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Entries Tagged as 'Green Office'

Value Beyond Cost Savings in Green Office Space

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Last week I went to a seminar on making the business case for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings: value beyond cost savings. The program was sponsored by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Seattle and was well attended by not only building managers and real estate agents but architects as well. The program presented numerous ways to evaluate why it building owner would and should go green. 

In many office buildings there are many opportunities to take advantage of low hanging fruit related to cost savings that to pencil out. These would include simple activities such as changing out the lighting to lower wattage or compact fluorescent bulbs, turning off computers and other equipment when not in use as well as turning the lights out. More of these simple methods can be found on OfficeFinder's green office page.

Unfortunately many of the other more significant means of going green can get very costly and may never pencil out in a discounted cash flow analysis. If you are evaluating whether or not to implement major green initiative retro fits strictly due to cost savings, in most cases they just won't make sense.

What does make sense in implementing green technology into an office building is related to tenant demand and tenant retention. As I have discussed in previous blog posts related to workplace trends, employees are happier and more productive in workplaces that promote sustainability. This means businesses will make their decision on where to lease space or purchase office space based at least partially on whether or not the property promotes sustainability. This doesn't mean that it will be the sole factor in deciding where to locate, but it will help those buildings that are LEED and energy Star rated at the top of the list of office space alternatives to consider.

For building owner this can add up to some significant monetary savings, although it is a difficult one to measure accurately. If an office building owner is able to retain an office tenant rather than have to go out and find new ones, they will save not only the time space would have been empty, but also save related to tenant improvements, commissions and their time that they would have to spend on releasing.

Another benefit to building owners in improving the sustainability of the buildings is that government regulations related to sustainability is continuing to get stricter. By making improvements now, rather than waiting for government regulation to require those improvements, building owners can "proof" against future regulation.

When deciding on whether or not to retrofit equipment the landlord will be take into consideration their occupancy, market position, and equipment cycle. Related to equipment cycle, it may not make any sense to replace a new piece of major equipment, but when making the decision on replacing equipment that needs to be replaced, it only makes sense to look into sustainable products.

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Reducing Paper and Printing in the Office

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Face it, printing costs money. Depending on your printer, toner, paper and other consumables, it can be really expensive to print hardcopies unless they are absolutely necessary. While commercial real estate simply can not operate in a completely paperless environment due to required legal contracts and required reporting, the days of printing without forethought have passed. 

Business as a whole has become leaner and more streamlined and the commercial real estate arena is no exception. Printing requires file cabinets for all those needless papers while printing only those legally required permits smaller file rooms with fewer expensive file cabinets and manpower to file, pull and re-file paper. 

Every email doesn’t need to be printed. Key facts from emails such as contact numbers, website URLs, and lead information can be stored electronically in your email contacts and the actual email can be archived to your hard drive, thumb drive, or placed in a centralized storage location if you feel it really must be saved for reference. 

Because so many projects require two or more people to access files, storage on centralized data banks either online or as part of your intranet can reduce the need for excess printing. Dropbox.com allows large files to be stored in shared directories for access by those users given permission to access and edit them. Google Docs provides a very viable solution for smaller files to be shared, accessed from any computer with internet access by the file owner, as well as others given permission by the owner to edit or view the spreadsheets, presentations or documents. Cloud storage is the latest means of sharing documents. The term simply refers to the cyber cloud of data stored on the internet for access by those given permission.

Receipt scanning devices permit storage of those tiny pieces of paper as electronic data. These inexpensive portable devices easily fit inside a briefcase and connect to a computer via an available USB port so that important business cards and important tax receipts can be stored in an organized manner rather than misplaced or stuffed into a flimsy folder until needed again.

Companies focused on saving environmental resources as well as printing costs no longer allow employees to print and pass around jokes and other non-business data. When something truly needs to be printed, recycled toner and ink cartridges reduce the cost. Using recycled bond paper makes yet another dent in the expenses associated with printing. 

It may seem as if paper printing expenses in the office are not a large expensive, but if you focus on printing responsibly, you will find the savings add up and up quite quickly. You’ll realize time savings and reduction in the tedious task of filing hard copy information that may not be needed again. 

 

Green Office

Google Green - It is a priority

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It is great to see large corporations like google embracing Embracing Green.

Find out more by watching the video

Read more on the Google Blog

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Recent OfficeFinder Tweets - Follow us!

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Here are a few od our recent Officeifnder Tweets. We'd love to have you follow us.  We promise not to Tweet about our breakfast!

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Flexible Workspace , Green Office , Office Space , Twitter

Three Ways to Save Money in Your Office Operations

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Saving money in operating your office is always a plus and there may be ways you can save a lot with little effort that you may not have thought of before. Even small savings add up over time and can really make a difference in your bottom line over the course of a year.  Here are some ways that you may find fit perfectly into your business that make sense for saving dollars:

Print Responsibly: It costs money to print; paper costs money and uses up resources even if you choose recycled paper. Do you print every version of a contract or document, even when you know there will be several more versions before document signed off? You can red-lined and add comments using these functions built into all of today’s word processing software and it is much more efficient than hardcopy and red pen mark ups. It’s even more cost effective using electronic mark up because corrections and changes can be accepted or rejected by the document owner automatically rather than being retyped. Print only those documents needed for maintaining legally required files, customer contracts, and important reference documents you will use often. Any reference document you will only refer to only occasionally should be stored on your computer or network server and accessed as needed. Not only do you save money but also the number of trees being cut for paper products is reduced, reducing your organization’s environment footprint.

Right Source Labor: Overtime for employees is expensive and sometimes really isn’t welcomed by the employee needed for more than 40 hours when projects pop up needing attention. Employee burnout is always a problem and asking for extra hours can add to this problem. Of course, only trusted long-term employees can perform many of the tasks in your business, but temporary or part-time workers can easily do others. Hiring temporary labor from agencies can be nearly as costly as asking your employees to work overtime. Maintain a list of local freelance workers who can be called in for periods where routine tasks must be performed. Examples include preparing mailers and applying mailing labels, entering data into spreadsheets, copying and collating handouts for seminars and presentations, and there are many other tasks you’ll have based on what your firm needs. Often, you will find some of your employees have teens who would love the chance to earn a bit of extra money by working a few hours as needed. You can find temporary staff by posting on Craigslist.org for your area.  A freelance worker working virtually from a location other than your office may easily do some tasks, such as entering data into spreadsheets from another online source. Save expensive overtime costs for when you really need their expertise during extra hours.

Right Size Travel Expenses: Sometimes you simply must travel to attend a meeting or seminar. Perhaps you must visit an important client in another city. But most company travel budgets can be trimmed significantly if technology is used effectively. Invest in good quality video teleconferencing equipment and, for the cost of one or two meetings in another state, you can hold meetings face to face with people around the world forever. The equipment today is affordable and allows people to feel as if you are sitting at the table with them, even if you are in another continent. Even if you do feel a human presence is essential at the client’s site, when you do need to travel you can often reduce the number of people that go on the trip, combining video conferencing with on-site representation. You’ll recoup the investment in any equipment you purchased and the additional savings will amaze you after only a short time.

Green Office , Office Space