Bangkok Office Rental or Leasing, Location

When you prepare to set up an office, the first issue is usually location, which will depend on these important considerations which you will be dealing with for years and can affect degree of success or failure:

  • Budget -- expensive central business district, or much cheaper suburb?
  • Where are your clients located, do your clients need to visit you often, and/or you visit them often?
  • Is your office easy to reach by employees, so that you get the best selection of human resources?

You may not want to just copy others, because a lot of Managing Directors new to Thailand have eventually had their regrets on their selections and basis thereof. It's best to do things right from the start.

As of mid-2004, the cost per square meter for office rental space in a central business district (CBD) highrise building had risen to typically 400 to 550 baht per square meter. As you move out to buildings on the fringe of the CBD, such as down an upper Sukhumvit soi, or in a townhouse or shophouse, it can fall to around 300 baht per square meter for a decent place, more or less.

To get lower than that, down to below 100 baht per square meter, you must head for the suburbs.

The suburbs have practically all the modern amenities of the CBD, such as office supply stores, support services, big computer shopping centers, western restaurants, etc., etc.

Transportation is an issue in the CBD because it's so crowded. The BTS skytrain and subway are hailed, but you pay a price for proximity, the closer the distance the higher the price. As you go out, it can take you as long to get to/from the BTS as it could to go many kilometers in a taxi or car or bus in the suburbs.

Inside the CBD, the BTS is often your only option for transport, due to traffic.

Outside the CBD, taxis, driving, and buses are reasonable options. It can be easier to just wave down a taxi right outside your door, rather than get to the skytrain one way or another, go thru the stalls, wait for the train, get off and find transport to the destination. You must add up all the costs of transport and the total time and effort door-to-door in order to make comparisons.

Expat social life on a daily basis sometimes has more to do with office selection than work life. If you don't need it daily, then consider living elsewhere and saving on personal rent, too, while spending some days and occasions lounging around those areas.

Thai employees also have their preferences. A lot of Thais will take a lower paying job in a CBD highrise rather than a higher paying job in a shophouse! This kind of Thai likes to dress professionally and be part of an established class of work. They tend to be the younger sort of Thai such as recent university graduates going thru a phase of their life.

A significant concern is the ability of employees to get to work. Most ordinary Thai employees take public transport to work. Employees who live anywhere along the subway or skytrain route can obviously get to/from the CBD, and are buses from most anywhere to the CBD. However, you will probably find that most of your employees do not live on a skytrain or subway route, and even if they live near the CBD, they still spend an hour on the bus, often standing up holding the rail during rush hour traffic.

If you consider a suburb, then you will be employing another kind of Thai who values a workplace closer to home. The best suburbs for getting educated Thais are Nonthaburi, Rangsit, Lad Prao, Bangkapi, and Bang Na.

If you choose a suburb, then you should be close to an expressway.

The Chaeng Wattana expressway going north-northwest to Nonthaburi is the best because the expressway buses for employees and other infrastructure gives you the widest range of employee sources. The bus hub of Bangkok is Victory Monument, which also has a skytrain station, and there are many expressway buses from all over the place which get on/off the expressway there, especially to/from Nonthaburi, for a quick and easy commute. Nonthaburi also has suburban bus links directly to Rangsit, Bangkapi, Minburi, and Lad Prao.

At the opposite extreme, the expressway going southeast to Bang Na is jammed most of the time, quite the opposite of the other expressways.

While there are expressways to Bangkapi, Minburi, and Lad Prao, there are no expressway buses going to those regions.

Now you know why the Thailand Guru office is located in Nonthaburi, specifically Muang Thong Thani, down the Chaeng Wattana Expressway just west of the airport. Great value. Short commute TIME when going into town. See the Muang Thong Thani (MTT), Bangkok (BKK) website at www.MTTBKK.com.

However, different companies and people will have different needs and preferences.




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