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Psychological Drivers Behind the Choice of Office Premises

When renting office space, the most important factors influencing the choice of premises are often price and functionality. However, there are also some psychological factors behind the assessment of office premises.

Tradition and historical connection
Important factors when concerning willingness to pay and the impetus to move are tradition and history. Companies are quick to list access to public transport or close proximity to customers as the reasons for selecting a location, however there is often also an emotional connection to different areas. This can be due to the company having been located in an area for many years, or that an area has historically been considered to be attractive. The CBD in Oslo – Vika and Aker Brygge – and Bjørvika are good examples of this. Vika and Aker Brygge have long been regarded as some of the most attractive areas for office property in Oslo and this has led to many companies being based here for a number of years. Bjørvika, which is a relatively new area in historical terms, therefore does not have the same historical connection. This could be a reason for why the area achieves significantly lower rents and demand than Vika and Aker Brygge, even if the buildings are newer and the location perhaps more central. This factor can also been seen in the companies that choose to establish themselves in the different areas. Bjørvika has a tendency to attract companies with a high number of young employees, while in Vika and Aker Brygge, relocation processes are often dominated by partners or senior employees who have perhaps always been in the area and therefore are reluctant to move.

Symbol of quality
Knowledge enterprises such as brokerage houses, advisers and consultants can often desire to be located in a beautiful building because the office is a symbol of quality. Typical tenants in more expensive office clusters, such as the waterfront and the CBD, are almost exclusively knowledge enterprises. These are companies that, due to expert knowledge within their fields, sell services that are difficult to measure in terms of tangible results. This means that the companies must signal and market their excellence through symbols of quality. This can include the price of the services they offer, awards and rankings through third-party institutions and last, but not least, lovely offices. This also means that companies can make an assessment of whether a part of the rental expenses can be allocated to the marketing budget instead of being seen as a standard rental expense.

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