5 regrets that many businesses share about their office rental experiences

Choosing the right office space is a crucial decision for any business. The space you select can have a significant impact on your team’s productivity, your brand image, and ultimately, your account balance sheet. Regrettably, in the rush of starting or expanding a business, many enterprises commit mistakes in their quest to find a perfect office space.

Below is an expose on the five common regrets many businesses share when choosing office space. Highlighting them will serve as a guide for organizations to avoid falling into similar pitfalls.

1. Suffering from Space Scarcity

Many businesses, in their attempt to be pragmatic about budgeting, end up taking on too little space. This choice becomes a serious bottleneck when businesses need to expand or hire new staff. Cramped spaces can hinder employee productivity, limit growth and constrain your operational capacity.

In a real scenario with one of my contacts, their employees could find themselves using the fire exit stairs as a last resort to hold peaceful e-meetings. Isn’t that unfortunate?

Before settling on a space, consider your future prospects. Plan for growth rather than focusing solely on your current needs. Yes, it might be a bit more of an investment early on, but the flexibility it provides is invaluable.

2. Choosing the Wrong Location

The location of your office space matters more than you might think. A poor choice in the location can affect your business in various ways. It can impact your ability to attract and retain talent, influence your clients’ perception of your business, and even affect your clients’ or employees’ commuting experience.

Take time to research and consider factors like accessibility, nearby amenities, food variety and pricing, and the overall vibe of the location. If your location doesn’t resonate with what your brand represents, it can send inconsistent messages to your clients and adversely affect your business.

Think about why you find a cluster of bridal shops in Tanjong Pagar, or why coffeeshops are situated near each other. It isn’t a coincidence. Being in close proximity to similar businesses can surprisingly boost the potential customer base.

3. Commercial Lease Term

Committing to a contract without a thorough review is not uncommon, resulting in the oversight of major elements. A commercial lease term isn’t just a timeline—it encases a binding commitment. There needs to be a balance struck between a favorable rental rate and the readiness to accommodate business growth or changes.

Therefore, the emphasis on flexibility becomes indispensable during negotiation sessions. Negotiate for lease terms that span over two to three years, as it allows for manageable adjustments in response to the dynamic nature of business needs. This strategic approach establishes a constructive balance between your business’s changing dynamics and the conditions of your lease agreement.

4. Underestimating the Importance of Clean Toilets

Clean and well-maintained restroom facilities may seem like a small detail, but they can significantly impact the daily experience of your employees and visitors. Neglecting this aspect can lead to discomfort and dissatisfaction.

Make sure there is an adequate number of toilets per person, since you would not want your employees to spit in their pants. Based on this article: the recommended ratio is:

Number of pax (mixed use at work)
Number of toilets
Number of washbasins
1 to 5
6 to 15
16 to 30
31 to 45
46 to 60
61 to 75
76 to 90
91 to 100
Above 100
8, plus 1 WC and washbasin for every unit or fraction of a unit of 25 persons

For offices equipped with personal toilets, remember that a clean and functional restroom represents your company’s commitment to providing a pleasant working environment. My own experience was to visit an office that had a toilet filled with hundreds, or possibly thousands of insect corpses, as it was located near a forest. I was incredibly grossed out and opted to head for the washroom in the nearby building. With such conditions, do you think you can retain talent? Even with a higher salary, I won’t take the job.

5. Neglecting Lift Access

Lifts are another aspect that businesses sometimes overlook. The regret here is often not about having a lift but the performance and reliability of the lift system. Inefficient or frequently malfunctioning lifts can lead to unnecessary delays and frustration for your employees and visitors, especially during peak hours. Before selecting office space, thoroughly assess the lift system to ensure it can handle the daily traffic efficiently. Waiting times, upkeep, and capacity are all factors to check before signing that lease.

Grade A commercial buildings often have 6 to 8 lifts, and adopt an intelligent lift system that efficiently distributes the load, incorporating key features such as touchless operation, high speed, and proactive maintenance.

Note for commercial buildings:

Attention should be drawn to the fact that some commercial buildings might not have a cargo lift option, so the lift’s size and load capacity must be taken into account if you often move heavy items into or out of your office.

Note for industrial buildings:

If there is only one passenger lift in the premise, check the cargo lift’s condition. Some cargo lifts have a foul smell that will force you to hold your breath and hope to get out as fast as possible.

In conclusion

Choosing the right office space is a decision that should be made carefully, considering both immediate needs and future growth. By avoiding these common regrets shared by many businesses, you can create an office environment that promotes productivity, employee satisfaction, visitor’s experience, and overall success. So, whether you’re in the process of selecting a new office space or reevaluating your current one, take the time to consider these critical factors to prevent “office space remorse” in your business journey. Your office space should be a place where your business thrives, not one where it falters.

Avoid office space remorse today by getting assistance from an experienced commercial real estate agent. Let’s discuss your needs to find the perfect office space to thrive.


About the author

Amy Aw, Senior Marketing Director (R002731Z)

Building long term relationship through office space.

About Us

Having been in the commercial property market for more than 15 years, we specialize in office space for lease for commercial offices and conservation shophouses. We focus on delivering results, providing the best negotiating terms, and providing quality search for your next property rental.

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