Commercial Real Estate In Kansas City: 8 Tips For Designing Your Perfect Space

Commercial Real Estate In Kansas City: 8 Tips For Designing Your Perfect Space

Trends in office space design have undergone massive changes in the past decade, with companies moving away from traditional models and experimenting with how best to promote productivity, creativity and collaboration. It can be hard for small businesses to keep up with these trends, but there are a few basic principles to stick to if you are at a point where you have some say in the design of an office space for lease in Olathe, KS you are moving into. Here are a few factors to consider as you plan your designs – with emphasis on the principles of flexibility and simplicity – as outlined in the article “10 Questions to Ask When Designing Your Office”:

  1. Space per Employee. The first step in designing an office space is determining how much space you are working with. In the past, designers would plan on about 250 square feet per employee, which meant room for an office, desk, computer and personal touches such as photos or other decorations, but now the mindset is shifting to a more mobile idea of what an office is. Because employees have laptops – which contain both work and personal things in one small space – designers are now allotting only about 150 square feet of space per employee. This is also factoring in the principle that giving employees the option to work from home on occasion means that the office might be only partially occupied on any given day.
  2. Flexibility. Along with having a general mentality of flexibility in terms of employee mobility, businesses are also starting to make the spaces themselves more flexible. This is especially important for small businesses who are growing and changing. Some ways to do this include buying furniture on wheels so that desks and chairs can be easily moved, getting dividers for conference rooms to reconfigure the space easily and creating “plug and play” areas where employees can take their laptops and sit and work.
  3. Reception Atmosphere. If your business has a reception area, one of your major design concerns is making that space as welcoming as possible, since that is where customers will form their first impressions of your company. One thing to consider is lighting – try to make sure your reception area allows for as much natural light as possible, and avoid harsh, direct artificial light if possible. Specific colors can also create different impressions – such as blue for loyalty or creams for sophistication. It’s also good to make sure the space is not intimidating; if you are working with a large lobby area, consider creating small clusters of furniture where people can sit.
  4. Privacy. The trends are certainly moving towards more open spaces, with executives rubbing shoulders with their staff and a general sense of transparency and community, but it is important to still balance this with employees’ need for privacy. Try to create spaces for private conversations, individual work or simply a quiet place to get things done. Having a good mix of community places and solitary places with few distractions is a great way to maximize creativity for all employees.
  5. Behavioral Patterns. Another thing to consider is how you want to shape the habits of people in your office, because design can really have an impact on people’s behavioral patterns. For example, consider the placement of recycling stations to encourage recycling, or create community printing or coffee areas to encourage interaction between employees who might not normally speak.
  6. Company Culture. Design of an office space can also communicate both to employees and visitors what your company’s culture and mission are. This is an important thing to consider if you are revamping your business’s brand. Incorporating those changes into the design of your space can really cement the ideas in the minds of your staff and clients.
  7. Comfort. Companies today are trying to make sure that their spaces have enough amenities to ensure that employees are comfortable throughout the day and actually enjoy being at the office. One way to promote both comfort and communication is by creating inviting cafe or pantry spaces for employees to snack and connect. Other businesses are going for bigger strides, such as fitness rooms, in-house dry cleaning, massage centers, and wellness rooms where employees can go if they are not feeling well. The overall aim is to create a place where employees can balance productivity with necessary elements of well-being, such as socializing, relaxing and exercising.
  8. Green Possibilities. In all areas of design and construction, the trend these days is to factor in sustainability. Incorporating environmentally friendly elements into office design can range from using reused or recycled materials in carpeting to buying overhead lights that dim as natural light enters a space. In some cases, these kinds of features can even save your business money on energy costs in the long term.

If you have an opportunity to design or re-design a Kansas office space for rent, try to utilize this new beginning to see how you can positively improve anything from productivity, to image, to employee satisfaction in your commercial real estate in Kansas City.

If you are looking to move into a new small office space for rent in Overland Park, KS, give us a call today at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our available office spaces for rent in Overland Park, KS!


7 Ways to Make Over Your Small Office Space for Rent in Overland Park, KS

7 Ways to Make Over Your Small Office Space for Rent in Overland Park, KS

If you and your employees are starting to feel a little down about your small office space for rent in Overland Park, KS, there are so many easy ways to give your office a facelift. Studies have shown that making a space look better can have a positive effect on office morale and show employees that you are concerned about their comfort. Here are a few tips for improving your office space, as suggested in the article “6 Easy Steps to an Extreme Office Makeover”:

  1. Create an Atmosphere of Hospitality. It is important to create a space that is welcoming for employees and demonstrates that you care about their little daily needs. Create a small “hospitality area” in your office by setting up a space with things like a coffee maker, mints, snacks, some first aid supplies and other odds and ends that make life a little more convenient.
  2. Encourage Personalization. Letting people express themselves is a great way to foster creativity. Try allowing employees to decorate their own personal spaces with family photos, posters, knick-knacks, and even letting them play their own music. This creates an atmosphere where people feel more at home and part of the company “family.”
  3. Bring in Some Color. Painting a space with brighter colors can be a cheap and easy way to cheer up a space. There are all sorts of studies demonstrating the positive effects of color on an environment. Consider painting an accent wall with colors that correlate to specific moods. For example, studies have found that blue can encourage calmness and relaxation, whereas red is ideal for tasks that require a more detail oriented focus.
  4. Develop Company Culture. In addition to encouraging employees to create their own personalized spaces, it is important to personalize the whole office to showcase your company’s brand image. One way to do this is by painting your logo around the office, which has the double benefit of increasing brand visibility and brightening up an empty wall.
  5. Add a Little Fun. People appreciate having a place in the office where they can take a moment to unwind and recharge, so think about taking a page out of Silicon Valley’s book and adding something like a foosball table or even just a comfy couch in a break area.
  6. Upgrade Your Chairs. The importance of supportive furniture in the workplace is becoming a bigger and bigger conversation as studies are coming out about the negative effects of too many sedentary hours both in and out of the workplace. You can help combat these negative effects and improve overall office well being and comfort by investing in good office furniture that is supportive for different postures.
  7. Create Zones. In addition to creating a fun break area or a hospitality area for your employees, think about the work they do on a daily basis and how you can design areas to better support that work, for example, rearranging furniture to encourage social interaction in a place for collaboration, or adding some headphones and armchairs in an area for quiet, private work.

Very small changes to your Kansas City office space for rent can go a long way in raising spirits around your office. Even if all you do is change out your chairs or repaint a few walls, your efforts demonstrate your interest in creating a positive work environment for your staff—one that supports their physical, emotional and mental well being. In turn, you might see the benefits of increased creativity, productivity and commitment to your business!

Looking for office space for lease in Olathe, KS? Give us a call at 913-685-4100 to get more information about our commercial real estate in Kansas City or set up a tour of one of our office spaces for rent in Overland Park, KS.


Small Office Space for Rent in Overland Park, KS: 2 Questions to Address Before Signing A Lease

Small Office Space for Rent in Overland Park, KS: 2 Questions to Address Before Signing A Lease

Getting ready to look for a new office space for lease in Olathe, KS, or moving into your first real office space? Before you start to make any commitments, step back and ask yourself these two questions to make sure you are looking at the right kind of space and lease, as suggested in “20 Things You Should Know About Leasing Small Office Space”:

#1 How much space do I need?

One of the first things to take into consideration is how much space your business will require, as too little or too much space can cause financial problems for your business down the line. Calculating square footage should be based on how much space you need now and what your growth expectations are for the upcoming lease term. Here are a few questions about staff and workspace to assess how much space you might need:

  • How many employees do I currently have? Will I be adding more over the next few years?
  • Exactly how much workspace do I need per employee? Is desk sharing an option?
  • When do I plan to add staff, and about how many staff members would I want to bring on in the next few years?
  • What kinds of staff do I have or plan to hire—administrative, sales, executive?

Having some concrete numbers to go off of when thinking about the amount of staff in your business can best help you determine how much space you need. On average, it is good to factor in about 150-350 SF per employee; however, the type of industry you are in can also be a big factor in this.

Different industries tend to choose different types of layouts for their offices. For example, a customer service call center might want workstations with groups of cubicles in more of an open office plan, whereas something like a law office is better suited to the traditional private office model.

Once you have determined how to arrange employees in your office, consider also what things you might want included in your space, such as a kitchen area, conference rooms, or a waiting room and reception area. As you get closer to choosing a space, you might also consider talking to an interior architect or a space planner for a second opinion.

#2 How Long of a lease should I sign? 

Another thing you should determine early on is how long of a lease you are prepared to commit to. This depends largely on your budget, but also on your goals and expectations for your business in the coming years. To evaluate these factors as objectively as possible, sit down and make a 5-10 year plan for your business with detailed descriptions of budget, staff, how much space you will need, etc. The goal is to find a space that you can comfortably grow into but also afford, and you want to do your best to avoid moving if possible, since moving is an expense and a hassle for any business. If you are not sure where you will be in 5 years, talk to the landlord about renewal and expansion possibilities so that you have options at the end of your term. Here are a few pros and cons to consider when thinking about long versus short term leases:

Long Term Lease

  • Pros: This type of lease is ideal for a company with a clear plan and predictable growth. It also allows a tenant to really invest in customizing a space, especially since landlords typically help with construction costs for long term occupants. It also means avoiding regular renewal negotiations, which can be costly and tiresome if a landlord knows that you do not want to leave the space.
  • Cons: One major con is annual rent increases. Typically the yearly increases for a long term lease are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which increases at about 3% per year—meaning that after 10 years you will be paying 30% more in rent. Regular market values rarely raise at this steady rate, so by committing to this measurement you are missing out on the opportunity to negotiate for a better rental rate.

Short Term Lease

  • Pros: The biggest benefit of a short term lease is knowing you will be less likely to find yourself stuck in a place you cannot afford. A 2-3 year lease term with the option to renew or even to expand into adjacent space is the ideal situation for a small business not yet in a position to accurately predict the future.
  • Cons: The downside of a short term lease is that there are not as many benefits for the tenant as there are in long term leases, for example, free rent periods, breaks on some expenses, or help with build-outs. The longer the term, the more financial concessions a tenant has the power to ask for.

Knowing how long of a lease to sign for a small office space for rent in Overland Park, KS, comes down to how sure you are about the trajectory of your business in the next few years and whether it is worth the risk of taking on a space that will be too big or too small. The more stable and predictable your business is, the longer the lease you should look for in order to reap all of the benefits offered to long term tenants.

Before you get too far into negotiations over any commercial real estate in Kansas City, step back and make 5-10 year plan for your business to decide how much space you should lease and how long of a lease you can commit to!

If your business is interested in Kansas office space for rent, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our available office spaces for rent in Overland Park, KS!