Choosing the right office space to suit your business needs can be a gruelling process, with numerous factors at play that can steer your decision. Yet it’s probably the most crucial decision you’ll have to make, and one that will heavily impact your long-term success. Whether you’re just starting out your own business or you’ve outgrown your current office space and are looking to move, you’ll want to enlist the help of an experienced broker to make sure you’re making the right decision. Searching for office space, especially in Manhattan, can prove an overwhelming endeavour, so you want to weigh your options carefully, so you won’t have to move again in a year and go through it all over again.
Coworking is On the Rise, But Is It for Everyone?
Possibly the most important thing to consider when looking to lease an office in Manhattan is the type of space that best suits your needs. After all, your workspace reflects your brand, your company image and business niche, and it should send the right message to attract the right clients. But what kind of space should you pick?
Nowadays, coworking is more popular than ever, and you’ll find WeWork, Regus or Industrious spaces on nearly every corner. Many companies, big or small, are choosing coworking over traditional office spaces, and this trend has caused a shift in the market. WeWork has even become the biggest occupier of private office space in Manhattan, signaling the undeniable popularity of this type of space. However, coworking is not for everyone, and leasing your own, ‘traditional’ office space does offer some important advantages. Let’s dive into some of the pros and cons of leasing either coworking or traditional offices, so you can weigh both options in your office space search.
The pros of leasing coworking space
Coworking spaces are the best choice for early stage businesses or startups that want flexibility, networking opportunities, shorter lease terms, and readily available or temporary office space. Working alongside other entrepreneurs and specialists in different industries can help you build professional relationships and take advantage of networking opportunities that can boost your exposure and get your brand out there. You’ll also have access to a move-in ready office space, with no build-outs necessary and all utilities and maintenance costs included. Coworking is also more cost-effective for small teams than leasing your own space, and you’ll have the option to sign a shorter lease term if you’re unsure of how your business will evolve.
The cons of leasing coworking space
While coworking is the more affordable option for small businesses or startups, when your team starts to grow, then so does the rent, and you’ll end up having to pay a premium to house a team of 10 or more people in a coworking space. At this stage of growth, you’d be better off going for traditional office space, where you can opt for a longer-term lease and also house more employees as your business evolves. When your team grows beyond a certain number, you might have to switch to a traditional office, as coworking hubs aren’t really designed to house very large teams.
Another downside of coworking spaces is that they don’t leave room for customization of your workspace. The offices are usually already laid out and equipped and you won’t have a lot of input in the matter. Most coworking spaces also opt for an open-office layout, in order to encourage communication and networking, but that might prove to be too distracting and lead to an unproductive work environment. Not to mention the lack of privacy, since you’d be sharing the space with people working for different companies, and some of them might actually be your competitors.
The pros of leasing traditional office space
Leasing your own office in New York City is not in any way cheap, but it’s the biggest boost you could bring to your brand. Having a Manhattan address associated with your business can go a long way in attracting and retaining clients and employees. Leasing your own office signals to prospective clients that your business is stable and that you’re committed to achieving long-term success, while for employees, it gives a sense of structure and job security.
If you’re trying to grow a business in fields like finance or law, renting your own office can have a positive impact on your company image and prestige. At the same time, you have the option of choosing industry specific office spaces that are customized to fit the needs of businesses operating in different fields. For instance, if you work in the legal sector, then you’ll need meeting rooms or private spaces to discuss confidential matters with clients. By renting out your own office, you’ll be able to personalize it however you want.
The cons of leasing traditional office space
Prestige and a good company image come at a price, as leasing your own office in Manhattan can get quite expensive, especially since you’ll have to pay for utilities, maintenance and any perks and build-outs yourself. Traditional office spaces also offer less flexibility, since lease terms are usually longer and expansions are not always possible. Moreover, unless you operate a large company with a considerable budget, you won’t be able to afford decking out your space with cool perks like quiet nooks, game rooms or nap rooms. Such amenities come with the territory in coworking hubs, yet if you lease your own office you’ll have to pay for them yourself.
Networking opportunities are also limited or non-existent, since everyone works for the same company and is confined to the space. Coming into the same office every day and seeing the same people can become a monotonous routine for some. You can, however, counteract this by organizing team buildings or attending conferences or networking events to keep up with what your competitors are up to and see what’s going on in the industry.
How to Decide
If you’re still unsure about which type of office to choose, then you need to start cracking down your business plans. Look at where you are now, what are your short-term and long-term business goals, your current and your desired employee count, your budget, and your niche. Think also about the message that you’re trying to convey through your brand and company image, and see which type of office would best showcase that message. You might want to hire a specialized tenant broker to help you navigate this process, as the competition and demand for office space in New York City is intense, and cost-effective options can be hard to come by if you’re not familiar with the market.
If you’re thinking of setting up your business in a convenient location in Manhattan, and are looking to lease state-of-the-art space with top-notch amenities, reach out to us and we will show you worthwhile options situated right in the heart of New York City. To learn about available office space, call Metro Manhattan Office Space at (212) 444-2241 or email us at [email protected]