Vlog #27

Last week I shared lessons learned while renting Helcim’s previous office spaces. This week we want to talk about our current office space and some of the things we've learned about what features and amenities work best for the team. If you haven’t watched last week’s vlog on Lessons in Renting Office Space - Part 1 take a look to see the offices of Helcim past.

Our current space

We’re lucky to be at a point where we can afford a pretty nice space, some of our favorite attributes of our current space are:

1) Sound Management

We learned the importance of sound management the hard way. In our last office space, we had tall ceilings and concrete everywhere, this meant that sound bounced off all the walls and echoed throughout the office. The Helcim Guru’s spend a large portion of their days on the phone with merchants so moving into a space with a ceiling that absorbs sound, and cubicles that are designed to minimize noise has made a huge difference.

2) Natural Light

We really enjoy the natural light that comes from the large floor to ceiling windows in our current space. Having a positive and bright space can have a big impact on how productive people are and how team members feel about coming to work each day. The mountain view isn’t bad either…

3) Functional Workstations

Most of the team members utilize the standing desk portion of their workstation, so they have the flexibility of adjusting their workspace to meet their needs. Everyone also has a whiteboard in their cubicle where they can write out reminders and notes.

Budgeting for new team members

I know that the Helcim team will continue to grow and that means we’re going to need more office space soon. In the past, I’ve been surprised by how quickly Helcim has outgrown office space, to avoid that happening in the future I’ve done some research into how much office space is needed per employee. What I’ve discovered is that you need about 200 sq/f per employee, this includes workstations, common areas, and meeting rooms. Using this as a guideline, you can include the cost for team members workspaces in your hiring budget and forecast the amount of office space you will need in the future.

Number of Employees Min. Space Required (sq/f) Annual Total Rent Monthly Total Rent

10

2,000

$                       70,000

$                        5,833

20

4,000

$                    140,000

$                      11,667

30

6,000

$                    210,000

$                      17,500

40

8,000

$                    280,000

$                      23,333

50

10,000

$                    350,000

$                      29,167

75

15,000

$                    525,000

$                      43,750

100

20,000

$                    700,000

$                      58,333

125

25,000

$                    875,000

$                      72,917

150

30,000

$                 1,050,000

$                      87,500

200

40,000

$                 1,400,000

$                   116,667

250

50,000

$                 1,750,000

$                   145,833

500

100,000

$                 3,500,000

$                   291,667

1,000

200,000

$                 7,000,000

$                   583,333

*These calculations were based on a total rent (rent + operating cost) of $35.00 per sq/f and 200 sq/f per team member. I approximated and rounded some of the figures to simplify the chart, there are also additional costs such as parking and amenities that are not reflected in the numbers above. I wanted to provide a general idea of the space required based on staff size as a company grows.

The future

Although I don’t know exactly where Helcim will move next, I do know that we’re going to need more space. We have about eight desks left in our current space, and there are plans to fill them all shortly. For now, we will be talking to our landlord about getting some more space for the next 6-12 months, after that we’ll most likely be looking for a new space.

I’ve learned a lot as Helcim has grown and moved over the years and I hope these lessons in renting office space can help you avoid some of the mistakes that I made early on.

-Nic

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