Monthly Archives: March 2016

6 Strategies to Prevent Noise Problems in Open Office Space Designs

Headphones for noise controlOpen office space designs are popular and have become the layout of choice for many businesses. By removing walls and visual barriers, many companies find that collaboration and productivity improve. Additionally, many open office layouts allow for an increase in natural lighting which can improve employee morale and assist in recruitment. Open floor plans can also be less expensive per employee (cost per square foot) than traditional offices and cubes in that there is a lower space requirement per employee.

However, open office spaces by their very nature tend to be noisier than traditional office settings, because the walls that block and absorb sounds are not there. If not managed appropriately, this could hurt productivity.

There are 6 strategies that can help prevent or reduce noise problems in open office space designs:

  1. Cubicle partitions can be installed to help absorb noise. Even partitions with low walls can be effective.
  2. Consider installing a drop-ceiling with sound-absorbing acoustical tiles.
  3. Designate a walled office as a conference room, and another as a quiet work space for employees to use.
  4. Designate a “noisy” space for employees; this may be a kitchen area or break room where employees know that it’s OK to talk in a normal tone of voice with one another.
  5. So-called “white noise” can be effective in helping mask the sounds of conversations. Piped in music can be distracting and employees may feel the need to try to “talk over” the sound, but low-level ambient sounds can be helpful.
  6. Last but not least, headphones are the new walls in open office space design. Not only do they cut out noise, allow the employee to listen to what they can work best with, but also send a message of “Do Not Disturb.”

By using a combination of the ideas above, in a manner that makes sense for your business, you can achieve the benefits of on open office layout without realizing a drain on employee productivity.

Contact us to learn more about utilizing open office space to its full advantage.

6 Reasons to Lease Green Commercial Real Estate

green office buildingThe green building market is growing at a rapid pace in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 20 percent of all new commercial construction. What’s more, commercial building owners worldwide are expected to invest $960 billion in making green improvements to their buildings between now and 2023. For commercial tenants, this means that there are an ever increasing number of opportunities and reasons to lease green Commercial real estate in LEED-certified, green buildings.

So why should you lease green commercial real estate? Here are some of the top benefits to tenants:

1. Savings on Utilities
By definition, LEED-certified buildings are more efficient than their traditional counterparts. These buildings are equipped with technologies and equipment that conserve water and electricity. As a tenant in an LEED-certified building, you can expect to use 25 percent less energy, according to studies, and you can also expect lower water bills and reduced heating and cooling costs. One study found that the annual cost for utilities in green buildings was $675.26 cheaper per employee.

2. A Greener Brand
Studies have shown that when given the choice between two companies that are otherwise equal, consumer and B2B customers are more likely to choose the company that has an established a sustainability policy. Leasing space in an LEED-certified company is something that you can promote to show that your company is Eco-conscious. This can be a major differentiator between you and your competitors.

3. Support for Sustainability Initiatives
Many companies today are greening their corporate culture through green initiatives to satisfy stockholders and simply do what’s best for the planet. A move to a green LEED-certified office space can bolster these types of sustainability initiatives and bolster your efforts.

4. Improved Productivity
Green buildings help to boost employee morale, and that has been proven to impact productivity. One study found that employees in bank branches situated in green buildings were more productive than those in other non-green branches. Another study found that employees in bright office spaces with more windows and clear views performed 10 to 25 percent better on memory recall and brain function tests.

5. Fewer Sick Days and Lower Turnover
Green buildings aren’t just healthier for the planet; they’re also better for the health of employees. Improved air quality within LEED-certified buildings has been linked to improved health in employees. Studies have found that employee retention rates in green buildings are significantly higher due to improved employee morale.

6. A Better Position in the Community
Typically, local communities and cities are involved in or at least interested in promoting green commercial development. Leasing green office space can send a positive message to the community where your business operates, casting you in a favorable light with local lawmakers and neighboring businesses. These relationships can be invaluable as your business grows and develops.

When you consider these benefits, it becomes clear that green commercial real estate isn’t just good for the planet; it’s also a boon to businesses who choose to lease in these eco-friendly, sustainable buildings. While rents are often higher in LEED-certified buildings, the benefits often outweigh the increased costs.

A guest post courtesy of REoptimizer
REoptimizerREoptimizer® was founded on the principle that lease administration shouldn’t be complicated. We help minimize occupancy costs and increase the ROI on owned and leased properties. Visit their Blog.

3 Office Space Design Ideas for Productivity Enhancement

IdeaShould you opt for an open-plan office space or favor the private office and cubicle setup? When you are in charge of e office space design ideas for your company and productivity enhancement is of the essence, you may have to look for a mixed approach.

There are three specific office space design ideas that have the power to turn around your current output lull.

  1. Use conference rooms more efficiently. Depending on the nature of your business, you may only use the big room with the large table once or twice a week. For the rest of the time, the space is wasted. Not surprisingly, some companies are doing away with the conference room. Resist the temptation to follow suit! Instead, opt for a space with a large conference room or two. Use this space as a quiet work area for the tasks that require your employees to focus with only minimal interruptions.
  2. Create collaborative work spaces. Experts at the Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggest that the trick to collaborative work spaces is the balance of the interactions you achieve. There are the connections between what the experts term “knowledge workers.” Creating a collaborative space without assigned seating that allows for team interactions in an organic fashion has the power to improve productivity. Encouraging interface between members of different departments is possible with redesigned break spaces that almost certainly result in inter-departmental dealings.
  3. Take a hint from color psychology. Over the years, there has been a consensus that white walls zap productivity while blue enhances it. Orange creates excitement and red boosts accuracy. As always, use these colors sparingly and integrate them into an overall paint scheme. Simply painting your multi-purpose conference room red is not a good option.

Of course, to make good use of these office space design ideas requires the availability of an excellent venue to begin with. When you know that you are not yet in that space, contact us for assistance to find the right office at the best deal possible.

Top 5 Office Space Leasing Tips to Maximize Work-Life Integration

Top 5In the past, the only notion of a home life that the employee would bring to work was a houseplant and a photo of the spouse. Back in those days, office space leasing tips were dominated with cost per square foot calculations and private office allocation. Yet today’s Millennials want nothing to do with this kind of work environment.

This segment of the population has different values than those of the generations that came before it. Attracting and retaining quality workers from this generation calls for at least five leasing tips that foster work-life integration.

  1. Flexible workstations. The advance of wireless technology now makes it possible to work from home, the coffee shop or the park. Do not keep workers tethered to desks with PCs but enable them to enjoy flexible workdays and workstations.
  2. Enhanced interactivity. The conference room with its formal setting is no longer the space you should look for. Instead, opt for a large, open space within the office that you can transform into impromptu meeting areas for teams or team members.
  3. Access to public transportation. While you still want to have access to a parking garage or lot, consider that Millennials favor public transportation. In fact, the decision of whether or not to accept an employment offer from your company may hinge on the availability of nearby transit routes.
  4. Walkability. How pedestrian-friendly is the area right around your office building? Business parks are out; finding office space in the heart of downtown, near amenities and within easy walking distance of entertainment venues is now in. Consider that your employees frequently do not return home after work but might meet up with friends.
  5. Modern amenities. Your building should feature modern amenities. On-site restaurants, coffee shops or even a gym would be ideal. Other attractive amenities include spas, business services kiosks and the unusual. For example, the management team of the BECO Towers complex follows a tenant-centered approach and provides outdoor nature lounges and bike rentals.

If this collection of office space leasing tips has inspired you to look around for new digs, contact us for assistance to find the hottest properties at the best possible prices.

5 Benefits of Designing Office Space for Teamwork

Designing office spaceThere are many benefits to designing office space for teamwork. The design of your office can have a major impact on your employees and bottom line. If your office layout is spread out and employees are seated away from each other, they can’t easily communicate. Seating employees together can help them work better together.

Here are 5 benefits of designing office space for teamwork:

1. Encourages Teamwork

The main (and most obvious) benefit of creating an office space designed for teamwork is your office space will naturally encourage teamwork. Office cubicles tend to make employees feel isolated and closed off from the rest of their colleagues. This isolation makes it difficult for people to work together. When teams are seated together, they are in a position to work together and discuss strategies and…

2. Inspires New Ideas

The best way to inspire ideas is to get people working together. With people sitting and working together, they can discuss ideas and share information which will help inspire new ideas. Brainstorming sessions are easy to do when employees are seated together.

3. Individual Development

For staff working in an office designed for teamwork, it’s very beneficial for their own individual learning. Employees can learn more from their colleagues around them. It’s a perfect opportunity for teams to share experiences and learn from mistakes.

4. Improves office morale

Creating an office designed for team work does wonders for staff morale. In general, employees are happier. Offices that are built with open spaces means employees can easily talk to each other and develop friendships. As employees spend over 40 hours a week at work, some social interaction is important for keeping up morale. Having happy employees is central for maintaining a positive workspace, increasing employee engagement and productivity. As well as decreasing the likelihood of employees deciding to suddenly leave.

5. Creates a community

As we mentioned before, work is a major part of employees’ lives. If they aren’t happy, they’ll move on. However, creating an office that is designed for teamwork will invite employees to form friendships and develop trust. This natural development will work towards creating a social community in your business.

There are many benefits to creating an office that is designed for teamwork; for your business and your employees. It’s important you encourage teamwork as employees can feel isolated and may struggle to be as productive as they can be otherwise.

A guest Post by: All Furniture Store specialists: high quality office furniture and storage.