You’ve established your company and have been working from home. It’s been a few months and things are starting to look great! You’ve seen some sales and a couple of repeat customers. It’s time to take your brand to the next level.
Sure, working from home is awesome. You don’t have to worry about traffic and you minimize expenses while spending time with your family and pets during lunch break.
But working from home can have its disadvantages too. Having your kids and pets around can also be a distraction. The temptation to procrastinate is psychologically higher when we are at home. This could cause you to miss out on goals for the quarter, leading to difficulties along the way.
Staying at home can also be quite limiting. Both for you and your business. You see, in order to grow your business, you’re going to need to expand your operations. This means expanding your team, who will then need space to function and collaborate. Even the hippest and fresh disruptors in every industry have an office where they meet to focus on and achieve company goals.
The benefits of renting Office Space in Chicago
As an entrepreneur, renting out or leasing an office should be seen as an investment towards your business. You are investing in a space to cultivate ideas and promote collaboration amongst your team.
In recent years, corporate businesses have begun to shift towards moving their operations to a coworking set up. This is where several employees from different companies come and share an office space. Doing so allows for a reduced cost in amenities, utilities, and office equipment.
An effective strategy, especially at the beginning, is to minimize budget while maximizing productivity. A common path for startups in recent years is to take advantage of the new trend found in coworking spaces. This type of office space is ideal for young companies as a catalyst in accelerating their growth. Some major corporations have chosen coworking spaces over leased offices, as well. In September 2016, HSBC decided to move 300 of its employees into a coworking space. Microsoft and IBM have also taken initiatives in moving their employees to a coworking space.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws, if not the biggest, of a coworking space is the inherent opportunity for networking. Not only have you invested in a flexible space to develop your ideas and strategies, but you have several potential business partners to choose from. It’s not rare to share a table with a different company, in a different industry, looking to connect. This allows for an avenue for businesses to grow and evolve. Collaboration is key to evolving your business.
For example, let’s say you’re an online brand looking to expand your reach. In your space, you might find someone working with a logistics company, a useful partner to provide your customers with excellent last-mile delivery. A digital marketer might teach you a few tricks to increase conversion or a web designer might show you how to revamp your website. Soon, you’ll be taking your brand to new heights.
The idea is all about keeping costs down while gaining an avenue to boost growth, sales, and production. Moving certain parts of your organization to a coworking space that will directly benefit from what they can offer is a good solution.
An example of this is your marketing team. Collaboration and networking are key in marketing. A coworking space makes their jobs a lot easier by having them work in the vicinity of potential sponsors or partners. However, your product team might need their own private office that will allow them creative freedom without having to worry about privacy and spilling trade secrets.
Best areas to have an office in Chicago
This district is known for its artistic and creative identity. With a focus on design and fashion, River North attracts not only creatives but is also home to numerous tech companies. Surrounded by galleries, ad agencies, designers, and writers, inspiration is just around the corner.
This district is also quite close to some of the residential areas in the greater Chicagoland area. Being close to downtown but just far enough to avoid the busy streets of the district, River North is the best of both worlds in terms of a relaxed and productive community.
Considered to be the central business district, The Loop is where major corporations reside. This is also where the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is found. Naturally, you’ll see busy people in suits and corporate outfits walking and rushing to their offices.
A great place to set up your headquarters for medium to large organizations, here you can find the hallmarks of an active business district. Mixing corporate aesthetics with wonderful public art, you’ll find an abundance of offices and coworking spaces to choose from to fit your style and work ethic.
With a more high-end vibe, West Loop is considered to be the city’s main shopping district. Finance and insurance are prominent industries in the district along with some of the biggest tech companies in the world like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google.
The West Loop district is an ideal location for small teams starting out. There are cost-effective workspaces found here that provide a modern feel with high-end amenities to discover. And due to the high volume of dining options, taking clients out to lunch is easy and convenient.
Wacker Drive runs along the side of The Loop and shares it’s bustling central business district vibe. A convenient location for an office, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds during rush hour while enjoying easy access to restaurants, stores, and other conveniences.
Chicago Office Space Market Statistics
Several industries and sectors have shown a trend in expansion leading to strong competition for space in the city.
The question is what is more viable for your business. Will you and your brand benefit from having an office for yourself? Or would it be cost-effective to rent out an office that you share with other companies?
What are the latest Chicago office space rental rates? As of 2020, on average, it’s about $50 per square foot to rent an office space. A commercial 300 square foot office would cost you around $15,000 per month for the lease. Quite expensive. And that’s just space. You still need to shoulder the costs of utilities, such as electricity and water.
However, coworking spaces boast substantially lower costs. For as low as $300, you could secure a spot at some of the best coworking spaces in town. Not only do you not have to worry about equipment and utilities but you also get a good pipeline of business partners and clients to connect and network with.
How to find the ideal office space
Searching for the ideal office space for you and your company is like looking for your next apartment. It’s exciting and motivating. You can’t wait to settle down and get those creative juices flowing.
Things to consider are your needs and budget. What kind of office space are you looking for? Are you looking for a private office where you have full control of its set up? Or a shared workspace where you have a healthy network of partners looking to collaborate.
You also have to consider maintenance. Owning an office, as opposed to renting or sharing a workspace, obligates you to consider maintenance as part of your budget. Remember, an office is an investment on your part. What would be good for your brand and team right now?
Speaking of your team, you also have to consider their individual spaces. Are you going to provide a dedicated desk for each person on your team? Each desk (and chair!) comes with its own costs as well. You’ll have to keep in mind the internet connection and cable set up, along with amenities and utilities to help you focus on what’s important.
A core requirement for every office is access to a meeting room. This is important because the meeting room is where ideas and strategies are born. Each and every step the company makes is decided there. So consider the features of the meeting room as well. What would you need? Obviously, a quiet space where the arguments and discussions held inside are kept inside. A projector for convenience, as well as a whiteboard for taking down ideas during your brainstorming sessions.