COVID-19: Guidance on how to continue to search for office space
GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES REVIEWING THEIR OFFICE SPACE
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a big impact on markets around the world. The flexible workspace industry is no exception and many companies have had to welcome and accept flexible working to minimise disruption to their businesses because of COVID-19. But where does that leave businesses who want to continue to search for office space?
As a company that finds flexible office space solutions for businesses of all sizes across a broad range of industry verticals, it would be irresponsible from us to promote anything other than working from home at the moment. However, we can also offer solution based, workplace strategies which many companies are capitalising on, and using this opportunity to re-think their current and future workspace needs.
As a new business, we find ourselves adapting to the new ‘normal’ and we fully understand that there is a consensus of “We are going to put the office move on hold until we can understand the fall-out from the coronavirus on our business”.
In this blog, we want to highlight some practical suggestions and provide some insight into how you can safely continue to search for office space whilst still working remotely.
HOW CAN I SEARCH FOR FLEXIBLE OFFICE SPACE SAFELY DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK?
In line with the social distancing measures recommended by the government, flexible workspace operators have rightly responded with new standards of practise to help companies safely look for office space.
At Move Space London, we understand that your office rent is typically one of your biggest outgoings, and we’re here to support you in any way that we can. Flexibility is now more important than ever, and our expert advisors are on hand as always to help you and your business whenever you need us.
HERE ARE A FEW PRACTICAL APPROACHES TO CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR OFFICE SPACE:
1. Live virtual tours are available:
The majority of flexible workspace providers are offering video tours for any client that wishes to view the space – including Facetime, Skype, and Zoom. This enables you to look around the space, ask any pertinent questions, return to a certain area of interest if you’d like to and get the answers you need to help make a decision regarding your workplace strategy.
2. Pre-recorded tours: you can browse in one’s own time:
In addition to live tours, pre-recorded virtual tours are available so you can still navigate through the market in your spare time without the need to.
3. No need to use public transport:
In order to overcome the health risks associated with public transport some operators are offering a transportation service. The company will collect clients from wherever they are, chauffeur them to the buildings, carry out the viewing and then take them back to their home/office address.
4. Health and hygiene precautions:
Building operators are taking every precaution necessary across their buildings to make sure they are cleaned and operated to the highest standards and that everyone stays healthy and safe – including hourly cleans of surfaces, handles, and bathrooms.
WHAT IMPACT HAS COVID-19 HAD ON OFFICE CONTRACTS?
1. You can negotiate a flexible start-date.
Office providers are having to adapt and offer businesses the flexibility and agility they desperately need right now. We’ve seen situations where the provider is offering start-dates up to three months in advance.
2. Option to breakdown your deposit into monthly instalments.
Business’ are operating in uncertain times and cash-flow is one of many factors that is at the forefront of their thinking. To address this, some office providers have offered to spread the deposit across your monthly payments. This will alleviate the pressure for businesses who are unable to pay a large deposit upfront.
3. You might only need a deposit in advance of move-in.
Typically, companies are required to pay two months’ rent as well as a deposit in order to remove the office from the market. Given the challenging circumstances and anxiety surrounding cash-flow, office providers are doing everything they possibly can to alleviate the stress and are offering a solution: Pay a deposit in advance and two months’ rent upon your move-in date. This could be an opportunity for your business to make the most of an attractive rental price for when we reach the other side of the crisis and enable you to sign for an office but not have to pay until you can move in.
4. Some providers are not asking for any deposit at all.
5. Rent-free & discounted periods at the beginning of your contract.
London’s office providers are aware of the huge need for flexibility right now, with many offering the possibility for your business to lock in a deal now, but pay later. We can identify these opportunities for you. In light of the current situation, many office providers are adapting their services in line with the need for increased flexibility. We’ve seen a significant number of providers offering highly- competitive deals at the moment, from rent-free periods to discounted rent—some offering up to 50% off the first 4 months.
6. Monthly rolling contracts with more frequent break-clauses.
We share your concerns in these challenging times. We can connect you with workspaces offering temporary, flexible contracts as short as one day.
MOVE SPACE LONDON ARE HERE TO HELP HOWEVER WE CAN, PARTICULARLY IF YOUR BUSINESS:
- needs a short-term office solution
- is approaching the end of its lease/license
- requires more flexibility
- needs to split teams
- is uncertain about the flexible options available
- needs to review and future-proof their workspace strategy
As always, Move Space London are here to help with your office search and can advise you on any of the measures discussed above. Get in touch with us as your trusted partners to allow you to make informed decisions about the future of your workplace.