Jim Doorn is the regional vice president of operations for Regus, a real estate company that offers clients workplace products, including fully furnished office and virtual meeting rooms. Doorn is responsible for providing leadership and strategy for more than 150 business centers throughout the eastern United States.
Q. How can a company determine how much space it needs?
The first thing, they’ve got to look at the total cost. If you look around your office space, how many of those areas are really used on a daily basis? How well is your business prepared for an economic downturn or normal economic cycle? Those types of questions are key to determine what percentage of space you need in a conventional lease and what percent of your real estate needs to be flexible where you can ramp up and scale down and limit the capital expenditures that you have in the real estate portion of your business.
Q. How can companies best weather the economic crisis when it comes to their real estate?
We’re seeing a mixture of things. A lot of companies are looking to just hold firm and ride it out or they’re looking to cut costs and maximize flexibility. We’re seeing a lot of companies forego renewing their current lease and downsizing to something that’s flexible. Companies are looking to leverage opportunity in the market and manage their costs.
Q. How can a company save money on real estate?
In the current economic environment, we’re finding that a lot of companies, large and small, are looking to move a percentage of their portfolio to a more flexible location. A business could save over half if they took office space for 30 percent of their real estate needs, a flexible solution for 30 percent and then a very limited use for the final percentage. The type of model where employees are not in the office as much is providing companies with options they’ve never had before. It all goes back to flexibility and managing cost.