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Entries for month: January 2013

Creating Your Sustainable Office: From Purchase to Products

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Guest Post

Sustainability is more than a buzzword – it’s a way for your business to decrease its negative impact on the environment while promoting energy-saving and cost-saving practices. According to a study by Deloitte, going green can help you attract talent, increase employee retention, and improve workforce productivity.

Two potential avenues for promoting sustainable practices within your business are your office space and the products you use within those four walls. Purchasing the right commercial real estate and the right office products can greatly improve your level of sustainability. Items such as environmentally printer ink and basic postage meters allow your business to be as green as possible.

Purchasing

Your office building is your business’s single largest financial expenditure – and your biggest opportunity for promoting sustainability, energy-efficiency, and green business practices. Search in your area for commercial real estate that has earned a positive rating from the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. Besides a positive LEED rating, look for buildings that have the following features:

·         Energy efficiency. Energy efficient buildings utilize renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal. They also have installed high energy performance fixtures, wiring, servers, heating and cooling systems, and appliances. By using less energy, sustainable buildings have a lower impact on both the environment and your power bill. Look for an Energy Star rating on appliances and equipment.

·         Green construction. Building materials that are considered green include renewable materials, recycled products, and materials that are sourced and manufactured locally. These materials should also be non-toxic.

·         Design. Sustainability can be optimized through efficient building design. Large windows and skylights that let in natural light reduce the need for electrical lighting. Good ventilation improves indoor air quality and reduces employee absenteeism. An extensive study by the City of Seattle found that moving to sustainable, green buildings reduced the number of employee sick days by 40 percent.

Products

Another avenue for creating sustainability within your office is through your products. From paper-saving techniques to energy-saving technologies, you can find a lot of room for green improvement when you look at your office with fresh eyes. Consider these products to help you reduce wasted resources – both environmental and monetary.

·         Multi-purpose copiers. Paper is one of the largest sources of waste within your office.  According to the EPA, the US uses more than 71 million tons of paper each year. A multi-use copier with scanning and faxing capabilities can drastically reduce the amount of printing you do in your office.

·         Postage meters. Using a postage meter benefits your office in several different ways. It reduces gas emissions by ending regular trips to the post office – even for packages, which are picked up during your mail carrier’s route. Meters ensure that all of your outgoing mail is stamped correctly, reducing wastage, especially in large direct-mail campaigns. Also, you’ll no longer waste money guessing the postage.

·         Other “green” products. These can range from office supplies made with post-consumer content (including paper and plastic products), environmentally-friendly cleaning products, rechargeable batteries, Compact Fluorescent lightbulbs and Energy Star-rated light fixtures, electronics, and appliances.

When it comes to making your office more sustainable, you have a wide variety of avenues for action. You can focus on making beneficial changes to your office lighting, your heating and electricity usage, your building materials, your office supplies, or your office equipment. Procuring an energy efficient office space and using green products are two areas where changing to a mindset of sustainability can produce widespread positive effects for your business.

Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for B2B lead generation resource, ResourceNation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as green business practices. Follow Resource Nation on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, too!

Green Office

The Tenant Improvement Workletter: Keys to a Successful Office Space Build Out

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When leasing commercial office space to house your organization, it is rare to find a space that is exactly perfect for your needs. Often alterations, called office tenant improvements, need to be made to the facility. This requires negotiation between you, your office tenant representative you selected to help you get the best possible lease, and the landlord.

It is important that tenant improvements never be agreed upon using a handshake arrangement. The improvements involve costs and legalities, therefore a tenant improvement workletter is developed defining the agreement. The workletter is a legal document created for your protection and some very important concerns should be precisely covered in the agreement.

Questions and Issues Important for Inclusion in the Workletter

·         Is the landlord or the tenant responsible for doing the work to the office space?

·         Which party chooses the contractor and space planner and how exactly will these parties be selected?

·         Who pays for what expenses involved in altering the commercial office space being leased?

·         Is the space involved in the alternations usable or rentable square footage and how many square feet are involved?

·         What relationship does the rent commencement date have to the tenant improvements and construction?

·         What if there are delays caused by the tenant? What if delays are caused by the landlord?

Types of Workletters

Turn-Key: This type of workletter is established before lease signing and the landlord agrees to pay the improvement costs per approved plans. Usually the improvements are completed before the tenant occupies the office space.

Landlord Workletter: In this situation the renter is given an allowance by the landlord to make changes. If there are costs overruns, the tenant is responsible. Typically the lease is signed before this type of workletter is put into effect. The landlord maintains some control over the improvements ensuring they meet approved plans.

Tenant Workletter: This type of workletter may or may not provide an allowance from the landlord. Basically the tenant controls the improvements and accepts the cost risk. If an allowance is negotiated, the tenant is responsible for all costs over the allowance.

Selecting the Best Workletter for Your Office Space

It is important to go over the benefits and risks of each type of workletter with your Office Finder tenant rep before determining which types of workletter is best for your specific situation. It all depends on the work you need, how you want to manage the work, and what terms the landlord will agree to. Your office tenant rep will help you negotiate the best possible deal for your tenant improvement workletter as well as your office space lease. 

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By: James Osgood

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

Denver office space rental--You may want some help

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As the United States continues its (sometimes sluggish) rise out of recession, more Americans are getting back to work, and more employers are looking for office space rentals.  Unfortunately, the previous economic downturn has meant a decrease in new construction, which means some cities, like Denver, are struggling to keep up with demand.

The outlook for the economy in Denver is good, with increased demand for office space from the energy, aerospace, engineering, health care and software sectors.  However, for the company looking for space, the news isn't all good.

While the national office vacancy rates, according to Bloomberg, are at a three-year low at 17.1 percent, the Denver market is much lower.  The fourth quarter of 2012 saw an office space vacancy rate of just 12.4 percent in the Denver area, down from 12.7 in the previous quarter.

Something else that the office space seeker in Denver will need to keep in mind is that 75% of Denver's office space is greater than 25 years old.  This means that many modern features, like green energy efficiency and modern energy requirements, may be lacking.  Those companies looking for space that isn't "obsolete" will find they have to pay more for that premium.

There is, however, some good news for the Denver market.  According to MetroDenver.org, nearly 40,000 square feet of newly constructed office space was delivered in the fourth quarter of 2012, and nearly 900,000 square feet of office space across ten buildings is currrently under construction.  Denver's dedication to attracting business, obviously, remains strong.  (Indeed, they are proud of being highlighted by PriceWaterhouseCooper on their list of top-tier cities for four years in a row, and being in the top ten national cities to watch last year.)

The other good news is that you have OfficeFinder, which will help you find the best space for your needs in tight markets like Denver.  For help in this or for any of your office finding needs, please feel free to contact us.

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By: James Osgood

Denver Office Space , Office Vacancy Rate

Tools for Managing Your Mobile Workforce

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The trend toward mobile office spaces where workers conduct business in whatever location is convenient is changing the entire world of business. Technology helps mobile work possible with great tools to allow managers, workers, clients and all the key players to stay in touch constantly, just as if working from the traditional office space. Staying on top of the latest software tools can make all the difference in developing a successful virtual or mobile workforce. Some of the best tools currently available include:

Google Drive (Docs): From Microsoft Office comes a truly great tool for sharing data in the mobile workforce. Anyone with a Gmail account can access this great tool without signing up and it costs nothing. Non-Gmail users can sign up easily, too. This tool allows storage of document that can be edited by the owner and access flags can allow others to read or edit the data. A colored cursor provides the ability to follow changes made by another person and the editor’s name is included above so everyone working on a document, spreadsheet or presentation can know exactly what is being changed. Anyone who uses Microsoft’s Office Suite will be immediately comfortable with this great tool. There were more robust tools out there, but this is the easiest, fastest way to transition into the cloud as an office space.

Free Screen Sharing: A great meeting tool from Free Conferencing allows you to host or attend sessions where desktops are completely shared only selected items are shared. The meeting host picks which items or applications to share and which they prefer to hide during their live meeting. A “take back control” lets the host allow another presenter share their screen during the meeting and the chat function lets the host and participants send private online messages during a live meeting. This is a very practical and easy to use meeting and screen sharing tool that is free to get started with.

GoToMeeting: This platform, from Citrix Online, is great for small companies to use as a tool to get everyone together in a virtual office space. Up to 15 people can meet, record, share the screen and communicate easily. A corporate version accommodates up to 25 people. It is not the prettiest tool but it is very easy to use, even for novices. There is a per-user monthly charge but it does offer very affordable virtual office space for mobile workers to collaborate.

WebEx Meeting Center: Cisco has given this nomenclature to the umbrella given to their large array of online collaboration and meeting applications. The Meeting Center allows both hosts and meeting participants to keep multiple meeting-related data elements such as documents or spreadsheets on screen at the same time and they can be moved around and resized as desired. This adds a lot of power to this collaboration tool. This tool does require some learning to use it effectively but it is affordable and allows up to 25 members in a virtual office space at one time. 

Office365: With Office 365, you can get your work done securely and communicate real-time from almost anywhere to anyone. Combining Office with Office 365** unlocks the full potential of Office 365 as the best solution for productivity, collaboration, communication, and worry-free IT. Office365 is a cost effective way to move your business to the cloud!

Skype: Probably the best know and least used businesss tool available for mobile working. Includes telpehone, video, messaging and file sharing.

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By: James Osgood

Video , Virtual Office Space , Home Office , Flexible Workspace

Looking For Office Space? Outsource Your Search!

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One of the most stressful parts of starting your own business is finding the perfect place for your office.  You spend hours searching only to find that one location has what you need, but it's too expensive.  Another location has a great price, but it's missing many of the things you consider necessities to run a professional and efficient business.  If you're looking for office space, it makes sense to hand over your search to a qualified professional who can find you the building or office you need at a price you can afford.

Outsourcing is a trend that's catching on among many businesses all over the country.  It simply makes more sense to outsource many office duties (like website construction and transcription) because you'll end up saving money and being more productive.  The same is true for finding office space.  Your time is precious, and it's better-spent on taking care of the other details that go into running a successful business.  

When you outsource your office space search to OfficeFinder, you'll find a degree of professionalism you weren't expecting.  We have a vast network of experts who know how to find the property you need. They average over 12 years of experience. Using our services will give you the time you need to devote to things like hiring a qualified staff and making sure you have the right office equipment to keep your business strong.  

You're an expert in your field.  You're great at what you do.  Why not let us help you by offering the services of the professionals in our field to help your business find the right space? We are experts inour field! We'll work with you to get you the results you need.  

It will cost you nothing to try out our service and find out how it will work for you.

Contact us today to let us show you how we can help you find the office space you want for your business.

By: James Osgood

Office Space , Office Rental , Tenant Representation , Office Leasing Tips , OfficeFinder Members , Office Relocation