Need a new office? Make a calculated decision

Need a new office? Make a calculated decision

Take the guesswork out of office costs with CBRE’s Agile Lease Calculator

 Opening a new office is an exciting time. Whether it’s your first premises or your 101st, the fact that your company requires a fresh space is a cause for celebration –and the ideal time to think about what else could be around the corner as your business grows. But it can also be an expensive time, and when expansion is in the cards it pays to make it as cost-efficient as possible.

Signing the lease is only the start of it. The next step is finding the furniture to turn your new space into a practical and presentable affair, with ergonomically-designed desks and sensible seating so that employees can be at their most productive. Then there’s a well-designed entrance area to think about. A withered potted plant and an old office chair at reception doesn’t exactly scream success when welcoming new clients, after all. From there, you’ll have to kit your office out with all the infrastructure required to run it, such as computers and printers, broadband and telephony, plus servers and an insurance policy to cover it all. And, possibly most important of all, a kettle. What can certainly be agreed on is that it all adds up. To give one example, a case model by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) projects costs somewhere in the region of £38,000 – and that’s based on a two-man operation.

Fortunately, the commercial real-estate services and investment firm CBRE has come up with a solution. Its smart tool crunches the data to tally your office-space prices across a variety of scenarios. Called the CBRE Agile Lease Calculator (CALC), it’s designed to “Quickly and accurately compare the cost of traditional versus flexible office leasing options so you have the necessary data to make an informed decision.” And because it’s entirely independent, and not affiliated to a flexspace-provider, you can rest assured that the results you see are the full picture – with no nasty hidden costs.

If you’re not sure where to start, CALC comes pre-loaded with data from more than 40 markets around the world. CALC also lets you compare real-world scenarios by customizing each input. By inputting your headcount, your growth projections and your level of certainty in that growth, CALC enables you to explicitly calculate the value of the flexibility that a flexible space solution provides.

Although flexible space will often prove to be more expensive on a cost-per-square-meter basis, CALC shows that the value of flexibility in light of headcount uncertainty is actually greater than the cost of the flexible agreement.

With flexspace, many of the costs of setting up are already taken care of, from office furniture to office infrastructure. And, thanks to a fully staffed reception, call-taking and mail-handling (not to mention a friendly welcome in a professional environment) can be incorporated into the cost. Business rates, insurance premiums and other legal headaches simply disappear, turning this into a business decision-making process that can often feel more like a welcome piece of news than one of those chores that just needs to be done.

Of course, there may be occasions when a fixed office makes more sense. Or you may have your heart set on a specific building in a specific area of a new territory. But with so much at stake when it comes to the figures involved in corporate real-estate, it’s worth trying for yourself and – hopefully – seeing how much you could save.

Read more about corporate real-estate and flexspace