Category Archives: Office Space Planning

Understanding Your HVAC System to Ensure Comfort in Your Office

If you want to stay comfortable in your office, you should have the right HVAC system. Learn how to understand your HVAC system and remain comfy.

HVAC System Thermostat

The comfort level in your office space directly affects productivity. After all, nobody likes working all day in an office that’s either too hot or too cold.

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. These systems work to regulate the temperature in a building on a daily basis.

If you’ve moved into a new office building in your area, understanding your HVAC system is important if you want to keep things cozy. That’s why we’re going over the basics of how an HVAC system works.

The Heating System

HVAC heating systems can work in several different ways. Traditional systems include a furnace that heats the air and sends it through the ductwork of a building.

A furnace requires regular maintenance to ensure it can keep up with heating demands. If you live in a region that experiences long, cold winters, you’ll need to stay on top of tune-ups.

Some office buildings now use radiant floors. These systems work by heating pipes filled with water installed under the flooring. This provides a more energy-efficient solution and distributes heat evenly throughout the space.

The Air Conditioning System

A commercial air conditioner must be able to cool a large area filled with employees and office equipment, which both generate heat.

Office AC units get installed on the roof of the building. They work by cooling warm air outside and sending it into the building through ducts.

This outside air gets sent through a filter, which removes allergens and other pollutants. These systems require routine hvac service so the condenser and evaporator coils continue to cool the air.

Ventilation  

In order to regulate temperature and ensure healthy air quality, proper ventilation is required. Your HVAC system helps with this process.

By filtering the air sent into your building, your system improves ventilation and controls moisture levels. It can even help cut down on bad odors. This is why it’s so important to change your air filter regularly.

You may also want to have the ducts in your office checked and cleaned. This cuts down on air blockage and prevents dust from getting into the ventilation system. You can also help improve ventilation in your office by using ceiling or desk fans.

The Thermostat

Maintaining control of your office thermostat is crucial when keeping the space comfortable. Luckily, most modern thermostats are programmable and highly efficient.

It’s important your HVAC thermostat is in a place that doesn’t get unusually cool or hot. This will help with temperature regulation.

You should also schedule your thermostat so it’s not running overnight. This will help increase the lifespan of your HVAC unit and decrease your energy bills.

Understanding Your HVAC System for Maximum Comfort

Maintaining a comfortable office climate will make for a more pleasurable and productive work experience. Your HVAC system is an integral part of helping this happen.

By understanding your HVAC system, you’ll know how to use it better and when to have it serviced. This will result in a cozy office all year.

We hope you found this article informative. Feel free to check out our site for more information on office buildings and business tips.

 

Improve Productivity! 8 Tips for Designing an Organized Office Space

Do you want a workplace that encourages your employees to be more productive? Here 8 creative tips for designing an organized office space.

office Productivity Tips

Do your employees have low productivity? Or do you believe that there’s still room to improve? Redesigning your office might be the key.

Office design affects the productivity level of employees. However, this doesn’t only pertain to the aesthetics of the office. If it looks good yet is disorganized, employees can still suffer from low productivity.

To produce more and better output, your employees need a good environment. You can provide this by having an organized office space with the following tips.

  1. Purging Junk and Files

The first step to organizing the workspace is purging all the unused equipment and old files. Throw out anything you or your employees don’t use anymore.

It could be a printer that’s always broken. You might as well throw it out to gain more space for other items — like a new printer that works.

The best way to go about this is to purge one area at a time. Take the time to go into your file room, too. Anything you can digitize, do it now so you can throw them out later.

There’s a way to keep the filing room neat and organized, but we’ll get to that later.

  1. More Defined Spaces, Less Open Space

The idea of an open working plan is to encourage collaboration and creativity. It became the mark of a modern office that breaks the traditional walls.

However, studies show it’s not bringing the results it’s meant to bring. The employees in this kind of workspace atmosphere have lower satisfaction and productivity.

Instead of going this route, create and define different spaces in your office. Allot a space for collaboration, and then design it in a way that will encourage that interaction. You can also use smaller spaces for individuals who need some quiet, or you may also give them a space for bonding.

If you’re concerned with going modern for your office design, having spaces without desks is a nice compromise.

  1. Optimizing the Office Layout

The next step for an organized office is a great floor plan. Employees should have easy access to all rooms and spaces. The more often they have to use a space, the closer it should be.

If it takes them 10 minutes to go to the bathroom because they have to pass by several rooms, that’s a bad layout. It decreases productivity because it wastes their time.

In shorter terms, your employees should not have to go through a maze to get to places.

  1. Considering the Equipment Placement

While figuring out a good layout for your office, think about the proximity of your equipment to your employees. Are they able to use the printer in only a few steps? What about the suppliers they use daily?

Keep these things in mind while designing your office, not only the rooms. Anything essential to their work should always be within reach.

As for the supplies, keep them well-organized but well within range, as well. Keep the papers close to the copying machines, for example. Likewise, the filing folders should be near the cabinets.

For things employees don’t use often, it’s okay to put these in a room or a cabinet farther from the desks.

  1. Creating Movement Opportunities

This might contradict the previous point, but this tip keeps your employees healthy and, by extension, productive.

It prevents them from being stagnant at their desk. Research suggests that for every 20 minutes you’re sitting, you must stand for 8 minutes and then move for 2 minutes.

In that regard, placing the machines far enough (but not too far) to get your employees moving will do the trick.

The five-minute trip to the bathroom, for example, can refresh their minds. This can help them overcome a wall and regain their momentum.

A short break spent in the water cooler has the same effect, and even the short walk to the filing room can do wonders.

  1. Creating an Organized Filing System

Speaking of files, it’s time you take a trip to your filing rooms and realize the chaos. It’s not unusual, but if you want more productive employees, don’t let them stress out over your filing system.

Reorganize the room to include more cabinets, shred the unimportant files, and develop a filing system that will ensure the files will be easy to locate afterward. Keep all your client files in one corner, for example, and then your employee files in the other.

Don’t forget to hold a meeting to teach your employees how to use the new system.

  1. Improving the Lighting

Natural light makes for a healthy work environment, and it may be the best perk you can give them. Having no access to natural light can make your employees gloomy, lacking motivation, and prone to illness.

Installing large windows to let as much light as possible is ideal. If your office can’t have windows, however, consider a smart lighting system.

This can sync with and mimic natural light outside. In particular, it mimics the color of natural light throughout the day. Daylight is bluish-white, while the afternoon light is more orange.

  1. Controlling the Noise Level

Noise has a lot of negative effects on your employees. Aside from less productivity, they also have lower job satisfaction and more stress. This may be one of the reasons why open floor plans aren’t successful.

For a positive work environment, control the noise using noise. You can hide speech, computer sounds, and more by distributing white noise through your speaker systems.

You can also reduce the noise levels by moving the machines creating a lot of noise. Printers and copiers should go where noise won’t be an issue. Having a separate room for them is ideal.

Get an Organized Office 

Having an organized office space will not only boost productivity. It will also boost your employees’ happiness. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact a professional office designer to help you with designing a good working space.

For more tips, feel free to check out more of our guides. You can discover more tips and tricks with our library of helpful posts today!

Is Office Space an Employee Benefit?

Office space is an Employee Benefit

Actually, yes. Your office space should be considered an employee benefit. To do so you need to make sure you have developed a good workplace strategy that will allow the office space to shine. Employees do take office space into consideration when deciding where to work. If you treat it like an employee benefit, your employees will be happier and more productive. Your office space is a major resource for your business. It does so much for you. It gives your employees a place to work, and to meet with customers, but really, it does so much more. Your office space has a huge impact on your employees and their work. What can you do to improve your office space for your employees?

Office Location

The first thing that you should consider is how close your office space is to your employees. If your office is far away from any large communities, your employees probably have to drive long distances, while if you’re in the middle of a city, it’s probably just a few minutes, or even a short walk. Long commutes will lead to tired employees, but a short commute every morning will give you energetic employees that are ready to work.

General feel and design

The general feel of the office is actually very important. In addition to being attractive to clients, your employees will greatly appreciate an office with a happy feel. They’ll show this, whether or not they realize it, through working harder and more efficiently, as well as a more positive attitude in general.

Since most office workers spend a considerable amount of time in the office, it is important that you a work environment where employees will be happy and productive.  With a little effort you can upgrade an existing office taking a few of these ideas to implementation.

Colors

The color scheme is more important than you might think.  Studies have shown that different colors can create different moods. As examples, various shades of blues have a more relaxing effect and makes workers more productive.  Green is easier on the eyes and make people feel healthier. There are lots of studies in this area you can investigate

Office Layout

The trend for many companies is in utilizing a more open office layout.  One of the most popular ideas is to have a few desks or tables located in the center of the office with quiet rooms located throughout the rest of the office.  Open floor plans seem to increase teamwork but can become distractions for some workers so having the quiet rooms is important.

Standing Opportunity

Sitting all day is not healthy. Employees who work in offices can often feel the negative effects of sitting all day.  Many offices today are providing opportunities to work while standing.  Adjustable desks that can accommodate workers different heights are popular. Some have even provided table in break rooms where people can stand and have their coffee.

Art

Art work selection can be tricky. It is important that any artwork put in an office be chosen carefully.  Many offices have success with featuring pictures of company events. Also pictures of nearby landmarks or places of notoriety are also effective.  In some cases many companies have benefited utilizing the services of an art consultant.

Floor Coverings

Choose floor coverings to improve the look of their office.  This is cost effective and can have a positive effect on the work environment. Many companies like to get as many employees as possible involved with the floor covering choices.

Add features

Make additions to your office for your employees. A good start is a quality coffee maker or small kitchen if you don’t already have one. Once you have the basics, start making your office unique. Make your break room special or add a gym or library. Adding features that employees can’t get anywhere else can do wonders for employee retention.

Looking for more ways to improve your office space, or a new space all together? Contact us. We can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

How to Make Your Office Space Reflect Your Business

office spaceMany people who have office jobs spend most of their day working and socializing in their office space.  It’s important a company to provide a work environment that promotes a creative and productive atmosphere.  With some effort an existing office space can be made comfortable and unique. Here are a few ideas that can help make your office space reflect your business.

Color Selection

When choosing office space many people are careful in choosing the color scheme.  Research has shown that different colors can create different moods. As an example, various types of blues are believed to have a more relaxing effect and makes workers more productive.  Green has shown to be easier on the eyes and make people feel healthier.

Layout

Today many companies are utilizing a more open office layout.  One of the most popular ideas is to have a few desks or tables located in the center of the office.  This can be used as a place for employees to sit and work when they need a change from their regular space.  Open floor plans seem to increase teamwork but can become distractions for some workers.

Standing Opportunity

People who work in offices can often feel the effects of sitting all day.  Many medical experts feel this is actually unhealthy. Many offices today are providing opportunities to work while standing.  Adjustable desks that can accommodate workers different heights are popular. Some have even provided table in break rooms where people can stand and have their coffee.

Art

It is important that any artwork put in an office be chosen carefully.  Many offices have success with featuring pictures of company events. Also, pictures of nearby landmarks or places of notoriety are also effective.  In some cases, many companies have benefited utilizing the services of an art consultant.

Floor Coverings

Many companies carefully choose floor coverings to increase the look of their office.  This is cost effective and can have a positive effect on the work environment. Many companies like to get as many employees as possible involved with the floor covering choices.

When does all of this happen? During space planning. Space planning is the analysis and documentation of a business’s current and/or proposed facility. So, it is important that you have a space planner that understands your business and your office space goals. Space planning can happen both with a new office and an existing one.

The best way to make sure you get your office needs met is to engage the services of a local office tenant representative, like the ones at OfficeFinder, to make sure you consider all the factors you need to in your market. Every market has slight nuances that need to be considered. They are also very familiar with good space planners to assist you  making your office space reflect your business.

Are you looking for office space you can have to represent your company?  Contact us today so we can show you how we can help.

How to Help Your Team Comfortably Transition to Standing Desks (Part 2)

Standing DeskWelcome back to the second half of this two-part series on introducing standing desks into your office to improve both productivity and employee health. Last time, we covered why standing desks are the ideal solution to the myriad of health problems that tend to plague office employees and how to slowly introduce standing desks as your team adapts to the new physical norm. However, the standing desk policy doesn’t require participants to stand all the time so today we’ll start with interesting chair alternatives for sitting, resting, and working out.

Consider Chair Alternatives

Every now and then, something we thought was permanent about the world will be changed suddenly by a new idea. In this case, standing desks have introduced the idea that offices don’t need office chairs. In fact, employees can sit on whatever makes them comfortable and productive. No one should stand 100% of the work day so transitions will happen and you can make them easier by helping your staff choose how they want to sit when they sit. Some standing desk users prefer a tall stool to rest on from time to time, others like a nice big exercise ball for their sitting time which is also great for desk workouts. Others will keep a desk chair or folding camp chair nearby for lumbar support when they rest.

Find a Posture Coach

One of the reasons some people have a terrible time adapting to standing desks is because they don’t know how to stand. Many people slouch, lock their knees, or simply never learned to line their spine and shoulders above the hips and stand in ‘parade rest’ for long periods of time. If you want standing desks to be a hit, make sure your team knows how to stand comfortably. A posture coach can be a training video, a demonstration, an employee assigned to help others, or a professional brought in from the outside.

Dynamic and Anti-Fatigue Standing

Finally, even with good posture no one stands in the same position for hours comfortably. Standing desk professionals have begun to explore interesting alternatives like a wobble board, foam tubes, step stools, and mini-elliptical machines for enjoyable standing that doesn’t leave you stiff. Of course, no matter how you mix it up, fatigue mats are an undeniable necessity as they turn the hard, unyielding floor into a conforming, supportive surface for your feet.

Whether your team is three people or fifty, introducing standing desks is a great way to promote employee health and break up the monotony of everyone sitting quietly without activity or movement for many hours at a stretch. Just make sure when updating the office to standing desks that you do so in a way that is workable and comfortable for everyone.

Top Tips For Making Your Office Friendly For Those With Reduced Mobility

Mobility ScooterIf you’re starting up a business, moving or looking to make renovations to an existing office, then taking into account employees and visitors with reduced mobility is imperative. Creating a diverse and encompassing workplace will not only help to tackle any problems with inaccessible access in the future, but it may also help to widen your hiring opportunities. Creating an accessible office isn’t as costly as it may initially seem, and here, we’re providing you with top tips to help make your office friendly for those with reduced mobility.

Corridors & Pathways

One of the key areas in the office that can create a barrier for those with reduced mobility is the corridors. If these are cluttered with cupboards or boxes, then the corridors may seem narrower than they actually are. As a result, those who rely on the use of a mobility scooter or a wheelchair, no matter the size, may be unable to navigate their way through seamlessly. Simply decluttering your hallways, corridors and outdoor pathways can help to ensure that your office is much friendlier for those with reduced mobility. In some cases, you may consider renovating your office corridors in order to widen them, or create alternative wheelchair-accessible routes to accommodate those with reduced mobility.

Ramps & Front-Door Accessibility

A big consideration for businesses is the accessibility of their front door. Ramps, mobility scooter routes and automatic doors may all need to be installed, or renovated, in order to accommodate those with reduced mobility appropriately. Ramps are often an affordable option, but these tend to be temporary, unless concrete alternatives are put in place to act as a ramp. In addition to this, you may want to consider separate routes to the building for mobility scooters in particular, as these may be deemed to be a hazard to pedestrians. Numerous hospitals and other public buildings tend to class bikes and mobility scooters as a similar vehicle and therefore, have a bike/mobility scooter route to help ensure the safety and ease of navigation of everybody entering and exiting the building. Automatic doors may also be a consideration that your business may implement, due to the ease of access they provide when entering and exiting a building.

Allow Work Day Modifications

This is particularly important for businesses who have hired employees who have a disability. In order to make the workplace friendlier, some businesses may require the work day to be modified, in order to allow for frequent breaks, flexible starting times and in some cases, the opportunity to work from home from time to time. While this isn’t always a necessity, and sometimes it may not even be a practical possibility, if there are some ways in which your business is able to better accommodate the needs of their disabled employees (whether they are have reduced mobility, or a visual or hearing impairment), then they should be a key consideration.

Understanding the needs of visitors with reduced mobility, and accurately accommodating for those needs can often be key for business success. Whether you’re looking to widen your corridors, install ramps at the building entrance or reinstate a neglected lift, there are plenty of options that you can consider when it comes to making your office friendly for those with reduced mobility.

If you need help finding office space that is friendly for your reduced Mobility employees, contact us.

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.

Not a Big Fan of the Open Office Space Design? Collaboration is Still Possible!

open office space designThere is a clear move toward the open office space design. Facebook has done it; so have other heavy hitters in the high-tech environment. Although the idea of collaboration has been the driving force behind this movement, some business owners have a difficult time giving up privacy to achieve teamwork. Now, they can have their cake and eat it, too.

When Needs for Community and Privacy Collide

There is no doubt that an open office environment encourages collaboration not just between pre-defined work groups but also between different teams. But for the employee who does her or his best work in the confines of an office without the loud din of the communal work space, this environment can be a detriment. This problem becomes particularly evident when you have employees of various age groups on staff. Millennials inevitably do better with the open office concept than Baby Boomers.

Enabling Impromptu Community Work in the Privacy of an Office

Is it possible to find a happy medium between a worker’s need for privacy and the contemporary trend toward a collaborative environment? Yes, it is.

  • Doors. Keep the office concept intact but ensure that doors remain open. In fact, some companies have begun removing doors altogether.
  • Snack lounge. An unused office becomes a snack parlor with beanbag chairs, sofas, a water cooler and plenty of healthy snacks. Not the employee lunchroom, it is a place where folks can come for impromptu meetings.
  • Goal setting. The weekly or monthly team meeting is not an optional exercise. Use it to define the goals that your workers should strive to meet. How they do so is up to them.

When you need to find your next office space that allows for the mixed collaborative and private work space design, contact our experts to help you find just what you are looking for.

4 Office Space Leasing Tips to Make Your Space the Right Space

No Mistakes office space leasing tipsThere are millions of square feet of office space out there, and if you want to find office space that fits your employees’ needs, you might think you’re in for a long search. That isn’t necessarily the case if you know what to look for and how to get it right. When you see office space for rent, follow some simple tips that will save you time and point you toward the space you want.

Here are 4 Office Space Leasing Tips to Consider

1. Look at Maintenance

No matter how sweet a deal seems, if the space in question is poorly maintained, or if it looks good at first but you start noticing little problems like spots of peeling paint in the corner or dirt on walls, you should move on to the next space on your list. Office space needs to be in good shape not only for the safety of your employees, but also because any customers or potential business investors coming to your office might assume the lack of maintenance also reflects a lack of quality or professionalism in your business. One of the tricks the pros use is to take a good look at the bathrooms to get a measure of how well the property is maintained.

2. What Do Your Employees Want?

What your employees want in an office space is just as essential as the price and location. Maybe they want a good balance between communal working spaces like conference rooms and private spaces where they can go and shut out others in order to concentrate. They may work better with lots of natural light, meaning you have to find an office with lots of windows that let lots of light in while being shaded enough to prevent overheating. Or maybe they want to be away from a main road so traffic noise is not a constant companion. If your employees are happy with you office space, the more likely they are to be engaged and more productive.

3. Room to Grow

Not every company has plans to expand. However, it’s a good idea to give yourself at least a little breathing room so that, if you suddenly do find a need to expand a bit, you can do so without creating overcrowded conditions. Look for space that is just a little bigger than you currently need, so you’ll have room to add another person or two if you find it necessary for a project.

4. Get Help

It’s a good idea to have help when you start looking for office space. OfficeFinder can work with you to pinpoint the type of space that would serve you best. Our network of local tenant reps will make sure you see all of the viable options and avoid mistakes. Why spend your valuable time doing all the legwork when you can have a pro by your side and it will not cost you anything? Contact OfficeFinder to arrange for a consultation.

6 Ways Providers Tweak Coworking Office Space

Coworking office spacecoworking office space has been on the rise in recent years. Why? Because they are extremely effective in promoting greater work efficiency, company morale and networking opportunities. If you are looking for ways to improve employee satisfaction and work performance even more, check out these six ways coworking office space providers tweak their spaces.

  1. Athletic Elements: Cities like NYC, Chicago, and LA have introduced coworking office space where people can rent an office space or chair…in a rock-climbing gym. This allows self-employed professionals to get a couple hours of work in, get in a climbing session, return to their laptop, and repeat. If you want to stimulate mental performance, provide your employees with the opportunity to get in some physical exercise. Even if the space provider does not provide it directly, very often you can find a gym or yoga studio nearby.
  2. Working Outdoors: Quite a few coworking office space providers have outdoor spaces, like a terrace or patio, you can use to work. Fresh air and sunshine is an excellent (and free) way to boost work performance and making your employees happier.
  3. Decor: Look for bright, vibrant colors and modern furniture. Usually cubicles are replaced with long tables, coffee tables, and comfy, yet supportive chairs. It will encourage an inclusive environment that promotes brainstorming and idea sharing. You will find colors that stimulate creativity and put employees in a better mood.
  4. Brain Food: A wellness atmosphere is always a great idea. Many spaces offer fruits, teas, and other healthy treats. You could even foot the bill. This is not only a way to gift your employees in little ways, but enhance the way they work and boost their energy levels.
  5. Free Beer and Party: Some coworking office space providers even provide complimentary beer and weekly networking parties with catered food. It is not only a great way to get free beer and good food, but also an opportunity to get to know your neighbors.
  6. Fun and Games: It is what younger employees want. A way to burn off steam during the day or after hours with a quick video game on a HD Monitor, ping pong, or pool. There are usually a wide variety of ways coworking office space providers can help entertain your employees.

Looking for a coworking space? We have lots of options from both large and small space providers. Contact us today to find out more!

Want to see a great example of a Coworking Office Space in Seattle. Below is the WeWork space in the historic Holyoke Building. WeWork does not usually take down a single floor of 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, but more in the neighborhood of 30,000 to 60,000 square feet at a time. They lease all 6 floors of the office space in the Holyoke Building at 1st and Spring Streets in Seattle. Have a look and you will see why their coworking office space is so popular. Don’t miss the basement lounge with he fun and games.


Click Here to view in full screen (recommended)

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