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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 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

Commercial Real Estate Market Stabilizing According to NAR

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According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, the US commercial real estate markets stabilizing with more demand and growing employment numbers. According th the NAR forecast office vacancy rates are expected to drop slowly over the next few years. The national office vacancy rate is expect to fall from 16.1% now to 15.3% by the end of 2012. This is based upon their economist's forecast of job growth of 1.5 million and 2 million jobs in 2011 and 2012.

If the NAR is correct and job growth continues at this pace beyond their predicted time period ending 2012, it would be 2018 or 2019 before the Office Vacancy rate drops to a more normal 10% level. This is assuming developers don't decide to provide any significant amount of new office space.

It also means that there are great opportunities in the market place for office tenants looking for office space. With the help of an experience local representative, a great deal can be had on office space of all types.

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Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations , Office Vacancy Rate , Tenant Representation

Choosing the Right Size for Your Leased Office Space

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When you contact an office finder service to locate a new or different space for your business home, one of the first questions you’ll be asked is,” What size office are you seeking?” Knowing how to respond to that query will make all the difference in the effectiveness of your search for commercial space to lease and your satisfaction with the office that you’ll spend many hours inside conducting business.

Leasing an office which is too small can make you and your employees feel cramped, increase ambient noise levels to near-intolerable, and reduce productivity and employee satisfaction. On the other hand, a space which is significantly too large, beyond predicted near-term growth factors, will result in many extra footsteps during each workday, excessive rent for unused square footage, and give the employees in the workspace a feeling of loneliness rather than the comfort of feeling part of a team.

To select the right office size for your business, consider at these factors:

  •  Executive Offices: These offices are those which need doors that close for executive privacy, usually those which house upper management. Determine how many executive offices you need based on the number of people who require this type of space. As a general yardstick, between 150-300+ square feet should be allocated to each of these offices.
  • Reception Area: Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need a lobby or waiting area in the front reception space. To determine the size of this area, consider the average number of people who may be waiting and allow space for seating, tables, lamps, and green plants. You’ll want your front office employee to have plenty of space to provide a professional first impression to those entering your office space. If you plan to place equipment such as copier, fax, and other items needing space for both the hardware and the person operating it, take this into consideration. Provide plenty of walking space around any equipment, furniture, and seating to prevent a feeling of crowding.
  • Meeting Space: Do you hold small meetings in your office frequently and conduct large meetings rarely? If so, consider saving money by locating nearby meeting facilities which can be rented only as needed. If, however, you hold large meetings frequently, it may be more cost effective to choose to lease an office space with at least one very large meeting room. Also, consider how many meetings may commonly be scheduled simultaneously. If necessary, select a space with several meeting spaces, but you can save rental charge if you can schedule meetings so that fewer meeting areas are needed. Since the square footage taken up by conference rooms is calculated into your lease fees yet the space may be used infrequently, it can be wise to avoid excessive conference spaces.
  • Useable Square Feet per Person: If your employee workspace is open plan using minimal partitions or desks separated by space only, you should plan for 90-125 square feet per employee for desks, filing cabinets, and other necessary furnishings. A closed plan requires more square footage of useable space per person for comfort, on average 125-200 square feet is needed for comfort. Take into account that you also need traffic areas for personnel and client circulation. Crowded walkways can lead to a sense of walking over one another and even result in accidents.
  • Community Areas: Every office space needs a space which can be used as a break area or lunch room so that employees can safely store bag lunches in a refrigerator, provide a place for coffee service, and allow those who like to save money by avoiding restaurant lunches have a space to eat. Estimate the size of this area based on what conveniences you plan to provide such as microwave, water cooler, coffee machine, sink, tables, and chairs. You may also need a common area for shared equipment such as copiers, paper shredders, and other common office hardware.
  • Sanitary Facilities: You’ll need to take into account restrooms if those are inside your leased space.
  • Growth Factor: Look at your company’s plan for future grow and the lease period. Do you expect to grow significantly during the lease lifespan? If so, you’ll want to allow for space in which to grow since there can be stiff penalties if you need to relocate before you lease period has expired. Keep in mind that moving is an expensive proposition since business cards, letterhead, signage, advertising, and other associated costs really add up and if proper planning can prevent an unnecessary relocation, it is well worth the time to carefully consider the future.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Choosing a qualified, experienced office locating service and seeking the advice of seasoned commercial real estate professionals can ensure that you choose the perfect office that is right-sized. Each business is unique and a trained professional can best assess your specific requirements. While you should use guidelines to do pre-planning, listen to the advice provide by your professional leasing advisor.

We also have some Online Tools you can use in evaluating how much office space you should rent:

The OfficeFinder Office Space Calculator will give you a fairly accurate idea of the square footage you need.

Our Conventional Office Space Rental vs Executive Suite Offices Rent Calculator will give you a price comparison between renting conventional office space compared to executive Suite Office space.

"How Much Office Space for This? How Much Office Space for That?" will show you the itemized sizes of different areas you may need.

To learn about how your office space should be measured to make sure you get all of the square footage you are paying for CLICK HERE.

Finally there is a lot of other good information related to office space design in other OfficeFinder Blog posts.

If you need office space, we can help! Just CLICK HERE.

Office Leasing Tips , Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design

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Lease Issues to be Aware of When Leasing Office Space

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The Tenant Advisor Blog has a good Infographic of key office lease issues. These are some of the most important office lease issues that need to be considered when signing a lease... after the price and business points have been negotiated and agreed upon.

office lease issues

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Lease Negotiations , Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Office Space