Honolulu Office Space: A Hot Market?

Honolulu office space repUnfortunately, the air temperature is the only thing that is hot related to Honolulu office space. Although, according to our local OfficeFinder rep the Honolulu office space market is beginning to hold its own:

“After two quarters of negative absorption, Honolulu’s office market registered slight positive absorption in the 4th quarter of 2013 to keep vacancy unchanged at 13.1 %. Healthy occupancy gains in Kakaako and Kalihi/Iwilei were offset by losses in the Airport and Kapiolani submarkets. Downtown’s class A high rises which account for about a third of the island’s inventory remained unchanged at 13.7% vacant. The vacancy range was unchanged from the previous quarter: 5.0% (East Oahu) to 20.9% (Waikiki). Average asking base rents and operating expenses remained unchanged as did the resulting $3.05/sf/month Full Service Gross (FSG) rent (base rent plus full service operating expenses). However, Hawaii Commercial Real Estate’s index of available spaces decreased 3% from 651 to 634 spaces across the island.”

Honolulu is a relatively small market with a little over 11 million square feet of office space. If you are looking for Honolulu office space, we’d love to help.

By: James Osgood
OfficeFinder

Houston Office Space: Hot Class A Submarkets

A recent report from JLL identified the 5 hottest Class A submarkets within the Houston Office Space Metro area. In addition, CBRE reports that office absorption growth has been steady in Houston.

“IN TEN OF THE LAST ELEVEN QUARTERS, THE MARKET HAS SURPASSED THE 900,000 SQ. FT. NET ABSORPTION MARK, WITH SIX OF THOSE NINE QUARTERS HAVING SEEN NET ABSORPTION OVER 1 MILLION SQ. FT.”

Here are the Houston office space submarkets that the JLL report identified:

  • The Energy Corridor had the lowest Class A office vacancy in the first quarter of 2014 at 4.7 percent and one of the highest rental rates at $34.17 per square foot.
  • Central Business District: 8.7 percent vacancy with an average rental rate of $40.51
  • Westchase: 8 percent vacancy with an average rental rate of $37.60
  • Greenway Plaza: 7 percent vacancy with an average rental rate of $34.93
  • The Woodlands: 6.6 percent vacancy with an average rental rate of $37.84

JLL Report information via  Houston Business Journal.

Unfortunately the Class B Office Space Market in Houston is not faring quite so well with a vacancy rate near 15% resulting in the average rental rate being over $10 / sf less than that of Class A space. If you are looking for a “deal” in Houston on office space, Class B will be what to consider.

Find out more by contacting our local Houston office space rep.

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By: James Osgood
OfficeFinder

Good Office Space Design Breeds Collaboration, Productivity, and Identity

Office Space DesignSuccessful businesses owners ensure that their office space design facilitates the very collaboration and innovation necessary for their organizations to thrive. Savvy entrepreneurs understand the powerful influence that environment has on both human emotion and behavior; therefore, it is not at all surprising to discover that companies all over the world spend a great deal of effort planning an advantageous layout for their business’ needs.

If done thoughtfully, rethinking an office space’s design will pay dividends in improving employee engagement and to the productivity, morale, and bottom line for the company. Kevin Kuske, general manager for an office furniture manufacturer that specializes in small and emerging companies, compares the organizational standards found in a city to that in an office: “Vibrant cities have various zones–for play, concentration, collaboration, socialization, and creativity. Every great work space should as well.”

How then do those effective principles found within civil engineering transfer themselves into the confines of an office?

First, Kuske encourages office designers to look beyond the desk. Employees naturally have strong ties to their desks because that is precisely where most of the work is completed–documents, computers, phones, etc. are all located there for ease of access. That doesn’t mean, however, that other unique working areas can’t be scattered throughout the office space. For instance, one area could feature taller cafe-height tables where employees could sit or stand. Another could have clusters of sofas where groups could meet to discuss new ideas, project expectations, etc. Any of these alternative locales can offer employees an equally effective venue for their work, while allowing them the freedom of movement and change of scenery to reinvigorate their creativity.

Office space design should also showcase the company’s unique brand and culture. Considerations as simple as color schemes and furniture design can make some of the most defining statements of all. If a company’s business literature and logo employ blue and yellow, then working that color scheme into the office space itself will embody that brand’s style while giving the entire company a more unified feel. It may seem a bit frivolous to take such considerations into account, but these subtle cues do much for helping employees to feel like an important part of a cohesive whole.

It’s only natural to think about work at an office space, but meaningful play is also crucial. Many businesses will set up a ping pong table or basketball hoop so that employees can relax a little bit throughout the stressful day. These areas also serve a vital role in building stronger connections between employees, while granting working minds new things to think about so that creativity will flow more freely.

Lastly, allowing employees to participate in designing certain areas of the office will help the organization run more smoothly while encouraging the staff to take ownership of the space. Employees are hired because of what skills they can bring to the business, but also because of who they are. Permitting a little celebration of employee personality and uniqueness inspires creativity and productivity for the entire staff.

Certified OfficeFinder SpecialistBefore a business can launch into its office space design, it must locate the perfect blank canvas to fit its needs. Since 1995, OfficeFinder has successfully guided over 234,000 companies to their new homes. Please  contact us today so that we may help you find the perfect space for your future design dreams.

By: James Osgood
OfficeFinder

3 Tips for Improving Employee Engagement

Employee engagement

Got to love happy employees

Employees are the lifeblood of a business. Many studies show that employee engagement will significantly increases productivity. Your employees are a substantial part of the success of your business. A motivated and engaged employee base is imperative. Here are 3 tips for improving employee engagement:

1. Clue your employees in to the big vision: Vision seems like something to be left to the big boys, to the top executives in the cloistered boardrooms, shut away from the working masses. But the fulfillment, execution and refinement of a vision are always left to employees. Can you see the disconnect here? There’s nothing to gain from keeping the vision separated from the employees – they are the ones to get the vision implemented anyhow. They will be the ones to apply the initiatives, the ones to perform the actual tasks needed to bring the vision to life. So why shut them away? Employees should be allowed to see and understand what they’re working for. A meaningful sense of connection to an organization’s bigger vision is only a boon to productivity. When people know the rationale, when they know why they are doing something and not another, this motivates them more, as compared to just them being commanded what to do. By allowing them to see the vision, they can more easily find ways to make it a reality.

2. Engage them in policy making: Like a vision, policies may be constructed by executives, but it will be the employees that feel the brunt of company directives. So, why not allow them a say in what these directives will be? Have managers or key executives sit down with employees and actually discuss how things will be done at the company. And the possibilities are endless, too. You could talk about work policies like telecommuting options, flexible vacation plans, new feedback processes between employees and managers, etc. There are multiple areas of organizational policy that employee input can contribute to. If you’re okay with it, perhaps ask them about workweeks, and whether they can be shortened. Ask them whether they’d like less managing and more autonomy. You can even ask them whether flex-time and flex-place arrangements are something they’d consider. When you actively seek out this kind of input, it puts you in alignment with your employees, and shows them they’re truly valued.

3. Let them tell you what to improve: Being down in the trenches gives employees a different view of things than management. Management may be concerned with big-picture problems, but employees are the ones to suffer through bad policies, impractical management methods and the like. On a daily basis, they’re the ones to bear the weight of the organization’s issues. With such down-on-the-ground knowledge, you’d be foolish not to ask your employees about where you can improve. Ask them whether their managers are doing their jobs right. Ask them whether the organizations processes and culture help or hinder. Ask whether workloads and deadlines are reasonable. The list of things you can find out is endless. But the important thing is to ask with sincere and meaningful intent. If you’re going to ask, make sure to ask because you intend to act on what you learn. If they identify areas that could do with some work, listen to that input and do something about it. Rarely will you be able to show sincerity better than through action. If employees see you making a concerted effort to improve, they’ll see how they matter in a real way.

By involving employees in these 3 areas, you can increase employee engagement and increase your bottom line.

Want to know more? We can help your workplace become more productive and improve employee engagement. Please Contact us and we will get you started in learning about creating an Agile Workplace and then show you how it might work for your company.

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By: James Osgood

Photo Credit: gcoldironjr2003 via Compfight cc

Standing Desks the Hottest Trend for the Healthy Workplace

“Sitting is Killing You” says LifeHacker. The infographic goes into detail about the health risks of sitting too much and suggests getting up and moving around the office more as a way to combat inactivity. A standing desk isn’t the only answer, but it sure helps in creating a healthy workplace.

Standing Desk for a healthy workplace

Standing Desk

According to Mónica Guzmán at The Seattle Times, given the option, more workers are choosing to stand while working at computers.  Standing desks are becoming especially popular at tech companies where workers can spend upwards of 9 hours a day sitting in front of a computer.

Do-it-yourselfers have been slapping together stand-up desks for awhile now at home, but the trend is growing in more formal settings. A recent post by LifeHacker lists the Five Best Standing Desks, the last of which is a DIY.

In an office with a tight budget, do-it-yourself may be the answer. Gizmodo India posted an example of an inexpensive solution, a clever contraption that turns any table into a standing desk.

Before you jump into standing all day, consider these tips and ideas for a  healthy workplace and a successful transition to a standing desk:

  • Try increasing your standing time by 5 minutes each day until you reach a half a day, then sit for lunch, then go back to standing and sitting in the afternoon.
  • Walk around the office every so often, at least five minutes every hour.
  • Wake up your brain and practice balancing on one foot while you work.
  • If you’re listening to music, dance a little. Do something different!
  • OSHA has guidelines for standing posture – check them out here.
  • Get an anti-fatigue mat and lessen the strain on your body and improve your workspace ergonomics.
  • Seriously consider an adjustable height table. It makes standing and sitting throughout the day easier.
  • To add a bit of fun to the office, here’s a standing clock so you can time how long you stand each day. Is a little healthy standing time competition in order at your office?

OfficeFinder is the leading web based office space referral and information network with highly qualified local office space leasing and sales professionals in over 550 markets.  Contact us and we’ll help you find your space and make it work for you.

By: James Osgood
OfficeFinder