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10 Keys to Managing the Flexible Workplace with Remote Work Capabilities

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Today’s emerging office leasing trend includes reducing the amount of offices space square footage by reducing unutilized desk space and meeting rooms into office hoteling spaces where employees reserve a workspace, a meeting space or a quiet space when needed. This is the one way managing a flexible workspace and remote workers can reduce operating costs, cut overhead and allow your company to recruit and keep the best and brightest.

An office hoteling system, with effective hardware and software technology, combined with the best training and deployment, can be more easily managed by embracing the following 10 keys:

  1. Investigate, Plan and Train Managers: As you begin preparing for a truly flexible workspace you will want to investigate the latest in technology; especially the office hoteling reservation system you wish to implement. Measure and plan how to change the workspace layout to facilitate hoteling. Then provide effective training for your management team. For some baby boomer managers, the concept may seem alien since they have spent their careers where being IN the office frequently was expected and demanded. Management at every level need to understand their changing responsibilities in the new environment and the ways in which the new philosophies will benefit them as well as their employees.
  2. Manage the Flexible Workspace Change Deployment as Part of Changing Company Goals: Employee want and need more than just an “oh, we can telework now.” introduction to the benefits the company will gain from this new working style and exactly how the change will also benefit the employee and their families. The company will become more eco-responsible and employees can enjoy mobility, increased productivity without more work. Goals that have direct positive impact on employees will help acceptance of the office hoteling and flexibility. For example, you could tie pay to performance with periodic bonuses based on sharing out some of the money saved on real estate footprint or another carefully thought out place of your choice.
  3. Use Office Resources Flexibly: Rather than increasing office real estate footprint for those situations where there are peak office hoteling situations, use resources in multiple ways. Provide some mobile workstations and network connectivity so that a meeting room can instantly become additional productive areas.  Yh These resources also can be used as quiet spaces when an employee who needs to work  in in a quiet area finds all the quiet workstations reserved.
  4. Prepare for  “Short Visit” Workspaces: Short visits are those where an employee needs to be accommodated for where the length of expected visit is less than the possible variance. This is considered generally to be a situation where an employee needs office workspace for, let’s say, 10 minutes sometime in the next 45 minutes. Usually this sort of office hoteling need is made by an employee running into the office to do necessary work between clients. Create some space that has a small work surface, computer with network access, phone, power, pens and note paper, and task lighting. By taking so little space, more workstations are available and it also makes the employee unavailable for drop-ins.
  5. Regularly Perform Cost / Benefit Analyses Assessments: In order to know how and how much hoteling is saving or costing your organization, regular cost/benefit analysis is a must. Effective management teams know and live by the adage:”If you aren’t measuring it, you aren’t managing it”, and apply this concept to office hotels. At first, you may spend a significant amount upgrading employee computers, tablets, networks, and smartphones but you will also be able to reduce the size of your leased office space. Employee recruiting, training, satisfaction, retention, productivity, as well as internal and external customer satisfaction, should be compared to past patterns to indicate how effective your office hoteling system is impacting your profits. Wherever an aspect of the hoteling is identified as an area for improvement, fully buy into and support the effort to implement corrective measures.
  6. Manage Worker Effectiveness Through Achievement-Oriented Tracking: Employees in a flexible, effective office hoteling organization can’t be managed by face-time any longer. Instead, establish ways to track the achievements accomplished. Whether you choose to do this through action item tracking, input of progress into a schedule, or another method, you want to be able to assess the progress on project or tasks completed so that your office flexibility is not abused.
  7. Manage by Walking Around: Each day, stroll through the office workplace at random times at least twice per day. These walkabouts provide a refreshing break from your busy day, but that is not the only benefit. This time-proven management technique allows you to see that the hotel workspaces are being used effectively. Don’t just touch base with those workers in the office at the moment but look for safety issues, traffic bottlenecks, under- or never-utilized spaces.  Be sure that office hoteling reservations are being made realistically rather than on the “in case I need it” frequently.  Worker satisfaction levels may be revealed to you through repeated use of negative body language and facial expressions. not everyone is outspoken about their happiness with the office hoteling and happy employees Adjust your initial plan as you identify improvements.
  8. Encourage Communication at All Levels: Develop policies and procedures so that you have accurate, easy to use ways to reach your staff as well as how and when an employee should or must contact you. Prevent feelings of worker disconnection with co-workers by making sure your team knows how to reach each other. Hold staff meetings with flexibility and technology in mind; include those working off-site through video teleconferencing, ensuring team members feel connected and respected by other members of the team.
  9. Keep Employee Work / Life Balance in Focus: Flexible workplaces, at least in most areas of business, means that the old strict 9-5 schedule must flex as well. Empower your team to schedule meetings at the convenience of their customer wherever possible. Communicate policies that allow responsible workers to accomplish tasks at times and in ways that allow that person to most productive. Because employees using flexible schedules allow them to establish and communicate those hours when they can best be contacted for voice or video communications. For example, those staff members with infants or caring for parents in their homes may request no phone calls before or after certain hours except in dire emergency situations. If you must make contact outside those hours, do so in a less intrusive way such as text or email.
  10. Remember Flexibility Means Changes to Your Own Work Methods: Many times business owners forget that they can be work flexibly, too. For example, using today’s technology electronic devices can coordinate when you and all the other required participants in a critical meeting can be available. You’ll be able to save time and money by performing allowing assistants freedom from such tasks that in the past have eaten up their productive time.

The workplace flexibility emerging from the office hoteling systems can provide that competitive edge your organization wants. Leased office space is a huge percentage of your company’s overhead expenses, so reduce expenses while increasing workers’ feelings of job satisfaction, value, trust and loyalty and simultaneously lower turnover rates and everyone, from your customers to vendors, top level executives to workers far down the organization flow chart, will benefit.

A properly planned office hoteling reservation system can save money and increase productivity. Contact us so we can get you started finding out how Office Hoteling might work for your company.

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By: James Osgood

Agile Workplace , Flexible Workspace , Office Hoteling , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design

An Office Rental Can Help Your Business Grow

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There comes a time for every start up business where you need to make a jump from a hobby to a full fledged company.  This could be anything from expanding your marketing base to hiring more employees.  The biggest step you can take, however, is deciding to rent a small office space to help your company grow.  By getting a small office space, you will not only be putting your company in the position for further growth, but you will also be able to look more professional to potential clients.

Potential Growth

Getting a small office space for your business is the first step to larger growth overall.  It is taking something that you started and have been running out of your house and putting it into the real world where real business takes place.  Ultimately, it is the best for you and your company when you reach the right stage.

Looking More Professional

Nothing looks more professional than running your business out of a nice looking office space as opposed to your home.  Working from home has some advantages, but looking professional is definitely not one of them.  If you want to be percieved as a threat to other people in your line of business, getting a small office space is a great start.  Potentialy clients will certainly begin rolling in and your business will begin to thrive from it.

There are lots of affordable options for you to choose from: the standard conventional office rental, an executive suite or even a virtual office. Any of them would help your company in  looking more professional

In the end, getting a small office space for your company could be the shot in the arm needs to get to the next level.  Whether it is because you cannot maintain it out of your home anymore or because you want to look more professional to potential customers, getting an office space is the right move.  If you would like to look into some office spaces, please contact us.

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By: James Osgood

Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Office Rental , Office Space , Virtual Office Space

Millennials will be 75% of the Workforce in 11.5 Years

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What does this mean for the changing workplace? A lot! The Facebook generation is not only quite comfortable with working via the Internet, but actually prefers it. So what? As work becomes less of a place and more of an activity, businesses that expect to be able to attract the best and the brightest, will need to change how they perceive and manage their employees. Productivity measurement will be the key, not hours spent at the office.

How to change? A good way is to take a look at your office space. As a general rule up to 50% of it will be unoccupied during a good part of each day. If this is the case for your business, consider using an office hoteling system that can allow you to reduce your office space footprint, while allowing your employees to use office and meeting space as they need it and want it. It will not only save you up to 40% of your office rental costs, but make for a happier and more productive work force.

We can help. Contact us so we can get you started finding out how an Office Hoteling Reservation System might work for your company.

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By: James Osgood

Agile Workplace , Flexible Workspace , Office Hoteling , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design

Omaha Office Space Market Conditions

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Founded in 1854, along the banks of the Missouri River, the city earned its nickname “Gateway to the West” from a crossing called the Lone Tree Ferry.  The largest city in the state of Nebraska, Omaha consists of a diverse population of approximately 427,000 residents.

Once a pioneer town, Omaha was home to one of the world’s largest stockyards.  Due to its central location, the city soon became a national transportation hub.  During the 19th century, Omaha’s railroads and breweries were important industries to the local economy.

Today, Omaha is headquarters to five Fortune 500 companies and boasts a modern economy of diverse and skilled knowledge jobs, including banking, insurance, telecommunications, and architecture/construction.  The annual College World Series, which Omaha has hosted since 1950, provides a great deal of tourism activity and revenue to the city.  Omaha is also the birthplace of the “richest person in the world”, Warren Buffet, where he made his fortune in business.

Omaha has a thriving cultural community, rich in musical and theatrical history.  A number of jazz and rhythm and blues musicians/bands got their start in Omaha, including drummer Buddy Miles, and jazz great Preston Love.  The community offers many historical attractions, such as the Omaha Community Playhouse, the largest community theatre in the United States.  Sports also has a long history in Omaha, with both the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials and the College World Series returning to the city in 2012. 

The city appears to be on a steady pace of economic growth and recovery this year.  This has led to new jobs and a resilient office market. The Omaha office space market is expected to stay vibrant through the end of the year as confidence in the local economy stays strong.

Market Area

Vacancy Rate (SF)

Asking Rent (Class A $/SF)

Downtown

474,815

$20.13

Central Dodge

174,605

$23.10

Miracle Hills

51,381

$20.75

Regency

108,360

$29.57

South Central

621,055

$24.40

Southwest

203,215

$19.73

Source:  Colliers International Omaha Metro Area Research and Forecast Report Q2 2013         

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By: James Osgood

Office Rental , Office Space , Office Vacancy Rate , Omaha Office Space

Deloitte, Consulting and Financial Advisors, Saves Millions Using An Office Hoteling Reservation System

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Deloitte, a New York-based company with dozens of offices in the US and many more spread around the world, entered into the world of office hoteling very early, soon after the concept began being discussed. Today, they continue to save big money by continuing to utilize an office hoteling reservation system in many of their offices. The company provides accounting, financial advisory, auditing, consulting and other services related to finances involved in doing business.

Adversity Drives Change

Deloitte leased office space consisting of three complete floors of the World Trade Center in NYC when it was initially attacked 1993. Due to problems resulting from the bombing damage, the CEO decided to break the lease and moved their staff to the World Financial Center, just one block west.

The 2001 attack on the World Trade Center also collapsed the World Financial Center, resulting in 3,000 employees being dislocated. One employee was killed and several injured. Everyone involved was injured emotionally. During this trying time, many Deloitte employees became teleworkers, learning they could do their jobs outside the traditional office workspace.

The Mother of Invention

Needless to say, even with a huge operation, the destruction of a single office and cost of rebuilding records from back-ups, as well as the fact that office space was at a premium in the Financial District of New York due to the loss of the World Trade Center complex, saving on real estate by reducing the footprint only made sense. Reviews revealed that only around 60 percent of many worker’s productive time was spent working with clients in their office spaces.

Officers at Deloitte decided the best way to address the empty space and high square footage cost of office space was to organize the workplace by implementing office hoteling through a reservation system. The plan was to share workspaces by placing a reservation, much like making a reservation for a hotel accommodation. The plan involved employees each having standard gear: a cell phone, a blackberry and laptop computer.  This equipment allowed employees to work from any location: a client’s office, a coffee shop, at home, or even sitting in a park. This same equipment worked well in the office as well.

The Details Define Success....or Failure

When Deloitte designed their office hoteling reservation plan, they too into account their design would affect employee motion, comfort, creativity and productivity. The shared workspaces and open workspace concepts had to benefit professional who traveled extensively as well as those who worked locally. Each employee must have a storage space of their own, perhaps roll around file cabinets to keep their on-going work in and maintain file records.

Central copiers, perhaps fax machines and, when appropriate, support staff should be available. Conference rooms should be available but also should have multiple uses; a mobile workstation can be placed in the room when no meetings are planned.

A properly planned office hoteling reservation system can save money and increase productivity. Deloitte saved 40% as soon as the plan was instituted. When fully deployed in all their locations, the Chicago office was able to give up an entire floor and that’s a lot of money saved.

Contact us so we can get you started finding out how Office Hoteling might work for your company.

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By: James Osgood

Agile Workplace , New York Office Space , Office Hoteling , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design