The office space race

Posted on: October 13th, 2015

One of the major logistical challenges that any business faces is the requirement for office space to meet their changing needs, and this is no less true in the recruitment sector. The ability to be able to staff an office in line with the changing pace of the employment market can provide a recruiter with a competitive edge, and we look at some of the ways that this can be achieved.

There are well established office space providers in the market that can offer flexible packages in terms of space and length of term but this can come at a premium.

Greater flexibility in the office space market amongst more traditional providers is increasing but it is essential that sound professional advice is obtained at an early stage, as the negotiation of the heads of terms of a lease is an important pre-requisite to establishing the flexibility that might be required. Early attention to space requirements can also save a tenant from having to negotiate from a less advantageous position.

In a buoyant market the need for the business to grow will inform the initial need for commercial space, but it is also important that, where possible, any commercial lease provides for alienation provisions that permit underletting of part so that a tenant can offset the cost of surplus space if the market changes. The fewer the number of restrictions that apply to any such underletting the better as this will facilitate the quick completion of any underlease.

Conversely, a tenant may also want to consider the possibility of securing an option or right of first refusal in regard to any other space that may become available in the same building during the term of the initial letting, with all of the cost savings in time and relocation expenses that would flow from this.  

A well informed tenant will also look at the possibility of negotiating a break clause, or break clauses, into their Lease with as much flexibility as possible as to when the break may be operated and with as few conditions as possible as to the effective operation of the break. The break clause can be just as useful to a company wishing to increase the space it occupies as those wishing to downsize in line with the ebb and flow of the employment market.  The disposal and acquisition of commercial property does involve costs in time and relocation expenses but a well drafted break clause can be a life saver for a tenant who suddenly finds themselves needing to radically change their office space requirements, where it may be difficult to find an assignee or undertenant.

As always the market may dictate what can be achieved, but by addressing the issues early enough a business can take steps to ensure that they stay a jump ahead of their competitors in a challenging market.