Category Archives: Office Leasing Tips

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.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself While Looking For New Office Space

helpful tips when looking for new office spaceAre you looking for new office space? You’re in luck! We understand that looking for a new office space can be a confusing experience, which is why we are here to help ensure you make the right decision for your company. After all, this is your prime opportunity to ensure your employees are equipped with everything they need – and might need – moving forward! Regardless of whether you are finding the right office space for your small business or larger corporation, find five questions to ask yourself while looking for a new office space below.

  1. Are There Any Hidden Costs I am Not Considering?

When it comes to looking for a new office space, before you decide whether your chosen office is right for you, it is vital to consider if there are any hidden costs you are unaware of. Before you settle on your new office space, it is paramount that you calculate the full cost of the space, including the cost of rent, utilities and various moving expenses. It is paramount that you also consider construction costs. As an example, in the the UK Damp proofing in London area is essential to ensure your employees health and well-being in a safe working environment.

  1. Is There Sufficient Room For My Company To Grow?

Once you are happy that you have considered all the relevant costs of your new office space, you should consider whether there is sufficient room for your company to grow. Whilst you must consider your company’s needs, taking into account the future of your company is just as important in order to avoid repeated moves. If you are unable to afford additional office space required to allow your company to expand, it is a good idea to attempt to negotiate a shorter lease term, so that when the time is right, you can find a more compatible office space.

  1. Is It The Right Location For Employees?

Now that you are rest assured that there are no hidden costs and that there is sufficient room for your company to grow, the next question to ask yourself while looking for a new office space is whether it is situated in the right location for employees. In order to dictate whether your new office space is in the right location for employees, you should consider where your employees live. Nevertheless, it is paramount to remember that an expensive commute may push your employees to seek employment closer to home!

  1. Is The Location Convenient For Clients?

As well as considering whether your new office space is situated in the right location for your employees, it is paramount to consider whether the location is just as convenient for client to get to because as fees associated with transportation increase, people may not be willing to travel far in order to visit your company. Just like deciding whether the location of your new office space is right for employees, you should take into account the expense of clients visiting your office, as well as the time it will take for them to arrive.

  1. What Is The Parking Situation?

The final question to ask yourself while looking for new office space is what is the parking situation will be like. Depending on the location of your new office space, you may not require a large car park. After all, if your company is situated near a bus stop or train station, your employees may be in favour of using public transport. If not, it is vital to consider where your employees can park cheaply, if not for free. If the parking is tight, is there a convenient alternate spot? Whilst you should not rule out parking tickets, they will need to be taken into account when it comes to deciding your budget.

There are countless things you need to take into consideration while looking for new office space, from deciding whether the location is right for you, your employees and clients, to making the most out of the parking situation. Most importantly, however, you should consider whether there are any hidden costs you are not taking into account while looking for a new office space, such as the cost of rent and utilities, in order to ensure your big move remains on budget.

The Top Office Repairs and Improvements to Start Your 2018

Top 5The new year is in full swing, and while we might already be more than halfway through the first month, it’s never too late to give a whole new lease of life to your office. When it comes to office repairs and improvements, there’s no better time to get it done than now, so why not take the opportunity with both hands? Besides, with improvements and repairs creating a whole new working environment, your employees will be more motivated and productive, so what have you got to lose? There are a few considerations that you must take into account however, prior to funding these repairs and improvements. While an individual who has faced significant damage in their home property as a result of an unexpected occurrence, such as a burst pipe, may seek the aid of a company such as Wizzcash direct loan in a financial emergency, businesses will need to seek financial aid from the likes of a bank loan, line of credit or even have to pay out of pocket. Here, we’re looking into the top improvements your office could need in 2018!

Do Those Repairs!

Every building has its downfalls, and sometimes those downfalls come in the form of breakages or just general wear and tear. You may very well have been putting off those smaller repairs for ‘another day’. Well, now is that day. Even something as simple as fixing a tiny crack in the wall, or re-painting those peeling areas can give your whole office a neater, cleaner look with a better atmosphere overall. If any of your employee’s computers have been acting up, have them replaced or fixed to give the employee a much better opportunity to work to their full potential if they’re not weighed down by technical faults!

Create Informal Collaboration and Social Spaces

You may already have a break room for your employees, and if you do – well done! If you don’t, you should consider introducing a social space for your employees where possible. While this can be difficult in smaller offices, having a place where employees can go during their breaks to truly separate themselves from work for a short time can be beneficial to their mental health and productivity.

Traditionally, offices tend to have two main spaces: desks to work on, and a meeting room. However, introducing reasonably secluded areas like a pod or booth of seats for brief, 10 minute discussions could be the answer to all of your collaboration woes. You could even just add sofas with coffee tables around the office for a cheaper alternative! These quick-to-access areas will encourage your employees to talk to each other, and collaborate on big projects that might need more than one brain on them to complete to their full potential.

Jump On The Elevation Desks Trend

As you may already know, the world is currently being taken by storm with an elevated desks trend. If you don’t already know, an elevated desk is exactly what it suggests – a desk that is elevated in order to improve posture. Evidence suggests that sitting down for prolonged periods of time can prove harmful to posture and general physical well-being and so standing desks have started to become an alternative option. However, it’s also important to remember that not every employee will be able to stand up all day, so make sure you give them the option to sit or stand!

Let There Be Light!

Dimly, or strangely lit offices are widely known to create a wide range of problems. From fatigue, to eye strain and headaches, a badly lit office is nothing but anti-productive to your employees. An office lit by artificial, yellow light can not only prove harmful to physical well-being, but it can also play a part in mental health too. While we understand that not every company can move every desk right next to a window, opting for daylight florescent bulbs with around 6500K will create the closest lighting to the outside world, and tend to be standard issue nowadays in offices!

Or Just Opt For The Complete Makeover

If all else fails, why not just go for the complete makeover? Of course, this is money-permitting, but with a new coat of paint, new desks, a fully-furnished social area and more, you can maximize motivation in your employees completely. By offering your employees something new and better to work with and in, they can work to their full potential without being impeded. If you are considering a makeover for the office, why not consult with your employees beforehand? Find out what they might like, from artwork on the walls, to having a radio – after all, they will know what they can work with better than anyone else!

5 Ways to Make Your Workplace Millennial Friendly

Millenials meeting in coworking spaceLooking to make your workplace a better fit for millennials? Millennials are now the majority of the workforce and research shows that millennials are also a major driving force behind workplace change. Here are a few tips for making your workplace millennial-friendly.

Incorporate Technology

Millennials are in love with technology. Find ways to incorporate tech into your workforce. Go digital and discard the paperwork. You can also use technology to collaborate on various projects, whether in the office or remotely. You can create private groups on social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn groups, for your workers to connect even when not at work.

Offer Flexibility

Millennials don’t like sitting in a cubicle eight hours a day. Offer flexibility, such as lounges or sofas where they can work on their laptops. You can even give them an opportunity to work remotely at times.

Offer a Workout Area

Offer your employees the opportunity to work out. You don’t need a full gym. A treadmill, a chin-up bar, and a few weights may be enough. You can also get standing desks and treadmill desks for your workers.

Offer a Snack and Drink Bar

Millennials love a fridge full of cold drinks. Offer soft drinks and perhaps even beer. Offer various healthy snacks such as fruits and health bars. Let them understand that you trust them to use the snack bar to improve their performance.

Go Green

Millennials care about the environment. Make your office a green office. Do this by making the building, office products and business practices environmentally friendly.

While the workplace itself is not the only thing that will keep millennials happy, it is a start. For help with finding a workplace millennial friendly and everyone else, contact us today!

What to Look for in High-Tech Office Leasing Opportunities

High-Tech office leasingIt’s a fact: the modern workforce is increasingly dependent on technology. From the necessity of high-speed internet to the convenience of automated building functions, you are searching for the best options not only in price and location, but also in digital amenities. So, what kind of office building technology can you look for in High-Tech Office Leasing? Read on!

  • “Wired Certification”. WiredScore offers building certification that advertises how well-connected a property is. It takes into account infrastructure, readiness, and what (if any) internet providers are already in use within the building. This certification is a simple and effective way of letting you know how reliable the connectivity is.
  • Stimulate common area engagement. Is the lobby interesting and helpful with the addition of smart technology. Are there smart screens for tenant directories, digital signage, and news, weather, and traffic updates on screens throughout your building?
  • Connect with management. Is there a building-specific app or software designed to create easy communication between building administration and tenants. Good communication is, after all, a major factor in tenant satisfaction.
  • Automated building functions. This is a growing area of technological advancement that is built for convenience. There are currently apps that automate HVAC systems, lights, elevators, security clearance, and guest sign-in. The possibilities for this technology are endless and it’s likely they will become standard in office buildings of the future.

Feel free to contact us for more information on how to find high-tech solutions to meet your office space needs.