Monthly Archives: June 2015

Office Design to Foster Employee Creativity and Productivity

Beulah International Office Design

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While not widely recognized, office space and design can make or break employee productivity. More and more businesses are focusing on their office design to foster employee creativity and productivity. One example of an exciting new office building that is doing just that is the Melbourne based business Beulah International.

Beulah International fast realized that their workspace was impacting employees, both consciously and subconsciously – thereby hampering their productivity. To rectify this, the company decided to transform their bare office space into a gorgeous New York City inspired loft space.

The new office design for the company was based on an open office plan, with a “curved work station to foster communication and collaboration between workers. Another feature was to make the kitchen a central location in the office, to encourage employees to work and talk over meals since the company firmly believes that innovation mainly occurs in relaxed environments.

The office space also adopted a color palette of muted shades and different types of wood to highlight the office space and keep a mixture of warmth and relaxation throughout the office. Walnut and ash timber was juxtaposed with concrete gray and black lines over glazed walls to inspire a homey feeling for employees.

Another feature incorporated into the office space to keep the homey feeling was a green wall, completely made of plants in order to preserve privacy without sacrificing quality. Tinges of industrial design keep the space balanced, and designed in such a way that expansion could occur without damaging the space or being forced to relocate.

However, being mindful of budgetary concerns meant that many alternative materials were used in the design, such as aluminum in place of steel for window frames and incorporation of more glass for the walls.

The sense of community inspired in employees since their redesign has been a point of wonder for the company, and it is easy to see just how beneficial it has been to create a relaxing office space that fits business needs.

To find your perfect office space and learn more about the importance of office space design, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Office Space Leasing Tips: How to Make the Best Leasing Decision Quickly

Thoughtful office designIn a DIY world where information is plentiful and free-flowing online, many of us have educated ourselves on some new topic.

  • We cook differently,
  • We’ve learned a new software platform,
  • We’ve learned a new language,
  • Maybe we’re doing part or all of our own marketing,
  • Maybe we’ve built a WordPress site for our business, or
  • Maybe we’ve gotten into photography, golf or some other hobby

However, there comes a point when professionals have to realize:

  1. We can’t do everything and do it well, and
  2. Sometimes, we’re wasting more money than we’re saving
  3. Someone else has the skills to do it better
  4. We don’t have enough time in the day to do everything

Sometimes hiring consultants for essential business tasks is just the wisest choice.

Chances are your business keeps you busy full-time; and you might have a little free time for family and hobbies. However, though it’s possible you might choose the perfect office space by shopping ads in the paper or online:

  • Will the office space you choose continue to fit perfectly if your company expands?
  • Are the lease terms favorable?
  • Is the location slated to improve or change for the worst in the coming years?
  • Are there better deals that you don’t have time to research?
  • Do you have space for new technology, or the staff you might need to manage it? and
  • There are likely many more industry specific questions you can come up with, when you really think about it.

However, the most important question is, do you really have time to completely evaluate the office space leasing situation and make the right, long-term decision? Most business owners and managers will have to answer, “No,” if they’re answering honestly.

That’s why OfficeFinder offers such comprehensive office space leasing tips, tenant representation services and office leasing consulting services. We understand that office space leasing is a huge commitment for any company, and that it’s important to have all the information you need, before you make any sort of commitment or budgetary changes. However, without help, that’s typically very hard and time consuming.

Contact us today, so you can rest easy and know that you’re making the right office space leasing decision.

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Buy or Rent Office Space? What should you do?

Buy or rent office space DecsionWhether a company is an established business or a fledgling start-up, saving money is always a good way to impact the bottom line.

So the question of whether to buy or rent office space eventually comes up in evaluating your options. Since most businesses start off renting, the question is usually whether or not to stop renting office space and purchase either their existing office or moving to a new facility.

There are many factors that go into the decision of whether to buy or rent office space. Here are a few of the most important factors a company should factor into their decision.

  1. Cash Outlay – A mortgage will require a down payment of at least 10%, on an SBA loan, but more often will cost up to 25% of the purchase price. The cost outlay of renting is usually just the first and last month’s rent.
  2. Opportunity Cost – Since a down payment is a considerable amount of cash, a company will have to consider the cost of missing out on the resources being allocated elsewhere. What sort of return could you expect on the money invested in real estate vs. your potential return from the real estate investment?
  3. Fixed vs. Variable Cost – When a company purchases a building, the costs are pretty much fixed, especially if that company has a fixed-rate mortgage. This is not the same if you lease, since prices depend on the market.
  4. Growth Considerations – Are you an established company or are you in a growth phase? Are you looking to add more equipment, staff, etc.? Renting office space would offer more flexibility for the future. If you are more established, then this need is obviously less important.
  5. Property Management – Managing a property (i.e. repairs, lawn care, etc.) costs money. If you don’t do it yourself, you will have to contract it out to someone else, which will be added to operating costs. Many companies curtail this cost by buying more space than needed and then renting it out to other businesses.
  6. Appreciation – One of the main advantages of owning office space is that the building’s value will appreciate over time. On the flip side, renting is essentially an expense with no return from an investment standpoint.
  7. Tax Factors – Lease payments are fully deductible, while expense on an office needs be written off over many years. However, if you own an office then you can deduct all interest payments and take depreciation on capital improvements.

The Next Step

Most of the rent or buy office space factors can be calculated by the business owner, but it is a good idea to consult a commercial real estate professional to get a better idea of your options.  Still, the final decision rests with the business owner, so it is important to run a cost-benefit analysis.

If you are looking to buy or rent office space, contact us on our website to see how we can help you meet your needs.

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Workplace Strategies To Raise Employee Engagement

Workplace strategies to get Happy EmployeesEmployee engagement is one of the most important priorities that any business can foster. It is what keeps excellent employees interested in working for the company and can also help improve productivity and revenue as well. For the most part, attempts to raise employee engagement revolve around rewards that can be offered to employees. However, businesses should also focus workplace strategies on the actual space that their employees are working in as well.

In the past, offices were generally designed with much of the space being set aside for offices and cubicles. Unfortunately, this meant that there was little space available for collaboration with other team member.

Offices that are devoted solely to workspaces lack the functionality that employees need to move around freely. However, by designing an open office space with designated areas for collaboration, employees will feel more engaged with the company and each other because they will feel as though they are part of a team.

Another benefit with designing collaboration centered work spaces as a workplace strategy is that it allows for more of a mobile friendly setting. Employees are able to connect with the outside world through audio and video conferencing as well as through online meeting forums. Not only does this help connect them with a fantastic wealth of information, but it can connect members of a team that may not necessarily be in the same physical location.

Setting up this type of office setting is encouragement for employees to get up and move around throughout the day. This can help them feel more energized and engaged with the company. Having this type of Workplace Strategies is just one step that you can take to help make your employees feel more engaged. Contact us today to learn more about your office space options and how they affect your employee engagement rating.

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How to Avoid Mistakes When Leasing Office Space

leasing office spaceLeasing office space is a significant investment, and you want to make sure you make the best choices. You want a space that meets your needs and allows your company to grow. It needs to be a space in a location where your customers and employees can conduct business. Some choices are more important than others. There are ways to avoid mistakes when leasing office space. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Not Enough Time

Make sure and allow enough time to complete the process. The last thing you want to have happen is to run out of time and have to compromise. Even if you are planning on renewing, get an early start. You never know what may change with your landlord that could result in the need to move. Check out our Office Leasing Process page to get a timeline.

Too Much or Not Enough Office Space

Trying to decide how much office space to rent can be challenging. You don’t want to pay for space you are not going to use, but you don’t want your employees working on top of each other. When choosing an office space to lease, you want to decide your needs before viewing properties. In many cases, it is prudent to add in a little space for your company to grow and add employees over the terms of the lease. Check out our Office Space Calculator and our Office Space Allocation Standards (How much office space per person).

Too Expensive

You already have a budget set, but it is easy to see a fabulous property and think you can swing a little more money each month. However, you might be able to or you might not. You need to consider the other types of expenses that might come up or things you might need to sacrifice to make the monthly payment. Instead of coming up with set amount for a monthly lease, you might consider coming up with a range of rents and then not go over the top amount.

Wrong Location

Everyone has had a good laugh when they see the pizza place next to the Weight Watchers meeting space. This is a good opportunity for the pizza shop but not for the dieters attending meetings. When selecting your office space, you need to pay special attention to the businesses in the area that you are considering leasing. You want them to complement your own business and avoid direct competition.

At OfficeFinder, we are dedicated to helping you find the best possible office space. Contact us today to learn more about things to consider before signing the lease or to schedule a showing.

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