What to look for when renting office space in Houston
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States by population, and second-largest by total area, with more square mileage than Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Detroit combined. There’s something for everyone in the Bayou City, with a neighborhood to suit every lifestyle.
This is especially true when it comes to finding the perfect home base for your business. A Houston private office can mean many different things for different companies, and the building you choose should reflect your values, your tastes, and your workplace culture.
With such a large geographical area to cover, it’s difficult to know where to start. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting an office location in Houston.
What does your team need from your office space?
Before you start window shopping for hip neighborhoods or ogling highrises in the Downtown District, it’s important to do an internal analysis of your real needs. What working environment will help your team be the most successful?
Some of the key considerations to establish first include:
- Lease term – Are you better off with a short- or long-term office lease? A short-term agreement could be anywhere from a few months to three years, while a long-term agreement is generally more than three years.
- Capacity – How many people will be in the office at once, and how may that grow or flex over time?
- Layout — Does your company culture thrive in an open layout, cubicles, or private offices? Do you have a hybrid workforce that will only be in-office part time?
- Privacy – Do different teams need their own spaces, like private phone booths for client calls?
- Technology – What kind of hardware and software does your team need to support business continuity?
What is a necessity for you?
Local culture is as much a part of choosing an office building as anything else. Your proximity to different amenities and neighborhoods will dictate the workforce you attract, and promote a certain type of culture among associates. An office with Montrose coffee shops nearby may attract a different workforce than a commuter-friendly outer ring suburb with ample parking.
Figure out what’s a necessity for you and your team — and what’s an added bonus. Is a convenient local happy hour non-negotiable? Is walkability important or does your team tend to enjoy lunches in the break room?
Top considerations may vary by team, but here are some common ones:
- Location – Houston is very big and getting from one part of the city to another can be a task. Having a central location makes for an easier commute for most employees (and a deeper hiring pool with more opportunity).
- Commuter concerns — Traffic is all but unavoidable in H-Town, and many people avoid a long commute for their well-being. A lot of employees seek alternatives to highway drive-time congestion. Does your team prefer to use the metro rail, metro buses, or rent bikes? That is an important consideration.
- Amenities – Keep a lookout for valuable in-office amenities that connect with your associates, such as free coffee, networking events, cleaning services, private meeting rooms, furnished offices, phone booths, fitness centers, restaurants, free parking and outdoor social areas.
- Convenience – Is convenience a big issue for your team? If so, make sure that the office is located near restaurants, gyms, grocery stores, highways, or public transportation.
Other fundamental considerations are more nuts-and-bolts for business operations:
- Space to host clients – Client-facing businesses need dedicated space to take meetings, both in-person and virtually. You’ll need an appropriate amount of space for these one-on-one meetings. You also need a third-party reception team to ensure the experience that your clients have is properly reflective of your culture.
- Connectivity – Global companies increasingly need to connect with clients virtually. That means enterprise-level secure networks, private phone booths, and conference rooms with tech hookups to help facilitate group conversations.
- Parking – Convenient parking is a huge sell for employees in Houston. Having adequate parking on site — and dedicated parking spaces when available — cuts down on the hassle and headache of driving to work. Available bike parking is another popular feature for companies that attract a younger, more health conscious workforce.
Sometimes it’s the little things
Sometimes it’s the little perks that make coming to work a joy. Fresh, local coffee in the morning, breakfast to kick your day off right, an aesthetically pleasing space, or a team you like working the front desk can set the tenor of the day. Good snacks in the breakroom don’t hurt either.
Getting these things right requires careful planning and practice. Many companies find that, rather than trying to manage an office in-house, it makes more sense to let an expert run the physical office space, from cleaning to caring for office plants to restocking drinks and treats.
Businesses gravitate to Houston for a reason. It’s a lively, youthful city with endless opportunities for creativity and entrepreneurship. It’s also a place with many flexible working spaces to suit different company cultures and tastes.
There’s no one way to know if an office is right for your business. The best solution is touring a space for yourself.
An established luxury office space provider can show you short and long-term rentals, like the private offices, flex suites, and enterprise suites available at The Square. Conveniently located at the intersection of the 69 and 610 Interstates, we’ve got the perfect space for your team.