What Are the Different Types of Office Space?

Office Space for lease comes in all different types, sizes, building classes, and shapes. Many companies right now are favoring open office space layouts, however those are not for everyone. Maybe you like eclectic old houses zoned for commercial use or prefer an office in a downtown high rise. Whatever your needs there are many to choose from. When searching for office space for rent in Austin Tx you will come across many different types of office space. Below are a few to consider to see which ones are the best fit for your company.

Traditional Office Space

Traditional office buildings are typically multistory office towers in the suburbs or downtown that have common area lobbies, bathrooms, and hallways. In most situations landlords handle all of the repairs, maintenance, and cleaning. Parking is on a square footage basis (2-5 per 1000 sf depending on the building). So if you lease 5,000 sf you may get 10-25 parking spaces. In downtown areas parking will be an additional charge.

For most law firms, financial services companies, accounting & investment firms, etc the traditional office layout works the best. Traditional office space allows your employees to have their own private rooms to work and meet with clients since confidentiality is key. Common features of traditional professional office spaces are

  • Reception
  • Conference room
  • Private offices
  • Bullpen
  • Break area.

Most traditional office space leases require that you sign a multi year lease that is typically 3-5 years or longer.

traditional office space in austin

Creative Office Space

Creative office space is also thought of as office space with an open layout. They all share a similar decor, layout, style, etc however creative offices share a few common traits such as

  • High ceilings
  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Wood floors or nice carpet tiles
  • Big break areas
  • Fewer private offices and walls
  • Lots of glass walls

Creative offices encourage functional collaboration. With fewer walls between departments there is typically more transparency, collaboration, and communication between leadership, managers, and employees.

Office spaces that are creative also tend to be more efficient allowing you to fit more employees per square foot. You can get more people in a space when you have fewer rooms and more rows of tables or cubicles.

Startups, tech companies, creative agencies are typically drawn to creative open office space, however large companies and even law firms and financial companies are exploring this type of space to encourage communication and collaboration within and across departments and teams.

creative office space austin tx

Downtown High Rises

These are basically traditional modern office buildings found in high density downtown areas. You will see downtown skylines painted with large class A office buildings typically 20 to 30 stories with 300,000 to 5,000 sf of rentable office space. Most of them come equipped with all of the class A amenities as described in the office building classification below. 

downtown office highrise austin tx

Coworking Office Space

These are basically shared office situations. You have the flexibility of doing shorter term leases and they come furnished. Shared meeting rooms, break areas, and desks are common. These are best for small companies or tech startups who need short term work space. You can either rent a desk, a room, or a suite of rooms. Along with the flexible commercial lease terms you get to enjoy socialized events and interaction with other tenants and companies. 

Executive Office Suites

These are typically plug n play work spaces complete with furniture, phones, internet, and reception services. Regus for example will lease a full floor of a building and lease them out in smaller parcels to other companies for short flexible terms typically month to month or 3, 6, 9, 12 month increments.

Old Houses Zoned For Commercial Office Use

These are basically houses that were once residential now zoned for office space use. You typically find these in or around downtown neighborhoods. These are great for those wanting their own entrance and cool eclectic space. Lot’s of creative users and tech companies like these for their proximity to downtown.

old house zoned commercial in Austin Tx

Flexible Office Warehouse Space

For those that needs a little bit of office and a little bit of warehouse space these are perfect. It allows you to have some office space with your own entrance and an overhead door in the back for shipping and receiving. Flexible offices spaces are typically single story buildings found in semi industrial areas. You will have your own entrance and bathroom that you must maintain. You are also typically responsible for the cost of maintaining the HVAC unit.

flex office warehouse space in Austin Tx

Types of Office Building Classifications

Most office buildings are in one of the following 4 categories: Class A, Class B, or Class C, however this is not an exact science. There is not an industry wide standard on what determines a building classification. It depends on the landlord or agent, building owner, market, and other buildings in the neighborhood. Office building classes are somewhat subjective and it depends on a number of factors such as

  • Building age
  • Condition
  • Amenities
  • Location
  • Rental rates
  • Curb appeal
  • Historical significance
  • Maintenance
  • Ownership
  • Building infrastructure (e.g. HVAC, IT, Plumbing)
  • Available technology
  • LEED certification

These building classifications are not permanent as they can change depending on market trends, renovations, etc.

What is Class A Office Space?

Class A office buildings will be the nicest and highest quality commercial office properties in the market. You will see a mix of downtown high rises, historical buildings, and suburban office spaces that have the best locations, most recent technology and infrastructure, lots of tenant amenities such as building conference room, fitness center, showers, onsite deli, etc. Class A office space will have the highest rental rates. These buildings will attract image conscious companies such as attorneys and financial investment firms.

What is Class B Office Space?

Class A office buildings are a little bit older but still have nice amenities and good ownership. You will find a mix of smaller tenants looking for nice space but at a lower price. You can find class B commercial properties in prime areas but at lower prices than class A. They typically don’t offer as many amenities and services

What is Class C Office Space?

Most Class C office buildings are older with little to no tenant services. The finishes are lower quality both internal and external and they lack modern functionality and technological advances. They will also not be in the best locations. Rental rates in class C commercial buildings will be the lowest.


Not sure what type of office space your company needs? No worries – it varies by your company situation, size, ideal location, budget, and plans over the next 3-5 years, however we can help you find exactly what you are looking for. 

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