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Canadian Office Space Market Healthier Than US Office Market

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According to a recent report by CB Richard Ellis, Canada's national office space vacancy rate is a healthy 9.3%, down from 10.1% a year earlier. That compared with the US office space vacancy rate of around 17% is a very healthy market.  The big difference is in that the Canadian's have a Landlord controlled market, whereas the US is a Tenant's market.

First Quarter Vacancy rates in Major Canadian markets:

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Office Space , Office Vacancy Rate , Toronto Office Space

Tips and Caveats to be Aware of When Selecting a Serviced Office (Executive Suite)

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Selecting a serviced office is an important step in ensuring the success of your business. The reason for this nomenclature is that the office comes with all of the most common services already in place. This type of office is often called a "turn-key" office or an executive suite.

If you need a venue to hold meetings with clients, sign contracts, negotiate, and do some paperwork, this office solution might be just what you should lease. By renting this type of business space, you'll have a furnished private office with computer equipment but share common needs such as reception area, meeting room(s), and other resources used by the entire group housed in the overall space. You'll be able to use certain equipment and services on a “pay per use” basis.

Here are tips and caveats you should be aware of when selecting a serviced office for your business needs:

  • Location: Choose a location which is convenient for you, but also convenient for your clients. Is there parking available either on-site or nearby? What about handicapped parking? Is the building easy to spot or well-known? You want your clients to be able to find you easily and get to your door without walking blocks in the wind, rain, heat, or cold.
  • Appearance: Does the building entrance, lobby, and office interior make the statement about you and your business that you want and need? You need furnishings which are attractive and elegant yet not pretentious. Making the right statement about your operation is critical. Is the meeting room comfortable enough for a two- or three-hour meeting if those are occasionally part of your business lifestyle.
  • Equipment: Learn what equipment is provided in the turnkey office lease. You will likely find a desktop computer included, but check to make certain it is powerful enough to meet your needs. Learn what the restrictions are regarding bringing in your own laptop or other equipment if needed. Realize that equipment you own may not be covered by the insurance covering other equipment, so keep this in mind and learn if the services provided by any specialized equipment are available nearby for a fee. Also, learn what speed internet connection is provided and ensure the speed meets your needs. If wifi is important to you, find out if it is in place.
  • Receptionist: Listen to the receptionist answer a phone call or call in yourself to see how the phone is service. Your messages will be taken by this staff person and your clients will have contact with him or her, so you want to ensure the job is done well.
  • Pay Per Use: Speaking of fees, you want to make sure exactly what the fees are for every pay-as-you-go service. These services will almost certainly include use of the copier and fax machine but may include other services such as large paper printers, binders, or other less common equipment. Ascertain that the costs are reasonable. Compare prices with nearby providers for services you use in massive quantities; it may well be less expensive to have the local Kinko's or similar store produce large copying jobs. Ensure you don't get "nickeled and dimed."
  • Lease Provisions: Carefully read all the provisions in the rental agreement. Unlike renting vacant office space which you staff, there will be extensive details about what your private area will contain and what can or can't be done with it, who must maintain what items, and other matters which deserve your attention.
  • Provider: Find a reputable executive office suite provider to help you locate the perfect serviced office. See our post on selecting a provider. You can find great brokers online, Like OfficeFinder.com, who have sound knowledge of this type of office and are waiting to help you.

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OfficeFinder's Guide to Office Furniture

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Advances in technology and increased feature sets have made the process of selecting office furniture for your business a much more complicated and difficult task than it has ever been before. Your office furniture will be one of the first things visitors notice that helps to develop their perception of your company, so you want it to look as good as your budget will possibly allow.

Also your employees rely on their office furniture to support them in their daily tasks. By selecting good quality office furniture that looks good and fits ergonomically, you are promoting happier, healthier employees who can do their jobs more efficiently. That ultimately may translate into more profits for your business.

Office furniture comes in all shapes and sizes, for all different uses. Your options for office furniture range from inexpensive stacking chairs to systems furniture costing thousands of dollars. Should you select high-end ergonomic desks and chairs for your employees, or would systems furniture (cubicles) be a better option? Should you spring for a fancy, solid wood conference room table, or would a laminate model be a better way to go?

Some of these questions will be answered in part by the information gathered in your space plan, and from your employees. Others will be determined by closely consulting with your office furniture provider. This Guide to Office Furniture is designed to provide you with the information you need to help select the right office furniture provider for your business.

Guide to Office Furniture (PDF)

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Wall Street Office Space Rents 18% Lower than Manhattan's Average

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According to a study by Studley Inc, asking rents for buildings at the one-time mecca of global finance have fallen to among the lowest in Manhattan after ranking as some of the priciest as recently as 2008. Wall Street landlords are seeking rates about 18% less than the city average, hurt by years of exodus by financial firms looking for bigger, more modern offices.

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85% of Businesses in US Offer Employees Flexible Working

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DALLAS, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "85 percent of U.S. companies now offer their staff some form of flexible working, according to a new global research report from Regus, global leader in flexible workplace solutions.  The majority of those same companies are finding that flexible working is bringing them significant benefits, including reduced overhead expenses, improved staff productivity and work-life balance. Additionally, 62 percent of U.S. businesses believe flexible working costs less than fixed office working."

"75 percent of businesses offering flexible working assert their staff has significantly better work-life balance, improving satisfaction and motivation."

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