Category Archives: Workplace Strategies

Workplace Strategy is the dynamic alignment of an organization’s work patterns with the work environment to enable peak performance and reduce costs… Anika Ellison Savage

3 Ways You Can Improve Customer Experience

Customer experienceGood customer experience is a vital ingredient in the success of any business. However, attaining this goal is not as easy as it sounds. There are many aspects to excellent customer experience that a business owner should look into it.

So how do you improve customer experience? Here are some ways you can try out for your business. 

1. Invest in Effective and Innovative Contact Center Solutions 

Are you used to relying on Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to gauge customer experience?  Do you even know what it is? Well, with the advanced technology in data analytics and AI, you can determine how your customers are doing in every step of the sales funnel through real-time data analytics and omnichannel reporting through effective contact center solutions.

Aceyus explains that a business owner can gain insight into customer experience by utilizing a call center metrics dashboard, which compiles real-time data in a single, centralized dashboard. Here are the important benefits of implementing more effective contact center solutions: 

  • Improve data organization and call center agility: Negative customer experiences can be avoided by uniting all data sources, external and internal, to get a whole picture of the customer journey. It enables you to determine the critical key performance indicators (KPIs) or business metrics, including customer experience scores.
  • Optimize business operations: Data analytics provide real-time data to help optimize your business operations. It prevents wasting your efforts by optimizing call routing with queue metrics recorded in real-time calls.
  • Boost agent productivity: A flexible dashboard tracks the performance of your call center agents across multiple platforms. Managers can easily filter data and review team insights by viewing the performance of individual agents and the entire team in a centralized dashboard.

2. Increase Employee Engagement:

Your employees are your front-line workers who directly interact with your customers. Happy employees often give rise to happy customers. Increasing employee engagement would also increase customer engagement.

Improving office space efficiency can help increase employee productivity and engagement. Providing your employees with a healthy and safe workplace would boost their morale and work productivity. For instance, increase natural light by opening curtains or blinds inside the office to enhance overall mood and increase motivation.

With the Covid-19 pandemic in full steam, agile workplaces have become more popular. These workplaces are designed as activity-based working space and make the work space flexible. It is an office hoteling reservation technique or set up in a workplace. It is a way of utilizing a work area more efficiently, utilizing non-assigned seating arrangement and desk-sharing to maximize and creating collaborative spaces where employees can go on occasion, not always being in the office.

3. Use Behavioral Science 

Behavioral science studies how different factors affect a person’s behavior, which is crucial in improving customer experience. However, the use of behavioral science in service operations is rarely done.

The principles of behavioral science have only been implemented by a few companies, like telecommunications companies. Telecommunications businesses give customers control over service interactions such as scheduling field service visits at their most convenient times, to boost satisfaction, instead of customer service reps setting the appointment for them depending on their availability.

Many companies seem to ignore what makes consumers tick. For instance, customer experience is usually disturbed by the interactive-voice-response or IVR systems in call centers or menu alterations on automated teller machine or ATMs by banks. A lot of businesses fail to recognize the great psychological discomfort that customers experience when they’re faced with these unexpected changes.

Check the following tips to improve customer experience based on behavioral science principles:

  • Resolve bad customer experience early: Don’t make customers wait too long to get their problems fixed. Make sure to address any concerns as soon as possible. For instance, customers feel no assurance when they receive generic statements, such as ‘This problem is now being addressed. Allow 24 hours for a response.’

Instead, you should try to resolve the problem while the customer is still with you on the line (phone call), or if some waiting time is needed, be proactive in scheduling a follow-up call, instead of the making the customer call you back.

  • Give your customers more options: Instead of saying ‘no’ or ‘can’t’, give your customers more options to resolve their concerns. It’ll show them that you’re doing something to resolve their concerns and keep them satisfied.
  • Let consumers stick with their habits: Drastic changes can ruin customer satisfaction. If you need to make changes, do it gradually and make sure they still align with your customers’ habits. Think about substitution or alternatives.

Conclusion 

By fully understanding your customers through investing in effective contact center solutions, you can help improve their experience without directly asking too much information from them.

Applying the principles of behavioral science can also help you better understand your customers to reduce churn rate.

Improving your employee engagement by providing your employees with a safe and healthy workplace can also help increase their morale and productivity, which also affects the quality of service they provide to your customers.

At OfficeFinder we do our best to make sure your customer experience with us is beyond expections. We are always looking for the WOW factor to keep our customers happy. If you need office space and are looking for a good customer experience for yourself, contact us and let us show you how it is done!

5 Strategies to Control Office Occupancy Costs

Office Occupancy Costs DiscussionRunning a business comes with high costs. The best way to know that you are doing enough is to make sure that you are earning more than what you are spending to make it work. One of the biggest expenditures that a business has is its occupancy cost since most offices have to pay rent for their space. Though it is one of the biggest areas you spend money on, it can also be the most versatile since there are strategies you can cut back and save money. There are 5 effective ways you can control your office occupancy cost.

1.  Find Cheaper and Long-term Leases

One of the best ways to save on occupancy costs is to find an office space that directly helps you save money. Ultimately, finding a space with a lower price can do great for your spendings. The first way is to find a location where office spaces are relatively cheaper because some areas demand more expensive prices. If your team can afford to be in an office far from the central business district, then it is a better alternative. You can also look into leasing for the long-term because the security of the lease outweighs short-term income. You already have a chance to move away from city noise and toxicity while staying economically wiser. If you need help finding the right space at the right price, that is what we do. Contact us today!

2.  Subletting Office Areas

Owning a large space where your employees can have a conducive work area is a great thing to have, though it comes with a great price as well. The cost of rent is always determined by the size of the space, so that means a bigger officer is also a bigger expense. Should your office have unused areas, you can put this up for occupancy by others via subletting. A lot of freelance workers or small groups of collaborative individuals are always looking for an office hub where they can meet and work. If your office can accommodate them, you can put the space up for rent where you can become their landlord. Just make sure there is nothing in your lease to keep you from being able to do it.

3.  Team Effort

Employees can play a huge role in controlling occupancy costs. Though there is specific expertise that can give more useful and practical insight, not all companies can afford to hire full-time staff who will focus on this aspect. A great alternative is to hire a part-time CFO who can perform financial assessments and recommend necessary steps to help you cut back on occupancy costs. Employing one is handier since you can engage their services whenever you need them, and you don’t have to fully commit since their employment with you is only part-time. Experts can do great things to improve not only with your budgeting but to your overall financial standing as well.

4.  Flexible Working Arrangements

This time of the internet and technology makes all sorts of working arrangements possible. Flexible working arrangements make it possible for employees to skip reporting to the office and instead work from home. It is an “Agile Workplace.” The first step in doing this is in assessing which positions can be filled by a work-from-home employee. You can also make a blocking schedule where some employees work from home and the others at the office for a few days they switch. You can reduce the needed space almost in half since not everyone shows up together at the same time. This can work for businesses where the nature of work and be accomplished via individualized work and communication can be made virtual. Not only is this beneficial for employees, but it also allows the company to switch to a smaller office.

5.  An Energy-Efficient Office

Energy-efficient office space is also great for the environment. Switch to devices, electronics, and supplies that are energy-saving in the office since you can use the money you have saved to pay for the occupancy cost instead. Office spaces that are polished with these energy-efficient devices tend to lease the space for cheaper prices as well since they don’t have to spend as much in buying expensive appliances and features. Make it a commitment not just to control your occupancy cost, but the overall spendings you make on other miscellaneous expenses as well.

Controlling office occupancy does not only mean saving money, but it also gives way to a more economical way of running a business. This favors both employees and business owners since there is room for flexibility and saving the environment. If most agree on the measures you want to impose, you can take the necessary action to improve your financial and working situation.

Does Outdoor Space Matter at an Office?

outdoor space for officeAn increasing number of office buildings are beginning to incorporate outdoor spaces into their design, and are seeing some fantastic benefits as a result. Incorporating nature into office buildings has meant that both business owners and employees are able to benefit from being able to go outside and get fresh air whenever the need arises.

The concept of creating a stimulating work environment that also incorporates an area of outdoor space has become one of the new models for creating the perfect office space. Having an outdoor area for team members to enjoy doesn’t mean transferring the entirety of your operation outside; it simply means creating a useable outdoor space that can be enjoyed by yourself and your team members.

Wondering what the benefits are of adding an outdoor space to your office? There are various benefits of incorporating a useable outside space for yourself and your team members to use and enjoy—it’s just a case of creating the right space. For everything that you need to know about creating the ideal outdoor office space, have a read of this!

Nature helps to reduce feelings of stress

The fact is that work-related stress can actually impact a team member’s ability to perform while at work, and can even cause a number of health problems. Workplace stress can have a seriously detrimental impact on productivity and efficiency at work, which is why it’s so important to find ways to help alleviate stress. Creating an outdoor space that you and your team members can use and enjoy is a positive step towards helping to better manage stress at work. Studies show that by encouraging team members to spend more time outside, you can help to reduce feelings of stress and therefore improve levels of productivity.

Having access to outdoor space helps to increase employee happiness

When it comes to employee retention, ensuring that your team members are satisfied with their working situation and setup is vital. That’s where creating an outdoor space that your team members enjoy spending time in can help—studies have shown that a lot of people find outdoor spaces to be extremely soothing, and having access to outside space can help improve happiness. Creating an inspiring outdoor area for your team members can be a great way to boost team members’ happiness and contentment. When creating the ideal outdoor area, think about incorporating some greenery, perhaps a pond, which you can learn more about pond management at Water-garden.co.uk, and potentially some flowers. You could also opt to add a seating area, so that there’s a comfortable place for your team members to sit and relax.

An outdoor space can be therapeutic

Having access to an outdoor area can be extremely therapeutic, especially if the outdoor space incorporates the right scents, for instance. Jasmine, rose, and lavender are all extremely soothing and relaxing scents, so you could consider planting some of these in your outdoor office space to make it easier for your team members to relax.

Keep these ideas in mind if you are considering adding an outdoor space to your office.

And if are looking for office space that allows for outdoor space for your employees, contact us to find the right office space at the best price.

Is a PTAC Heat Pump right for your office?

PTAC heat pumpOk. So the first question you probably have is what is a PTAC Heat Pump and why do I care. Well, many of us spend a considerable amount of our time in offices. In fact, office life takes a far larger portion of our day than we spend at home. Due to this, the air conditioning needs to be just right; hence, when searching for an office, be sure to ask about the air conditioning.

If you’ve been wondering how to improve the living conditions in your office, the PTAC (Packaged Terminal Air Controller) is the unit for you.

Read on below to know how a PTAC works and the benefits you’ll gain when you decide to have one in your office space.

How a PTAC Works

A PTAC is a commercial air conditioning unit that’s installed in the external wall of an office to regulate airflow.

PTACs work by pumping a refrigerating unit while at the same time expelling the heat and humidity through a vent. To get rid of moisture, the PTAC condenses the moisture over a condenser spoil, then allows the water to evaporate.

A PTAC unit should be installed right into a wall, provided there’s a metal covering to keep the unit safe.

Benefits of a PTAC

A PTAC is the ideal air conditioning unit to have in your office as it offers the following benefits:

  • Single Unit For Heating and Cooling

When deciding between a PTAC heat pump vs electric heat, one of the main reasons that you might want to install a PTAC in your office is that it’ll provide both heating and cooling from a single unit. The downside of the standard air conditioning unit is that it cannot provide both heating and cooling.

The PTAC comes with a built-in thermostat that allows you to select the most comfortable temperature for your office. Whether it’s during warm summers or cold winters, the PTAC offers an excellent way to maintain a comfortable and workable office environment.

  • Simple to Install  

PTAC units will come with a wall sleeve for easy installation, which is built as the other AC’s, thus don’t require any ductwork. This means that anyone could pretty much install a PTAC. All you need to do is attach the wall sleeve to the wall, then install the PTAC to the wall sleeve, and then you’re done.

The first step is to find the ideal location for the PTAC. Make sure to install it with a secure wooden frame. Note that if the outside is too close to trees and shrubs, then this could interfere with the performance.

If you’re installing it outside, it’s crucial to weatherproof the unit. This will help ensure a long life.

  • Quiet Operation

One of the most important elements for an effective working environment is the absence of disturbances. An air conditioner is often loud and distracting. This, however, is not the case with the PTAC. Its silent operation allows you to focus on your work and can improve the quality of your office life.

What’s more, they come with multiple speed fans, allowing you to choose your temperature while also ensuring quiet operation. Some of them also feature components that are specially designed for noise reduction.

  • Energy Savings

Another benefit of a PTAC is that it has a high EER (energy efficiency rating); the higher the EER number the more energy-efficient the unit is. What’s more, PTAC units that use heat pumps are more energy-efficient than those that use electric heating.

Hence, if you’re looking to improve the air quality of a larger office while being energy-efficient, a PTAC is the way to go. You’ll get even better energy efficiency with the newer models.

  • No Cross Contamination

ACs can cause cross-contamination, making the air unhealthy to breathe. The AC creates an environment for bacteria and fungus to grow, which are then dispersed inside the room. Thankfully, there’s no fear of cross-contamination with a PTAC.

  • They’re Affordable 

If you have a commercial establishment, such as an office or a hotel, you’ll need to find the most cost-effective way to maintain clean and fresh air in your building. A PTAC is an affordable unit as the best quality ones cost less than USD$1,000.

Secondly, as mentioned, PTACs have a high EER compared to AC units and HVAC units. This is another reason why many building owners prefer to install PTACs.

Final Word

PTACs are a great unit for your office. Not only do they improve the air quality but will also regulate the temperature, providing both warm and cool air depending on your office’s requirements. Moreover, they’re also energy-efficient and are quiet, which means you can enjoy quality air while not worrying about the noise.

5 Signals It Is The Right Time for An Office Redesign

office redesignThanks to the pandemic many businesses are finding they need to have an office redesign to keep employees safe. Office redesign may be an intimidating project, but it is a great way to beat improve employee engagement and productivity in the workplace. A change in your office interior design needs to be carefully planned and be in accordance with your budget and space needs. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to seek expert advice. Nowadays, with the help of interior designers and online Interior products sourcing platforms, you can optimally redesign your office space within your budget.

Of course, one of the main questions you will ask yourself is, “Is this the right time for an office redesign?” Sometimes an office redesign project can feel like a massive investment of time and money with little return. But if the time is right, your office redesign may be the best decision you make.

Here are five signals that help you know the right time to of an office redesign:

  1. Improve Productivity Levels – Your office design could be a reason for the lower productivity levels of your workforce. Especially if employees are having to work from home due to the pandemic. Look for ways in which your office layout hinders your employees from working safely and efficiently. Find a modern office design that improves productivity levels in your workplace.
  2. Unused Office Spaces – Take a look around and think about the underutilized spaces in your office. It’s time to re-purpose those areas of your office to optimally utilize the complete area. Restructuring your office space can help you get more out of the same space at a small cost.
  3. Reflecting Your Brand Image – Your office interior design is an important part of your brand image. Designing your office using the same colors and themes as your brand gives people the right idea about your company. But when there is a mismatch; it might be time to redesign your office space.
  4. It Looks the Same as Before You Moved In – Think about it, what changes have you made since you moved into your current office? There have been a lot of changes in workplace design to improve productivity over the past few years. Consider redesigning your workspace according to modern office design ideas that fulfill your needs and reflect your brand personality.
  5. Evolving Business Needs – As your business grows, your needs from your office space also change. As your company grows – you may need to create space for more people or equipment.

Similarly, office designs after the pandemic will need to accommodate lesser people. Choose a modern design that can easily be changed to accommodate more or fewer people as required. Workstations should be easily moveable to change the layout.

Things to consider while redesigning your office space:

  1. Finalize Your New Office Design – Before you begin restructuring your office space, you should finalize the new design. Work with an excellent online interior design agency to get a professional consultation and be clear about the new layout before you begin.
  2. Keep a Checklist of All the Materials/Objects You Need for the Redesign – Make sure to have a list of the materials, equipment, furniture, and products that you need to complete the renovation. Find out where you can source these things from at the best price. You can search for the local or online sourcing agents who can help you with your product sourcing needs.
  3. Procurement Company – Hire a good procurement company to source the required materials and objects for your new office design.

The decision to redesign your office may be tough, but the new design must fulfill your needs, motivate your employees, and not add unnecessary costs. Office redesign requires careful planning so that your employees can continue working with ease even during the transitionary period. And finally, always seek professional help wherever needed. This will help you create the office design you want without overstepping your budget.

If you decide that you would rather move than redesign, contact us. We can help!

Creating A Productive Workspace In The Office

productive workspaceMany of us long to end the day feeling satisfied with their accomplishments. While this might be ideal, it often isn’t the reality. Thankfully, there are a few small additions that you can make to the office environment which can result in a huge boost to your productivity and create a productive workspace. Let’s look at some of the best approaches for you to try.

Grow Some Plants

Adding some greenery to the office is one of the easiest ways to lighten up a room. There are dozens of options for you to explore. For example, you might be able to get a small pot plant, which will fit in the corner of your desk. In other cases, though, you might have the space to put in a bigger plant, like an indoor pine tree or bamboo shoots.

There are many benefits that plants provide. First, it will make the environment more pleasant.  Many people find having a plant in the office creates a calmer environment, making it easier to focus on their work. It’s also been shown that adding plants can help you filter any chemicals out of the air, giving you a safer working environment. Because of these factors, adding plants to the office can, according to some studies, produce a 15 percent increase in productivity,

Personalize Your Workspace

Another great idea is to personalize the workplace, making it your own. This is a great way to feel more relaxed, as you’ll be surrounded by objects that make you feel comfortable. There are dozens of ways that you can inject your personality into the office. For example, you might want to add figurines from movies or TV shows that you enjoy. You can also decorate the area with colorful stickers or pictures. However, one of the best options is to put in a picture of your family. This can often help remind you why working so hard in the office is important to you, helping you stay motivated.

Add Some Activity

It’s believed that one in four adults don’t exercise enough. This can impact on general health, increasing your chances of becoming obese. However, a lack of activity has also been shown to impact on your mental health. For example, it’s been shown that a quick burst of activity will be able to help you focus. It can also give you more energy.

There are dozens of ways for you to bring more activity into the office. If you have a bigger budget, you might want to install a gym for your employees. For a smaller budget, you can put in team sports, like ping pong. As an added benefit, playing as part of a team can help you form stronger social bonds with your co-workers.

Check The Ventilation

Another simple way that you can improve your workplace is by adding in air ventilation. When the air isn’t flowing through the building properly, it can become stale. This can increase the chances that employees will get sick, as toxins can build up in the office. When they can get fresh air, it will be easier to breathe, creating a more pleasant working space. There are plenty of ways that you will be able to provide fresh, clean air. For example, you might want to add in some more windows or improve your air conditioning system. In other cases, you can put in an air purifier. When you do this, you’ll need to make sure that you get a model that has a HEPA filter, as these will trap smaller particles.

Put In More Windows

Putting in windows another simple way to improve productivity around the office. There are a few reasons for this. First, as we mentioned, it’s important to have good ventilation and fresh air. You’ll also be able to bring more natural light into the workplace. This has been shown to improve the mental health of employees, making them feel more positive about their working environment. It can also help you save money on electricity costs.

Find The Best Work Time For You

Often, the biggest improvements in your productivity come when you change your mindset. One of the best ways to do this is by figuring out the hours that you are most productive at. For example, some people might be more productive in the mornings, while others will get more done during the afternoon. Once you know these hours, you can structure your day around these times. To illustrate, if you tend to be more alert during the morning you might want to consider using this time to complete the most difficult tasks. You can use a to-do list to help you keep track of the things you need to do and plan the best times to do them.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The amount of sleep that you get each night might have a big impact on your performance at work. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will find it harder to focus and think logically. As a result, productivity tends to take a big dip. The simple solution to this is making sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep each night. It’s estimated that the average adult needs to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. If you’re having trouble falling asleep because of stress at work, you might want to try mediation or other techniques to help you achieve a calmer state of mind.

Get A Coffee Machine

Finally, one of the best ways for you to make sure that you’re focused at work is by installing a coffee machine. This can have a huge range of benefits. First, caffeine has been shown to boost alertness, making it easier to focus on the task at hand. It’s also been proven to help people improve their moods, improving mental health. However, coffee machines might also help bring the office together, providing a natural place for employees to meet and converse.

In this area, there are dozens of different types of coffee makers for you to explore. For example, there’s drip coffee, which can be used to make a pot of coffee for multiple people. In other cases, you might want to get an espresso machine, which will give you more customization options, so you’ll be able to get the perfect brew for your tastes. In other cases, you might want to get a French Press, which is a way of manually preparing your coffee.

The best type of coffee machine will often depend on your office circumstances. However, it’s important to make sure that you choose something that’s going to brew enough for the entire office. You also want to make sure that it will be durable enough to be used several times each day. To help make this choice easier, you can use this excellent analysis of commercial coffee makers for office.

Conclusion

Though we all want to improve productivity, it can often be difficult to know which techniques will yield the best results. Thankfully, as we’ve seen, there are dozens of small changes that you can make to your office to improve productivity. So, now you’ll be able to use these tools to create a more productive workspace in your office.

If you are looking for an office that will meet your needs, we can help. Our service is free. Contact us today.

5 Ways to Minimize Distractions in Your Office

Minimize distractions

Would you like to find useful ways to ensure a peaceful workplace and minimize distractions, but don’t know where to start? Noise and other distractions can hinder productivity and frustrate employees. Here are 5 ways that can help minimize distractions to help maximize productivity.

#1: Bring in Sound Absorbing Materials

If you are looking to reduce the noise distraction in your office workspace, then you need to bring in sound-absorbing materials without even sacrificing on the office design. The noise absorbing materials are quite required for contact working spaces or call centers. Typically, modern materials, such as acoustic cotton batts, wall panels, cubicle partitions, noise-friendly flooring, and noise-canceling workstations are used in offices to cut down on the noise distraction. However, if you want natural options, you can plant trees along outdoor hallways or place beautiful indoor plants to absorb noise.

#2: Install Soundproof Fans

We should also mention fans, They are an effective ways to control the temperature in your office. Many can be noisy and can cause a distraction. If excessive fan noise is hindering you from working peacefully in your office room, then it is better to change regular fan with a soundproof or a a quieter fan. Currently, a lot of reliable fan options are available in the market to keep your office space cool without causing any noise. You must check them online.

#3: Limit Technological Distractions

Next, if you aim to maintain the focus of your employees on the work, you need to set boundaries for technological distractions. You should devise clear policies around how frequently the employees are allowed to use their smartphones or personal devices during the working hours. Technological distractions can significantly impact the entire workforce. For instance, if one employee is on the call, he is disturbing his team members and colleagues as well. Constant emails, text messages, and social media notifications are equally annoying for co-workers.

#4: Display Inspiration

Even if you have a team full of motivated and enthusiastic employees, you still need to make them feel excited and inspired regularly. It is one of the key solutions to limit the distractions in the office, and positively stimulate your workforce. You can hang motivational quotes and intriguing pictures on the office walls. You can also surround your office space with a small library. These visual attempts are a sudden push to inspire your employees. This will help them feel motivated to finish projects before due dates.

#5: Improve Work Setting

Lastly, you need to work on the overall office setting to provide a comfortable environment for your employees. It is an imperative factor to ramp up your workforce productivity while having reasonable control over distractions. Your employees spend the major part of their day sitting in your office and working for your company. Therefore, you need to ensure a positive environment so that your employees feel happy and deliver 100% focus & attention. You must provide dedicated rooms, bring in fresh air & natural lighting, install comfortable workstations, and equip recreational areas. Besides, you need to treat employees equally, employ open-door policy, and create a transparent setting to enhance the working environment and limit the distractions.

If you are looking for an office that will meet your needs, we can help. Our service is free. Contact us today.

How a Toll Free Number Will Help You Generate More Business

Toll Free NumberWhether you’re starting a business or growing an existing company, being accessible to customers is an essential ingredient for success. Your clients and potential customers must be able to reach you whenever needed.

Modern technology has brought about new methods of communication – email, social media chat, VoIP, and more. Because of this, it seems that in this technological age, installing a conventional telephone system and getting a toll-free number for one’s business is a waste of precious company funds. However, companies immensely benefit from having a toll free number that customers can call anytime. Hence, despite the availability of Internet-based communication apps and software, a toll-free number is still essential to most businesses.

Getting a Toll Free Number

A toll-free number allows your customers and prospective clients to call you for free no matter what state they’re calling from. Also, toll-free numbers are typically utilized for customer service hotlines.

Obtaining a toll-free number for your business is easy. The first thing that you need to do is look for a reputable 800 service provider. Then, find out how much you need to spend to get a toll free number. You must be capable of including the service fees in the company’s operating budget.

The expenses associated with toll-free numbers for your business will be based on the plan you choose from the service provider. On top of the monthly base fee of $10 to $15, it usually costs less than 10 cents up to 30 cents per minute of call.

4 Signs You Should Have a Toll Free Number

You may be wondering whether your organization will still benefit from having a toll free number. Getting a toll free number seems irrelevant when there’s numerous voice calling apps that the company can utilize for a lower fee.

Here are four signs that your business should have its own toll free number.

  • Customer Base is Not Local

When your customer base is not confined to your neighborhood or region, your business benefits from having a 1-800 number. A toll-free number dedicated to your company encourages customers to call you no matter what state they’re at.

Long-distance calls are relatively cheaper nowadays than it was years ago. However, an 800 number often saves your customers money when they contact you, which is always a good thing.

  • Gain Market Share

Local businesses that want to broaden their customer base should consider obtaining a toll-free number. Having an 800 number shows the company’s desire to serve both local and national customers.

A toll-free number adds a national appeal to your business. Potential clients don’t have to wonder what particular region you belong to before doing business with you, making it easier for the company to penetrate new markets.

Toll-free number service providers also provide company owners with valuable business data and intelligence. You can obtain location-based data, call tracking, information on peak call times, and more. Internet-based apps may be able to provide the same data, but it’s worth remembering that not all customers want to use online communication apps for business transactions.

  • Improve Your Brand Image

If you want to boost brand awareness, you should consider getting a dedicated 800 number for your business. A toll-free number is a relatively cheap investment that does wonders for your company’s image. Toll-free numbers can be utilized as a business marketing tool. Because these are very easy to remember, you’re guaranteed that customers will not forget it, especially if you select a vanity number.

It also helps make your company seem bigger, more established, and more reliable. By investing in a toll-free number for the company, you’re building a legitimate and professional business image.

  • Value Customer Satisfaction

Customers are the reason your business exists. Thus, you should always ensure their satisfaction with your products or services.

One way to make sure that customers are happy with your offerings is to be easily reachable through every stage of the business transaction. If your clients find it challenging to reach you, they’ll cease doing business with you.

Businesses that utilize toll-free numbers experience increased customer trust by making it easier and more convenient for them to communicate with their chosen company at any given time.

Conclusion

A toll-free number associated with your business drives both local and national customers to communicate with you. A convenient and hassle-free communication process encourages clients to do business with you over and over again.

The fees that you spend obtaining toll-free numbers for the company are a worthwhile investment that benefits your organization over the long term.

How to Fund Your COVID-19 Office Improvements

Office Improvements

Figuring out what to do to protect your employees as they come back to work from time off due to COVID-19 health risks is a challenge every business owner has to deal with. It is not going to be cheap. So how do you fund your COVID-19 office improvements?

Many business owners have applied for SBA disaster relief loans, but what if you are one of the many whose loans don’t come through or don’t come through soon enough to get the office improvements done in time for the return of employees? How do you fill the gap?

Different Loan Options for Office Improvements

Office improvements are expensive and costly, and using your business cash flow to fund the improvements may not be an option. Applying for a loan is the next best option that you have. There are different loan options that you can use to finance your office improvements. Check the following list below and see what loan option best fits you.

Traditional Term loan

The traditional term loan is what you think it is. You apply for a lump sum of cash, and once approved, you will receive the amount in full. It is under the condition that you need to repay the whole amount together with the total interest and fees included over a specific period. Your repayment schedule condition depends on the lender, but you can choose to have it done on a weekly or monthly basis.

To qualify for a traditional term loan, you need to have a good credit score, outstanding business transaction records, and an increasing business revenue over the years. However, if this seems to be overwhelming, there are still other options, like short-term loans, that you can apply for.

Short-term loan

Many lenders offer short-term loans to startup business owners that are looking for additional funds in handling their business expenses.  One of these expenses includes renting an office space for their business operations including office improvements.

Short-term loans don’t need many requirements to get approved. Having a fair to good credit score should get you the approval you need. Also, short-term loans work best for startup business owners as they are still getting the hang of running their business. Handling the repayments for a  short-term loan wouldn’t be too much of a burden to a recovering business.

A business line of credit

Any business can apply for a business line of credit. The good thing about having a business line of credit is that you can have a higher credit limit compared to other loan options. If you have excellent business revenue, a clean credit history, and other essential factors, you can avail of a high credit limit that you can use for your office improvements.

Another notable distinction of getting a business line of credit as a loan option is that it offers flexible payment options. Funds can also be used for different business-related purposes, and borrowers have access to cash on demand. Handling the payment for a business line of credit is much like paying for a credit card. You only need to pay for the interest of the funds you used.

Credit Card

It is very seldom that business owners rely on the use of their personal credit cards to finance any business-related expenses. The truth is, utilizing your credit card is a good financial option to fund your business. If the ideal, rentable office space you found can be settled by paying through your credit card, then you have a good deal.

However, make sure that you don’t overspend your credit limit. You don’t want to be burdened with monthly repayments and interest accumulation.

Pro-tip: In any business, it is inevitable to have a slow period during the COVID-19 crisis. The slow period might be one of the reasons why many business owners struggle to pay off their debts on time. If caught on a tight end in repaying your loan, you can do a balance transfer loan. A balance transfer loan can give you leeway as it allows you to transfer or move your debt to a different financial institution that has a zero or lower interest. 

Before you perform a balance transfer loan, make sure to check the company’s terms of service. Credit card companies offer different terms, and some of them might not appeal to your preference. Find one with a very low-interest rate, no balance transfer fee, high credit limit to cover previous balances, and a long introductory period before proceeding to have a transfer done.

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6 Best Practices When You Reopen Your Office

Reopen Your OfficeIn most cases, a crisis acts as a transitioning period, which requires one to adapt accordingly. At the moment, most businesses, like yours, are focusing on how to reopen your office and resuming office operations at some point in the coming days. For that reason, most business owners are now working on the best  formula for returning to day-to-day office engagements while keeping their employees safe.

The general expectation is that employees will be more cautious as they consider going back to the office. The implication, in this case, is that employers should prioritize making the office environment safe for their workers before normal operations resume.

Additionally, it is a fact that daily office activities will not take off at once, but gradually, depending on various factors affecting the operations of each office. As such, business owners should shift their attention to the best practices they should adopt as part of their return to the office strategy. Here are some of the measures you should consider putting in place before reopening your office.

1. Identify The Employees Who Should Resume Office Operations

Every employer will need to exercise extra caution when recalling workers to resume their office duties. Starting with a full office as operations resume will not be advisable. Additionally, authorities will also have guidelines on a workable return to office formula, and you need to consider that as well.

Once you have details about the return to office guidelines from the government, you can blend the same with what will work best for your organization. Some of the questions to ask in this case will include;

  • What employees perform critical functions?
  • What tasks can workers attend to only from the office?
  • Is the return to office plan for employees who perform critical functions mandatory or not?

You can also consider using anonymous surveys to establish the concerns and willingness of your workers to resume office operations.

2. Perform Enhanced and Routine Office Cleaning

Cleanliness will indeed become the focal point for most offices as they reopen in the days to come. So, before opening your premises, you should prioritize enhanced cleaning to ensure the environment is clean and safe for everyone.

Routine cleaning of workspaces that individuals touch frequently will also be necessary going forward. It is also true that the demand for cleaning services will also be high as offices reopen, so contacting providers of such services in advance will be a wise idea.

3. Erect Barriers Where Possible

If you have an open-plan office, you need to look for ways of safeguarding the health of your  employees who will be using such spaces. It is important to note that workers will be a bit reluctant to return to the office if they discover that the environment is posing health risks.

Erecting barriers in open office spaces is one of the ways you can create cubicle-like separation between one worker and the next within your establishment. Where possible, you should create barriers in your office before resuming operations.

4. Stock Your Office with Adequate Supplies

Personal hygiene and maintaining a clean environment will become buzzwords as offices reopen. That means that providing your workers with hand sanitizers, tissue, and no-touch disposal receptacles will be necessary. Even face masks should be available for both employee and customer use. Placing these essential supplies strategically within your office, including posters next to such items, will promote good hygiene habits in-house.

Since personal hygiene supplies and toiletries may be in high demand by the time you reopen your office. In that case, placing orders for necessary office supplies in advance will be prudent.

5. Reorganize Meal Times

Open common spaces can cause overcrowding, which is why you need to rethink meal times as office activities resume. If a company run cafeteria is available within your entity, you can control the opening hours and limit the number of people accessing the facility at any one time.

Opting for pre-packaged foods and marking your office cafeteria’s floor with lanes and quadrants to keep your employees safe is worth considering too. Alternatively, you can plan for food catering or delivery to prevent workers from frequenting public eating outlets during meal times when your office reopens.

Also, encourage as many employees as possible to carry food from home. Staggering office meal breaks as a way of minimizing physical contact between employees may be necessary too.

6. Determine what Is Best for Your Organization

Covering for any losses and reviewing set targets may be a priority as you return to the office, but that should not be at the expense of the wellbeing of your workers. Remember that your employees are an essential resource, and protecting them is part of your responsibilities. So, even as you consider how you will recover lost time when you reopen your office, you need to involve your employees too.

Ask your workers how you can improve the workplace environment to enhance their productivity. The input of your employees and implementing the same will affect your bottom line. The reason is that your workers are part of the determinants of what is best for your enterprise as you reopen your office.

Conclusion

Now is not the time to get into the rush of reopening your office, but planning how you will go about this process with extra caution. The future of your office operations depends on the decisions you make now and the impact they will have on your employees. Also, before implementing your return to the office strategy, you will need to review all relevant factors that will inform your decision-making process.

The desire of every individual right now is for normal operations to resume as soon as possible, including the reopening of various offices. However, that will not be possible if you do not take the necessary precautions from the onset. The best practices above can help you develop a workable return to office strategy, which addresses both your needs and those of your workers.

Currently, it may not be clear how long it will take for businesses to recover, but you can fast track that process if you adopt the best practices above.

If you need office space or help with your current lease, contact us today! We offer advice from our network of over 450 local tenant reps for free!