Moving Out of Your Home Office to Flexible Workplaces

Moving to flexible workplaces from home officingMany entrepreneurs start their businesses from home. In fact, some of the most famous business today did so. Dell Computers and Microsoft are great examples. For some people, this works well over the course of time, but others would prefer to have a separate office to work out of. Working from home is not easy. Many distractions can get in the way. In recent years flexible workplaces have become an attractive way to make that move.

The short-term leases flexible workplaces usually offer lessen your risk if you find you no longer need the space. Should your business grow faster than anticipated, you aren’t locked into a space that is too small. Should the worst happen and you need to shut down your operation, you are not left with the responsibility of a long-term lease or a mortgage on a space you no longer use.

Some flexible offices will allow you to share space with another company. This offers the chance for reduced costs and meaningful collaboration. You don’t have to travel across town or pick up the phone to get input. You simply have to speak up from your desk, or perhaps knock on the next door.

If your business takes you around the country, or even around the world, you could have an office to use whatever you land. Some flexible office providers offer a passport system that allows you to have a desk wherever your work takes you. No more hoping your hotel has a reliable internet connection and a decent place to meet with your clients. You know your office will have what you need.

Comfortable decor can really make a difference in whether or not you feel like going to work. If you hate your surroundings, your productivity will take a hit. Flexible offices tend to stay up to date with modern needs and desires, taking the decorating tasks off of your shoulders.

If you are ready to move your office out of your home and into a professional space, contact us to find out about flexible office spaces near you.

Recruit Employees with Your Office Space

Office space to recruit employeesYou’ve hired the best recruiters, crafted the perfect interview questions, and developed a stellar application process. You’re ready to recruit!

One last thing…have you considered your office space?

Believe it or not, your office space design can be a powerful recruiting tool. Office design is a reflection of your business culture, and as such, it should reflect a culture that applicants want to work for. Look around your office.

Take the following into consideration:

  • What do you first notice when you look around your office space?
  • Does your office space consist of an open work area, or does everyone have a fairly designated spot, whether it’s an office or a cubicle?
  • How is the lighting in the office? Are there windows for plenty of natural light, or simply the glare from harsh overhead florescent lights?
  • Are distractions minimized? In other words, are employees able to focus on their tasks at hand even if the office is abuzz with excitement?

The answers to these questions will give you insight into what applicants see when they first walk in for an interview. Now ask yourself: if I were the applicant, would I want to work here?

The key to answering this question lies in knowing what your applicants actually want. During the interview process, it’s highly likely that you’re asking your candidates what they’re looking for in a particular position, company culture, or day-to-day responsibilities. Are they looking for team collaboration, flexibility, a fast pace? Whatever they’re looking for, make sure they see it not only reflected in their conversations with you and other team members, but also in the office environment.

If you find your office space lacking the the ability to attract the best and the brightest candidates for the job, let us show you some options that will. Our local reps will show you available office space properties and help you to negotiate the best possible deal. There is no cost for their services to you. It is a free service. Don’t wait. Contact us to find your perfect office space!

4 Lessons You Can Learn from Microsoft’s Agile Workplace Experiment

Agile Workplace StudyWhat does it take to create an agile workplace? While office planning and design choices are at the top of the list, there is more to the collaborative work environment than aesthetics of office design. In fact, it is a mindset that translates into structural adaptations. Microsoft has set the pace for this revolutionary use of space. Here is some of what they have done.

  1. From offices to work environments.

    On two of its properties, Microsoft has done away with the traditional office environment. From the top down, employees and management staff share a variety of work environments. The latter include team rooms, atriums, and large halls featuring a variety of seating options.

  2. From corporate to relaxed feel.

    The company has done away with the stuffy corporate feel for a comfortable, and therefore more productive, atmosphere. A broad range of color hues create a welcoming environment that is more at ease than administrative.

  3. Enabling privacy without individual offices.

    Of course, the biggest challenge is the need for privacy. Some workers simply do not do as well in a large open environment as others. Microsoft has mastered this balance by offering headphones to workers who find the open space too distracting. Smaller work spaces, called coves, are the equivalent of an office with a closed door. The results have proven that quick conversations now replace lengthy emails and productivity is possible for all.

  4. Customizable by workers using the space.

    The office used to be the employee’s refuge where family pictures, plants, and little art objects would personalize an otherwise nondescript corporate setting. This is no problem for Microsoft workers. Their team building activities include a focused customization of the space where employees spend so much of their days.

What really makes Microsoft’s agile workplace functional is its flexible nature that hones in on the needs of the business and its workers at any given time. Contact us today to learn more about finding a office space that works with an agile workplace strategy.

3 Important Considerations When Leasing office Space

leasing office space signingYou are at a point in your business where you need a change. Whether you need more office space or less, changes are difficult, but they are a vital part of growing or maintaining your bottom line. That’s why it is so important to make a good decision when leasing office space. While there are many elements to consider when leasing office space, make sure to keep these 3 in mind when looking into offices:

Location

When choosing a location, you have to think about the future of the area. You need to know if the neighborhood is declining, on the rise, or at its peak. You also need to think about the convenience. Will it be easy for consumers to find you? Can you attract new customers by your location? How many businesses in the area are similar to yours? If there are any, what makes you stand out?

Internet and Telecommunication Service Providers

Most companies need a good internet connection and a phone system to adequately run their business. It’s important to make sure that area gets good reception to keep everything running smooth. You should also do some research on which companies service that district. The last thing you want to find out after you have signed a lease is that you can’t get the services you need. Also, make sure you allow enough time to get the equipment installed and up and running.

Space Needs

Think about how much space you really need. How much space will you need in 1 year or 3 years? You don’t want to spend extra money on a bunch of unused space, but you want to have enough to grow into. How much does the office cost per square foot? What is the load factor, the space you pay for but is not usable? Can you afford the rent and deposit without worry? Style and design is also a factor when deciding on how much room you need. Is there a tenant improvement allowance from the landlord? These are just a handful of items to consider regarding you space needs.

All these and many more are the specialty of OfficeFinder’s local tenant reps. OfficeFinder not only helps you find the perfect location, but we also provide local professionals at no cost to you. We will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. Contact us today to get started on your search.

Agile Workplace Strategies Appeal to Baby-Boomers and Millennials

Baby-Boomers and Millennials Agile workplace strategiesEmploying Baby-Boomers and Millennials in the same office can sound like a mighty challenge. Whereas one group is face-to-face interaction oriented, the other one likes to handle things remotely. Finding room designs that appeal to both demographics, and bring out their strengths, and keep them engaged can be as simple as adding a few agile workplace strategies to your office space design.

Understanding the Generations

The National Conference on Citizenship (NCOC) suggests that there are 77 million Boomers and 82 million Millennials. While the former are starting to enter their retirement years, the latter are at the peak of their productivity. Boomers have decades of work experience and made their way in the business world when interpersonal skills were the tools of the trade. Millennials see technology as the way of the future and place less value on face time.

Agile Workplace Strategies to Suit Both Groups

When you rely on a mix of employees to drive your business forward, bring out their strengths with office space design strategies. Take for example the meeting space. Also known as a collaborative work space, areas that you designate for team or group meetings is essential. Boomers may feel a bit out of their element because of the apparent lack of formality. Choosing movable walls such as glass or acoustic panels can make a huge difference. Alter the space as needed with a few tweaks to the wall setup.

Next, there are the teamwork zones. In this shared setting, members of one team work together on a project. Unlike the meeting space where multiple teams may connect, this is a smaller setting that is also quieter. It allows Millennials to get a break from the more socially taxing meetings while it gives Boomers an opportunity to observe some formalities like personal desk space.

If you are unsure whether a restructuring of your current office space is your best solution, or if your business would be better served by leasing a new space to accommodate both demographics more readily, contact us with your office space questions.

Office Leasing Tip: Parking Options

office leasing parkingAs a business owner considering your office leasing options, you probably focus most strongly on the interior of the space you are thinking of leasing, but it’s very important to consider your parking options as well. This is especially true in heavily populated commercial areas, where street parking is at a premium and many buildings have less than adequate space available for employees and customers.

Parking is an office leasing lease term that can make or break your commitment to a particular building. You must ask questions and negotiate the terms that work best for you. Although commercial office buildings are required to provide adequate parking, many older building don’t offer enough and even newer buildings may not accommodate enough vehicles during peak use periods.

Find out if parking is open or reserved. Designated spots guarantee that you and your employees will have parking available at any time. Inquire about customer parking as well. Guaranteed employee parking doesn’t include spaces for your visitors, but if you don’t have many, this may not be an issue for you.

Test the parking situation. Before you begin to negotiate the parking terms in the lease, check out how the parking works during rush hour (are there enough spots?), how easy and quick it is to reach your office suite from the lot or garage, and how secure the parking area is at various times.

Make sure that parking terms are included in the lease. Don’t rely on oral agreements or assurances, and be sure the terms are clear and detailed. Don’t accept a “parking is included” statement; specify how many spots, how much, whether they are open or reserved, arrangements for visitor parking, etc.

For many companies, parking options can be as important as the offices themselves. When considering your office leasing options, be sure your needs are covered in the lease, and that they are spelled out to your satisfaction. We can help at no cost to you. Contact us for more information.

Three Common Mistakes to Avoid When Leasing Office Space

Signing_AgreementLeasing office space is a significant investment for your business. This is why it is very important to make sure you avoid making mistakes that will cost you a lot of money. The following are 3 common mistakes made when leasing office space and how to avoid them.

Lack of planning. A lot of tenants do not know exactly what they need. Knowing the exact space you need is essential. You should have an architect that can do a space program for you and determine exactly what size and functions you need. Knowing the details of what you need will ultimately save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Lack of representation. Hiring a tenant representative has many benefits. A broker has extensive knowledge regarding the ins and outs of the market and can negotiate for you. They can also use their knowledge and experience to narrow the buildings down that they believe would be best for your business. Hiring a tenant representative can prevent you from leasing a space that you will ultimately decide to leave a few months down the road.

One of the great benefits of engaging a tenant rep is that, while they work for you, their services are free. Just like in residential real estate, their fees are paid by the owner of the building. You get representation, but do not have to pay for it.

Find out more about Tenant Representatives

Not enough time. It is common for tenants to underestimate the amount of time it takes to renew a lease or move. Negotiating your deal could take anywhere from 6-12 months, depending on how much space you have and what tenant improvements are needed. By planning ahead and creating deadlines, you can avoid making this mistake.

If you value your time and money, you cannot afford to make these mistakes when leasing office space. Contact us for more information about how to avoid mistakes when leasing office space.

 

Millennial Office Space Design Priorities

office deisng for MillenialsThe look and feel of your office space has the power to encourage worker retention or lead to the unwitting creation of a revolving door. When it comes to Millennials Office Space Design priorities, they have different ones than other generations, especially when it comes to their workplace.

Understanding the Millennial Worker

The Pew Research Center provides a look at the makeup of the millennial hierarchy of priorities. The experts find that this demographic is outwardly focused with a good eye on the value of education. Family dynamics and philanthropy rank higher than the need for a high-paying career position. Technology is of a high value to this generation; antiquated workplace machines and outdated work processes are sure to lead to attrition. Add to this the absence of a defined work ethic, and it makes sense that the office space for employees of this generation must be up to par.

 Millennials Office Space Design Priorities

When you want to attract and keep workers of this generation, it makes sense to create an office environment that caters to their strengths.

  • Shared work stations – Your corporate culture is at the heart of your organization. When you embrace the idea of a flexible workplace, show this understanding by offering shared work stations that let millennial workers use computers and Intranet access as needed without assigning each employee a cubicle.
  • Increase technology use – Create work stations with the use of the latest technology in mind. Even if you do not plan to outfit each one with it, it makes sense to have them wired and ready to go. Doing so signals to millennials that you and they are in accord with respect to technology.
  • Use the build out allowance – When you lease a new space, enlist the help of a tenant agent to negotiate a generous build out allowance. Use it to retrofit a space that favors cubicles and executive offices to one that highlights team work space, shared work stations and collaborative effort centers.

Contact us today to learn more about finding office space for employees of the millennial generation.

Avoid Office Building Rating Mistakes When Leasing Office Space

ABC office Building ClasificationsYou have heard it said countless times that negotiating your new office lease under pressure is a bad idea. Moreover, you have spent some time researching the calculation that lets you figure out rentable square footage. That said, you are not out of the woods yet. You still need to avoid mistakes when leasing office space in choosing an A, B or C rated office building.

Understanding the Office Building Classification

It sounds so simple. You just want an office for your ten or so employees and a sizable conference room. However, making a mistake with the building rating can get costly.

  • Class A – Consider the class A office building the Corvette of available spaces. Centrally located, management companies spare no expense to provide the types of amenities that attract high-profile companies. Counter tops do not feature laminates; they present the real thing.
  • Class B – A step down from there, you have the class B building. Still well designed and attractive, these buildings have a decade or two under their belts. Your neighbors consist of a broad range of companies that cover plenty of niches. When searching out median commercial space rental rates for an area, real estate professionals and brokers frequently look at this building type.
  • Class C – If class A denotes the Corvette, the class C is the Yugo of office buildings. Not much to look at, they have few amenities and precious little by way of marble, chrome or pizzazz. Management companies allow minimum upkeep to leave the space functional.

Should You Pay More for Show?

Leasing office space in a class A office building comes with a big price tag. You pay more for the prestigious address and the opportunity to rub elbows with well-known companies and impress clients. Although it is not necessary to stretch your budget to the breaking point, there are exceptions. When you need to build prestige as an attorney, financial planner or plastic surgeon, this type of building setup can be a worthwhile investment. If you do not have this concern, a class B building will do well. For the business owner who does not anticipate welcoming clients and instead focuses on online productivity or product creation, a class C building can be a great money saver.

Contact us today to find out more about the office building classifications and learn where they are located in your area. Moreover, working with our experts allows you to avoid mistakes when leasing office space in any of these types of office building.

See also: What Type of Office Space Will Be Right for Your Business?

Office Space Design to Lessen Attrition for Call Centers

call center office space designWhen leasing office space for employees who will run your call center, look past the minimum square footage you need to allot per workstation. Since call centers are famous for their high rates of employee turnover, Call Center Operation places annual attrition at 26 percent for full-time workers and 33 percent for part-time operators, so revamping office space design  and the way the industry does business makes sense.

Suggestions for change run the gamut from incentive package restructuring to upward mobility that rewards long-term commitments to the business. We suggest combining these approaches with the ways other industries retain employees and improve employee engagement: office space design.

3 Office Space Design Suggestions

  • Collaborative work spaces. Although the majority of the job takes place on the phone, there are times when teams meet, receive training on new promotions or procedures, share their experiences, and discuss phone strategies for the next day.
  • Workspace design. Placing cubicle next to cubicle is no longer a functional consideration. Call center work has gone past merely answering the phone and now incorporates tasks such as data entry, department liaising, claim filings and research. Added space accommodates surfaces for these projects.
  • Flexible workplace design. When designing office space for call center employees, a 24/7 operation has different needs from a basic business-hour center. The former may see multiple workers share one workstation. Design this kind of workplace with personal space needs in mind.

Contact us today to learn more about the best office space leasing practices for your call center operation. Whether you are just starting out or need to transfer an operation of ten or more workers, we can help find and negotiate for the perfect office space. The services we provide are free to you and there is no obligation for giving us a try. Our local reps are some of the top office space specialists in their markets.