Category Archives: Office Leasing Tips

Tips to Increase the Security and Safety of Your Bookkeeping Office Space

bookkeeping office surveillance Camera

A secure office space is necessary for both the safety of your employees and the sensitive documents involved in your business. For a bookkeeping business relationship to thrive, your clients need to be able to trust you—and you need to make sure that your business doesn’t fail on this front. Successful bookkeeping companies such as Balancing Books Bookkeeping always ensure that their client information is never misplaced or mishandled.

Here are the steps you can take to increase the safety and safety of your bookkeeping office space.

Secure your perimeter

The first thing you need to accomplish is securing your physical space. Make sure to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Perform risk assessment If possible, consult with a security company to receive a professional evaluation of your office space’s strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, thoroughly examine your location for weak spots and check the local news for crime reports. Use this information to analyze what security threats you might face.
  • Make a security plan Map out your office space. Mark all client entry and exit points, employee entry and exit points, and fire exits. Identify areas that need to have better lighting, CCTV surveillance, and lock replacements.
  • Determine the security budget Given your security plan, you can now canvass for CCTV prices, lock replacement services, and lighting fixes. These are all one-time expenses, but their maintenance and the salaries of security personnel need to be included in the annual budget.
  • Execute your plans Armed with a well-mapped-out plan and the equipment you need, you can now implement your security plan.

Orient your employees on security protocol

Now that your bookkeeping business’s location is secure, you need to focus on security inside your area.

When you’re handling sensitive information like payrolls, bank loans, and inventories, everything inside your office should be protected and every move should be documented.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Install a sign-in system Use a sign-in system to monitor who enters and exits your office. You will likely be hosting client meetings or entertaining in-person inquiries; having documentation of who comes and goes will give you a written record of everyone who enters your office space. This is particularly useful in the event of a security breach; a sign-in system will help confirm the presence of persons of interest.
  • Secure important equipment Any company devices or equipment should be in a safe location and should require company identification before being used. No employees should be allowed to bring home equipment, documents, and devices. Documents should not be on full display, especially in areas where nonemployees are permitted.
  • Get everyone updated on security protocol Create a security protocol and make sure all employees are oriented. For instance, ensure that the last person who leaves the office locks up all important documents, examines the whole area, and turns off electricity before leaving the office.
  • Create emergency evacuation plans Have emergency evacuation plans on hand, and properly orient all employees. Regularly conduct earthquake drills, if possible. Ensure that all essential documents are retrievable in cases of emergency.

Invest in digital security

Most of your company’s important documents are probably saved on computers, from client files to business permits. All of the company’s digital data and assets, including your website and social media, should be secured to avoid security breaches.

Here are some tips to follow when it comes to strengthening digital security:

  • Install strong firewall and antivirus technologies.
  • Block malicious and unsafe websites, such as torrenting and streaming sites.
  • Encourage all employees to use strong passwords.
  • Change passwords every few months.
  • Encrypt files and data.
  • Regularly back up all systems and files.
  • Disable printer sharing and wireless printing as some information is temporarily stored on printers when using these features.

Stay on top of security maintenance

You know what they say: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. There’s no such thing as being too careful when you’re running a bookkeeping firm.

  • Routinely check your office’s security features. Repair any broken locks, lights, or cameras at once.
  • Make it a point to update your employees about scams, schemes, and other potential security threats.
  • Ask IT to report attempted security breaches immediately.

More than anything, make sure your employees are aware of your business’ security. Clients will inevitably ask about how you plan on keeping their information safe; it’s essential to have all that information on hand.

Protect Bookkeeping Office

Keeping your bookkeeping business secure is key. When your clients feel safe and reassured, they’re more confident in trusting you. And with these tips on securing your office space, you’ll have no problem securing success in no time, too.

Big Mistakes to Avoid When Leasing Office Space

leasing office space Mistakes OopsDeciding to lease office space is an exciting step for your business. The way you choose and decide which office space to lease is important to ensure you avoid making big mistakes when leasing office space. You need to make sure that your office is productive for your team, to you and most of especially to your clients. You also need to make sure that the office you choose it will make you and your business grow and flourish.

Considering these factors in leasing office space will affect your business productivity and overall success. Below are some of the bigger mistakes to avoid in leasing an office space.

NOT ENGAGING A TENANT REPRESENTATIVE

You might think we are being self serving on this, but we have seen the mistakes businesses make that do not use a tenant rep. Considering that there is no cost to you, it does not make sense to not have one. The biggest mistake made by tenants in leasing office space is not engaging the services of a tenant representative; thinking it will cost them money. It doesn’t.  A good tenant representative, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder, is invaluable in making sure you find the right alternative, negotiate the best possible deal and avoid costly mistakes. They do this every day and only get paid when you get what you want. And you don’t even have to pay them. It costs you nothing. Most Landlords hire listing agents and the tenant rep will share in that fee.  If there is no tenant rep, the listing agent keeps the entire fee and you are on your own. Tenant rep services will save you money by making sure you do it right with solid information and advice.

 RUSHING

The second biggest mistake made by tenants looking for office space is not allowing enough time for the process.  Far too often tenants will not get started early enough and have to settle for less than they could have had otherwise. This applies to tenants who are looking for conventional space and not executive suite, virtual office space, or co-working space. Typically, a tenant can be in these spaces as soon as the next day or at least within the month. Tenants looking for conventional office space under 5,000 should get started 6 to 9 months prior to their move in date. Larger businesses should start at least 1 year in advance. This will allow enough time to find some good alternatives, negotiate the best deal and have any tenant improvements completed for an on time move-in. This is true even in a soft market. In fact, even more so since there will be many more possibilities to investigate.

Make sure you don’t rush into a decision, remember that this is a big step for your business. If the deals and negotiations did not match your plans, move on and try to look for other alternatives. There will always be a property that will perfectly suit your requirements. Sometimes, DIY is okay, but note that it is very time consuming and may take a lot of your time, time that you’d rather spend it to your daily operation and development of your business. Experts or tenant representatives are the best people to help you. They know the markets inside out and can assist you throughout the process, especially when it comes to negotiations. Viewing, choosing and negotiating when leasing office space can be a long process and time consuming. If you are unsure of what you are doing, your mistakes can get very expensive.

LACK OF COMMITMENT

Keep in mind that leasing an office space is a commitment. there will be a legal contract that will hold an agreement for given length of time. Leasing is a big responsibility, make sure that you study your business and you are “ready” to take new obligation to step up for this new stage of your business. Otherwise, it will just you may end up losing a lot of money on space you don’t need.

NOT UNDERSTANDING THE COSTS

There are more costs involved in leasing office space than just the rent.  Many of these costs are quoted in different fashions so it can all get quite complicated when comparing alternatives. It becomes difficult to compare proposals on an apple-to-apples basis. In fact, it can even become difficult for an inexperienced tenant representative to decipher the various costs involved in comparing different office space alternatives.  Moreover, be prepared for these: Monthly cost, service charges, maintenance costs, insurance and daily operating costs.

Don’t settle to an office that is going to empty your banks and put your business into debt and that will hinder its growth. Make sure you know all of the costs involved.

UNEVALUATED LOCATION

Evaluate all aspects of the office space you are interested in leasing. These will include geographical location, space layout and type of the building to insure a perfect fit for your business. Don’t forget to evaluate for safety, too. There are other factors to consider in deciding about the location. One of the important factors is it good for your employees; make sure it is close enough for employees to commute, near public transportation, restaurants and cafés are conveniently accessible for your team’s lunch break or a simple coffee breaks. Or if you don’t have a team yet, choose a location that has a good population for your potential resources. Evaluate the size of the space that will commit, it is always to good to have exact number of employees to get a large enough space for your team members and an extra meeting or receiving area for clients/visitors.

Another important aspect to consider are your clients. Remember, your office gives a first impression to your clients and it sends messages to them about your business. If you’re in a building that is falling apart, your client may interpret that your business is struggling. Other way, if you are spending extravagantly for your office, clients may think that you are just charging them too much and money just goes to a lavish office space. Safety of the building is also a big factor, make sure that your building has measures being followed for times of emergencies such as fires or earthquakes. Check if the building is guarded for the safety of everyone as well as your physical assets. Not considering these factors may just bring damage to your business rather than growth.

UNCLEAR LEASE TERMS

Make sure that provisions are clearly stated out in the lease. You don’t want to be surprised with the hidden charges, one example is that sometimes landlord will say that utilities are not included with what you have paid and you will need to pay extra for it since it was not officially specified in your lease. Take note that every office is lease is different, but frequently written in favour of the landlord. Think what office lease terms are best for you as a tenant, study the entire lease including rental rates, renewal options, rules and regulations, break clauses, etc. Know what you can customize it before signing a contract. Make sure to check what you’re allowed to do to the space without getting charged for damages.

We hope these tips could finding a great space for your business. Of course, there is a lot more to consider and a good tenant rep, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder, will help make sure you don’t make any big mistakes. Please contact us if we can be of assitance.

WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT OFFICEFINDER

We’d also want to share actual feedbacks and experiences of businesses who have taken advantage of using an OfficeFinder Tenant Representatives

“Our OfficeFinder rep did more than I ever thought that this free service would. I hope that this man gets a Raise. He really went above and beyond the call of duty. I thank him very much.”

-Elizabeth P – Phoenix, Az

“The amount of information I received and the professionalism of our OfficeFinder rep was astounding.  His knowledge and understanding of what I needed was overwhelming. He will always have my business, and I have no need to recommend anyone else.”

-Chris V – Level 7 Productions – Los Angeles, Ca

“I have never rated anyone at this high of a level but Jeff, our OfficeFinder Rep is exceptional.  I don’t know how he could exceed the level of service he has provided for us. I will not only recommend him to others, I will look for opportunities to recommend him.”

-Michael S – New Life Outpatient Center – Davenport, Ia

“Thanks for your follow up.  Our OfficeFinder rep has been extremely helpful in assisting us to find the proper offices over the last several months.  We are now in our new location and I frankly don’t know how we would have done it without him.”

-Jenny M- Xinify Technologies, Inc – San Ramon, Ca

Office Space Rental, Productivity and Small Business Success

Helpful tips for an office space rentalChoosing the right office space rental for your business or organization means more than just choosing a physical location.  If you have customers visiting your property, then you want to make a good impression. You want to make sure it is somewhere that you employees will be happy and productive. Depending on your organization’s identity, you might need to appear trendy, modern, or traditional, and your physical location can help customers decide if you are the right place for them to take their business or not.  When choosing commercial real estate, the following tips are a few considerations that can help you find the location that is just right for you and your company.

Appearances are important.  Take a very close look at the property, standing in the parking lot, or on the sidewalk in front of the building.  If the building looks dingy and dirty to you, it will probably look that way to your customers and employees as well.  Unless you do not get any customer visits, make sure the location is somewhere that you would visit as a customer. Don’t forget your employees. Is this somewhere your employees would be proud to work?

Consider accessibility and convenience.  Many customers will simply not visit your location if it is difficult for them to park, maneuver a wheelchair through, or find the elevator or stairs.  While some inexpensive improvements may be feasible and advantageous, you do not want to invest more money into making your building accessible than you spend on the property itself.  Make sure the elevators and stairs are in good condition, ensure that the location is handicap accessible, and consider the ease of entering and exiting the parking garage or lot for your customers.

Check with the local City Hall to ensure that the property is zoned for your business.  If you have an unusual business, rezoning can take months or even years, and is a costly process that requires legal consultation and assistance.  Checking out the zoning ordinances for the property before you sign the contract is always the easiest way to avoid headaches and extra cost.

Current and Future Space Needs. Taking into account what your future ofice space rental needs may be is very important when signing a multi year lease that will lock you into a defined area. Whether you are a large or small company the basic needs are the same. You need to consider your office space efficiency, cost effectiveness, room for expansion, and strength of location. If your company is currently housed in an inefficient space the multi-step processes necessary to keep everyone ‘in the loop’ can create redundancy and confusion. While a move can be costly, if done correctly it can reduce future costs significantly. Would moving from your current location disrupt client service? Or are you able to make a move without affecting the product or service you provide?  Lots of questions to be answered before deciding to make a move.

Before Signing an Agreement for an Office Space Rental for Lease

Renting office space can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. In some of those anxious moments, it can easy to get caught up in all the excitement and sign a lease agreement that has unfavorable terms.  Since the success of your business largely depends on the right rental terms, you’ll want to check out a few important details whenever you are considering an office space rental.

The type of lease that’s being offered can make or break your business, as some could result in your paying large additional charges you weren’t prepared for. The common types of office leases are:

  • Net lease that includes base rent and a nominal charge for taxes and insurance
  • Double net lease that requires you to pay rent in addition to the entire cost of taxes and insurance
  • Triple net lease which mandates that you pay rent, taxes, insurance and maintenance fees
  • Fully serviced lease or gross lease in which the landlord pays for additional expenses and then passes them on as a “load factor and increased from a base year.”

When choosing a fully serviced lease, it’s important to understand what the load factor and base year means. It is essentially a way to calculate the total monthly rent when a tenant has usable square footage in addition to common areas. For example, a business could occupy space in a building where stairways, restrooms and entryways are common space. In this instance, the load factor covers the expense associated with maintaining these areas, spreading them evenly among all who use them. The base year is the year in which you must pay for any excess expenses over the amount for that lease year. You have to be careful that the base year is current or in the future when signing a lease.

Although you may be offered a deal for signing an extended office space rental or lease, if you’re a startup or growing business, you should be leery about doing so. That’s because you just might find the needs of your business change a great deal over the first couple of years. For this reason, you should consider a short-term lease that’s between one and two years if you are a brand new company.

It’s also a good idea to ask about initial improvement allowances, remodeling or redecorating when signing a lease. Most long term leases will include a tenant improvement allowance. Make sure you know if that is on a rentable or useable square footage bases. It can make a difference of 15% or more. You may choose to build cubicles, add new carpeting or paint the walls once you settle in, so you need to know if this is something that’s allowed. Many times, minor modifications are allowed as long as the structural integrity of the building is not altered in any way.

Consult an expert.   The perfect office space rental can be competitive and hard to find, so consulting an expert is your best bet.  An experienced tenant rep can help you locate inspectors, engineers, architects, or anyone else that you may need to get your business off and running in a new improved location. The cost of a tenant rep are paid by the landlord. There is no cost to you for their services, yet they represent you and don’t get paid until you are happy and sign a lease. You have nothing to lose. Just make sure and find an experienced one who will not only help you shortlist potential locations, but negotiate a great deal for you. They understand to nuances of leases and can help you avoid costly mistakes and save you money.

Creating A Great Workplace For A Multigenerational Workforce

Helpful tips for a great workplaceToday’s office workplace is rapidly changing. Work is becoming more of what we do and less of where we are. What can you do to create a great workplace for your company? Here are several ideas that can help you.

First off, one of the tools being used in this change is that of office hoteling. It is where those who do not need a full time desk space simply login and reserve a space when needed, resulting in savings of up to 40% in real office space costs.

As the office space workplace goes more and more mobile, with employees working wherever is convenient, it becomes necessary to recruit and retain the most motivated employees. If workers are not self-motivated, the system can easily be abused. Today’s younger workforce, however, is used to and prefers the idea of being mobile. When pay is tied to performance, they can and will perform for your business and be happier while do it. They are also more focused on the work-life balance where this type of Officing strategy fits in well.

Once great part of the changing workplace is that, depending on the type of business you operate, hours can be flexible to accommodate the life-work balance necessary to keep the best employees happy. Many areas of business, for example office space, often lend themselves to hours outside the traditional 9-5 pattern. The flexible worker can maintain balance by planning errands such as auto service or simply relaxing over a long breakfast by simply notifying their employer that their day will have altered hours. That two hours spent in the evening doing revenue-generating work can be taken off during the day instead of being considered overtime.

Employees today move from job to job rapidly, each time moving up in salary and position. In order to keep the very best on your staff, you must be flexible with them as well as expecting them to be flexible with your needs. The increased work-life balance priority is related to shifts in workplace priorities since many workers will spend as much as 95% of their time away from the traditional office space.

Values sought by today’s worker in terms of work-life balance include respect and trust from the employer. Family concerns being respected by the boss is critical. They want some hours they can telework from home when needed or when desired and more control over their work schedule. Unless a company is willing to institute flexible work policies and programs, the brightest and best will move on to a company that better understands their wants and needs.

Assess what flexibility makes sense for your organization. Would an office hoteling reservation system allow you to reduce real estate footprint and help workers feel more empowered? Would accommodating telework from home when a child is sick or another emergency fit into your business? What other flexible options could you institute to keep your best employees happy and offer them a balance between family and life needs and employment requirements?

A properly planned office hoteling reservation system can save money and increase productivity. Contact us so we can get you started finding out how Office Hoteling might work for your company.

How Work Space Evolution Enhances Employee Performance

No matter what market your business serves, you know that profits are earned because of good, talented, employees working hard. Without these valued employees you would not have a thriving enterprise. And the better the team members perform the more your business will thrive.

So much of business performance today is knowledge-based work. People who have that knowledge and creativity are sought after by many companies and today’s workforce feel comfortable changing jobs several times in their career. This is so unlike our parents and grandparents where a person secured a job and stuck with that employer until they earned the gold watch at retirement.

Clearly, this means that those companies that are able to keep the talented knowledge employees happy will retain the talent longer than companies where employees do not feel valued, love their work and their work environments. When an organization can evolve to provide their team with practical options regarding where and sometimes even when work is performed, employees can choose work styles that best fit their personal needs.

One employee may work best in complete silence with no hustle and bustle around. That person may prefer to work from home, if the home office is quiet, several days per week and especially when performing more tedious tasks, coming into the office only as needed. This type of employee must be a self-starter who works well with little direction.

Another employee may thrive on the networking and sense of competition that the traditional office provides and prefer to come to the main office most days. These tend to be people who require a little more direction. While this employee will likely readily accept and implement technological advancements, they may be a bit hesitant when first making changes in processes to improve them.

Yet another type of employee may work best while on the move, working in third spaces such as cafes and internet hotspots while between meetings with clients. This type of working tends to be a real self-starter who has a strong dislike for the hassles of involved with reporting to a traditional office just for the sake of being seen. It is likely that this person will fully utilize each new technological development that makes their work faster and easier and embrace positive changes. This work style may involve some days spent at the office, some days where a few necessary minutes are spent at the office, and other days where all the day is spent working with clients or spots near the next client’s office.

An employer who can accommodate each of these types of employee will find it easier to retain talent and a high degree of production. When employees find they can work in whatever style suits them best for each specific goal or task, they are happier and feel empowered. Happy, empowered employees product more and stay with your company longer.

Six Factors That Can Help Turn Your Office Space Into a Great Workplace

Everyone wants a workplace that is wonderful but why is one workplace great while another is lacking? Is it the leased office space that makes a particular firm productive and profitable? Could it be the specific office furniture or location? None of these things alone make any workplace truly great.

A great workplace is not about the brand of computers, the prestige of the building’s address. Here are six factors that can work together to allow business owners to create an organization that excites employees, resulting in the reputation of being a great workplace.

  1. Replace Policies with Company Mission: Hiring, motivating and retaining top notch employees if not about policies; those are simply rules. Create a company mission and vision that the team believes in and supports. With passion for a mission based on the CEO’s vision, rather than a bunch of policy statements, cultivates a real team capable of leaping forward with ideas and innovations as well as loyalty and hard work.
  2. Nurture Collaboration: Never stifle team members’ desires to work together, carrying ideas from one area of the business into others. Create a workplace where each group or department is allowed to freely convey ideas to other organizational groups. The pay-off in productivity, amazing leaps forward and trained staff retention is incredible.
  3. Cultivate Agile Workspaces: Today’s office space is not the traditional cubicle or corner office. An office hoteling software application allows easy utilization of much smaller workspaces and allows each member of an organization to work in the style that is best for them. Technology allows the telecommuting or third place team members to only be physically in-office as needed. Work areas that provide desks or standing work counters allow team members to avoid the strain of sitting at a computer immobile for hours at a time. Staying in close contact does not have to mean being in the same conference room any longer. The office space of today is any area where business can conveniently and productively be conducted.
  4. Replace Ownership with Membership: Everyone employee is accountable to their customers and managers but in the past processes were “owned” by an employee, generating office stress and politics as power plays were often used to try to win the ownership role. Instead, remove the territorial nature of office spaces and encourage the concept of being privileged to be a member of a team or teams that create revenue and find ways for the company to save money. It becomes everyone’s process and fosters a sense of belonging and identity in the work environment.
  5. Create a Quality Experience for Employees: It is little surprise that employee retention is low in those workspaces that are dull and uninspiring. Create an office space that team members what to enter into and do work. Strive for a vibrant, magnetic space that draws people in during their in-office work time. This engages employees and they will look forward to the connected, exhilarated feeling obtained when they need to hotel an office space for an hour or a day.
  6. Stay on the Cutting Edge: Today’s fast paced, constantly changing economy allows those companies built on flexible office spaces with strong company values and loyalty to survive when others around them fall. As work methods, technological capabilities and mobile computing power speed along, use best practices to stay on the cutting edge. Remember that it’s the people who create value in a knowledge based company; an office is just a space that houses technology where people can come perform productive tasks.

These are some of the keys that can turn your office space into a great workplace for your employees, making them happier and more productive at the same time.

Four Generation Workplaces:
Why Different Management Styles are Necessary

For the first time in history, managers are faced with the requirements to effectively manage four different generations in the workplace. The future will likely continue to contain four generations even as those generations move along the timeline of life and business.

What Generations are Working Today?

According to the Age and Sex Composition, the generational breakdown of employees and managers today fall into these categories:

  1. Veterans born prior to 1946: This group makes up 2 percent of the workforce at the time of the census data collection and reporting in 2017.
  2. Baby Boomers born in the post-World War II years: This group is defined in the reports as those being born between 1946 and 1964 and make up 25  percent of the workforce.
  3. Generation X members, aka Gen Xers: are considered to be the segment born between 1965 and 1980 and make up 33 percent of the total workforce today and
  4. Millennial or Generation Y is the workforce members born after 1981 through present and total 40 percent of the total.

As time passes and the older generation disappear an additional, a younger generation will come of age so business will find it necessary to remain in touch with the remaining worker generations and develop ways to effectively work with the newer generations. Each generation has its own work style and lifestyle.  Managers need to understand what they need to do to encourage employee productivity. In the future and right now it is critical to learn to deal with the workers currently in the business world. This is crucial to producing profit and growth in any form of business.

Managing The High Maintenance Generation Y (Millennials)

The youngest group of employees in the workplace today is comprised of those born after 1981 and generally considered to be from before 2005s. This group is known as Generation Y or Millennials and they make up 40  percent of the total workforce according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The American Society of Training and Development reported that during the next 20 years, 76 million workers will retire while only 46 million workers will enter the workforce to replace them. Most of these 46 million workers will be Millennial generation workers. Just as the three older generations in today’s workforce, Gen Y workers have unique desires and needs that they expect from their manager and the business for which they work.

Generation Y employees will be crucial to business enterprises. They will certainly change the way business is conducted in many ways. But, in currently and in the immediate future these employees offer great challenges to management to ensure these workers integrate with the existing workforce with as little conflict as possible.

Among the positive traits brought to the workforce, one of the major benefits that Millennials bring t the workplace is their high degree of technological skills. These employees were practically born with a computer in front of them and are intrigues by each and every development in the work of Information Technology.

Millennials grew up with digital global communication capability at their fingertips. Information of all kinds is expected to be immediatly available on demand. They understand using virtual teams to solve problems and are extremely team oriented.

Millennials view the business work as a global workplace, viewing the entire world as potential sources of information, clients, and community. Millennials seek fast-track career positions, frequent positive feedback, the latest technology and challenging training opportunities. Their outspokenness brings them to challenge long outdated work policies and conventions, offering businesses to perform a check on the hypocrisies and shortcomings of today’s workplace. Ultimately, Gen Yers may well drive change for the better.

Much has been said and published about the negative points of Millennials. They tend to have a sense of entitlement and are outspoken. This group of workers does not take constructive criticism well and require more direction and feedback from superiors than previous generations. Fortune magazine stated in its May 28, 2007 edition that this group are “the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history because its members are entering the workplace with more information, greater technological skill and higher expectations of themselves and others than prior generations.”  Additionally, Time’s July 16, 2007 edition stated that members of Generation Y want the kind of life balance where every minute has meaning; they don’t want to be slaves to their jobs as they feel their Baby Boomer parents were and often still are. Millennials also want employers to be socially responsible causes and allow for volunteer commitments through the use of flex-time or compensation time. Flexibility in work hours is important to this group of workers.

Yes, this generation requires a great deal of management, but it is well worth the effort to recruit them into your business They are smart and have the drive and creative thinking to make a real different in the business world and in a company’s profitability.

It is clear that recruiting Generation Y members and adjusting to their wants and needs will prepare industry for the entry of the next generation, people that are expected to be even more technology oriented. While this generation does not even yet have a “name”, it won’t be long before they begin entering the workforce and seeking employment in your company.

By understanding the four major groups into today’s workforce and providing for each group’s needs, effective employees can find their jobs satisfying and are more likely to remain with your business. Each group brings many positive aspects, all of which can be used effectively to gain greater efficiency and streamline operations to ensure profitability.

Managing the Baby Boomer Generation

Baby Boomers are those born in the post World War II years, from 1946 through 1964. This group makes up 25 percent of the current workforce per the Age and Sex Composition. These workers bring unique work styles into the work environment and require different management styles on the part of superiors. Currently they hold the majority of leadership positions in the workplace.

Like the veterans born before 1946, this group did not group up with technology as part of their childhood. Even during most of their higher education, computers were huge things that read punched cards or difficult to program units that could do less than our phones do today. Baby Boomers are, however, excited by technology and find adapting easier than the older generation. Most Boomers reach out for training to incorporate the newest techniques into their skills.

Baby Boomers value respect for their long service, skills, knowledge and managers will find recognition for Boomer’s wisdom is a key to successful integration of these workers and managers into the profitable organization. Managers of Boomers should honor the history and memories brought into the work environment because past experiences can bring understanding to current situations, providing positive outcomes. When policies are placed in a historical perspective, employees can often understand and accept more easily.

Baby Boomers find recognition extremely important. Whether recognized personally or publically, motivate Boomers through recognizing their accomplishment and clearly expecting superior outcomes from their efforts will help ensure happy Boomers. Embrace their best ideas and implement those into processes and methods.

Boomers tend to have conflict between their desire to compete on an individual basis and their desire to be part of a team. Encourage these workers to focus on the team in the short-term as an effective means to bring personal recognition and success for themselves in the long term.

Boomers also find conflict with the generation born before 1946 because the older generation tends to feel entitlement to perks on the job. Boomers often have the false feeling that those employees have not paid the dues they have to gain their positions. They also tend to find conflict with the younger generations coming into the workplace with high levels of technical expertise and feel they are unfairly competing with this generation that they view as “coddled”. By placing Boomers in mentoring positions, managers can often mitigate these negative feelings and generate feelings of teamwork and workplace “families”.

Managing the Veteran Generation

There are two groups in the workforce today who were born before 1946. Veterans of the Second World War make up about 2% of the employees, including managers, comprising the current workforce. This workforce group, sometimes called the Silent Generation, Greatest Generation, or Paper Agers, requires special management considerations.

The workers in this group were largely not exposed to technology and computers until these methods became a necessary part of the employment. Often they feel that due to their impending retirement they should not be required to move into the computer age. Because the work methods used early in their career were low-tech yet workable, they want to continue to use printed paper trails and other more familiar methods that they are comfortable with. Yet, the work environment has moved into high-tech and these workers are forced to adapt. Technology is the major hurdle for the generation of workers born prior to 1946. This can cause conflict between the Silent Generation and those born into the age where technology was part of their lives from childhood onward.

Paper Agers often feel that any information not presented in hard copy has little meaning. They find it difficult to conform to the paperless workplace. Their strong work ethics and “get it done” attitudes can add strength to teams and tasks assigned to be worked alone. This group of workers has no room for failure and drive toward success. They strive to please superiors in all their efforts and they do fine ways to adjust to technology when presented with training opportunities.

Often, veterans born prior 1946 find themselves in management positions because they are long-term employees and tend to be upwardly mobile in the organization chart. Their structured backgrounds lead them to have strong respect for hierarchy.  They build strong relationships based on loyalty, structure and time. They work well in management positions because they have been long exposed to experiences where information was provided on a “need to know” basis. This makes them able to keep information to themselves where necessary and provide information to the right parties when necessary. Their frugal natures make them capable of adhering to both budget and schedule.

It can be very difficult at times for younger managers to relate to the workers from this era. Frustration arises when the high-tech manager has to deal with their lack of native technical expertise, but they can excel in technical positions when provided necessary training. The younger manager may have grown up with high-tech and resents the cost and time required to train these workers in technology. Yet, the long-term work experience and lessons learned gained from these workers can lead to creative ideas that generate greater profit for the organization. Therefore, younger managers should be trained to value these workers and utilize their skills while providing growth opportunities through technical training.

Final Words

As you can see, there are many factors involved in creating a great workplace. Hopefully we have given you some ideas you can work with to enhance your business.

If you are looking for the right office space to create your great workplace, we’d love to help. It is what we do on a daily basis through out the US and Canada. Give us a try. No cost and no obligation. Let us know what you are looking for and we will get right on it.

Green Office Space Tips and Tricks

Going Green Office SpaceAre you willing to pay more for green office space? According to many surveys many companies are. Roughly 48% said they would pay as much as 10 percent more for sustainable (green) space, and 2% said they would expect to pay even more.

Owners on the other hand showed that 57% would expect payback of the investment with savings over a 1 – 3 year period and only 9% would consider a period of over 5 years acceptable.

In actuality, you can go green without having to breaking the bank. You save your money and you save mother earth! Nothing to lose.

Here are some of the tips and tricks to go green. Always remember, apply the 3Rs;

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Office Supplies.

  • The key here is to keep all office supplies organized. Keep all office supplies in one storage. Have someone in charge in tracking and supervising the usage of the supplies, in this way employees will be less careless or wasteful of supplies.
  • Use reusable items, one example is a reusable or refillable pen rather than the disposable ones. Reuse old or used papers blank page at the back and turn them memo pads, be careful with confidential documents though! Place a box in a common area where employees can put their scrap papers to recycle.

Go Paperless.

In larger or global organizations, papers are really out. Most of the conventional companies are still using papers to send around memos to departments or employees, emails are way too better, faster and cheaper.

  • Limit the access to the printers, most of the employees will just go trigger happy with printing if not being supervised.
  • Invest in HR Software tools, it is more environment friendly and more cost efficient in the long run. Getting signatures or approvals can be done online. You will not need to print papers to get approvals for your vacation leaves, pay slips, performance reviews and all other employee related documents. Can you imagine how many papers will be used per employee, per type of document, it will be tons. We have not talked about the space that these papers will occupy, can you imagine that? Use the “cloud” to store them!
  • Online billing is also an alternative for your clients (if applicable). Push your clients or customers for paperless by convincing them what this can do for our environment. Giving them rewards and discounts is a best way to convince them to go paperless billing.
  • If printing is necessary, make sure you use environment friendly papers. Look for chlorine-free paper or go with the papers that has recycled materials. Make use of the both sides the papers, use smaller fonts can save a lot of papers too.

The Bathroom and Kitchen.

  • Use hand dryers rather than paper towels in both bathroom and kitchen.
  • Reduce water consumption. Reduce the amount of water for flushing toilets, ask your office or building engineers about putting brick tank or low-flush models. There are systems too that you can recycle water used in washing hands, reuse it for flushing the toilets.  Again, this could be an investment, but you’ll benefit later.
  • In your pantry, do not supply disposable cups, coffee stirrers spoon and fork for your employees. Have them bring their own utensils and tumblers. Buy in bulk, less plastic consumption rather than buying individually wrapped coffee, creamer and sugar. Use bigger jars or dispensers that everyone can use, make sure it is being cleaned and maintained.
  • Drive BYO Lunch. Healthier but lesser plastic wastes from the fast food packaging.

Office Equipment, Maintenance and the Facility.

  • Buy Energy-friendly items
  • Use LED lamps, it uses less power.  Replace inefficient and high energy light bulbs with lower wattage.
  • Use multi-purpose machines, smaller and lesser machines you buy, the smaller footprint will be. One example, printer that can also be used for photocopying, faxing and scanning.
  • Consider buying second hand. It is understandable that sometimes you have to keep an attractive and great appearance for your clients. But if you consider getting a second hand, your company will be a great help in reducing wastes and you’ll save almost 50% of your money.
  • Control and maintain comfortable temperature in the office. Most of the employees keep sweater and extra clothing inside the office as temperature in the office is colder than outside. You can implement a business-casual clothing policy as they can wear comfortable clothes they want than getting suit up.
  • Use environment friendly cleaning products. You can also recycle some items to eliminate odors, like used coffee grounds in your pantry. It’s sets up the mood of your employees plus it more environment friendly than using the chemically produced one.
  • Get indoor plants, they absorb pollutants and clean air, some are also can naturally repel insects. It’s will also make the office’s ambiance relaxed.
  • Put up reminders in every wall, bulletin boards or even at the back of the toilet’s door. Make it creative to appear more interesting for the employees to read, put quotes, trivia and info graphics about saving mother earth at work.
  • Segregate Trash. Put a separate trash bins for biodegradable, for pet bottles and tin cans and all other non-biodegradable. This way, it will be much easier to recycle. Partner with a non-profit organization/community that uses recycled materials to make money out of it, donate your recyclable waste products (such as tin cans, pet bottles, newspapers, plastic wrappers) to them regularly. you help mother earth, you helped the community.

Power Savings.

  • Set a power down time, for example during lunch breaks, turn off some lights, lamps and computer monitors for one hour every day.
  • Procure motion-detecting switch for lights in the meeting rooms or bathrooms. Sometimes, employees tend to forget the number one rule in energy saving even at home – TURN OFF LIGHTS IF NOT IN USE.
  • Set up your computers and do not allow screensavers, it consumes a lot of energy even not in use.
  • Carpool or commute going to office every day, it is a big help to lessen the carbon emission. Saves your pocket too with parking fee and gasoline. Consider biking going to the office that will give health benefits too.

Raise Awareness.

Organize a team or a committee that will drive programs for eco-friendlier environment in the office.

  • This is the most important part, you need people to explain to your employees the objectives and goals of this. It will also project that your company is serious about going green.
  • Have this committee to put up rules and policy to implement.
  • This team can also make fun events with “Go Green” themes such a fashion show contest where they will be judged according to the recycled materials they used. Give good prizes, everyone will be excited and will have fun. Make fun events where the employees get to enjoy while you deliver the message to go green and love mother earth.

Here are a few more questions to ask and things to consider if you want to think green when seeking office space.

  • Is there any active or passive solar built into the construction of the building? Active solar would be solar collectors for generating electricity or heating water. Passive solar is building construction that takes into account the building’s orientation, so that the sun’s effects (such as heat and light) are minimized in summer and maximized in winter. Buildings that have a central atrium built into them also make a big difference for bringing light into the entire building, thus lessening your portion of the cost to light common areas in the building.
  • If you are looking at a newer building, ask if it is LEED certified. According to the US Green Building Council, LEED buildings lower operating costs, reduce construction waste, conserve energy and water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in cities around the country. LEED certification also is better and safer for tenants, because of healthier indoor environments.
  • Find out if your prospective office building is paying attention to their use of water. Do they have low flow toilets and faucets? Do they have reclaimed or grey water systems? These will take water from sinks and filter it for use in toilets and landscaping.
  • Ask if they are doing anything less common in the area of green building, such as a vegetative roof, which increases insulation and helps filter pollution. (If there is one, find out if tenants can eat their sack lunches on the roof!)

From an article published by The University of Berkley, they discovered that the development of an active environmental policy actually has a positive impact on a company’s competitiveness in the marketplace.

How can you benefit from this green office space trend when it comes to finding the perfect office rental for your company?

Green Construction Cuts Down on Operating Costs

The cost savings associated with already installed active solar collectors are not negligible. They greatly decrease the amount of money your company spends on daily electricity. When your targeted office building also falls into the passive solar collection category, you know that its positioning will greatly decrease the need for daytime artificial light usage and winter heating expenditures. A central atrium is a big plus when you look for an office that receives natural light from all sides.

Green Landscaping Reduces Water Costs

When you rent office space, the overall operating costs of the property are built into the square footage price Choose a green building that has environmentally friendly features, which extend to the choice of landscaping. While a nicely manicured landscape provides excellent curb appeal and increases the suitability of the building as an office address, the choice of exotic flora can greatly increase the water costs. Pick an office building that uses native plants in its landscape, which cuts down on the watering cost significantly.

Green Office Space Reduces Employee Absenteeism

Whether you have 10 employees or 100, the absence of even just one worker creates a drain on your company’s productivity. A study by the City of Seattle proves that a decrease of indoor pollutants has made it possible for one company to reduce its absenteeism rate by 40 percent. In addition, productivity went up by 5 percent. When you combine the use of green building technology with the choice of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and companies, it is clear that this is a result your company could imitate.

Going green is easy. Be passionate about green office space and be true about your care for our environment. We do not need to spend so much to achieve this environment-friendly office goals. A few small steps and actions by each of your employees will create a green office space for your company, if we all try this together, it will create big impact for the environment. Whether you have a large, small or even home office, let’s love mother earth for our future.

If you need help finding green office space, contact us. It is what we do.

Office Space Alternative Choices for Smaller Businesses

office space alternativesIdentifying your priorities is a key to finding the right office space and determining an office space alternative for your company whether it is large or small. A full needs analysis is critical in the beginning of the process to make sure you are looking for what you need. Studies have shown that what matters most when selecting office space for rent is pretty consistent.

Here is where the priorities stand in importance:

  • Location 50%
  • Value 35%
  • Image 10%

If you want to go into more depth in analyzing your needs, we provide an Office Space Planning Checklist on our site so that you can make sure to consider all the major considerations when starting the process of finding you office space. In addition to the checklist we also offer an Office Space Calculator that allows you to determine the amount of office space you will need.

Operating a small business can be both exciting and lucrative. More and more people are leaving the traditional workplace to open their own ventures and becoming quite successful. Freelancing is becoming more and more popular. Many startups begin with only the owner working in the business which makes leasing or renting office space the largest overhead expense. There are practical ways to cut this big overhead item by thinking creatively. There’s no reason that every business needs a walk-up storefront in order to succeed.

Other than trying to find a small conventional office space for lease, here are some of the office space alternative choices available for smaller businesses:

Share an Office

If you have friends or colleagues who are also starting businesses that don’t require storefronts, consider leasing a spacious one or two room office and split the expenses equally. This reduces the costs for electricity, internet, janitorial, and other equipment leases. Instead of each office partner procuring a copier, fax, and other equipment that both parties use, only one item is needed, significantly cutting the cost. Compatible services work well in shared office spaces. One example that has proven to work great in shared spaces might be a software development company and a computer technology company. There are many other compatible combinations; just be sure there won’t be a conflict of interest or direct competition. Instead, seek an office mate that will be synergistic to your business, so you can help each other grow and thrive.

Executive Suite

These are shared office with services run by a management company. They provide not only office space but furniture, phones, Internet, office equipment and administrative service. They are typically a full floor of a prestigious office building and you will have lots of other small businesses around for networking.

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

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

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

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

Provider: Find a reputable executive office suite provider to help you locate the perfect serviced office. You can find great brokers online, Like OfficeFinder.com, who have sound knowledge of this type of office and are waiting to help you.

Coworking

Much like office sharing, co-working is a office space alternative concept originated in 1999 where entrepreneurs and small business owners who share the same values ban together to form a community of business people. Coworking usually begins when networking partners find they enjoy the social aspects of working in the same space and may often help either other’s business in various ways. The partners then lease an office space, sharing all expenses. Each of the co-working partners conducts their own business in their own workspace in the shared office and the co-workers may share support staff such as receptionists or clerical staff in order to keep overhead costs low while providing everyone effective support for their small businesses. This concept is growing into a great solution for hundreds of like-minded small business owners.

Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

Some coworking spaces were developed by nomadic internet entrepreneurs seeking an alternative to working in coffeeshops and cafes, or to isolation in independent or home offices. Surveys show that many employees worry about feeling isolated and losing human interaction if they were to work remotely. Roughly a third of both private and public-sector workers also reported that they didn’t want to stay at home during work. Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home.

Business accelerators, business incubators and executive suites do not seem to fit into the coworking model, because they often miss the social, collaborative, and informal aspects of the process, with management practices closer to that of a Cooperative, including a focus on community rather than profit.

Coworking is not only about the physical space but mostly about establishing the Coworking community where businesses can work together creating a synergy.

The benefits of Coworking can already be experienced outside of Coworking spaces and it is recommended to start with building a Coworking community first before considering opening a Coworking space. However, some Coworking Spaces don’t build a community, they just get a part of an existing one by combining their opening with an event which attracts their target group.

A lot of Coworking communities have been formed by organizing Casual Coworking events that can take place in people’s living room or in public places such as suitable cafes, galleries or multi-functional spaces. During these events Coworkers can experience the benefits of Coworking and get to know each other which lowers the barriers to join a Coworking space later.

Virtual Office

Today, you really don’t need a specific location for an office with walls. With mobile wireless internet services, hotspots available in most metro locations and even urban areas, multiple personal data devices, and smartphones that do almost everything a computer does, it is possible to work anywhere at anytime. You can operate your business from your living room sofa, poolside, in your vehicle (please stop your vehicle in a safe location before texting or computing for safety), in a coffee shop, at McDonald’s, and right at your client’s desk. By using online services such as GoogleDocs, your information can be safely stored online for presenting to your client easily. With outsourcing of many tasks, you can take your laptop and smartphone and conduct business in any location you desire. If you do have a need for an office, Executive Suites also offer a virtual office service as a office space alternative that allows you to use an office or conference room on an as needed basis.

Lease a Desk in a Business that Buys Your Services

Often, a small business begins because on business requires the services that will be offered. For example, an insurance company may regularly require the services of a licenses investigator. If your small business is complementary to a local business, check into leasing a desk in an unused area of the office. In tough economic times, many offices are willing to lease a desk space to a small business that is not in conflict with their own business.

Home Office

The vast majority of small business startups begin in a home office. This type of office space alternative allows the entrepreneur to begin conducting business without making a huge commitment to overhead expenses. Also, many owners of small startups begin their venture while working a traditional career, making certain their business will succeed before giving up the regular paycheck. Some of these small businesses never move out of the home office, even after hiring an employee or two. Of course, if the operation grows large enough or requires a great deal of inventory, the time will come to move from the home, but many virtual service businesses never leave the home office.

More and more entrepreneurs today are operating small but profitable businesses from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Most home-based businesses start small and provide a second income to a person that works in a traditional workplace. As the business grows and thrives, many are choosing to grow their home businesses and give up the traditional job.

There are some very clear advantages to being able to work from a home office; there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are a few of the points to consider if a home-based business is in your future:

Pros:

Freedom: When working from home, you can often set the hours you want to work. You can maintain better flexibility when time is needed for children, doctors appointments, and other things you’ve longed to be able to fit into your schedule. This can be a huge advantage for self-motivated people. Lots of productive work can be accomplished after the kids are in bed or very early in the morning.

No Commuting Hassles: No one really enjoys commuting to work, whether they drive, carpool, or take mass transit. Commuting eats into your free time when working in a traditional office. With a home-based business, your commute is only the distance from your bedroom to the room you have set aside for your workspace.

Time Savings: Without the commute, you will save many hours a week that you would be normally in your car.

Tax Benefits: Home businesses often qualify for business dedications when income tax times rolls around. Of course, you’ll need to speak with your tax professional but you’ll likely be surprised at how much you can deducted for your home office and operating expenses, significantly reducing your tax burden.

Low Startup and Operating Costs: There is little overhead with an office space in your home. After all, the room was already there, you just hadn’t defined it as your office previously. You may need to update your computer or add an extra phone line for faxing, but the costs of start-up will be minimal compared with a traditional office. Also, there’s no rental or lease to worry about. You don’t have to own nearly as large a collection of professional clothing when working from home.

Cons:

Discipline: Working from home requires a great deal of self-discipline. It’s very easy to become motivated at first, but over time it is also easy to allow yourself to see all sorts of things that need done around the home and begin procrastinating about business tasks.

Business and Family Overlaps: It’s also very easy to allow your family to interrupt your business time. Just as easy, many people end up spending time working that should have been quality family time. Making a set of clear boundaries is necessary but difficult.

Boundary Issues: It is very easy to “go to work” since it is just around the corner, but it can lead to family problems of another kind.  There is no boundary between home and work and it can become a problem, or a very delicate balance, for the very highly motivated entrepreneur.

Stagnation: Lack of social contact is an issue for some outgoing people who decide to try working from home. It’s also very easy to lose contact with your professional network. This makes it much more difficult to remain on the cutting edge of progress.

Pressure and Stress: While working from home is flexible, it is also easy to work yourself into stressful, pressured situations. You want to please all your clients and generate constant leads. Many people become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Some set unrealistic goals. They attempt to achieve them while others simply take on too many clients or fail to outsource when necessary.

Image: Depending on your client and customer contact, your company’s image could come into question. Setting up a client meeting at home or Starbuck’s can be less than impressive. There are alternatives such as a virtual office. They are pay-as-you-go subscriptions for office space. You have an official business address with an executive suite operator. You can use their facilities on a “as needed” basis.

Warehouse Rental

Storage warehouses of various sizes are zoned commercial and in most areas can be used as a business location. These warehouse locations are great for the small startup business that manufactures a product, purchases and adds quality to an existing product before sale, and service companies that provide auto repair, computer repair, and similar services.

If your business is the type that does not really benefit from a “flashy” storefront, this can be a great solution for keeping your startup costs very low. Traditionally, people seeking auto repair, auto body work, auto paint, motorcycle accessories or repairs, and similar services tend to believe that if the storefront is too fancy, they will be overcharged. These types of business can actually benefit from the casual office space offered by leasing a storage warehouse. Just make sure the type of business you are starting meets the zoning regulations and the landlord’s lease restrictions.

We’d be happy to help you with finding the right office space alternative. Let us know a little about what you need and we can get to work identifying some options for you. There is no cosst for this service. Give us a try!

 

No Office Tenant Rep? Don’t be Stupid!

It’s time to make that big move, a larger rented office space. This is good news, because it means your business is growing, but it’s a frightening prospect, to take on that much more commitment and responsibility. You know, when you were purchasing the house that you now live, that the services of a realtor were essential to the successful conclusion of the purchasing process. Believe it or not, the same is true when you are seeking an office for rent, and for many of the same reasons and why you need an office tenant rep to help you.

  1. As you know from your own experience with a residential home purchase, there are realtor commissions built into the sale. The same is true with commercial transactions and tenant representatives, which means that it is always worth your time to engage the services of a tenant rep; those services cost you, the renter, nothing extra. It is FREE
  2. Like a home realtor, an office tenant rep has the experience and knowledge to successfully negotiate the varied and complicated processes involved with successfully researching, negotiating and closing on a lease for commercial office space.
  3. An office tenant rep will be able to answer all your questions and help you understand the consequences of the choices that you will need to make during the process. In addition to the obvious questions, such as location, cost and length of lease, there are a number of other factors which need to be considered when renting office space. A good office tenant rep will help you recognize those issues and make the best decisions for your company’s future success.
  4. As with any negotiation, experience and expertise are key to a successful outcome. Tenant reps negotiate on behalf of hundreds of small business owners such as yourself, meaning that they understand all the critical issues and know how to negotiate on your behalf for the best possible outcome.

What does an Office Tenant Rep do?

Let’s hear it directly from them. The following is from our OfficeFinder LinkedIn group discussion on the most important activities Tenant Reps provide their clients in addition to just finding space:

“I believe the top Time & Money saving services that we provide to clients all revolve around the Transfer of Specialized Knowledge to the client, so that they may make the most informed decision. Up to date market information, understanding the players involved, defining and executing the process required for a successful outcome and most importantly, proactive advocacy, each individually represents significant savings for a client.”

“Avoiding mistakes is very important aspect of why tenant representation is so important for office tenants. We do this every day, just like the landlords and listing agents. Tenants only search and negotiate for office space every few years. Landlords and listing agents love to see tenants coming unrepresented. It makes their business much more profitable than when a tenant is represented by experienced and knowledgeable tenant reps…like the ones we have at OfficeFinder!”

“We provide lease digests and early reminders of important dates i.e. rights and renewal options. We also place these dates on an earlier call up internally so that we remind the tenant that they need to be addressing their real estate needs, even if their intent is to renew. We also assist with renewals. In today’s market the lease signed five years ago is most likely far above today’s market rates.

A 10% discount off of today’s asking rate may sound good however, the market may be giving a 25% discount. Only through the use of their own broker can a tenant gain an accurate opinion of today’s market.

Any business who leases office, retail or industrial space expiring within the next 6 to 18 months should be talking with a broker to represent their interests. This not only pertains to renewals subject to negotiation but also pre-stated rent renewals. This is also a good time to negotiate terms and conditions not included in the original lease.

We have a good system in place and when started at the right time in the renewal process, we have been successful in leveraging our position, procuring rent reductions and changes in other terms beneficial to the tenant. We’ve also been able to facilitate early renewals where the tenant benefits from the negotiated terms and conditions sooner than later.”

“There is absolutley no question as a tenant representative we can all save our clients real money in the transaction and “time” money by not only doing things they would have to do but also the fact we know what to look for in the first place.

We might want to consider the money we can save clients by handling non-transactional issues after the lease is signed. Two examples: 1) client is a 501C-3 teaching museum- eligible for property tax relief. Worked with county and LL-client received over $100K in refunds over 12 years. 2)Client located in Enterprise Zone. Another client/accounting firm specializes in that area of tax. Put them together…anticipate over $500K in saving over next 6 years. There’s a lot more we can do than just focus on the transaction. Just my $.02 🙂

So are you ready to take that leap of faith and rent larger office space? Don’t go it alone. Contact us today to engage the free services of a tenant rep for this important step into your company’s future. It is a no lose propositon.

How to Decide on the RIGHT Office Space for Your Business

Deciding on office spaceIt is a big decision. Your office space can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Here are a few ideas on how to make the best choice.

To start, here are the basics that need to be considered:

Location

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right location to set up your office, and much will depend on the type of business you own. Before you look for the right office space, here are some things to consider to help you decide on the right place for your office location.

Cost

It is important to thoroughly research the taxes and regulatory situations in your desired location. What are the sales and income taxes and how might they affect your business? What about regulatory requirements – are they excessive or is this area business-friendly? If you plan to locate your business in the US, you can find out how individual states ranked with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council on policy measures and the various costs that impact small businesses.

Your Customers

Your business location needs to be where your customers are and be conveniently located for them. Consider traffic, parking and whether the area invites foot traffic.

Your Employees

Even if your type of business doesn’t require customers to visit your location, you will have employees. Consider where your employees will be coming from, whether there will be a pool of qualified candidates for job openings and whether they will be able to easily commute to your location.

Other Businesses in the Area

Consider what other business including retail and service businesses are in the area. Get a feel for the business climate by visiting a few of the businesses in the area.

The Next Step

Now, you have determined your office location. Next step now is choosing the right office space, whether for rent or purchase, It will have a big impact on how well your business runs. The Better Business Bureau has made 5 specific recommendations to help business owners choose a space that is right for them.

Determine Your Needs

This may sound obvious, but any business owner needs to think about the entire operation, not just the front office. Look at the space in terms of how your customers will see it and how your employees will use it.

  • Will you grow over the course of the lease?
  • Will you need conference rooms, lunch rooms or break rooms?
  • Do you need a reception area?
  • What about storage?
  • Will you have office machines such as large copiers that need space?
  • Where will staff sit?

Assess The Building

It is important to look at the building and other factors. Many commercial buildings will advertise upgrades, but won’t talk about repairs.

  • Ask about what changes may need to be made to the office space itself.
  • Are you allowed to put up walls for new offices as needed?
  • Have there been any recent problems with storm damage or vandalism?
  • Are there any upgrades or renovations planned during the lease?

Noise from renovations can disturb employees and customers so it is important to understand what will happen and when.

Get Professional Help

Utilizing a real estate professional who specializes in office space, an office tenant representative, will reduce the amount of work substantially. A professional will be familiar with a variety of styles of office space around the area. When know what you are looking for and can communicate these needs clearly they will be able to show you properties that meet your needs and help negotiate the best prices for you. There is no charge to you for this service, so it should be a no brainer to acquire the service.

Review The Lease

The final step is to review the lease very carefully before signing anything. Make sure you understand what you are responsible for and what the landlord is responsible for. It is a good idea to have a lawyer review the document.

We can help you choose the right location and office space for your business to operate, contact us.  Whether you are looking to lease or to buy, we can help you find the right office space for your business with our network of nearly 1,000 professionals throughout the US and Canada. Our service will not cost you anything. It is a no lose proposition.

For more information, check out OfficeFinder’s Office Space Checklist.

3 Flexible Office Space Alternatives to Conventional Office Space

flexible office space alternativesLooking for flexible office space alternatives? Don’t want a conventional office space? Considering your alternatives for a workspace? If you are starting of new business, considering a new base of operation or need a physical office space, here are some modern alternatives that can save you money on your rent costs; Coworking Space, Executive Suites and Virtual Office.

Coworking Space

Have you heard about “coworking space”? Unlike the typical office setup, a Coworking Space allows you to work in a casual and relaxed work environment that will suit your style and requirements. This is a facility that you will share workplaces by different professionals, different industries and mostly freelancers. Coworking Space promotes collaboration, creativity, best practices sharing, networking, socializing and creating new business opportunities. This is great for freelancers and independent professionals because of its flexibility allowing you to expand or contract as needed, with no long-term contracts. Coworking spaces are generally less expensive than Executive Suites, which you will find out more information about next. More…

Executive Suites

Now if you need more privacy and confidentiality, you should investigate an Executive Suite. Executive Suites are essentially shared offices with services provided by a management firm. They are also known as an Office Business Center or serviced offices. The disadvantage of this privacy is that you will miss some of the networking and collaboration available in coworking spaces. However, this is also great for small businesses and startups. You get the same benefits or services of having own facility at lower cost and with no long-term commitments. It is a great way to have project a good brand and identity to your client as they your office located in impressive business centers. More…

Virtual Office

Home based jobs, running or starting up small businesses from your home are very rampant nowadays. This is because of the available technologies and internet access can provide, nothing is impossible in running your business wherever and whenever you want. Almost everything can run virtually in the cloud. However, we must accept that frequently clients and customers are looking for assurance the and one way to give them that is to provide an established office address. A Virtual Office rental is one of the solutions. Having an established and prestigious business address will make your clients or customer more feel secured and confident in doing business with you. In Virtual Office, you’ll get to enjoy the same convenience of having your own business address such as having a local number, mail box, admirative support and very presentable meeting rooms at low cost. You can continue working comfortably of your choice, from home or other location while you keep your virtual office as your official business address. More…

All these flexible office space alternatives offer benefits to small entrepreneurs or working from home businesses and freelancers. It will simply give you the office-feel environment, yet you still have the benefit of flexibility.  Some of the common advantages of getting these types of office set are that you will be more effective; especially if you are working from home. It is a much better replacement if you sometimes use cafes or restaurants to work or meet clients. They also will help you avoid distractions.  Working in these types of workplaces will help you avoid loneliness and burning out. You will be surrounded by other passionate entrepreneurs who will help energize with their energy in striving for success. Most importantly is the flexibility, it allows you to rent a space shorter or longer, bigger or smaller space, it’s very flexible allowing you to work your style and within your budget.

Whether it is a virtual office, Coworking Space and Executive Suites, we hope we helped you to get a better idea of your office space options.

OfficeFinder is ready to assist you in your search for flexible office space alternatives at no cost to you!

OfficeFinder, LLC is a leading web-based office space referral and information network with highly qualified local office space leasing and sales professionals throughout the US and Canada. OfficeFinder collaborates and continuously exerts effort to connect with large, small and well known commercial real estate companies.  Professionals from OfficeFinder are great partners who can help you to locate and find the right business space that suits both your needs and style. Simply contact us and provide a few details for us to be able to assist you. There is no obligation and there is no cost to you. You get assistance and options you need in finding the best workspace for you and your company!

Mistakes to Avoid When Leasing Office Space

avoid mistakes when leasing office spaceYou have located an exciting new office building. It features flexible workspaces, makes a great first impression on visiting clients and has all the creature comforts and amenities that make this the right office space for your employees. Before you go full steam ahead, learn how to avoid mistakes when leasing office space even some less seasoned brokersin the industry make.

  1. Leasing for today. Unless you specifically go after a short-term lease, look beyond the company’s needs of today. The size of the space that meets your needs right now may not be the right size in six months when you add on a new division and need more staff members. Pending mergers, new product lines, added service menus and market expansions might have you bursting at the seams well in advance of your lease’s expiration.
  2. Pinching pennies. While you cannot afford to tie up too much money in rental expenses, be careful not be penny-wise but pound-foolish. Verify that the rental rate is competitive in the area for the space you are investigating. Next, check out the added amenities the leasing company proposes. Some add parking spaces and access to shared conference rooms. Others do not. A potential deal breaker could be the amount of the tenant build-out allowance.
  3. Going it alone. Granted, you have already located the ideal space. That said, how do you know that there is not another one just like it around the corner? It may not be openly advertised, but an office space expert with industry insider knowledge and connections can point you in the direction of this space. Before you make financial concessions for a great space, when you could come out ahead by opting for a similar office in a nearby building, work with a group of professionals who assist you with locating an office that suits all your needs and delivers on plenty of wants, too.

When you avoid mistakes when leasing office space, you position your company well in a competitive market place. Contact us today to learn more about your options.