Four considerations when planning your office space design

 office space design LayoutPart of our job as an office tenant rep is to help guide our clients into office space that is ideal for their business. There are many decisions to make along the way. Office space design is one we get involved in frequently.  It can make a huge difference to the bottom line. Your office space design is a crucial element in productivity and attracting, engaging and retaining talented employees. A well designed office space is not only functional, but also provides comfortable work stations for employees that are designed to allow them to be as productive as possible. Here are four of the more important consideration to take into account when planning your next office design.

  1. Convenience Breeds Productivity: For greatest productivity, group employees together in your office space design according to their functions. It creates a sense of community and helps build teams. For example, put the people who process invoices close to accounting personnel. This enables closely related departments to consult with each other as needed without hindrance, thus streamlining your process. When planning an office design, put together a list of key tasks each group of employees performs. This will help you put related groups closer together.
  2. Efficient Work Space: To maximize productivity, provide work space large enough to allow for placement of any and all documents used by employee as well as their office equipment. Position them closest to the copiers, postage machines, or any other equipment they use often. Provide comfortable chair and proper lighting to reduce muscle aches and eyestrain, which hurt productivity.
  3. Private Spaces vs. Open Plan: In an open plan, employees work at communal tables or low walled cubicles that allow them to interact with each other. Many companies favor this option because it improves communication and encourages team work and collaboration. It also reduces the amount of office space needed, reducing overhead.  If your employees perform tasks which require intense concentration, then private spaces are more optimal.
  4. Communal and Focus Spaces: Place conference and focus rooms close to employee work stations and allow enough room for the different groups that will use them. Focus spaces are especially important for employees in open office layouts. It is someplace they can go when they need to concentrate; to allow them to be more focused on a task. Make sure informal communal spaces are large enough to hold several employees at a time in comfort and placed well away from formal areas to keep noise from disrupting other meetings.

Following these office space design guidelines will help you make better decisions concerning your next office space design plan and make for a more efficient and productive work area. For more information on any aspect of renting or leasing office space, contact us today. We have local office tenant reps throughout the US and Canada who will help you at no cost to you..

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Office Hoteling: 4 Factors to Employee Acceptance

Office HotelingIn an effort to cut costs, more and more companies are turning to office hoteling software. Office hoteling involves assigning workspace on an “as needed” basis rather than permanently, and requires fewer resources in order to implement. Offices that have implemented office hoteling policies typically reduce their office space needs by 30% to 50% from their current usage. In many cases it is a part of a business transitioning to an “Agile Workplace.” Making the switch can sometimes be difficult on employees, which is why you should keep these tips in mind when doing so.

  1. The first thing you should do is hold a meeting to discuss your plans so that employees are not caught off guard. Explain your reasons for wanting this change, and reassure them that it will not affect their ability to perform certain tasks. Allow them to voice their concerns, and keep their feedback in mind whenever coming up with a final plan.
  2. Workers are likely to be concerned with how they will store their personal belongings in a hoteling environment. As such, you may want to invest in lockers or moveable carts so that individuals can easily keep their personal items safe. You should also have a plan in place for keeping office supplies stocked , as employees are likely to become disgruntled if they arrive at a workstation only to find they don’t have what they need.
  3. Make sure each workstation has ergonomic chairs that can easily be height adjusted as need be. Spaces should also be well lit, and contain partitions that will provide a degree of privacy while also controlling noise levels. Consider placing computer locks at each desk so that workers who bring their own laptops can secure them whenever they leave the area for any reason.
  4. Your workstations should also be set up in such a manner that equipment such as copiers, scanners and fax machines are easily accessible to everyone. Keep in mind that a few private offices or conference rooms may need to be included in your floor plan so that meetings can take place when necessary.

Want to know more about office hoteling or creating an Agile Workplace? We can help your workplace become an agile one, please Contact us and we will get you started in learning about creating an Agile Workplace and then showing you how it might work for your company.

Medical office space: The emergence and effects of master leases

Medical office spaceIf you’ve been looking for medical office space, then you must probably have noticed that the sector is changing with the emergence of master leases. In a master lease a large organization or institution will take the lease on several floors of office space and then sublease smaller spaces to healthcare providers. Once they have been signed, these contracts give well-funded companies the opportunity to offer individual lease contracts to physicians and other healthcare practitioners. There are many advantages associated with master leases, which is why they are currently trending and expected to significantly impact the medical sector in the years to come. This article discusses the emergence and effects of master leases.

New, larger medical office space is available

One of the main benefits of master leases is that they spur the construction of modern buildings that meet the new standards of the healthcare sector. Indeed, healthcare professionals used to rent office space in conventional buildings, which they then tried to convert into medical office space. This often made it hard for certain doctors to successfully integrate a geographical area of interest due to the limited availability of high-quality medical office space. The advent of master leases is to bring changes that will affect the activity of doctors in various ways. For instance, critics are already pointing out that the cost of renting new and modern medical office space could be prohibitive given the recent surge in medical office lease rates across the nation.

The role of the Affordable Care Act

As you might know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought massive changes in the U.S. healthcare system. While some have complained about its negative implications such as the technological standards that doctors are now required to meet when caring for patients, others have praised the fact that the new legislation means more business for physicians. To accommodate the new influx of patients, doctors will need to be in larger and better-equipped offices.

The emergence of master leases is putting pressure on rents since medical office space is demanded by creditworthy doctors. This is a win-win situation for both corporate landlords and tenants, since the latter will be eligible for all the benefits associated with the ACA full compliance.

Please contact us for more information on  medical office space.

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Office Relocation Planning Guide: 10 Tips for a Successful Office Move

office relocation hand truckAn office relocation is no fun, but at times in a necessary evil in order to move your business forward. Following these 10 tips will make the outcome much better.

1)  Select a mover with office relocation experience; do not use firms with only residential or household moving experience.  Don’t use a broker, rather contract with the company actually doing the move.

2) Consider the cost and difficulty of assembly and dis-assembly when buying office furniture and modular wall and furniture components

3) Check with the local municipal government of your new location for civil code requiring a permit if your street will be obstructed during the move.  If so, you may wish to consider including permit costs into your contract with your moving company.

4) Choose moving cartons no larger than 2 cubic feet in volume, anything larger could cause lifting injuries to employees.  The National Safety Council reports that 70% of all workers compensation claims are due to back injuries cause by lifting.

5) Your computer and other technology equipment should be wrapped and secure in bubble wrap as opposed to furniture pads.  Rent special crates from your mover to insure your systems are moved safely.

6) Consult with your office equipment vendor regarding the proper method of transport for copiers and laser printers.  Often manufacturers require you remove the toner or other specific components before moving.

7) Ask your mover how they will protect your flooring, carpeting and doorways during the move out of your existing location and the move into your new space. Consider purchasing additional liability insurance.

8) Before emptying file cabinets, see if your mover is capable of transporting your file systems intact, without damaging the file system’s structure.  Instead of emptying, packing, and unpacking desk contents, consider using special inflatable, non-destructive fillers to immobilize contents during transit.

9) Label ALL items, furniture, boxes, and other packages.  Again, label EVERYTHING.  Place labels on the top and at least one side of each package.  Color coded labels can help with efficiency, and it’s a good idea to mark which end is up on boxes and packages.  Appropriately mark FRAGILE items.

10)  Consider the location of electrical outlets at your new site and have plenty of appropriately rated extension cords/outlet strips that can be strategically placed before heavy furniture and equipment block the wall outlets.  Also keep on hand plenty of extra telephone and cat-5 cable.

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The 3 C’s to Creating a Great Office Space Design

3C's of great Office Space DesignWhile there is more than just office space design and layout considerations to maximizing employee engagement, poorly designed office space can be a very negative factor that will directly affect the bottom line. The coworking  workplace concept may be a forerunner of the future work-styles, but it is today’s integration of three C’s in office space design that is helping to redefine office space design of the workplace. These are the 3 C’s;  Concentration, Collaboration, and Community. The relationships between and among these three C’s are critical in creating an office with high-performance workspace that enhances employee engagement and satisfaction. The three C’s must work together to support multiple ways of working and to provide the ability for businesses to react quickly to the fast changing business environment.

Concentration – First and foremost the office space design needs to take into account the need for space within the office that its conducive to tasks that require quiet concentration. Concentration space will typically take up around 50% of the space including private offices, focus rooms and open area workstations.

Collaboration – Most companies are focused on developing means for better Collaboration and cooperation in sharing of ideas. While this is an important concept, it must be evaluated in relation to the other two C’s to avoid unnecessarily taking on too much office space.

Community – Companies are also recognizing the importance of creating a sense of Community among employees by having areas that are designed to enable and enhance it are important in today’s workplace. It is team building; the development of trust and core values among employees.

With 50% of the space allocated to Concentration space, the other 50 percent will be divided between Collaboration and Community spaces.

We are all used to evaluating office space needs on a square foot per person basis, but with the new works styles a new set of metrics must expand beyond square feet  per person to include:

  • Square Feet per Seat
  • Persons-to-Seats Sharing Ratio
  • Number of “I” Seats to Number of “We” Seats Ratio

via A New Set of Metrics for High-Performance Workspaces.

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