Archive for the ‘Office Talk’ Category

US Office Market Trends 2022 – Statistics, Challenges and Outlook

February 24th, 2022

The US office market struggle to get back on its feet for most of 2021, despite the year starting with the expectation that this arm of the commercial real estate market would be on its way to recovery by Q3 to Q4. Ultimately, the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19 resulted in forecasts being revised, and the recovery horizon was pushed to 2022.

We’ve collected a brief overview of the trends, figures, and projections for the 2022 US office space market below, check back frequently in the year ahead for more insight into industry trends and recovery projections.

Economic Indicators Tipped to Improve

There are many factors influencing office market performance, but macro-economic indicators are some of the most critical. As we settle into 2022, a decline in unemployment is expected to be one of the most important factors underscoring the recovery of the office market. Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics outlined a small uptick in unemployment in January 2022, moving from 3.9% at the end of 2021 to 4.0% to end the first month of the new year. Read the rest of this entry »

January 2022 – U.S. National Office Market Report

February 11th, 2022

Notable Office Market Insights

  •  Ongoing recovery is the main theme, continuing the trend seen in most office markets throughout 2021.
  •  Positive absorption indicators.
  •  Slight increase in rental rates.
  •  Marked differences in occupancy levels, vacancy rates and general performance from city to city.
  •  Remote working practices are still commonplace in key markets, such as San Francisco.
  •  142 million square feet of office space currently under construction.

Lease Rates & Asking Rents

Recent data from Commercial Edge outlines a nationwide rental listing rate average of $38sq/ft in January 2022. These figures may be seen as somewhat inflated due to the number of high quality spaces currently listed due to being vacant, with Class A workspaces being listed at much higher prices.

According to Avison Young, Q4 average rental prices per square foot in gateway markets were as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

Creating a Healthy and Productive Working Environment

December 2nd, 2021

Eight hours per day, 4 or 5 days per week: the average office worker spends tens of thousands of hours at work over the course of their career.

In our last blog post, we covered 5 ways to create a great office culture. Today, we’re building on these ideas and exploring some of the important steps that businesses can take to create a healthy and productive working environment for this culture to thrive in.

Because of the significant amount of time that people spend at work, employers have a duty of care towards their staff. Among other things, this entails going the extra mile to create the healthiest possible workplace environment. Here are some tips to help employers build a more productive work environment.

Adopt a holistic approach to workplace health

Health isn’t just physical; it has psychological components too. A holistic approach to health in the workplace means paying attention to:

  •  Physical health: Health and safety, ergonomic furniture, wellness amenities, etc.
  •  Psychosocial health: Relationships between co-workers, management style, communication, positive values, flexible hours.
  •  Development: Providing professional development opportunities and incentives to be productive and set new goals.

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Cost of an Office Fit-Out or Renovation in the USA

July 21st, 2021

Office renovations can help create a more productive workplace and support a business’s branding strategy. However, these projects can have a significant impact on capital expenditure. Calculated per rentable square foot (RSF), fit-out and renovation costs went ranged from $90 to $220/RSF in 2019-20, depending on location, office size, cost of labor, and industry sector – since some businesses (such as tech companies) require fit-outs to higher and more costly specifications.

What follows is a breakdown of the costs involved in renovating an office in the United States. *

Construction Costs

These costs involve the removal, addition or alteration of physical elements in a building, office floor or office unit. Construction costs include materials and labor, as well as fees charged by contractors, and they serve as the biggest expense in fit-out projects – accounting for 50% to 70% of the total cost.

Average costs are $90/RSF. Depending on location, they can be as high as $139/RSF or as low as $54/RSF.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Guide to Subleasing in The United States

April 22nd, 2021

A sublease is an agreement between a party who already hold a lease to a property and a separate party looking to rent the property in question, whether that be partly or wholly. For example, a business who leases five floors of office space in a building may look to sublease one of those floors, in the event that they downsize their workforce prior to the end of the initial lease. The party who holds in initial lease is known as the sublessor, whilst the third party looking to occupy a part of the leased space is the sublessee.

How to Sublease

The first step is to check whether you need your landlord’s written permission to sublease a property. This should be outlined in your lease agreement. If subleasing is permitted, the agreement may also specify whether you’re required to give notice to your landlord.

Next, make sure you’re familiar with the legal aspects of subletting in your area, since every state has its own sublet laws that take precedence over lease agreements. You can check state-by-state details here.

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Quick Glossary of Commercial Real Estate Terms

March 22nd, 2021

There are certain terms you need to be familiar with when renting commercial property in the United States. Here is a list of the most important key words, in alphabetical order.

All-Inclusive

All-inclusive space is available at a fixed fee and typically gives tenants access to equipped workstations, admin/reception support, and meeting rooms. Utilities, janitorial services, and security are usually included.

Class A/B/C

Office space is classified into three classes depending on quality standards and the amenities on offer.

Class A

Class A space is considered best-in-class and is usually located in new buildings that feature the highest standards of construction, design, and amenities. These offices are typically found in prime business locations.

Class B

Class B space offers a functional standard of accommodation to office-based businesses in need of well-maintained space at a reasonable price.

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United States Office Rental Market – Trends for 2021

January 27th, 2021

Commercial real estate was one of the hardest hit sectors following the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. The pandemic and the measures taken to curb its spread brought significant changes to office-based workplaces, driving a sharp and sudden increase in remote work practices. The most immediate consequence of this shift was a softening in rental activity due to the decreased need for physical office space in the short-term. As a result, 2020 ended with a marked decline in take-up volume and an increase in office vacancy rates across the nation.

The United States office rental market entered the new year in a scenario marked by declining rental rates and compromised fundamentals. As we move further into 2021, these trends are likely to remain in place and some markets may begin to feel the full impact of the economic crisis, whereas others will prove more resilient.

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Introducing Pets into the Workplace, a Smart Idea or Barking up the Wrong Tree?

January 11th, 2021

The office can be a stressful place at times, particularly when deadlines are looming and clients are expecting results fast. These stresses can result in negativity, tension, anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of dread, feelings which can ultimately impact productivity and mental wellbeing. Companies across the globe have worked tirelessly to combat these workplace stresses, introducing comprehensive strategies to improve the wellbeing of their employees and cultivate a healthy working environment. Introducing pets into the workplace is one such plan that can, if implemented correctly, positively impact employees by improving morale, reducing stress, easing anxiety, and increasing job satisfaction.

Amazon is a prime example of a global company that has successfully introduced pets through their long-standing tradition of bringing dogs into their Seattle headquarters, a space which is now home to as many as 7,000 dogs on any given workday! The example set by large companies such as Amazon has inspired countless other businesses to adopt similar initiatives, resulting in pets becoming increasingly common in the workplace, particularly in millennial-driven organizations and  creative offices that encourage collaboration.

But what exactly do you need to know before introducing your furry friend to the workplace and what benefits or downsides can come from bringing your pet to work?

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The Differences Between Class A, B, & C Office Space in the USA

January 5th, 2021

There are several types of office space in the USA. These properties are classified according to their quality standards and amenities, using the classification system developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association. This system establishes three main types of office space: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Here are the defining features of each Class:

Class A Office Space

These properties are characterized as having the highest quality standards, amenities, and fixtures. Common features include top-tier HVAC and lighting systems, the latest telecommunications infrastructure, and often have unique design or architectural traits. Because of their high standards, Class A offices are typically (but not always) in new or trophy buildings with high-quality road and mass transit connections. Location also plays a role in Class A offices, as they are often located in sought-after areas such as Capitol Hill, Downtown Los Angeles, and The Loop in Chicago.

Class B Office Space

Class B properties are a middle-of-the-road option for office-based businesses. They are a step below Class A properties in terms of design, systems, and infrastructure, but they are still functional spaces that can accommodate a wide range of office operations. Depending on their location and potential, some Class B buildings are acquired by property management or investment firms and refurbished to Class A standards. Many of these offices are located in buildings that are between 10 and 20 years old.

Class C Office Space

Class C offices are typically located in older buildings (20 years+) outside of the CBD or other highly sought-after business areas. These properties may have outdated infrastructure, fixtures, and amenities, with some requiring partial renovation.

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United States Office Space Rental Rates 2020

December 22nd, 2020

The United States office market is characterized by its wide range of properties, ranging from affordable shared spaces to expensive trophy offices in some of the world’s most desirable business locations. In mid-2020, average gross rates for offices nationwide stood at $35 per square foot with the priciest offices located in New York and California. Within these states, the sub-markets commanding the highest rates are:

  •   New York: Midtown Manhattan at $87 per square foot, specifically in Chelsea, the Plaza District, and Gramercy Park.
  •   California: The Shoreline/Mountain View area, in which prices reach $130 per square foot, followed by Santa Monica and the SoMa district of San Francisco.

Average asking rates in other prime office markets are as follows:

  •   Seattle: $70 per square foot, higher in Lake Union and the CBD.
  •   Washington DC: $55 per square foot.
  •   Cambridge and Boston: $40 and $80 per square foot, respectively.
  •   Los Angeles: Averaging $45 per square foot.
  •   Chicago: Exceeding $40 per square foot in the West Loop.
  •   Raleigh-Durham: $35 per square foot for CBD properties.

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