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

Improve Productivity! 8 Tips for Designing an Organized Office Space

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

office Productivity Tips

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

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

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

  1. Purging Junk and Files

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

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

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

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

  1. More Defined Spaces, Less Open Space

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

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

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

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

  1. Optimizing the Office Layout

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

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

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

  1. Considering the Equipment Placement

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

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

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

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

  1. Creating Movement Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Creating an Organized Filing System

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

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

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

  1. Improving the Lighting

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

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

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

  1. Controlling the Noise Level

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

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

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

Get an Organized Office 

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

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

5 Things to Look for on the Resume of Potential Employees

Hiring takes time and money. You want to make the best choice the first time around. Here are five important things to look for on a resume.

Resume

We all know how important relevant work experience and education are on a professional resume. But as an employer, do you know what else to look for on job applications?

If you’re an employer, these are the things you should be looking for on a resume. If you’re job hunting, make sure you’ve included these necessary parts of every professional resume.

  1. A Professional and Clean Resume Appearance

Never underestimate the power of a visually pleasing resume. That doesn’t necessarily mean graphics and clip art.

A resume that is professionally formatted indicates computer skills, good visual taste, and attention to detail.

Potential employees can go here for a professional-looking, free template for resumes.

This also includes the candidate’s ability to be concise. If you’ve got more than 10 years of experience, there’s usually a lot of data you have to fit on one page. Look for a candidate who’s skilled at being clear and brief.

  1. Don’t Neglect the Grammar

You can learn a lot about a potential employee by their correct or incorrect use of grammar and spelling on a resume.

A simple run through an online spell checking software can illuminate spelling and grammar errors.

Your potential employees are the representatives of your company. And if they can’t manage to put forward a passable resume, then it’s likely their work will be the same.

  1. Filter Out the Fluff

It’s important to be able to cut through the fluff to understand the real substance of a resume.

While an extensive vocabulary indicates education, it can sometimes get in the way of understanding the bare bones of someone’s qualifications.

People without a lot of experience will go to great lengths to fluff up what they have. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Just don’t mistake fluff for industry experience.

  1. Red Flags

If your job position listing asks for references and the resume provided says “references available upon request” it is probably an indication that they’ve been fired or let go recently.

Employment gaps can be caused by various circumstances. Not all of them are bad reasons. But if you notice a space where the applicant wasn’t working, make sure you understand why before hiring.

If an employee ignores or doesn’t follow the directions on your application, it’s another red flag that they aren’t detail-oriented or attentive to authority.

  1. Values

How well could the applicant fit into the company culture? Most resumes provide an indication of the person’s strengths and personality traits.

Pay attention to how their values compare with yours and those of your company.

Don’t hesitate to search for social media accounts to get a better understanding of who they are as a person.

For hopeful employees that means you should make sure your social media accounts wouldn’t embarrass you.

You’re Hired!

Finding the right employee has so much to do with their resume. Don’t miss these important steps.

Once you have the right emplpoyees, contact us for more info on finding the right office space for your business needs!

 

 

7 Key Tips for Keeping Your Office a Healthy Workplace

It’s important to keep your work place clean and healthy. Keep reading for 7 key tips for keeping your office a healthy workplace to work.

Healthy workplace

Have you noticed that healthy employees in your staff are happier, active, focused, less costly, and more productive?

Are you concerned that the high rate of sickness and absenteeism is likely to affect the overall productivity and profitability?

Employers implement employee wellness programs to reduce costs associated with ailing, unproductive, unhappy, and constantly absent staff.

Keep reading for 7 key tips for keeping your office a healthy place to work.

Maintaining Good Posture

Good posture improves your health and overall feeling of wellness. Employees who use computers stare at the screen for long periods and tend to lean forward.

Poor posture puts pressure on their necks and spine. Employees can stay healthy at work by taking short breaks and using appropriate furniture. More so, investing in standing desks or orthopedic furniture can take care of this concern.

Keep Your Office Environment Clean

Unclean workplace environments pose risks to workers. Slips and falls are the most common forms of injury in unkempt offices.

Keep a healthy workplace by encouraging employees to minimizing clutter and maintain a clear vision line. Read more on how to keep your office environment clean as well as healthy in this informational article.

Manage Stress

Hectic office life and juggling between several roles leave employees exhausted. Stress management can involve activities that relax the mind. For instance, it is advisable to encourage employees to read books or engage in physical activities such as taking walks, yoga, or working out at the gym.

Eating Healthy Meals

Food, undoubtedly, is a very crucial factor in maintaining or improving health in different aspects of life. One of the key ways of how to be healthier is taking healthy meals that keep you energized at work.

More so, you should snack smart on healthy ready-to-eat options like nuts and fruits. And, pay close attention to all meals and avoid greasy and unhealthy foods.

 Drink Plenty of Water

An average employee spends approximately 90,000 hours in the workplace. The best way to be healthy is to replace coffee and tea with plenty of water.

Research indicates that 75% of Americans do not drink the recommended daily water intake. And, as such, the high rate of dehydration, which reduces their productivity at work.

Take Breaks

Stay healthy at work by taking breaks from the tedious work. Take time and stand from your desk to stretch. Working at the work desk is exhausting to the neck, back, and eyes, and it is vital to shift positions and rest regularly.

Rest Up

Encourage employees to take some time, get out of their work environment, and rest. Work fatigue can be unhealthy; therefore, you should make sure to get enough sleep and rest. More so, spending time away from the workplace reduces tension associated with work environment conflicts. This minimizes risks if illness while enhancing productivity.

A Healthy Workplace

Keep your office a healthy workplace by taking preventative measures against illness. Your working environment needs healthy employees to maintain healthy productivity.

6 Easy Ways to Keep Your Business Running More Efficiently

Messy Office DeskKeeping up in an increasingly competitive economy requires running your business as efficiently as possible. From the smallest sole proprietorships to massive multi-billion-dollar corporations, efficiency is a must. Believe it or not, it’s even more important for small- to medium-sized companies. Smaller businesses have fewer resources to fall back on than larger corporations, making efficiency in the workforce an absolute must.

Your company may be running smoothly, but there is likely room for improvement. Whether you find yourself running into setbacks that delay projects by a few days, you’re finding that your meetings are not productive and waste more time than they save or distractions are slowing down progress and driving up your expenses, there are several things that could be negatively impacting your company’s efficiency.

How can you correct these issues? Here are a few easy ways to keep your business running more efficiently.

Automate Anything You Can

Modern technology can save your business a lot of time and if you are not taking advantage of it, you are missing out. From sending pay stubs to employees to running backups to shipping receipts to vendors, there are several tasks that can be automated.

Once seen as a luxury, business automation has become a necessity in today’s competitive world. Automating monotonous tasks means that you–or your employees–can focus on tasks that require a human touch or more critical thinking than a program can perform.

Implementing automated processes sometimes comes at a steep price upfront, but the investment will pay off quickly. In the long run, business automation saves time and money while boosting efficiency.

Hold a Short Meeting Daily

Office Meeting

Monday morning meetings are a good way to start the week, but they shouldn’t be the only Ofimeeting for the entire week. Holding short, 10-minute meetings every day helps ensure that all employees are on the same page. Getting together daily keeps everyone up to speed on important company happenings and ensures that everyone knows exactly what they need to be doing.

That’s not the only benefit of a short, streamlined daily meeting, though.

Take a few minutes during each meeting to celebrate accomplishments, acknowledge achievements and praise employees for their good work. Make it known when someone goes the extra mile to improve the company or satisfy a customer. Doing so only takes a few seconds, but it goes a long way toward boosting morale and making workers feel appreciated. And happy employees who know they are appreciated work harder and more efficiently.

Increase Printing Efficiency

No matter what type of business you run, it is likely that you do a lot of printing. While it may not be something that you think about often, your printing process could be slowing down productivity and wasting money.

Choosing the right hardware helps you save money while improving efficiency. Choose printers that are appropriate for the size of your business and your printing needs. If you do a lot of printing, pay close attention to how many pages can be printed per minute.  If you primarily print text-based documents and you need to print several pages on a daily basis, laser printers could save you both time and money.

Prioritize black-and-white printing over color. Color toner and inkjet cartridges are more expensive than black. Printing in color also typically takes longer. Print most documents in monochrome and save your colored ink and toner for specific projects. If you have no need to print in color, a monochrome laser printer is an extremely affordable and efficient option.

Use Task Management Software

Emails and sticky notes on desks are not efficient methods of task management or collaboration. Task management software makes it much easier to assign projects and track progress. Projects can be broken down into individual tasks and assigned to the appropriate individuals. Task management software also allows teams to collaborate and work together in one space rather than going back and forth on email or leaving notes.

Using task management software also makes it easier to estimate how long various projects and tasks will take, simplifying the scheduling process. Programs like Asana, Trello and Wrike are flexible, affordable and make it much easier for everyone to work together.

Limit Interruptions

While it may be impossible to avoid all the distractions that tend to pop up on an hourly basis, there are steps you can take to limit interruptions. If work starts at 9 a.m., there is a staff meeting at 10 a.m., a client meeting at 11 a.m. and lunch at noon, your employees may find it nearly impossible to stay on track.

Rather than scheduling multiple meetings throughout the week, try to combine as many into one as possible. When multiple meetings are necessary, schedule them all on one day to ensure your employees have other days to work uninterrupted.

There are also tools to help you avoid distractions like email alerts, chat pop-ups and task management software notifications. Tools like Inbox Pause can be used to reduce email notifications, and a free app known as SelfControl can be used to block email, Web sites and distracting apps for set periods of time. Using these tools–or any of countless other options–helps limit interruptions and prevent distraction.

Encourage “Single-Tasking”

multi tasking office workerJust about everyone claims to be an amazing multitasker. As I’m writing this article, I have six tabs open on my Web browser and that is a pretty conservative number compared to most days. While we all think we are great at multitasking, we may not necessarily be as productive as we would be if we focused on just one thing at a time. Committing to “single-tasking” could actually make your business a lot more efficient.

Single-tasking allows you to complete projects faster. Focusing on one thing at a time also helps decrease stress and results in a greater sense of accomplishment when a task is completed. By working on just one task at a time until a project is complete is much more satisfying than chipping away at several tasks at once and feeling like nothing ever gets finished.

Making your business run more efficiently helps you save time and money while improving company morale and ensuring that you meet your goals. In today’s market, being efficient isn’t just beneficial; it’s essential. By implementing the simple tips listed above, you can help your business run smoother.

6 Ways to Improve Office Safety

Business owners have a lot on their plate. They have to worry about improving growth, hiring the right employees, managing office space and making the most of the time they have left over. However, there might be a hidden concern many offices today are failing to pay the right attention to. Office safety is an essential part of maintaining a quality workplace. Injuries and safety problems are expensive for the company, and it also puts employees at risk.

There’s an outdated idea that businesses have to make a decision between making a profit and safety. No matter the industry, that’s no longer the truth. From the risk of an intruder to injuries, no stone should be left unturned. Here are 6 ways to improve office safety today.

Office Safety

Image via Pexels

1. Invest in an Alarm System

An alarm system is a must no matter your office size or industry. Many new businesses make the mistake of assuming an alarm system is only needed for larger businesses, but that’s hardly the case. Intruders and thieves target businesses of all sizes, and offices are notoriously home to expensive electronic equipment that’s tempting to criminals.

Using an Alarm system gives you a layer of protection. Even when you’re not currently in the office, you can monitor your status in real-time to ensure everything is safe no matter the time.

2. Keep a Clean Office

Did you know slip and falls are the most common type of office injury? It’s true that an unclean workspace is more than just unorganized. It might actually be a danger to your employees. Keep your workspace clutter-free and maintaining a clear line of vision will go a long way to preventing slip and fall injuries. In addition, encourage employees to be careful in their own space. For instance, use a step stool instead of a chair to reach a high location.

3. Provide Equipment Training

If your office uses any kind of equipment, it’s important to provide the right training. Don’t assume your employees know how to use equipment safely. Always be proactive with quarterly reminders about equipment safety and ongoing training. Even an adjustable chair can be unsafe when the employee isn’t trained to use it properly.

office space safety

Image via Pexels

4. Have a Fire Safety Plan

While you might think your days of emergency evacuations were left behind in school, you might need a refresher on fire safety. Not only should you always have your fire sprinklers and alarms checked regularly, but you should create a plan for your office in case of a fire emergency. This should include a designated meeting area, fire safety tips, and a clear escape route.

5. Run Background Checks

How well do you know your employees? If you’re not careful when hiring, you might unwillingly let in a criminal. While this doesn’t mean you can’t hire someone with a criminal background, knowing their history will help you make a smarter decision. Background screening is important, and it’s easier than you think.

6. Reward Safety

Finally, reward your best employees for practicing safety in the office. Make it easy for employees to report suspicious activity or anything they feel needs to be improved. Open a dialogue with your employees about being safe in the workplace.

Ultimately, office safety comes down to many factors. Is your physical location free from obstructions or unsafe condition? Are your employees themselves safe? Do you have a security system for keeping intruders out? All of these things together will create a safe office that works for everyone.

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Office Space

Office spaceRunning a company involves a lot of implementation and execution of necessary business plans and procedures to run an office. These are not limited to things inside the office; it’s also essential to establish relationships between your business and potential clients, as well as the relationship within your team. If you’re starting your company from scratch, you have to look for a place to establish your business or office.

Here are some ideas on how you can find the perfect place to transform into an office space, and the ways how you can maximize the area:

Finding an office area

The first thing you need to establish regarding office spaces is where the physical location of your office will actually be. Usually, you’ll look for a space for lease in a commercial establishment or a building.

However, if you have long-term plans of establishing your company with a large headquarters, or you simply want your own office building, you might want to consider looking for infrastructures that you can convert to an office building, such as warehouses, abandoned buildings, or even former churches. There are some accounts of former churches that have been transformed into an office space because of their high ceilings, which can be remodeled to create multiple floors.

Some churches would have a larger parking space and lawn, with LED signs for churches that you can transform to accommodate your company’s branding and logo. Here’s an example video about LED signs, which can also serve as your guide in establishing your business’ branding and marketing strategies:

Maximizing Your Office Space

Once you’ve selected the place where you’ll establish your office, here are ways on how you can maximize the space you’ve chosen:

  1. Use a common office space

You will notice that as your business grows, it will be more difficult for the existing labor to keep up with the demands of the company, and the best solution for this is to hire more office staff. However, your office space has limited capacity because of the floor area. You’ll be having a hard time squeezing in a lot of employees to fit in comfortably inside the office space.

The best way to maximize the number of people in a limited space is by using a common office space. The office trend nowadays has shifted from rooms and cubicles to common office spaces consisting of long office tables. The improvement in technology from desktop computers to laptops has also made this adaptation possible in an enclosed office area.

A common office space setting also encourages more interactions between team members, thus improving communication skills and increasing camaraderie among employees.

  1. Declutter your area

A clean office space invites a positive vibe that enables your employees to work more productively and efficiently. Keeping it clean and well-organized will allow you to identify areas that can still be maximized.

You can adapt the 5S methodology to declutter:

  • Sort similar items in a single location and remove unnecessary items out.
  • Straighten all necessary items that have a similar function in a space in the workplace.
  • Sweep and clean your workplace on a regular basis.
  • Standardize procedure in sorting and organizing items in the workplace.
  • Self-discipline among all team members is essential in observing standard decluttering procedures in the workplace.

Also, keep your office furniture simple and minimalistic so it will not appear crowded.

  1. Try to reduce the paperwork

It’s easier to reduce paperwork because of technology, which allows online collaboration where you and your colleagues can access and work on a single document all at the same time.

Switching to electronic data management also reduces the need for storage cabinets designated for all your paperwork. External hard drives and cloud storages replace the large, metal cabinets that take too much space in the office.

  1. Improve lighting

If your office space has a lot of windows, make use of natural lighting as much as possible. This way, the entire office area will look bigger and brighter, which will bring about a lot of improvement in terms of the workspace environment.

Use LED lights and minimalistic lamps so that it will not take too much space, which also allows you to save on electric costs. As for the windows, avoid using heavy curtains and draperies; switch to blinds and roman shades, which take up less space.

Final Thoughts

Finding the best area to transform into your office space should not be restricted to leasing spaces in a commercial establishment or a building. You can tap other alternatives, such as transforming warehouses and even former churches to create your office. Arranging an open area, limiting clutter and paperwork, and improving the lighting will maximize your office to create a lighter working environment that adds up to your employees’ performance and efficiency at work.

Coworking 101: The 5 Deadly Sins that will Zap Productivity in Coworking Spaces

Coworking spacesWorking at home really sounded like a great thing. No need to get dressed, no in-person meetings, you had your own private bathroom, and basically, you never had to physically interact with any other humans.

After a few stints in bureaucracy-heavy offices, you welcomed the opportunity to get away from it all. Perhaps, you’re a tech-savvy marketer located in Eugene, Oregon working remotely from your fairly priced apartment, things are looking great and much improved from your prior work situation.

The Mindset Shift

But then something happened.

While you enjoyed your work, you found that sometimes you felt like a hermit and you were worried that you were actually losing your ability to communicate with people since you left the house a lot less often.

You realized that although remote employment was what you wanted, you needed more of a semi-office environment, and coworking spaces seemed to be the right answer. Now you’re wondering what behaviors to stay away from in your new office space so that you will work efficiently, and equally important, get along with others.

Here are five things you should be aware of:

Picking the Wrong Space

Make sure you understand the vibe and ambience of of possible choice for coworking spaces and ensure that this determination is made during daily general working hours. Yes, we understand that coworking inhabitants may be at work at any time including weekends, but 1:00 p.m. on a week day would be a good time to check out a new space.

That way, you’ll get the feel of what happens there on a regular day. If you need a place to make private phone calls, make sure that your facility gives you that option. Likewise, if you need to meet clients, your coworking space should have some conference room availability.

Tech

You may want a wired connection for your laptop along with a strong Wi-Fi signal for your phone or pad. Sure, this should be a given, but until you plug in and logon, you can’t be sure that your space is going to provide optimal connectivity. There are no coworking space inspectors that test for adequate Internet signals, so you’ll have to do this yourself.

Discipline

We all wish we could just fire up an app and make money, but we’re talking about your career here. You already had a discipline problem while working at home. No, and it wasn’t your kid talking back to you. It was you watching daytime TV with a big bag of Cheetos when you should have been working. Even though you will be with others at your new workspace, you still have to treat work like work. Try to get there at the same time every day and establish a routine. While you may need to check email constantly as part of your business, you don’t need to follow politics every minute on CNN or Fox News. And while it’s fun to check your stocks every 15 minutes, that’s not conducive to getting anything done.

Smelly Food

You just don’t want to be the smelly food guy. It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing like the aroma of yesterday’s Subway tuna melt wafting throughout the entire area after you nuked it trying to bring it back to life. If you are the smelly food guy, don’t expect to make many new friends at work.

Conversely, it wouldn’t hurt to visit potential coworking spaces at lunchtime to make sure that there aren’t a lot of smelly food people there.

Be Careful on Fridays

Coworkers demand strong Internet signals, clean and modern workspace areas, clean restrooms, and free snacks and even free beer. Just don’t overdo the free snacks and beer part because even though you may be having a good old time every Friday afternoon during an extended happy hour, you may find that now you are only working 4 and a half days per week. If you watch some old movies, you’ll see how many business people seemed to regularly have a few martinis during lunch; bet they didn’t get much work done after that.

Working at home and renting a space at a coworking space are not that different. The same problems that can slow you down at home can reoccur at your new location if you aren’t personally disciplined. And one more thing, crowded downtown areas may lack parking, so if you are thinking of taking your car to work, make sure there is a place to put it.

Is Office Space an Employee Benefit?

Office space is an Employee Benefit

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

Office Location

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

General feel and design

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

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

Colors

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

Office Layout

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

Standing Opportunity

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

Art

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

Floor Coverings

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

Add features

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

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

Is Coworking Space really just an Executive Suite?

Coworking spaceThere is quite a bit of public confusion over the terminology used in the office space industry regarding executive suites and coworking space. Many still believe that an executive suite describes the suite of offices on or near the top floor of a skyscraper where the top executives of a company used to work; including only the president or chief executive officer, various vice presidents and their staff. In other words, only the top brass. While coworking space is a relatively new phenomenon and many do not understand what it is. Here is some information that will hopefully clear up the confusion.

Essentially, what they both are is shared serviced offices operated by a management firm that house multiple companies. They have different styles to accommodate different workplace goals. Coworking space has become an extension of the executive suite concept with a different spin. Originally coworking space was intended to serve like kinds of businesses that could work together while still being independent. They have morphed into offices with networking opportunities with other occupants. Here is another article on the idea “WeWork Is Basically Regus With A Paint Job.” WeWork is the largest Cowork provider and Regus the largest Exeutive Suite Provider.

The executive suite / coworking centers are an excellent option for small companies, branches or companies that need flexible lease lengths. Many firms, large and small, choose to operate their business or satellite offices from an executive suite.

Executive suites and coworking spaces are both essentially shared offices with services provided by a management firm. They are a great way for small or growing companies to get off to a fast and low-risk start and a great way for a fast-growing company to have the flexibility for rapid growth. Whether you choose to go with the more conventional executive suite style or the newer coworking trend with depending on the way you want to work.

Generally, executive suites cater to those companies looking for privacy in their workplace; Businesses or individuals who want to be in offices. Coworking space is more suited to those looking to create synergy and network with other companies or individuals located in the space.

They both offer features such as utilities and janitorial, receptionist, secretarial,  personalized telephone answering, mail handling and coffee and food service on-site. There are still a lot more of services that you can avail. They are very much customizable depending on your style, budget and needs.

In an Executive Suite or coworking office, your efforts can be dedicated entirely to your business, while the management company is responsible for typical office management. You will enjoy a professional reception and support personnel without the headaches of hiring, training and employee benefits; state-of-the-art business equipment without purchasing and maintenance problems, and; a staff attentive to both you and your client’s needs.

Executive Suites, along with coworking office space, allows you the added flexibility of short term or long term obligations – both from a planning and a financial statement point of view. Other benefits include:

  • Convenience – A small office near home or the people you do business with every day.
  • Cost – Attractive, professional office accommodations at roughly 30-50% of the
    cost of equipping and staffing conventional office space.
  • Flexibility –  Full or part-time accommodations are generally available (hourly, daily,
    weekly, monthly, annually).
  • No capital investment – There is no need to buy or lease office equipment or furniture. Private offices can be completely furnished as well.
  • Control of operating costs – Offer state-of-the-art business support services which are billed to clients.
  • Higher productivity  – By leaving the operation of your office to a staff of trained professionals, your company personnel can concentrate on managing and marketing your business.
  • Enhanced technology and services – Most Executive Suites / Coworking space provide enhanced Internet technology and first-class concierge handling of business needs.

If you are interested in estimating the cost of an executive suite or coworking space, give our executive suite calculator a try. It will compare your costs at an executive suite type space with that of a conventional office space.

If you are looking for an office, we’d love to help. It is what we do day in and day out. We not only find the right space for your business but also negotiate the deal with you to ensure no mistakes are made and that you get the best deal possible. Contact us for your no obligation meeting.

Can your company benefit from an agile workplace?

Agile WorkplaceEverything is evolving, fast paced and on the go. We are now in a generation that everything has changed, from “how” we work and even physical places “where” we work. One factor that affects staff’s productivity is the workplace. Development in technologies are helping and creating more smarter and more flexible techniques for workspaces. So, you think you might want to change your traditional office into an  agile workplace but have no idea how or where to begin.

First, let’s define Agile workplace, the concept is activity-based working space and making 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.

According to Allwork.space, an online news publication about trends, tips and insights from the flexible workspace industry; agile working makes sure to combine efficient use of the space with collaborative working and the need to recognise concentration and contemplation, through agile working principles, it shows  how to create and allocate space and furniture according to the tasks to be performed rather than status or rank. They also mentioned that there are five main components to an effective agile office:

  1. An open floor plan. This physical openness allows for easy collaboration between employees, increases the amount of natural light to enter the workspace, and is an extremely efficient use of space. However, the cons of an open floor plan include the potential for an extremely loud environment, distractions from deep work, or difficulty with private conversations.
  2. Breakout areas. These are spaces that can be used for many purposes and are intended to foster creativity beyond the confines of a typical conference room. They allow space to eat,  relax, and create areas for employees to have ad-hoc brainstorm sessions. Again, potential negatives could be difficulty with confidential conversations or noise if clear guidelines of use are not put into place from the start. Areas like these could consist of tables, booths, couches, collaborative desks, etc.
  3. Quiet zones. These are also known as hot spots for focused projects, on-demand concentration, or confidential conversations. Quiet zones require careful oversight so that they are respected by all members of the team. These areas should have some kind of boundaries, like cubicle walls.
  4. Touchdown areas. These are spots for overflow workers to utilize, especially if they’re only in the office periodically. They can be used for short tasks, like answering email or knocking out quick assignments. These touchdown areas could consist of bar stools along a counter or a shared couch., Keep in mind that these workstations are not ideal for long periods of sustained work and are not designed for that purpose.
  5. Easy access to resources. Employees should have easy access to essential resources like physical documentation, equipment, supplies, printers, and copiers when needed. However, be cognizant of where these resources are stored; in an agile workspac,e it’s important to eliminate as much noise intrusion as possible. Ideally these won’t be set up too close to work areas.

How will Agile Workplace benefit your business.

Space Utilization.

Big chunks of the business’ money go to the space – spaces that are under occupied. Practicing agile workspaces are resulting to significantly cheaper expenses in terms of fit-out and occupational costs. It can free up space for other work purposes.

Increase in productivity and efficiency.

It providing an activity-based working environment that allows your staff to work from any arrangement they choose and creates combination of focused, collaborative, creative work that leads to more productivity. Your business will have the ability to work when, where and how employees find the most suitable and comfortable. It will also help reduce absenteeism, by enhancing your workplace, you are also improving staff motivation and enjoyment at work, it lessens burn out and boredom at work. It makes them more energized and excited. By giving your staff the freedom to choose and to be flexible with their expertise, tools and specially workplace, it will allow them to make good decisions that lead to improvement of their performances.

Getting and retaining best talents.

Great examples are companies like Google and Unilever, they have the outstanding reputation as employers. They achieved this by inspiring a workplace and how they value their workers, in return they get loyal employees and performers.

Improved Employee Performance.

The foundation of a successful workplace is its well-designed environment. Strategically designed workplace will help your team to be more dynamic through allowing members to choose the best place and time to perform their duties and tasks. It also impacts Employee Engagement. It boosts the flexibility in communication and staff engagement.

It can adhere to your changing workforce.

Whether business expansion or contraction, your business is very well prepared with all of fluctuation because of its flexibility.

How will you transition your traditional office to an agile office?

From the experience of businesses that have successfully performed the transition, we’ve collected some steps that will help you.

Do Your Research.

Research on the Internet net and learn about the types of companies that have make successful transitions. Look for ways where your business is similar and ways in which it is different. Do a study on your office over the period of a week or more and assess the actual occupancy. If you find your company office space has 20% or more vacant on average, then this may be a good alternative for you. The higher the normal vacancy rate, the better suited to office hoteling. If you find you run 50% or more vacancy, it only makes good sense to implement office hoteling.

Identify Employees Not Suited to Office Hoteling

Look at your skill mix. Few companies have 100% of their employees away from their traditional workspace the majority of the time. Your receptionist, office manager, some executives and management are in the office on a 90% or greater basis. The traditional office is where they perform their jobs. Those workers should be included in the office hoteling plan as permanent on-site and should remain with their traditional assigned workspace. Choose employees available for agile working is the key to making work more efficient for the hoteling workers once the transition is made.

Determine the Maximum Employee Density on an Average Day

Having looked at average occupancy vacancy rates previously, you should be able to translate that study into a highest average occupancy rate. The lower the occupancy, the more money you can save, but you need to be careful to provide enough hoteling workspaces. If not, you could find unhappy employees standing around waiting for workspaces. It is far better to set up an extra workspace or two to be on the safe side. Office hoteling workspaces don’t have to be large or take up a lot of square footage. Better too many than too few.
Choose an Easy to Use Office Hoteling Reservation Software

When employees choose to come in to utilize a workspace or conference, they will need to log into a control system; the office space hoteling reservation system. By entering a unique identifier, they can pick any available workspace to use for their time in office. They can reserve a meeting room if a client gathering is their purpose, even reserving those spaces several days before the meeting. When the employee has finished using the space they reserved, they simply log out of the office hoteling reservation system, or in the case of a meeting room, might close out their meeting room use and select a workspace to make calls or type up minutes of the meeting. A good office hoteling reservation system will even know which workspace they are using and allow the receptionist to route their calls to where they are at work. Here are the different types of tools that are very helpful to achieve an agile workspace.

•    Room booking tools: Bookings can be done in a common system or terminal or through an internet portal. It automates the task of booking meeting rooms, displaying the status of rooms at all times.
•    Desk booking tools:  same with room booking tool, automation can also be applied to the task of assigning shared desk resources. Staff can book a desk remotely and can secure a space when they arrive. Usually, digital displays on desks can also automatically indicate its availability.
•    Digital Sinage: there are installed digital signages in the office that assists employees working from different offices and locations find their way to departments, meeting rooms and other facilities. The signs can be changed easily when needed.
•    Occupancy sensors: providing a real-time data on spare capacity levels, it can also help the monitor activity level and can help capacity planning.

The most commonly used software being used by larger organizations is the Microsoft Outlook. Internal IT Team can help to set up by adding rooms as “resources” in outlook calendar. It’s very user-friendly, in your own calendar, you can easily check if a room or a workstation is in use, blocked or available.

There is Help

Office Hoteling is not a new field and there is help available. There are consultants who specialize in this field and can help you with the transition. it is not necessarily inexpensive to implement an office hoteling system, but it results in savings on average of 30% – 40% of your office rental costs. It is well worth the effort.

IF you need help finding office space where you can create and agile workplace, we are here to help.