Setting Up an Office in Bangkok Part 3
Another factor look is what is around the office location. What kind of shops are located, especially lunch time locations and their price ranges? Having good quality food around for a reasonable price is another cost factor because not only an army marches on its stomach, offices do too. If the food stall prices are higher you can expect to pay higher salaries. Other facilities which could be of concern are daycares, fitness centers, telecom shops, clinics and other shops your employees might visit. If those are nearby your employees effectively saving travelling times which results in more time for work and recreational time and results in better work performance over time.
Last factor in order to evaluate a location is the basic environment. Considered here are environmental items like air and sound pollution and can be more or less obvious. Sound pollution means having a loud environment, which could mean to be next to a shopping mall with outdoor events. The location might mark high on surrounding facilities but when you try to focus while the sound boxes from the daily promotion event bringing your windows to vibrate you might get a hint why the rent was maybe cheaper and if the property developer might have skimmed on sound proofing windows. Air pollution from the outside is easy to be thought of, but also pollution or quality within the building. Things to consider is having a proper air exchange in addition to just filtering the air (ideally with an Energy Recovery Ventilation System [ERV]). Stale air, means carbon dioxide rich air, has more immediate and direct affects than pollution like fine particles which cause an increased sick rate within the office over time. Stale air reduces cognitive functions just like a too hot office and effectively costs you money due to employees spending more time to finish a task.
Location Factor Summary
In general, a lot of factors look initially like employee welfare points to make the employees comfortable and are just waste of money to invest. The common stance in Thai businesses is that only hard trackable expenses do count and measuring those ‘soft factors’ are just a waste of time and money. The loss of money due lower employee productivity is accepted and readily overlooked despite finding themselves in situations where it becomes hard to find people willing to work at their location or increased sick rates.