5 Signals It Is The Right Time for An Office Redesign

office redesignThanks to the pandemic many businesses are finding they need to have an office redesign to keep employees safe. Office redesign may be an intimidating project, but it is a great way to beat improve employee engagement and productivity in the workplace. A change in your office interior design needs to be carefully planned and be in accordance with your budget and space needs. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to seek expert advice. Nowadays, with the help of interior designers and online Interior products sourcing platforms, you can optimally redesign your office space within your budget.

Of course, one of the main questions you will ask yourself is, “Is this the right time for an office redesign?” Sometimes an office redesign project can feel like a massive investment of time and money with little return. But if the time is right, your office redesign may be the best decision you make.

Here are five signals that help you know the right time to of an office redesign:

  1. Improve Productivity Levels – Your office design could be a reason for the lower productivity levels of your workforce. Especially if employees are having to work from home due to the pandemic. Look for ways in which your office layout hinders your employees from working safely and efficiently. Find a modern office design that improves productivity levels in your workplace.
  2. Unused Office Spaces – Take a look around and think about the underutilized spaces in your office. It’s time to re-purpose those areas of your office to optimally utilize the complete area. Restructuring your office space can help you get more out of the same space at a small cost.
  3. Reflecting Your Brand Image – Your office interior design is an important part of your brand image. Designing your office using the same colors and themes as your brand gives people the right idea about your company. But when there is a mismatch; it might be time to redesign your office space.
  4. It Looks the Same as Before You Moved In – Think about it, what changes have you made since you moved into your current office? There have been a lot of changes in workplace design to improve productivity over the past few years. Consider redesigning your workspace according to modern office design ideas that fulfill your needs and reflect your brand personality.
  5. Evolving Business Needs – As your business grows, your needs from your office space also change. As your company grows – you may need to create space for more people or equipment.

Similarly, office designs after the pandemic will need to accommodate lesser people. Choose a modern design that can easily be changed to accommodate more or fewer people as required. Workstations should be easily moveable to change the layout.

Things to consider while redesigning your office space:

  1. Finalize Your New Office Design – Before you begin restructuring your office space, you should finalize the new design. Work with an excellent online interior design agency to get a professional consultation and be clear about the new layout before you begin.
  2. Keep a Checklist of All the Materials/Objects You Need for the Redesign – Make sure to have a list of the materials, equipment, furniture, and products that you need to complete the renovation. Find out where you can source these things from at the best price. You can search for the local or online sourcing agents who can help you with your product sourcing needs.
  3. Procurement Company – Hire a good procurement company to source the required materials and objects for your new office design.

The decision to redesign your office may be tough, but the new design must fulfill your needs, motivate your employees, and not add unnecessary costs. Office redesign requires careful planning so that your employees can continue working with ease even during the transitionary period. And finally, always seek professional help wherever needed. This will help you create the office design you want without overstepping your budget.

If you decide that you would rather move than redesign, contact us. We can help!

How Smart Working Helps Your Business Achieve Greater Success

Smart working

The workscape today varies vastly from 10 or 20 years ago, with around eight million people working from home part of the week — a fact that is indicative of the big changes that ubiquitous connectivity have brought to all sectors. The Internet, new software and new hardware have made it easier for companies to work in a ‘smarter’ fashion (i.e. more efficiently, more speedily, and with a lower rate of errors.) Whether you have a small or medium-sized business, you may wonder what steps you can take to improve procedures. If so, discover a few tips for taking the leap to smart working methods.

Smarter Office Space

Smart office design takes into account the different needs that different employees and procedures have. A simple ‘open office design’ won’t do, for instance, in companies in which sales or management have to meet privately with important clients, or where some employees require complete silence to do their job. However, because the aim of smart working is to achieve goals in the quickest, most efficient way possible, it may also involve investing in employee’s home offices; providing them with the equipment they need to take part in video conferences and to liaise via professional networking platforms. Smart companies can go the extra mile by ensuring home-based employees have ergonomic equipment and tools, so they can perform at their best but also protect their health.

Relying on Technology

There are a bevy of tools available to enable teams to achieve goals in a more evidence-based, reliable fashion. As stated by JournyX, companies that use timesheets or who have employees who accrue expenses, can track and manage these aspects of an employee’s working life via dedicated software. The latter should meet customized needs, validate time and expense data so that managers don’t waste time looking for and correcting mistakes, offer integration with key business symptoms, and capture real-time insights and provide visual dashboards. Other tools commonly used by smart teams working in various locations include blockchain (to protect sensitive data), collaborative tools like Office 365, Podio and Asana, and MindMeister (an online mind mapping tool that captures and shares ideas via a visual framework).

Experience-Based Working

The final link in the chain is experience-based working, which seeks to provide workers with an ideal environment — one in which employees have a say regarding where, how, and when they work. The current health crisis has prompted many companies to make a permanent change, as their results showed that allowing employees to work from home has boosted rather than hampered performance. Deutsche Bank, for instance, which once only had a few thousands employees working remotely, adapted quickly and efficiently to a situation in which up to 70,000 were doing so. In the UK, around 95% of its staff are working from home and there is no reason why this cannot continue in the long-term.

Smart working involves questioning older systems and their efficiency, analyzing whether or not they are still useful today. It also involves relying on software and online networking to enable teams to work together smoothly. Finally, it involves greater flexibility and customization, so that employee feedback can be taken into account when deciding on matters such as place of work and schedules.

If you are looking for your smart office space, contact us. We can help with our network of over 450 local office space experts. All at no cost to you.

Creating A Productive Workspace In The Office

productive workspaceMany of us long to end the day feeling satisfied with their accomplishments. While this might be ideal, it often isn’t the reality. Thankfully, there are a few small additions that you can make to the office environment which can result in a huge boost to your productivity and create a productive workspace. Let’s look at some of the best approaches for you to try.

Grow Some Plants

Adding some greenery to the office is one of the easiest ways to lighten up a room. There are dozens of options for you to explore. For example, you might be able to get a small pot plant, which will fit in the corner of your desk. In other cases, though, you might have the space to put in a bigger plant, like an indoor pine tree or bamboo shoots.

There are many benefits that plants provide. First, it will make the environment more pleasant.  Many people find having a plant in the office creates a calmer environment, making it easier to focus on their work. It’s also been shown that adding plants can help you filter any chemicals out of the air, giving you a safer working environment. Because of these factors, adding plants to the office can, according to some studies, produce a 15 percent increase in productivity,

Personalize Your Workspace

Another great idea is to personalize the workplace, making it your own. This is a great way to feel more relaxed, as you’ll be surrounded by objects that make you feel comfortable. There are dozens of ways that you can inject your personality into the office. For example, you might want to add figurines from movies or TV shows that you enjoy. You can also decorate the area with colorful stickers or pictures. However, one of the best options is to put in a picture of your family. This can often help remind you why working so hard in the office is important to you, helping you stay motivated.

Add Some Activity

It’s believed that one in four adults don’t exercise enough. This can impact on general health, increasing your chances of becoming obese. However, a lack of activity has also been shown to impact on your mental health. For example, it’s been shown that a quick burst of activity will be able to help you focus. It can also give you more energy.

There are dozens of ways for you to bring more activity into the office. If you have a bigger budget, you might want to install a gym for your employees. For a smaller budget, you can put in team sports, like ping pong. As an added benefit, playing as part of a team can help you form stronger social bonds with your co-workers.

Check The Ventilation

Another simple way that you can improve your workplace is by adding in air ventilation. When the air isn’t flowing through the building properly, it can become stale. This can increase the chances that employees will get sick, as toxins can build up in the office. When they can get fresh air, it will be easier to breathe, creating a more pleasant working space. There are plenty of ways that you will be able to provide fresh, clean air. For example, you might want to add in some more windows or improve your air conditioning system. In other cases, you can put in an air purifier. When you do this, you’ll need to make sure that you get a model that has a HEPA filter, as these will trap smaller particles.

Put In More Windows

Putting in windows another simple way to improve productivity around the office. There are a few reasons for this. First, as we mentioned, it’s important to have good ventilation and fresh air. You’ll also be able to bring more natural light into the workplace. This has been shown to improve the mental health of employees, making them feel more positive about their working environment. It can also help you save money on electricity costs.

Find The Best Work Time For You

Often, the biggest improvements in your productivity come when you change your mindset. One of the best ways to do this is by figuring out the hours that you are most productive at. For example, some people might be more productive in the mornings, while others will get more done during the afternoon. Once you know these hours, you can structure your day around these times. To illustrate, if you tend to be more alert during the morning you might want to consider using this time to complete the most difficult tasks. You can use a to-do list to help you keep track of the things you need to do and plan the best times to do them.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The amount of sleep that you get each night might have a big impact on your performance at work. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will find it harder to focus and think logically. As a result, productivity tends to take a big dip. The simple solution to this is making sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep each night. It’s estimated that the average adult needs to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. If you’re having trouble falling asleep because of stress at work, you might want to try mediation or other techniques to help you achieve a calmer state of mind.

Get A Coffee Machine

Finally, one of the best ways for you to make sure that you’re focused at work is by installing a coffee machine. This can have a huge range of benefits. First, caffeine has been shown to boost alertness, making it easier to focus on the task at hand. It’s also been proven to help people improve their moods, improving mental health. However, coffee machines might also help bring the office together, providing a natural place for employees to meet and converse.

In this area, there are dozens of different types of coffee makers for you to explore. For example, there’s drip coffee, which can be used to make a pot of coffee for multiple people. In other cases, you might want to get an espresso machine, which will give you more customization options, so you’ll be able to get the perfect brew for your tastes. In other cases, you might want to get a French Press, which is a way of manually preparing your coffee.

The best type of coffee machine will often depend on your office circumstances. However, it’s important to make sure that you choose something that’s going to brew enough for the entire office. You also want to make sure that it will be durable enough to be used several times each day. To help make this choice easier, you can use this excellent analysis of commercial coffee makers for office.

Conclusion

Though we all want to improve productivity, it can often be difficult to know which techniques will yield the best results. Thankfully, as we’ve seen, there are dozens of small changes that you can make to your office to improve productivity. So, now you’ll be able to use these tools to create a more productive workspace in your office.

If you are looking for an office that will meet your needs, we can help. Our service is free. Contact us today.

When Is It A Good Idea To Use Storage Containers For Your Business?

Storage containers exteriorRunning a business means making a lot of decisions every day. One of those many overlook is whether to make use of storage containers, especially if you’re renting your office space and paying rent for space in your office that you are using as storage space. Typically, storage is one of the essential things you might overlook until you’re obliged by necessity or rent hikes to take advantage of that option.

If you’d like to consider whether using storage containers is something that could help you, keep reading to learn when it’s a good idea to have them for your business.

  • When There’s A Natural Disaster Coming

If you’re only leasing out an office space and it’s located in a flood- and hurricane-prone area, then, using durable storage containers from reputable providers, like Safestore Containers, can be an excellent idea. Just like other unfortunate events, harsh weather conditions are inevitable and can happen anytime. Thus, to prepare your business for extreme weather conditions, you should have a storage unit in place to keep your office belongings safe from floods.

Generally, most storage containers are made from durable raw materials, which is why they can withstand natural elements, like rain and strong winds. By putting your essential files and merchandise in the containers, you can rest, knowing that all the items are safe and secure throughout the duration of the natural disaster.

Instead of renting a warehouse or another space, which is more costly, these containers can be a great alternative storage solution in times of emergencies due to their security features. For example, some storage containers are equipped with CCTV cameras that allow you to have virtual access to everything inside the unit. This means that even if you can’t go to personally check the location because of heavy rain, flood, or strong winds, you can still know what’s happening to your office belongings by reviewing the CCTV footage.

  • When Your Office Space Is Full

If you’re renting office space, more often than not, there won’t be enough room for all of your work essentials least of all storage. Because of this, it’s a good idea to consider using containers for storage purposes. With these in place, you can temporarily store all your storage items until you obtain a larger space. Not only that, but using them can keep your storage items safe and sound. That’s because most storage containers come with security features, such as 24-hour CCTV cameras and 24-hour security personnel, sufficient lighting, and electric sockets. These features are made to ensure that all your office possessions will be secure once you leave the site.

  • When You Want To Organize Your Inventory

If you have no office space to call your own, organizing your inventory of products can be a challenging task. This is even worse if you have no warehouse to store your items before they’re sold to the customers. You might not be able to manage your orders properly because everything is disorganized.

This is where a storage container comes to the rescue. It can help keep your inventory organized, making it easy for you to meet the customers’ demands. For example, if you have lots of orders coming in, using a storage container allows you to overstock and avoid putting items on backorder. Meaning, with the help of this storage solution, you don’t have to worry about getting more orders or running out of stocks while staying organized.

  • When You Execute A Business Relocation

Usually, if you’ve found and picked a new perfect office location, you can’t expect to move everything in just a single day. This is especially true if you have to bring bulky items, such as office furniture, tools, and many more.

Thankfully, there’s a solution to that problem. Storage containers are also useful during business relocations. You can store any of your office belongings throughout the moving process. Instead of moving them directly to your new location, you can keep some of them there while finalizing your office layout. Consequently, you don’t need to squeeze everything in your new office once you arrive.

The biggest advantage of these storage containers is that they’re undeniably portable, which means that you can load everything up and transport them to your new business office without hassle.

  • When You Plan For An Expansion

If you’ve found an office space for rent for your business expansion, having a storage container can be a great idea, especially when the location of your branch office is miles away from your main office. It can help protect your essential files and office equipment while the construction is ongoing.

Moreover, by packing all your office stuff in a storage unit, there’s no need to worry because you have a temporary home for all of them. And, once everything is ready for your business expansion, all you have to do is retrieve your things from the container and place them in your new office. This storage strategy can save you a lot of money because it allows you to have a smoother expansion by keeping all your things safe during the construction.

  • When You Need A Flexible Shop For Your Products

If you’re into a retail business and you think that renting a space to turn into a shop is less convenient, storage containers can be your best bet. In today’s modern world, many business owners realize the benefit of setting up shops or exhibits inside a storage container. Not only will it give you a customized space for your products and tools, but it’ll also free up some space in your own office.

Instead of utilizing a space in your office for your product exhibit, you can rent a storage unit and transform it into a shop for your products. This kind of setup is more flexible and convenient because you can transport it to different locations, thereby allowing you to hold exhibits or retail shops in more than one place.

Bottom Line

Storage containers interiorThere are many reasons to use storage containers for your business, especially if you have limited office space. Although you’re not really concerned about their mobility, storage solutions can go a long way in keeping your items safe and secure during a variety of situations.

If your business is dealing with any of the situations mentioned above, don’t hesitate to try using containers for your storage requirements.

And if you need storage because you have outgrown your office space, let us help you find office space that fits your needs. Contact us today to get started.

Office Relocation Planning Guide: Selecting a Moving Company

Office relocationBusinesses usually relocate because of growth. Often, businesses will move to another location in order to cater to new target audience or welcome more employees. A mom or pop shop that has grown in the previous years will also move to another location to create a more significant brand or image in the market. Remember, the location and size of your business will speak volumes about your position in the market. How can you convince your customers that you are a household name if your office is in the middle of nowhere?

Once you have found the office space you will be relocating to the next big part of an office relocation is the actual move itself. The way you handle the move can significantly affect the morale of your employees and the condition of all your valuables. The duration of your move can also affect your operations – the longer your move is, the more profits you will likely lose.

For you to come up with a business relocation checklist and ensure that all the tasks are ticked off ahead of time, consider working with a moving company. Professional movers have the necessary experience and skills to help your business relocate and start its operations as soon as possible. With a moving company, you won’t have to worry about your move, allowing you to continue overseeing your business’s daily operations.

However, with the number of moving companies operating today, it’s important that you carefully choose which to hire. You don’t want to end up paying for a moving company that will only cause stress to your business relocation, right?

Here are a few suggestions on how to go about selecting a moving company.

1)  Research all the contact information for the company including name, physical address (no PO Boxes), and any other names they do business under. If you find more than one firm at the same address, that is a definite red flag.

2)  Determine how long the company has been in business. Many corporate movers have been doing business for many years so it’s a good idea to work with companies that have been around for at least five years. Knowing that you are paying for experts, working with a moving company who has been in the industry for years will give you peace of mind. These individuals have likely experienced different moving woes in the past and came up with effective solutions to surpass all of these.

It also doesn’t hurt to find out how long they’ve been operating under the current ownership and management structure.

3)  Check to see the company is properly licensed.  Properly licensed interstate moving companies will have both a DOT number and a MC number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can verify these numbers yourself, for free, at SaferSys.org. Intrastate movers aren’t subject to the same regulations, but most states have their own licensing requirements you should check.

4)  Inquire about the company’s insurance coverage – what’s covered and for how much. They should carry insurance that covers your materials while in transit, as well as any damage the movers cause to your old or new properties. While all movers are required to have basic insurance, be sure to check into the limits on their coverage and consider paying extra for additional insurance if you think you need it. Also make sure they carry current workers’ compensation coverage because if they don’t, you may be liable for any injuries their workers receive.

5)  Get reliable recommendations – You MUST check out potential movers through objective sources like the BBB or your state’s Department of Transportation. A reputable commercial moving company will be listed with both these agencies.

Note:  You can also call FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at (888) 368-7238. It’s free, available 24/7 and you can check the complaint history of any interstate mover.

6) Don’t just jump at the lowest price! You need to investigate the estimate to find out if it’s realistic. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!  Get at least three estimates from commercial movers. This will allow you to make a fair, objective comparison.

Compare apples to apples. Break down each mover’s estimate into parts and compare them to estimates from other commercial moving services. Consider factors like the amount of time and the amount of materials estimated.

Expect estimates to fall within a reasonable range of each other. A good estimate should be no higher – or lower – than 10 percent of the final cost of the move.

If we can help you find office space…. let us know

More on Office Relocation

5 Ways to Minimize Distractions in Your Office

Minimize distractions

Would you like to find useful ways to ensure a peaceful workplace and minimize distractions, but don’t know where to start? Noise and other distractions can hinder productivity and frustrate employees. Here are 5 ways that can help minimize distractions to help maximize productivity.

#1: Bring in Sound Absorbing Materials

If you are looking to reduce the noise distraction in your office workspace, then you need to bring in sound-absorbing materials without even sacrificing on the office design. The noise absorbing materials are quite required for contact working spaces or call centers. Typically, modern materials, such as acoustic cotton batts, wall panels, cubicle partitions, noise-friendly flooring, and noise-canceling workstations are used in offices to cut down on the noise distraction. However, if you want natural options, you can plant trees along outdoor hallways or place beautiful indoor plants to absorb noise.

#2: Install Soundproof Fans

We should also mention fans, They are an effective ways to control the temperature in your office. Many can be noisy and can cause a distraction. If excessive fan noise is hindering you from working peacefully in your office room, then it is better to change regular fan with a soundproof or a a quieter fan. Currently, a lot of reliable fan options are available in the market to keep your office space cool without causing any noise. You must check them online.

#3: Limit Technological Distractions

Next, if you aim to maintain the focus of your employees on the work, you need to set boundaries for technological distractions. You should devise clear policies around how frequently the employees are allowed to use their smartphones or personal devices during the working hours. Technological distractions can significantly impact the entire workforce. For instance, if one employee is on the call, he is disturbing his team members and colleagues as well. Constant emails, text messages, and social media notifications are equally annoying for co-workers.

#4: Display Inspiration

Even if you have a team full of motivated and enthusiastic employees, you still need to make them feel excited and inspired regularly. It is one of the key solutions to limit the distractions in the office, and positively stimulate your workforce. You can hang motivational quotes and intriguing pictures on the office walls. You can also surround your office space with a small library. These visual attempts are a sudden push to inspire your employees. This will help them feel motivated to finish projects before due dates.

#5: Improve Work Setting

Lastly, you need to work on the overall office setting to provide a comfortable environment for your employees. It is an imperative factor to ramp up your workforce productivity while having reasonable control over distractions. Your employees spend the major part of their day sitting in your office and working for your company. Therefore, you need to ensure a positive environment so that your employees feel happy and deliver 100% focus & attention. You must provide dedicated rooms, bring in fresh air & natural lighting, install comfortable workstations, and equip recreational areas. Besides, you need to treat employees equally, employ open-door policy, and create a transparent setting to enhance the working environment and limit the distractions.

If you are looking for an office that will meet your needs, we can help. Our service is free. Contact us today.

How a Toll Free Number Will Help You Generate More Business

Toll Free NumberWhether you’re starting a business or growing an existing company, being accessible to customers is an essential ingredient for success. Your clients and potential customers must be able to reach you whenever needed.

Modern technology has brought about new methods of communication – email, social media chat, VoIP, and more. Because of this, it seems that in this technological age, installing a conventional telephone system and getting a toll-free number for one’s business is a waste of precious company funds. However, companies immensely benefit from having a toll free number that customers can call anytime. Hence, despite the availability of Internet-based communication apps and software, a toll-free number is still essential to most businesses.

Getting a Toll Free Number

A toll-free number allows your customers and prospective clients to call you for free no matter what state they’re calling from. Also, toll-free numbers are typically utilized for customer service hotlines.

Obtaining a toll-free number for your business is easy. The first thing that you need to do is look for a reputable 800 service provider. Then, find out how much you need to spend to get a toll free number. You must be capable of including the service fees in the company’s operating budget.

The expenses associated with toll-free numbers for your business will be based on the plan you choose from the service provider. On top of the monthly base fee of $10 to $15, it usually costs less than 10 cents up to 30 cents per minute of call.

4 Signs You Should Have a Toll Free Number

You may be wondering whether your organization will still benefit from having a toll free number. Getting a toll free number seems irrelevant when there’s numerous voice calling apps that the company can utilize for a lower fee.

Here are four signs that your business should have its own toll free number.

  • Customer Base is Not Local

When your customer base is not confined to your neighborhood or region, your business benefits from having a 1-800 number. A toll-free number dedicated to your company encourages customers to call you no matter what state they’re at.

Long-distance calls are relatively cheaper nowadays than it was years ago. However, an 800 number often saves your customers money when they contact you, which is always a good thing.

  • Gain Market Share

Local businesses that want to broaden their customer base should consider obtaining a toll-free number. Having an 800 number shows the company’s desire to serve both local and national customers.

A toll-free number adds a national appeal to your business. Potential clients don’t have to wonder what particular region you belong to before doing business with you, making it easier for the company to penetrate new markets.

Toll-free number service providers also provide company owners with valuable business data and intelligence. You can obtain location-based data, call tracking, information on peak call times, and more. Internet-based apps may be able to provide the same data, but it’s worth remembering that not all customers want to use online communication apps for business transactions.

  • Improve Your Brand Image

If you want to boost brand awareness, you should consider getting a dedicated 800 number for your business. A toll-free number is a relatively cheap investment that does wonders for your company’s image. Toll-free numbers can be utilized as a business marketing tool. Because these are very easy to remember, you’re guaranteed that customers will not forget it, especially if you select a vanity number.

It also helps make your company seem bigger, more established, and more reliable. By investing in a toll-free number for the company, you’re building a legitimate and professional business image.

  • Value Customer Satisfaction

Customers are the reason your business exists. Thus, you should always ensure their satisfaction with your products or services.

One way to make sure that customers are happy with your offerings is to be easily reachable through every stage of the business transaction. If your clients find it challenging to reach you, they’ll cease doing business with you.

Businesses that utilize toll-free numbers experience increased customer trust by making it easier and more convenient for them to communicate with their chosen company at any given time.

Conclusion

A toll-free number associated with your business drives both local and national customers to communicate with you. A convenient and hassle-free communication process encourages clients to do business with you over and over again.

The fees that you spend obtaining toll-free numbers for the company are a worthwhile investment that benefits your organization over the long term.

How to Fund Your COVID-19 Office Improvements

Office Improvements

Figuring out what to do to protect your employees as they come back to work from time off due to COVID-19 health risks is a challenge every business owner has to deal with. It is not going to be cheap. So how do you fund your COVID-19 office improvements?

Many business owners have applied for SBA disaster relief loans, but what if you are one of the many whose loans don’t come through or don’t come through soon enough to get the office improvements done in time for the return of employees? How do you fill the gap?

Different Loan Options for Office Improvements

Office improvements are expensive and costly, and using your business cash flow to fund the improvements may not be an option. Applying for a loan is the next best option that you have. There are different loan options that you can use to finance your office improvements. Check the following list below and see what loan option best fits you.

Traditional Term loan

The traditional term loan is what you think it is. You apply for a lump sum of cash, and once approved, you will receive the amount in full. It is under the condition that you need to repay the whole amount together with the total interest and fees included over a specific period. Your repayment schedule condition depends on the lender, but you can choose to have it done on a weekly or monthly basis.

To qualify for a traditional term loan, you need to have a good credit score, outstanding business transaction records, and an increasing business revenue over the years. However, if this seems to be overwhelming, there are still other options, like short-term loans, that you can apply for.

Short-term loan

Many lenders offer short-term loans to startup business owners that are looking for additional funds in handling their business expenses.  One of these expenses includes renting an office space for their business operations including office improvements.

Short-term loans don’t need many requirements to get approved. Having a fair to good credit score should get you the approval you need. Also, short-term loans work best for startup business owners as they are still getting the hang of running their business. Handling the repayments for a  short-term loan wouldn’t be too much of a burden to a recovering business.

A business line of credit

Any business can apply for a business line of credit. The good thing about having a business line of credit is that you can have a higher credit limit compared to other loan options. If you have excellent business revenue, a clean credit history, and other essential factors, you can avail of a high credit limit that you can use for your office improvements.

Another notable distinction of getting a business line of credit as a loan option is that it offers flexible payment options. Funds can also be used for different business-related purposes, and borrowers have access to cash on demand. Handling the payment for a business line of credit is much like paying for a credit card. You only need to pay for the interest of the funds you used.

Credit Card

It is very seldom that business owners rely on the use of their personal credit cards to finance any business-related expenses. The truth is, utilizing your credit card is a good financial option to fund your business. If the ideal, rentable office space you found can be settled by paying through your credit card, then you have a good deal.

However, make sure that you don’t overspend your credit limit. You don’t want to be burdened with monthly repayments and interest accumulation.

Pro-tip: In any business, it is inevitable to have a slow period during the COVID-19 crisis. The slow period might be one of the reasons why many business owners struggle to pay off their debts on time. If caught on a tight end in repaying your loan, you can do a balance transfer loan. A balance transfer loan can give you leeway as it allows you to transfer or move your debt to a different financial institution that has a zero or lower interest. 

Before you perform a balance transfer loan, make sure to check the company’s terms of service. Credit card companies offer different terms, and some of them might not appeal to your preference. Find one with a very low-interest rate, no balance transfer fee, high credit limit to cover previous balances, and a long introductory period before proceeding to have a transfer done.

Image Source

6 Best Practices When You Reopen Your Office

Reopen Your OfficeIn most cases, a crisis acts as a transitioning period, which requires one to adapt accordingly. At the moment, most businesses, like yours, are focusing on how to reopen your office and resuming office operations at some point in the coming days. For that reason, most business owners are now working on the best  formula for returning to day-to-day office engagements while keeping their employees safe.

The general expectation is that employees will be more cautious as they consider going back to the office. The implication, in this case, is that employers should prioritize making the office environment safe for their workers before normal operations resume.

Additionally, it is a fact that daily office activities will not take off at once, but gradually, depending on various factors affecting the operations of each office. As such, business owners should shift their attention to the best practices they should adopt as part of their return to the office strategy. Here are some of the measures you should consider putting in place before reopening your office.

1. Identify The Employees Who Should Resume Office Operations

Every employer will need to exercise extra caution when recalling workers to resume their office duties. Starting with a full office as operations resume will not be advisable. Additionally, authorities will also have guidelines on a workable return to office formula, and you need to consider that as well.

Once you have details about the return to office guidelines from the government, you can blend the same with what will work best for your organization. Some of the questions to ask in this case will include;

  • What employees perform critical functions?
  • What tasks can workers attend to only from the office?
  • Is the return to office plan for employees who perform critical functions mandatory or not?

You can also consider using anonymous surveys to establish the concerns and willingness of your workers to resume office operations.

2. Perform Enhanced and Routine Office Cleaning

Cleanliness will indeed become the focal point for most offices as they reopen in the days to come. So, before opening your premises, you should prioritize enhanced cleaning to ensure the environment is clean and safe for everyone.

Routine cleaning of workspaces that individuals touch frequently will also be necessary going forward. It is also true that the demand for cleaning services will also be high as offices reopen, so contacting providers of such services in advance will be a wise idea.

3. Erect Barriers Where Possible

If you have an open-plan office, you need to look for ways of safeguarding the health of your  employees who will be using such spaces. It is important to note that workers will be a bit reluctant to return to the office if they discover that the environment is posing health risks.

Erecting barriers in open office spaces is one of the ways you can create cubicle-like separation between one worker and the next within your establishment. Where possible, you should create barriers in your office before resuming operations.

4. Stock Your Office with Adequate Supplies

Personal hygiene and maintaining a clean environment will become buzzwords as offices reopen. That means that providing your workers with hand sanitizers, tissue, and no-touch disposal receptacles will be necessary. Even face masks should be available for both employee and customer use. Placing these essential supplies strategically within your office, including posters next to such items, will promote good hygiene habits in-house.

Since personal hygiene supplies and toiletries may be in high demand by the time you reopen your office. In that case, placing orders for necessary office supplies in advance will be prudent.

5. Reorganize Meal Times

Open common spaces can cause overcrowding, which is why you need to rethink meal times as office activities resume. If a company run cafeteria is available within your entity, you can control the opening hours and limit the number of people accessing the facility at any one time.

Opting for pre-packaged foods and marking your office cafeteria’s floor with lanes and quadrants to keep your employees safe is worth considering too. Alternatively, you can plan for food catering or delivery to prevent workers from frequenting public eating outlets during meal times when your office reopens.

Also, encourage as many employees as possible to carry food from home. Staggering office meal breaks as a way of minimizing physical contact between employees may be necessary too.

6. Determine what Is Best for Your Organization

Covering for any losses and reviewing set targets may be a priority as you return to the office, but that should not be at the expense of the wellbeing of your workers. Remember that your employees are an essential resource, and protecting them is part of your responsibilities. So, even as you consider how you will recover lost time when you reopen your office, you need to involve your employees too.

Ask your workers how you can improve the workplace environment to enhance their productivity. The input of your employees and implementing the same will affect your bottom line. The reason is that your workers are part of the determinants of what is best for your enterprise as you reopen your office.

Conclusion

Now is not the time to get into the rush of reopening your office, but planning how you will go about this process with extra caution. The future of your office operations depends on the decisions you make now and the impact they will have on your employees. Also, before implementing your return to the office strategy, you will need to review all relevant factors that will inform your decision-making process.

The desire of every individual right now is for normal operations to resume as soon as possible, including the reopening of various offices. However, that will not be possible if you do not take the necessary precautions from the onset. The best practices above can help you develop a workable return to office strategy, which addresses both your needs and those of your workers.

Currently, it may not be clear how long it will take for businesses to recover, but you can fast track that process if you adopt the best practices above.

If you need office space or help with your current lease, contact us today! We offer advice from our network of over 450 local tenant reps for free!

8 Minimalist Computer Desk Setups for Your Home Office

computer deskIn this time of crisis many people are setting up a home office. Using a minimalist desk design can help to fuel productivity and to set you up for success! Find inspiration from these home office setups!

There are a lot of considerations that come with setting up your home office. You want to strike a balance between professional and comfortable. You want your home office to fuel productivity without being too stuffy and claustrophobic.

A minimalist desk design might be the answer for you. They keep your space open and comfortable, while encouraging you to work your hardest. Keep reading for the best minimalist computer desk setups.

  1. A Wall Mounted Desk

If you want something modern and minimal, consider a wall-mounted desk.

A wall-mounted, or floating desk is little more than a slab of desk that juts out from the wall. There are no underhanging storage compartments or legs, it’s 100% desk. This gives you plenty of room to roll from one end to the other without worrying about smashing your knees into the desk’s frame.

Wall-mounted desks are sleek and solid. You can get them in plenty of designs and materials. They look great in a room with big windows, adorned with other modern furnishings.

Because of the lack of storage space, you may want to get a large wall-mounted desk. You could even install it between a few shelving units to store anything you might need.

  1. Swish Console Desk

A swish console desk is a truly unique minimalist desk.

It looks like a normal desk, only all the storage is within the main desk area. You simply conceal it by sliding a portion of the desk like a matchbook. This gives you plenty of storage space without the underhanging clutter of most other desks.

You can set up your computer, a lamp, and maybe an accessory or two on top of the desk, then put anything you only occasionally need inside the swish desk. When you need it, swish the concealer over and reach in. It’s like having a hiding space for all your stuff.

  1. A Bureau Desk

Bureau desks fold up when not in use, effectively turning them into a sideboard.

This is an especially great choice if your home office is also your living room. When you’re not working, you can fold the desk in and put your work to the side. This lets you be more productive when in work mode, and more focused on yourself outside of work mode.

Bureau desks often have a good amount of side-adjusted storage space that hides away when you fold the desk in. They also have a top space for decorations. Try decorating it with a nice plant, an oil diffuser, or some photographs.

  1. An Alcove Desk

For the unaware, and alcove is a recess in a room’s wall. It could be built into the home, or could be a space where a closet once was.

For a good minimalist look, set your desk up inside an alcove. Doing this creates a space specifically for your desk. Depending on the size of the alcove, you can install storage space around the desk, or even a lamp in the ceiling.

You can even go the extra step and install a sliding door at the alcove’s entryway. That way when your desk isn’t in use, you can hide it away with the door. This is a great way to get your head into work mode when the door opens up.

  1. The Chalkboard Wall

A cluttered desk is the bane of all home office workers.

If you take a lot of notes while on the job, try setting up a chalkboard wall above and behind your desk. That way when you need to take notes you can jot them down on the chalkboard. It’ll always be in the background of your computer, meaning you only need to glance to see your notes.

You can also try this with whiteboard or corkboard material. It’ll seriously cut down on desk clutter like notebooks and pens.

Try contrasting the black of the chalkboard with a clean white desk.

  1. The Centered Desk

Most people put their desk against a wall. But there’s no rule that says you have to do this.

For a unique home office look, try putting your desk right in the middle of the room. Keep it simple. Put as few objects as possible on the desk, maybe your computer, a coaster for coffee, and a plant or bobble of choice.

Doing this really lets you go crazy with the rest of the room. You can set up a lounge in one corner, or a bookshelf in another. You could put a sound system, a record player, or a few plants.

Make sure you use a MacBook camera cover if you’re doing this. You never know what someone might see from the center of the room.

  1. The Corner Desk

Corner desks provide you with plenty of space to breathe.

These desks usually come in an L shape. They fit snuggly into the corner of your room. You can set your computer up in the corner, then leave the sides open for decoration and note taking.

You can set up a few shelves on the walls above the desk, or set it up near some windows for a truly beautiful look. You might even be able to set up two monitors on the surface to double your productivity.

  1. The Folding Desk

A folding desk does exactly that. The legs fold into the bottom of the surface like nothing. That means you can take the desk out when needed, and put it away when not.

These desks are minimal, and they mean you can make your home office anywhere. If you want to move closer to the window, move closer. If you want to work in another room altogether, go for it.

If you work on a laptop, this is perfect. That means it’s just you and your laptop anywhere you want.

Change the Way You Work With a Minimalist Desk Design

A minimalist desk design will change the way you work. It’ll help keep your mind focused on work, and keep your surface clutter-free. Plus, it’ll look just plain beautiful.

If you’re looking for office space or need to make changes in how much office space you need, let us know and see what OfficeFinder can do for you.