How to rent an office properly

If your company is well developed, early or later you must deal with a problem of choosing a new office for your employees. In this case, you can charge your secretary with the look-ahead search and be ready for a big but pleasant work.

Lots of things are told about the final step of this work a moving, which makes a considerable amount of costs, but how to find an office suitable just for your company and what to consider in the search and choice, this is the question which is still covered not enough. Here we try to describe some details for those who are now planning to find a new site for the company.

Step 1. Location

First of all you need to determine the location of the future office. Here you need to consider how close to your main suppliers you want to be, whether the transport is well accessible and the traffic interchange convenient. If the corporate politics presupposes some definite location, for example, in the city center, you should consider, how easy and fast your clients could find your office, how likely it is for your employees to stay in traffic jams, how long it takes you to meet your foreign partners and colleges from other cities. Anyway, to locate an office of some huge company near the house of the General Manager is not the best decision.

Today there is a strong trend to build high-class business centers near to the encircling highways, that is to lower your dependence on traffic problems.

Step 2. Meters

How many square meters you need for an office. Here you should remember the main rule: 1 employee requires 10 sq.m. of the whole office area. To save on square meters can hardly improve the work of your staff. The conditioning and ventilation systems in a business center have their limits meant for a standard office load. Even if you plan an open-space office, I recommend building into no less than 6 sq.m. for 1 employee.

Further, you have to decide what additional area do you need, these are usually a conference hall, a server room, a reception (lobby) and a small kitchen.

Step 3. Planning

Usually, the new modern business centers offer their rooms as shell&core. This means, you will have a room completely ready for finishing without internal partitions. Floor covering and counter ceiling appear only after partitions done. So it is comfortable to plan the amount of cabinets you need, their form and size. For now, the cabinet system is the most popular in Russia. Every department or subdivision has its own offices. This costs more, than the open-space form which is popular in Europe.

You should also pay attention to the floor depth, if it is deep enough, it would be more difficult to divide the room into small offices. In the places where there is no daylight illumination, you can build a partition with a glass framing, but it results in the finishing cost increase.

Step 4. Parking places

Unfortunately, actual conditions do not allow for the office owners in the city center to provide lots of parking places. Sometimes they are absent at all. You should pay attention to this very important aspect. It can cause trouble for you to work and for your clients to get to your office freely. If your company is a client-oriented one, so a guest parking and a protected parking for tenants will be an important advantage by choosing a business center, at minimal 1 parking place for every 70 - 100 sq.m. of the rented area.

Step 5. Classification

Each business makes part of a definite class. Usually, the owners of a building determine their class themselves; you can find a classification of the office buildings on open access in the real estate market. There exist only three main building classes: А - new modern buildings built of high-quality materials and with high-class service; В - business centers of good quality, but a bit lower than in the A class; С - practically a warehouse reequipped in office, without conditioning and other facilities.

In fact, the description of these categories makes a large list, and depending on your budget you can choose a class of business center suitable for your needs. I would like to notice, that the new and opening business centers offer an optimal combination of technical equipment, effective lay-out and rental fee.

Step 6. Owner of the building

After you have had some idea about the area you need and found business centers which comply with your location requirements, you should call sales department or managing company of the business center.

As a rule, you can find the whole information on the web-site of the business center, but at meeting you should pay attention to the staff awareness. It would be great, when you are the only one owner of the building, and it is not mortgaged. In any case, you may ask to show you the documents for the building and examine them.

It is better for you to know, which additional services the owners of the building or their managing company provide. Usually, in the business centers of A class you and your clients will dispose of several cafes, restaurants, quest parking, reception services, possibilities for advertisement on the building, cash machines, free taxis to the closest subway station and so on.

For example, in our complex "AEROPORTCITY Saint Petersburg" we are planning to open a private kindergarten for the tenants’ comfort. It is a good possibility for employees to leave their children in the business center for the whole working day.

Step 7. Commercial conditions

You have to read the lease contract very carefully and consider how the rental fee is formed, what it includes. It is necessary to take into account the annual increase of the rental fee. As a rule, the lessor has a right to review the fee, but not more than once a year. You should also control how this increase is stated in the contract.

The rented area can be changed in the contract, with addition of the corridor factor. It makes about 8 - 10 % from the whole area, if you rent only part of a floor and not the whole building or the whole floor.

You should not forget to discuss the possibility of rent vacation during the period of finishing, this is very common, and practically all owners regard these costs.

Now, you possess an orderly knowledge how to choose an office for your business’ growth. And the commercial property market emerged in Saint Petersburg can offer you the very thing you are looking for.

Anastasia Pekutko
Commercial director of

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