Whether your business is a small start-up and you’re finally ready to move it out of the basement, or a high-powered design firm looking for a change of scenery or expanded operations, you have found yourself looking for quality office space in Ottawa. So where do you begin? With so many options it must surely seem overwhelming. However, if you consider the needs of your business in relation to several key factors, you’ll be able to focus your list down to only a small handful of options. Now, isn’t that a weight off your shoulders?
It may sound a little obvious, but first, you need to consider how much space you’re going to need to accommodate your business. Office space lease agreements charge by the square foot, and you don’t want to pay for space you’re not using. So factor in how many employees you will have, how much space each will need to do their job effectively, and any space you might need for other purposes, e.g. printers, a break area, meeting rooms, and et cetera. It is also important to consider the future, especially in longer leases. If you have plans to hire more employees next year, you should factor that into your space requirements.
The next step to finding the perfect office space in Ottawa is considering what you can fit into your budget. Ideally, you want to allocate approximately 5% of your total operating budget to space costs. This includes rent, heating and electricity (if not included in the rent price), and maintenance costs. If your office is in a building with shared common areas like a lobby and washrooms, there is typically a building staff who maintain these areas, and part of your office space lease agreement will include regular fees that go towards these services. When negotiating your office space lease, make sure that you are clear on exactly what you’ll be paying to avoid surprise expenses down the road.
Another budget consideration is appearance. Some spaces may charge a higher rate for an office that is more visually attractive. If you spend a lot of time hosting clients and investors and want to impress them, this may be a price you are willing to pay. But if you are just providing a space for your employees to do their job, it doesn’t need to be fancier than usual.
Not every choice for office space in Ottawa is going to be equally accommodating to your needs. Ottawa’s a big city after all! Locating your office somewhere accessible to both employees and clients alike can make a world of difference. Being located in close proximity to a major public transit station is one great way to accomplish this. And while not strictly a business requirement, having a great spot for coffee or lunch nearby is never a bad idea!