The term “office” has one meaning to the public, and another to a business owner. To the public, it means office space, where employees go to perform a variety of tasks. For the latter, it means a space in terms of size, amenities, security, rent and more. There are many types of offices that are customized to their industries and/or needs, which include classifications. First, let’s break down office classifications.
Class A — This is the highest classification. These offices are furnished, are in high-rise buildings, offer security on premises (or security features) and have high-rent tenants. They are located in the business district and are maintained by a property management company.
Class B — A downgrade from Class A, this class of office space is nice but without the high-end fixtures or a large lobby. Class B’s attract medium-sized businesses and are located in the suburbs (e.g. office parks). Age is another factor; Class B’s are ten years older than Class A’s.
Class C — This is the lowest class. This office space is in a less-desirable location and in need of repairs. Small businesses are attracted to this class due to the low rents. Class C’s are older than the other classes (20 years) and usually end up being converted to residential units.
Now that we have gone over the office classifications, let’s talk about the types of office spaces.
Flex Space — Also called co-working space, flex space is an office that offers flexible leasing terms and a number of desks and amenities. It is perfect for startups that aren’t sure how long they will need a workspace, especially if they are growing at a fast rate. Multiple companies can utilize the workspace, which promotes social interaction among tenants. It usually has a class B rating, since the rents are low and there aren’t many amenities.
Executive Suite — These have a Class A rating, as they are fully furnished (phone and internet ready) and are located in an impressive building. They can take up an entire floor in a building due to the company’s size and come with flexible leasing (e.g. a 9-month term).
Traditional Office – These majority of this type of office is utilized by financial services companies and law firms. They offer offices with minimal windows for client conversations, cubicles and shared spaces (e.g. a conference room). Traditional offices can be rated Class A or B.
Creative Space — This is the opposite of a traditional office. It caters to companies in the creative and tech industries where there is a focus on collaboration. You’ll find high ceilings, “uplift desks,” hardwood floors and multi-function spaces. Think of industrial spaces with exposed pipes or beams as well as a mixture of materials. The rating is usually a B, but can also be an A (new construction).