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An office or an office desk?

Companies that are big, small or one-man operations. Offices needed for a moment, for a year or for five. Real offices and virtual. Offices with service included and those without. The market now offers an ever-increasing range of ways to lease office space. In this article I will touch upon some of the most popular options.

A large space for big firms

The most popular option among big companies is to lease space in a modern office building. Such lease agreements are usually for a period of five years. However, shorter lease deals are possible (three years) but the tenant has significantly worse leasing terms. Longer agreements are also available, such as a 7 to 10 year contract signed with large companies which are selecting new locations for their main offices. Modern office buildings already provide the opportunity to lease space ranging from 100 sq m to 200 sq m. Such available spaces consist of modules that are un-occupied on floors leased by larger tenants. When it comes to the number of employees in a given space, a company should consider a coefficient of one person for every 10 sq m of space in an open-space arrangement. In a room arrangement, the coefficient should be one person for every 14-15 sq m of space. What can a tenant gain from a modern office building? First of all, they are provided with an extensive range of amenities including, i.a., security, underground parking, structured cabling for computers, air-conditioning, intelligent energy-efficient solutions, reception support (a concierge is becoming increasingly common), canteens, cafes, or a laundry room. The technical specification of such buildings is of the highest standard. As the company grows, the tenant is able to select further space modules (if available) or relocate into either a bigger office in the same building or a different location owned by the same investor. If a company decides to vacate the office space earlier, it should arrange to sub-lease this space.

Tenement houses and palaces

Until recently, offices located in tenement houses and renewed historical buildings were a rarity. Refurbishments, remodeling, modernizations and renovations are time-consuming and very costly. Nevertheless, there are an increasing number of developers with portfolios that include such objects and tenants are becoming more interested in leasing space in such unique projects. Companies and organizations, such as legal firms and diplomatic consulates, often search for smaller modules in presentable buildings located in a city centre. There are also tenants willing to slightly increase their budgets for office leasing in order to have a certain prestige that such a building brings as well as a unique working environment. Lease terms and conditions in such projects are only slightly higher than those of modern office buildings.

Apartments and villas

A smaller company can consider several different options. A company can lease an elegant apartment in an apartment building which can be transformed into an office. The second option is to lease a villa. This is especially convenient for smaller companies, small legal firms, marketing companies and architectural studios. Lease terms and conditions vary and are negotiated with either the apartment or the house's owners. The agreements are concluded for a shorter period of time and include a short notice period and collateral.

Good older offices

Another option is to lease a B - class office in an older, less well-equipped building. This option is beneficial for dynamically developing companies leasing space in an office building for the first time and who lack sizeable budgets. Lower class office buildings offer largely similar amenities/services to those in modern office projects, but are significantly cheaper.

Office per hour

Another option is to lease a serviced or temporary office space. Offices available for a day, a week or a month or leased for several hours are an excellent solution for those who are looking for space available at a moment's notice or require a professional working environment, for meetings or in order to do some administrative work. Such offices offer professional administration services as well as both private and communal spaces for employees, free of charge wireless Internet access as well as printers, scanners and photocopiers. Lease terms and conditions depend on the company’s needs.

The more the merrier

In general, coworking is the idea of “joint work” and “office sharing”. Freelancers, start-ups and micro-entrepreneurs choose coworking offices where one is allowed to come, lease an office desk for a specified number of hours and work independently but in a much more creative atmosphere. A huge advantage of such a solution is the opportunity to cooperate with other office users. It often results in new business ideas. Coworking is an excellent solution for 'one-man bands' that cannot afford a long-term lease deal but want to work in a modern office in a convenient location. A very common practice in the coworking area is concluding lease deals based on fixed terms and conditions, establishing detailed principles of office use for the entrepreneur-tenant. On numerous occasions, one can also benefit from reception support and book conference rooms. Tenants are provided with access to amenities similar to those found in serviced office spaces, including the ability to register one’s company at the building's address, Internet access, reception services, incoming mail services, secretary support, printing, booking of conference rooms for specific hours as well as the use of office equipment such as photocopiers, printers, scanners, binders and access to well-equipped kitchens.

Poland's office market now offers a wide range of leasing options whether it's a blue-chip company with hundreds of employees or a company of one. The first step is the same, each tenant has to analyze all the advantages, disadvantages and costs as well as the preparation of a budget. Each tenant should visit places they are interested in. As you can see the Polish office market has a lot to offer.

Associate Director, Office Agency, JLL

Michał Lis
Associate Director, Office Agency, JLL

Michał Lis - Associate Director, Office Agency, JLL - has over 9 years of commercial real estate experience. His key area of expertise is office landlord representation. He has conducted commercialization projects for numerous developers and investors, including Karimpol, Skanska, Warimpex, LC Corp and Griffin Real Estate. He has also completed a number of projects in the tenant representation field, on behalf of, i.a. Coface, Fresenius Kabi, Coffee Heaven and Media 5. Michał is a graduate of the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science of Warsaw University as well as the Warsaw School of Economics. He holds a CCIM title.