There 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.
Coworking 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Research has repeatedly shown that the workplace itself can have a significant impact upon workers’ happiness and performance, affecting everything from productivity and morale to absenteeism and turnover. Therefore, working with an office design company to address issues with your office space planning layout can be well worth the investment.
With that being said, many companies do not have the luxury of spending vast amounts of money on their office space planning and design, which begs the question: Can successful office space planning be achieved on a budget? Here are some ways in which the cost can be kept down, without sacrificing quality.
The Open Plan Option
One of the best ways to save money on your office space planning is to opt for an open plan design, or at least include large open plan areas. Doing so cuts down on the number of fixed partitions needed, saving space in the process. This has a knock-on effect, because the amount of space you actually need will be reduced.
In addition to reduced real estate costs, other open plan benefits include the ability to modify the space easily and improvements to employee collaboration. With that said, the open plan is not for everyone and a study by IPSOS found that the 11 percent of workers who were most happy and most engaged had access to greater privacy.
Nevertheless, the open plan is the dominant design in the west, accounting for around 70 percent of all offices, according to the International Facilities Management Association. Moreover, by having an open plan office, with smaller private areas, you can enjoy the benefits while minimizing the negatives.
Putting the Essentials First
In recent years, much has been made of the likes of Uber including sleeping pods and Google including slides in their office designs. However, when operating on a budget, the focus should always be on getting the essentials right. People need comfortable work areas, social spaces and natural light far more than they need novelty items.
Although comfort and function are important considerations, it is generally okay to opt for classic furniture. After all, this can always be upgraded later. Furthermore, you should consider the nature of your business and think about which elements are necessary. Do you need so many meeting rooms? Do you even need a reception?
“Doing away with reception areas is a trend we’re increasingly seeing,” Chris Booth, managing director for the fit-out company Overbury, told Forbes. “If client visits are infrequent, giving away expensive rental space for that purpose is inefficient. If you’ve got clients coming in all the time, maybe you need one; if not, is it essential?”
Flexibility and Remote Work
Another great way to save money and ensure your space planning is delivered on-budget is to prioritize flexibility and try to include areas that have multiple functions. For example, when meeting rooms are not in use, could they double as quiet working spaces? Thinking in terms of flexibility also offers a chance to get really creative.
A great example of creative flexible thinking can be seen in the Yodle, Inc. company headquarters in New York. As part of their office design, they have a very wide flight of stairs. As well as their traditional function of allowing people to move between floors, the stairs are a designated social space, allowing for workplace collaboration.
Finally, while on the subject of flexibility, it may be worth some companies embracing the idea of remote working in order to save space and revitalize the workforce. Contrary to classic fears, Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report claims that employees who work remotely on occasion are the happiest and most engaged of all.
Guest Author Bio:
Reno is a founder and director of a leading exhibition and office design company Enigma Visual Solutions, specializing in retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, office space planning, event branding, conference set design and much more. He specializes in experiential marketing and event productions. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on twitter.
The intentional sparsity of a minimalist office space design is the direct antithesis of the standard, cluttered work environment that features plenty of hardware, trick gadgets, and ubiquitous gear. Rather than outfitting this office setting with all the expected gadgetry, the business thinks through the actual benefits a furnishing or hardware item offers.
By omitting clutter and avoiding the danger of once again heading down the road to a paper-supported office setup, the preference for open floor plans is a given. How can this office space design benefit your company?
Reduce office machines. Some devices are simply redundant. Do you really need a printer if your clients sign papers electronically? What about the fax machine that still lurks in some offices? By eliminating devices that core hardware and software upgrades would render obsolete, you cut down on the space needed to house these gadgets.
Streamline inter-departmental collaboration. If one department uses iOS-based applications but another sticks to Android platforms, you foster the use of multiple processes that do not flow. This practice, of course, results in the need for more gadgets, which eats up usable space.
House all departments in the same space. Having a workforce that utilizes one open space for all aspects of the operation increases creativity and cuts down on communication misses.
However, remember that the Minimalist Office Space Design of open floor plan has a few challenges as well. Since noise can be a problem, it is crucial to have areas set aside for actual meetings. Moreover, keep a realistic eye on the square footage. Sure, after taking out a few walls and doing away with closed-door offices and cubicles, it looks as though you have plenty of space.
That said, if you choose a space that is too small to house your employees comfortably, you end up with crowded conditions that counteract your hopes of increased productivity. If you are unsure how much space you really need, contact us today for help with the ideal office selection.
Office space is an important part of most people’s work life, as well as some of their home lives. It’s where you get the majority of your work done, so it’s no wonder that office space design is an important part of productivity. When you are comfortable in a space, you tend to get more work done.
4 ideas to transform your work-space into a place of high productivity.
1. Keep a clean desk.
If your desk is messy, chances are you’re going to be more stressed out, and your productivity levels will decrease. Keeping your papers filed away in a drawer, or creating an inbox on your desk will let you know exactly what papers you need to work on without having to search through piles of messy paper.
2. Keep your desktop clear.
Just like having a messy desk, if you have a messy computer desk top, you’re more likely to get frustrated and lose motivation. Create a folder for different subject matter, and create folders within those folders, as a sort of filing system. Don’t let those annoying word documents clutter your desktop again!
3. Find a few desk accessories.
Desk accessories can be the one thing that is the exception to the clutter on your desk. Chose a small vase of flowers, a succulent, or a colorful mug. Anything that you are able to look at and smile. Personalize your work space. If you feel more at home, you’re likely to get far more done in a day than you would being in an impersonal cubicle.
4. Keep office furniture to a minimum.
Having a cluttered space or having too many different colors can really draw your attention in multiple directions. Combat this by sticking to neutral furniture, and only a few essential pieces such as your desk, chair, and a couple of chairs for guests.
Implementing these ideas can help you transform your work-space Into a place of high productivity, creating a better, and more productive work-space for yourself. If you need office space, we’d be happy to help at no cost to you. Please feel free to contact us.
The majority of businesses in need of new office space focus on build-out allowances or ample parking for staff members and clients. That said, some companies have an added requirement: security. Office space leasing tips for law firms with unpopular clients, or other businesses that cater to a controversial clientele, focus on personal as well as corporate security measures. Even if your company typically does not have these problems, there are a few things you can do that won’t cost an arm and a leg that will improve security.
3 Office Space Leasing Tips You Can Implement Inexpensively
Door and window safety checks. Undergoing this procedure is good advice for any business. Protect your company’s computers and office equipment from theft by retrofitting – if needed – doors. Add high-security locks, sheet steel, and electronic access panels. Re-key the office as soon as you move in or if a key is lost. If there are restrooms on your office’s floor, insist on having them locked with your company’s personnel being the only ones to have keys.
Install a panic button. Your lobby is the weak spot in the setup. If your clientele is made up of controversial public figures or notorious criminals, it is not unusual to see members of the media visiting your reception area to ask for interviews or comments. Although your receptionist should be well-trained to handle these inquiries, have a panic button installed that signals the need for assistance. This situation may occur when protesters will not leave the premises when asked or threaten your staff members.
Lights and cameras. Know what goes on outside of your building at all times. Usually, camera feeds lead to a guard’s desk inside the building’s lobby. Stop by on your way out to see whether anyone might be waiting for you or your clients.
By the way, these office space leasing tips not only assist law firms in need of heightened security, but they can also help with the prevention of workplace violence. If you are looking for secure office space, contact us today to learn more about how we can help at no cost to you.
Move over, Millennials, Generation Z is here, and its needs an agile office space. Termed Post-Millennials, Plurals or simply Gen Z, these workers were born in the late 1990s. What makes this generation tick and how can you customize a workplace to suit its future needs?
An Extension of the Millennial Mindset (with economic improvements)
More so than Millennials, Gen Z has grown up amidst the implementation of revolutionary social changes. That said, they have also grown up in the aftermath of September 11 and during the Great Recession. Business Insider defines this group as being “more entrepreneurial” than Generation Y. In short, when members of this group begin entering the workforce as your employees, the agile workplace you are implementing now for Millennials will find continued and expanded use.
Office Setups You Can Put in Place Now
Making your workplace attractive to this group of employees with a business-minded attitude does not have to be difficult.
Increase square footage per worker. This is not a group that thrives in cubicles. Allocate personal space that allows for distance from others when desired.
Provide flexibility. Shared and collaborative work spaces will become more important and more common. Teams connect informally in these settings.
Create visual flow. Chopping up the office into sections will be considered outdated. Instead, allow your office space to naturally flow from shared work spaces to private desks.
Being adaptable counts. Modular furniture, movable walls and seating groups that you can change and rearrange become standard in a few years.
Find the right space now to create the agile office space of tomorrow. Working with an office-leasing broker who understands the local market is a big plus. Contact us today to find out what this type of professional can do for you. Their services are FREE to you. It is a no lose proposition!
What does it take to create an agile workplace? While office planning and design choices are at the top of the list, there is more to the collaborative work environment than aesthetics of office design. In fact, it is a mindset that translates into structural adaptations. Microsoft has set the pace for this revolutionary use of space. Here is some of what they have done.
From offices to work environments.
On two of its properties, Microsoft has done away with the traditional office environment. From the top down, employees and management staff share a variety of work environments. The latter include team rooms, atriums, and large halls featuring a variety of seating options.
From corporate to relaxed feel.
The company has done away with the stuffy corporate feel for a comfortable, and therefore more productive, atmosphere. A broad range of color hues create a welcoming environment that is more at ease than administrative.
Enabling privacy without individual offices.
Of course, the biggest challenge is the need for privacy. Some workers simply do not do as well in a large open environment as others. Microsoft has mastered this balance by offering headphones to workers who find the open space too distracting. Smaller work spaces, called coves, are the equivalent of an office with a closed door. The results have proven that quick conversations now replace lengthy emails and productivity is possible for all.
Customizable by workers using the space.
The office used to be the employee’s refuge where family pictures, plants, and little art objects would personalize an otherwise nondescript corporate setting. This is no problem for Microsoft workers. Their team building activities include a focused customization of the space where employees spend so much of their days.
What really makes Microsoft’s agile workplace functional is its flexible nature that hones in on the needs of the business and its workers at any given time. Contact us today to learn more about finding a office space that works with an agile workplace strategy.
Employing Baby-Boomers and Millennials in the same office can sound like a mighty challenge. Whereas one group is face-to-face interaction oriented, the other one likes to handle things remotely. Finding room designs that appeal to both demographics, and bring out their strengths, and keep them engaged can be as simple as adding a few agile workplace strategies to your office space design.
Understanding the Generations
The National Conference on Citizenship (NCOC) suggests that there are 77 million Boomers and 82 million Millennials. While the former are starting to enter their retirement years, the latter are at the peak of their productivity. Boomers have decades of work experience and made their way in the business world when interpersonal skills were the tools of the trade. Millennials see technology as the way of the future and place less value on face time.
Agile Workplace Strategies to Suit Both Groups
When you rely on a mix of employees to drive your business forward, bring out their strengths with office space design strategies. Take for example the meeting space. Also known as a collaborative work space, areas that you designate for team or group meetings is essential. Boomers may feel a bit out of their element because of the apparent lack of formality. Choosing movable walls such as glass or acoustic panels can make a huge difference. Alter the space as needed with a few tweaks to the wall setup.
Next, there are the teamwork zones. In this shared setting, members of one team work together on a project. Unlike the meeting space where multiple teams may connect, this is a smaller setting that is also quieter. It allows Millennials to get a break from the more socially taxing meetings while it gives Boomers an opportunity to observe some formalities like personal desk space.
If you are unsure whether a restructuring of your current office space is your best solution, or if your business would be better served by leasing a new space to accommodate both demographics more readily, contact us with your office space questions.
When leasing office space for employees who will run your call center, look past the minimum square footage you need to allot per workstation. Since call centers are famous for their high rates of employee turnover, Call Center Operation places annual attrition at 26 percent for full-time workers and 33 percent for part-time operators, so revamping office space design and the way the industry does business makes sense.
Suggestions for change run the gamut from incentive package restructuring to upward mobility that rewards long-term commitments to the business. We suggest combining these approaches with the ways other industries retain employees and improve employee engagement: office space design.
3 Office Space Design Suggestions
Collaborative work spaces. Although the majority of the job takes place on the phone, there are times when teams meet, receive training on new promotions or procedures, share their experiences, and discuss phone strategies for the next day.
Workspace design. Placing cubicle next to cubicle is no longer a functional consideration. Call center work has gone past merely answering the phone and now incorporates tasks such as data entry, department liaising, claim filings and research. Added space accommodates surfaces for these projects.
Flexible workplace design. When designing office space for call center employees, a 24/7 operation has different needs from a basic business-hour center. The former may see multiple workers share one workstation. Design this kind of workplace with personal space needs in mind.
Contact us today to learn more about the best office space leasing practices for your call center operation. Whether you are just starting out or need to transfer an operation of ten or more workers, we can help find and negotiate for the perfect office space. The services we provide are free to you and there is no obligation for giving us a try. Our local reps are some of the top office space specialists in their markets.