conventional offices involve separate payments for rent, service charges, business rates, internet, and utility bills. On top of this, conventional offices may require additional expenses for fitting out the space and returning it to its original condition at the end of the lease. Carefully analyse all the costs (including the hidden ones) and consider the impact on your cash flow.
Timing is crucial when transitioning between office spaces. Begin planning at least nine months in advance to allow for a smooth transition. Keep in mind that there is typically a six-month crossover period when transitioning between conventional leases, however for flex space, this is often a lot more, well flexible. Consider a temporary move to fully remote or negotiate with the landlord for flexibility in move-out dates to minimize risk.
When your office lease is ending, it's crucial to approach the situation with careful planning and consideration. Evaluate your needs, research flexible office spaces, negotiate lease contracts, compare costs, plan ahead, and utilize your new office space effectively. By following these steps, you can ensure a seamless transition and create a productive and comfortable work environment for your team.
Remember, the end of a lease presents an opportunity to reassess your company's needs and make decisions that align with your long-term goals. Embrace the flexibility and possibilities that come with finding a new office space.