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OfficeBroker Changing to a Subscription Model

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OfficeBroker.com, one of the top 3 executive suite web brokers, has recently announced that they are changing from a commisson based model to a subscription model. According to an email received by one of our Executive Suite members:

"In January 2012 officebroker.com will be changing the way in which it markets office space, removing the commission structure and replacing it with a simple monthly subscription for listing your office building(s) on our website.

This new subscription model will result in your direct contact details being added to officebroker.com. Instead of charging a commission, you will instead pay just $75 per building location listed per month.

Summary of Changes:

·     Client will be able to contact YOU directly from our website!!  Your contact details will be added to each of your building locations listed on officebroker.com enabling you to get their details before your competitors would!

·     Additionally, any inquiries officebroker.com receive will still be forwarded to you but with no commission payable should you close a sale

·      A simple monthly fee of only $75 per building listed per month to be charged from January 1st 2012

Best of all you don’t need to do anything to benefit from this change!  Your listings will be updated automatically from January 1st 2012. "

This is specific to the US. I am not sure how they are handling other markets. It will be interesting to see how well this is accepted by executive suite office space operators. OfficeBroker does have a good track record in providing leads to centers, but I would image only the ones in which have had success with their leads will subscribe.  The smaller centers will probably not see the benefit.  The next question will be whether or not they remove the listings for the properties that do not subscribe or use them as bait for those who do. Another alternative may be that they will keep the non-subscribers on a commission basis.  We will have to wait to see.

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Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Office Rental , Office Space

How Office Space Design is Changing to Promote Flexibility

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Here is an excellent overview of how the office space workplace is changing and what features are being added to accommodate a more flexible workplace. A by-product is that companies won't need as much space for their employees and the employees will be happier.

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Flexible Workspace , Office Space , Office Space Design , Video

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

UK Encouraging Companies to Provide Flexible Work for Office Employees

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The UK department of Transportation is starting to encourage companies to find way to work away from the office.  Their report, Alternatives to Travel: Next Step, deals with not only business travel, but also to commuting by office space workers.

The forward begins: 

"When people look back on the early years of the 21st century they will no doubt puzzle over a curious anomaly. 

Ours is an age that has given rise to communications technologies of dazzling sophistication. An era that did more than merely reduce the distance between A and B but, thanks to innovations like tele conferencing and instant messaging, removed it altogether. 

Yet, to date, our approach to alternatives to travel - whether working from home, staggering office hours, or using web conferencing - has not kept pace with the benefits available.  Most of us still take the same crowded bus or train to work with barely a nod to the freedom of flexible working or the versatility of the video conference.

 But the purpose of this report is not to press the case for any one method of travel.  It is not to argue that you should stay at home or invest in the latest gizmo.  Instead, it seeks to challenge inflexibility.  The insistence on doing things because that's the way they've always been done."

There are also an interesting case studies, including one on Microsoft employees in the UK, of which 90% work flexibly.

Over the past few years we have been seeing a fast change in workstyles and workplaces to meet those style.  I expect that to continue.

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Coworking office space , Flexible Workspace , Home Office , UK Office Space

New Meeting Styles for a New Generation

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Today’s business moves at a pace never before thought possible. Those workers on the way to retirement may have adjusted well to the technology age, but today’s emerging workforce grew up on computers, smart phones and digital communications worldwide.

Economic changes have left some sectors of the business world without the luxury of frequent travel to visit clients. In fact, the tightening of the reins in recent years has caused everyone to find ways to cut expenses without reducing profits in order to survive. The emerging generation of workers will simply not stand still nor do they have patience for the slow methods of commerce of past decades.

Over a decade ago, we first began coordinating meetings with tools like MS Outlook’s Calendar. This helped meeting planners coordinate times, reserve spaces, and communicate agendas more efficiently – as long as all the players updated their calendars.

Now, much of what was done manually and in face to face meetings is handled through newer, more cost effective styles that serve a new generation well. Some of these tools include:

eZ Meeting: Share desktops and applications complete with markup and redline. Instant messaging allows rapid communication and transferring files is easy. One of the higher monthly cost solutions but many users love it for the intuitive layout.

GatherPlace: A robust online meeting solution with low monthly pricing. It even allows guest installations as well as permanent computer assignment. This tool is everything you could want in an online meeting solution.

Skype: With VoiP technology, voice communications anywhere are feasible and the cost is negligible compared with face to face meetings across the world. Use integrated collaboration features or choose to combine with other tools.

GoToMeeting: Share your desktop realtime, record and playback your meetings, generate reports, chat, and much more. Very affordable solution and well liked by loyal users.

Beam Your Screen and Mikogo: This powerful combination will do It all and very easily. This is a powerful solution for large meetings as well as small, intimate online collaborations.

MS Office Live Meeting: Integrated into the latest professional MS Office Suite, you can share multimedia presentations, store and transfer files, chat, and share portions of your screen or entire applications.  This is a very inexpensive solution.

When choosing an alternative meeting solution, take advantage of demos and trial periods to ensure you select a tool that will work best for your needs. Even the most expensive online meeting tools will save your firm tons of money in a very short time and increase productivity. 

 

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Flexible Workspace , Office Space