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Finding office space, companies' nightmare

Finding office space, companies' nightmare

Paul Pouhin
6 min25 Oct 2019

Deskeo, the leading provider of flexible office space in France, unveils the results of a national survey on the search for office space, conducted among more than 1,820 entrepreneurs and managers.

KEY POINTS

  • Finding an office is considered "difficult" by 78% of managers
  • 3 out of 4 moves take more than 6 months
  • 61% of respondents have exceeded the budget for their move
  • Only 23% of companies are fully satisfied with their offices
  • 74% of companies consider that their move has had a negative impact on their business

THE EXPERT'S OPINION

Frank Zorn, co-founder of Deskeo. "Over time, we can see that the more a company grows, the more crucial the question of its workspace becomes. If real estate is the second largest expense in a company after salaries, this survey tells us that the search for office space is the second most complex issue according to business leaders, just after financing and ahead of recruitment."

For the former President of Groupon France: "According to our survey, a search for premises is in most cases longer, more expensive and more resource-intensive than expected. Such a project is often a source of much hope, but often a source of disappointment: in the end, less than one in four companies is fully satisfied with their offices, and 74% even admit that their move has had a negative impact on their business."

"The property market is extremely tight in the most sought after sectors. Companies have to meet ever more stringent conditions of access in terms of length of commitment and guarantees. Every day we meet companies that have been blocked in their development for months because of a relocation project that is not going ahead."

"There are alternatives to the traditional lease, new solutions that offer flexibility to companies, while reassuring landlords with solid guarantees. This is the case of new players such as Deskeo, which allows hundreds of companies in France to access personalised workspaces adapted to their current needs, all with flexible conditions" concludes Frank Zorn.

Results of the office search survey

1. The search for office space: a major challenge

For entrepreneurs, not all the tasks and duties involved in setting up and running a business are the same. Financing their business (35%) is the most complex issue of all, followed by finding office space (26%). Recruitment completes the top three with 21% of the votes.

2. Finding office space, mission impossible?

Finding office space is a difficult mission for 78% of managers, but it is also time-consuming (more than 6 months in 73% of cases) and costly, with 61% of respondents admitting that they have exceeded their initial budget.

3. Is the traditional commercial lease the only solution for businesses?

As regards the different existing solutions, the traditional commercial lease (or "3/6/9") remains the norm (46%) ahead of the short-term lease (27%).

"If the traditional lease is the most common option, it is mainly because the vast majority of office space is now offered in this form," says "The commercial lease no longer corresponds to the challenges of today's companies. It is very difficult to have visibility on development beyond 12 or 18 months. The conditions of access are increasingly strict, and we often talk about a minimum commitment of 3 to 6 years. Entrepreneurs are looking for flexibility and services for their workspaces, which is why coworking spaces are increasingly attractive (22% of respondents). However, this option is not suitable for organisations with more than 20 people who feel the need to feel at home in order to build their company culture" he concludes.

4. Expenses largely underestimated

61% of respondents exceeded their original budget for their business move. "Rent is just the tip of the iceberg" observes Frank Zorn. "When you pay €1 in rent, the total cost of an office is usually close to €2."

While there can be many unpleasant surprises, according to the co-founder of Deskeo: "You don't realise how complex an office move is until you're faced with it. You have to find architects, a construction manager, source the furniture, etc. It's a real job and most companies don't have access to these skills. New solutions like Deskeo reduce the number of end-to-end contacts so that companies can concentrate on their business."

5. Companies!

In the end, 81% of the managers questioned are not entirely satisfied with their premises (19% not at all and 58% only partly). Worse, it is even common for a move to new premises to have a negative impact on the company's development: 74% of those surveyed admit that their move has had a negative impact on their business.

"Managers are obliged to make compromises in order not to slow down their growth and end up choosing premises that quickly prove to be unsuitable" notes Frank Zorn. "Once again, flexibility is essential for a growth company. French startups need to inform themselves about the new solutions on offer before committing to too long a time frame."

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