Category Archives: Office Space Design

Agile Office Space For Generation Z

Generation Z agile office space needsMove 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 Chopping up the office into sections will be considered outdated.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!

4 Lessons You Can Learn from Microsoft’s Agile Workplace Experiment

Agile Workplace StudyWhat 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Agile Workplace Strategies Appeal to Baby-Boomers and Millennials

Baby-Boomers and Millennials Agile workplace strategiesEmploying 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.

Office Space Design to Lessen Attrition for Call Centers

call center office space designWhen 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.

Two Easy Office Space Design Tips To Cultivate Creativity Under Stress

Colorful office space design tipsLooming deadlines, changing client demands and hiccups in the project management setup create stress. Add to this the daily stresses every employee experiences, and before long the job at hand can seem overwhelming. Did you know that two office space design tips and tricks can foster a strong sense of creativity even during these stressful times?

Wood, Light, and Space Invigorate the Senses for Creative Thinking

Natural wood is soothing. Natural light is an immediate mood enhancer. Ample leg room around your employees’ desks allows for the feeling of personal space, which reduces anxiety, and might provide the ability to do some desk exercises. While you most likely cannot create windows where there are none, consider the installation of light boxes, which mimic the look of covered windows. The illumination comes from bulbs that imitate natural sunlight.

Lifestyle Amenities, Collaborative Work Spaces, and Quiet Areas Enhance Resourcefulness

A lifestyle amenity is the juice bar in your break room, the treadmill in the employee lounge or the started puzzles that anyone is welcome to work on at any time. When a worker needs to step away for a bit, changing the direction of the mind is an effective method for letting the subconscious take a crack at the problem. Collaborative work spaces allow for impromptu brainstorming sessions while quiet work areas let employees put together the pieces of the problem to formulate a solution. Movable walls create lounges and work spaces without the need for construction.

These office space design suggestions may not change your workers’ lives, but they can help with gaining perspective on a problematic issue without suffering burnout. This, in turn, affects attrition. Contact us today if you are looking for office space and we can point you in the right direction for other office space design tips that may be ideal for your business.

6 Strategies to Prevent Noise Problems in Open Office Space Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Office Space Design Ideas for Productivity Enhancement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Benefits of Designing Office Space for Teamwork

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

Here are 5 benefits of designing office space for teamwork:

1. Encourages Teamwork

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

2. Inspires New Ideas

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

3. Individual Development

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

4. Improves office morale

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

5. Creates a community

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

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

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

The Importance of Natural Light in a Workplace

Natural light in a workplaceIf you are looking for new office space to house your workforce, put natural lighting high on your list of priorities. The positive commercial benefits of focusing on natural light in a workplace are becoming more widely known. Why not give your business an edge by jumping on this productivity pusher right away?

A happy, healthy workforce is something every company boss should strive for. Good morale is linked to higher productivity, greater employee engagement and lower rates of absenteeism, so ultimately it makes sense on both a human and economic level.

One of the simplest and most effective ways of improving staff morale and boosting productivity is introducing natural light in a workspace. On the surface it may seem that such a subtle change couldn’t possibly deliver results, but it is widely recognized that offices with good natural lighting resources have staff that are generally happier and more productive. Medical research related to natural light in a workplace has concluded that depressive symptoms and poor quality of sleep are increased in staff working in environments starved of natural light.

So what can be done to push up light levels in the office?

Start by checking simple stuff such as layout. Are there big filing cabinets or furnishings blocking light flow into the room? If so, adapt the layout to allow extra light in. Are offices along the windows blocking light from getting into the interior space? You might want to consider adding relights (interior windows) to allow light through.

Keep window treatments to a minimum and consider using streamlined options such as interior shutters to help control the amount of light that enters throughout the day. Sometimes strong sunlight on computer screens can be a nuisance, but when you install bespoke shutters this is no longer an issue. It is simple to measure and fit shutters suitable for all types and sizes of window, enabling you to actively manage light flow through the days and seasons.

Light shelves that direct natural lighting up toward the ceiling for it then to be reflected back down into the room, are another effective way offices can be illuminated. Alternatively, the installation of dimmer switches and sensors close to windows helps manage when electric lighting is used – shaving costs off power bills in the process.

If walls can’t be opened up for windows, consider fitting skylights or light tubes to harvest the light from overhead. Skylights spill more light into a room than a conventional window and can turn dark, uninspiring spaces into sun-filled dynamic offices. Light tubes can funnel natural light a considerable distance into awkward spaces.

Easy and simple decor tricks can be employed to give an office a lighter vibe. Paint walls with pale shades that reflect light. Keep furnishings scaled down so there is plenty of space to move around and the flow of the room is open and uncluttered. Consider using furniture made from Perspex or glass to maximize the sense of light and fluidity in the space. Mirrors installed in dark corners, corridors or alcoves can bounce light around, lifting the gloom and spreading an energized, upbeat ambiance.

Show your staff how much they are valued and appreciated by housing them in offices that press their feel-good buttons. Brighter, lighter conditions bring out the best in your staff so when you are scoping out new offices be sure to head towards the light…