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

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.

Creating A Great Workplace For A Multigenerational Workforce

Helpful tips for a great workplaceToday’s office workplace is rapidly changing. Work is becoming more of what we do and less of where we are. What can you do to create a great workplace for your company? Here are several ideas that can help you.

First off, one of the tools being used in this change is that of office hoteling. It is where those who do not need a full time desk space simply login and reserve a space when needed, resulting in savings of up to 40% in real office space costs.

As the office space workplace goes more and more mobile, with employees working wherever is convenient, it becomes necessary to recruit and retain the most motivated employees. If workers are not self-motivated, the system can easily be abused. Today’s younger workforce, however, is used to and prefers the idea of being mobile. When pay is tied to performance, they can and will perform for your business and be happier while do it. They are also more focused on the work-life balance where this type of Officing strategy fits in well.

Once great part of the changing workplace is that, depending on the type of business you operate, hours can be flexible to accommodate the life-work balance necessary to keep the best employees happy. Many areas of business, for example office space, often lend themselves to hours outside the traditional 9-5 pattern. The flexible worker can maintain balance by planning errands such as auto service or simply relaxing over a long breakfast by simply notifying their employer that their day will have altered hours. That two hours spent in the evening doing revenue-generating work can be taken off during the day instead of being considered overtime.

Employees today move from job to job rapidly, each time moving up in salary and position. In order to keep the very best on your staff, you must be flexible with them as well as expecting them to be flexible with your needs. The increased work-life balance priority is related to shifts in workplace priorities since many workers will spend as much as 95% of their time away from the traditional office space.

Values sought by today’s worker in terms of work-life balance include respect and trust from the employer. Family concerns being respected by the boss is critical. They want some hours they can telework from home when needed or when desired and more control over their work schedule. Unless a company is willing to institute flexible work policies and programs, the brightest and best will move on to a company that better understands their wants and needs.

Assess what flexibility makes sense for your organization. Would an office hoteling reservation system allow you to reduce real estate footprint and help workers feel more empowered? Would accommodating telework from home when a child is sick or another emergency fit into your business? What other flexible options could you institute to keep your best employees happy and offer them a balance between family and life needs and employment requirements?

A properly planned office hoteling reservation system can save money and increase productivity. Contact us so we can get you started finding out how Office Hoteling might work for your company.

How Work Space Evolution Enhances Employee Performance

No matter what market your business serves, you know that profits are earned because of good, talented, employees working hard. Without these valued employees you would not have a thriving enterprise. And the better the team members perform the more your business will thrive.

So much of business performance today is knowledge-based work. People who have that knowledge and creativity are sought after by many companies and today’s workforce feel comfortable changing jobs several times in their career. This is so unlike our parents and grandparents where a person secured a job and stuck with that employer until they earned the gold watch at retirement.

Clearly, this means that those companies that are able to keep the talented knowledge employees happy will retain the talent longer than companies where employees do not feel valued, love their work and their work environments. When an organization can evolve to provide their team with practical options regarding where and sometimes even when work is performed, employees can choose work styles that best fit their personal needs.

One employee may work best in complete silence with no hustle and bustle around. That person may prefer to work from home, if the home office is quiet, several days per week and especially when performing more tedious tasks, coming into the office only as needed. This type of employee must be a self-starter who works well with little direction.

Another employee may thrive on the networking and sense of competition that the traditional office provides and prefer to come to the main office most days. These tend to be people who require a little more direction. While this employee will likely readily accept and implement technological advancements, they may be a bit hesitant when first making changes in processes to improve them.

Yet another type of employee may work best while on the move, working in third spaces such as cafes and internet hotspots while between meetings with clients. This type of working tends to be a real self-starter who has a strong dislike for the hassles of involved with reporting to a traditional office just for the sake of being seen. It is likely that this person will fully utilize each new technological development that makes their work faster and easier and embrace positive changes. This work style may involve some days spent at the office, some days where a few necessary minutes are spent at the office, and other days where all the day is spent working with clients or spots near the next client’s office.

An employer who can accommodate each of these types of employee will find it easier to retain talent and a high degree of production. When employees find they can work in whatever style suits them best for each specific goal or task, they are happier and feel empowered. Happy, empowered employees product more and stay with your company longer.

Six Factors That Can Help Turn Your Office Space Into a Great Workplace

Everyone wants a workplace that is wonderful but why is one workplace great while another is lacking? Is it the leased office space that makes a particular firm productive and profitable? Could it be the specific office furniture or location? None of these things alone make any workplace truly great.

A great workplace is not about the brand of computers, the prestige of the building’s address. Here are six factors that can work together to allow business owners to create an organization that excites employees, resulting in the reputation of being a great workplace.

  1. Replace Policies with Company Mission: Hiring, motivating and retaining top notch employees if not about policies; those are simply rules. Create a company mission and vision that the team believes in and supports. With passion for a mission based on the CEO’s vision, rather than a bunch of policy statements, cultivates a real team capable of leaping forward with ideas and innovations as well as loyalty and hard work.
  2. Nurture Collaboration: Never stifle team members’ desires to work together, carrying ideas from one area of the business into others. Create a workplace where each group or department is allowed to freely convey ideas to other organizational groups. The pay-off in productivity, amazing leaps forward and trained staff retention is incredible.
  3. Cultivate Agile Workspaces: Today’s office space is not the traditional cubicle or corner office. An office hoteling software application allows easy utilization of much smaller workspaces and allows each member of an organization to work in the style that is best for them. Technology allows the telecommuting or third place team members to only be physically in-office as needed. Work areas that provide desks or standing work counters allow team members to avoid the strain of sitting at a computer immobile for hours at a time. Staying in close contact does not have to mean being in the same conference room any longer. The office space of today is any area where business can conveniently and productively be conducted.
  4. Replace Ownership with Membership: Everyone employee is accountable to their customers and managers but in the past processes were “owned” by an employee, generating office stress and politics as power plays were often used to try to win the ownership role. Instead, remove the territorial nature of office spaces and encourage the concept of being privileged to be a member of a team or teams that create revenue and find ways for the company to save money. It becomes everyone’s process and fosters a sense of belonging and identity in the work environment.
  5. Create a Quality Experience for Employees: It is little surprise that employee retention is low in those workspaces that are dull and uninspiring. Create an office space that team members what to enter into and do work. Strive for a vibrant, magnetic space that draws people in during their in-office work time. This engages employees and they will look forward to the connected, exhilarated feeling obtained when they need to hotel an office space for an hour or a day.
  6. Stay on the Cutting Edge: Today’s fast paced, constantly changing economy allows those companies built on flexible office spaces with strong company values and loyalty to survive when others around them fall. As work methods, technological capabilities and mobile computing power speed along, use best practices to stay on the cutting edge. Remember that it’s the people who create value in a knowledge based company; an office is just a space that houses technology where people can come perform productive tasks.

These are some of the keys that can turn your office space into a great workplace for your employees, making them happier and more productive at the same time.

Four Generation Workplaces:
Why Different Management Styles are Necessary

For the first time in history, managers are faced with the requirements to effectively manage four different generations in the workplace. The future will likely continue to contain four generations even as those generations move along the timeline of life and business.

What Generations are Working Today?

According to the Age and Sex Composition, the generational breakdown of employees and managers today fall into these categories:

  1. Veterans born prior to 1946: This group makes up 2 percent of the workforce at the time of the census data collection and reporting in 2017.
  2. Baby Boomers born in the post-World War II years: This group is defined in the reports as those being born between 1946 and 1964 and make up 25  percent of the workforce.
  3. Generation X members, aka Gen Xers: are considered to be the segment born between 1965 and 1980 and make up 33 percent of the total workforce today and
  4. Millennial or Generation Y is the workforce members born after 1981 through present and total 40 percent of the total.

As time passes and the older generation disappear an additional, a younger generation will come of age so business will find it necessary to remain in touch with the remaining worker generations and develop ways to effectively work with the newer generations. Each generation has its own work style and lifestyle.  Managers need to understand what they need to do to encourage employee productivity. In the future and right now it is critical to learn to deal with the workers currently in the business world. This is crucial to producing profit and growth in any form of business.

Managing The High Maintenance Generation Y (Millennials)

The youngest group of employees in the workplace today is comprised of those born after 1981 and generally considered to be from before 2005s. This group is known as Generation Y or Millennials and they make up 40  percent of the total workforce according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The American Society of Training and Development reported that during the next 20 years, 76 million workers will retire while only 46 million workers will enter the workforce to replace them. Most of these 46 million workers will be Millennial generation workers. Just as the three older generations in today’s workforce, Gen Y workers have unique desires and needs that they expect from their manager and the business for which they work.

Generation Y employees will be crucial to business enterprises. They will certainly change the way business is conducted in many ways. But, in currently and in the immediate future these employees offer great challenges to management to ensure these workers integrate with the existing workforce with as little conflict as possible.

Among the positive traits brought to the workforce, one of the major benefits that Millennials bring t the workplace is their high degree of technological skills. These employees were practically born with a computer in front of them and are intrigues by each and every development in the work of Information Technology.

Millennials grew up with digital global communication capability at their fingertips. Information of all kinds is expected to be immediatly available on demand. They understand using virtual teams to solve problems and are extremely team oriented.

Millennials view the business work as a global workplace, viewing the entire world as potential sources of information, clients, and community. Millennials seek fast-track career positions, frequent positive feedback, the latest technology and challenging training opportunities. Their outspokenness brings them to challenge long outdated work policies and conventions, offering businesses to perform a check on the hypocrisies and shortcomings of today’s workplace. Ultimately, Gen Yers may well drive change for the better.

Much has been said and published about the negative points of Millennials. They tend to have a sense of entitlement and are outspoken. This group of workers does not take constructive criticism well and require more direction and feedback from superiors than previous generations. Fortune magazine stated in its May 28, 2007 edition that this group are “the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history because its members are entering the workplace with more information, greater technological skill and higher expectations of themselves and others than prior generations.”  Additionally, Time’s July 16, 2007 edition stated that members of Generation Y want the kind of life balance where every minute has meaning; they don’t want to be slaves to their jobs as they feel their Baby Boomer parents were and often still are. Millennials also want employers to be socially responsible causes and allow for volunteer commitments through the use of flex-time or compensation time. Flexibility in work hours is important to this group of workers.

Yes, this generation requires a great deal of management, but it is well worth the effort to recruit them into your business They are smart and have the drive and creative thinking to make a real different in the business world and in a company’s profitability.

It is clear that recruiting Generation Y members and adjusting to their wants and needs will prepare industry for the entry of the next generation, people that are expected to be even more technology oriented. While this generation does not even yet have a “name”, it won’t be long before they begin entering the workforce and seeking employment in your company.

By understanding the four major groups into today’s workforce and providing for each group’s needs, effective employees can find their jobs satisfying and are more likely to remain with your business. Each group brings many positive aspects, all of which can be used effectively to gain greater efficiency and streamline operations to ensure profitability.

Managing the Baby Boomer Generation

Baby Boomers are those born in the post World War II years, from 1946 through 1964. This group makes up 25 percent of the current workforce per the Age and Sex Composition. These workers bring unique work styles into the work environment and require different management styles on the part of superiors. Currently they hold the majority of leadership positions in the workplace.

Like the veterans born before 1946, this group did not group up with technology as part of their childhood. Even during most of their higher education, computers were huge things that read punched cards or difficult to program units that could do less than our phones do today. Baby Boomers are, however, excited by technology and find adapting easier than the older generation. Most Boomers reach out for training to incorporate the newest techniques into their skills.

Baby Boomers value respect for their long service, skills, knowledge and managers will find recognition for Boomer’s wisdom is a key to successful integration of these workers and managers into the profitable organization. Managers of Boomers should honor the history and memories brought into the work environment because past experiences can bring understanding to current situations, providing positive outcomes. When policies are placed in a historical perspective, employees can often understand and accept more easily.

Baby Boomers find recognition extremely important. Whether recognized personally or publically, motivate Boomers through recognizing their accomplishment and clearly expecting superior outcomes from their efforts will help ensure happy Boomers. Embrace their best ideas and implement those into processes and methods.

Boomers tend to have conflict between their desire to compete on an individual basis and their desire to be part of a team. Encourage these workers to focus on the team in the short-term as an effective means to bring personal recognition and success for themselves in the long term.

Boomers also find conflict with the generation born before 1946 because the older generation tends to feel entitlement to perks on the job. Boomers often have the false feeling that those employees have not paid the dues they have to gain their positions. They also tend to find conflict with the younger generations coming into the workplace with high levels of technical expertise and feel they are unfairly competing with this generation that they view as “coddled”. By placing Boomers in mentoring positions, managers can often mitigate these negative feelings and generate feelings of teamwork and workplace “families”.

Managing the Veteran Generation

There are two groups in the workforce today who were born before 1946. Veterans of the Second World War make up about 2% of the employees, including managers, comprising the current workforce. This workforce group, sometimes called the Silent Generation, Greatest Generation, or Paper Agers, requires special management considerations.

The workers in this group were largely not exposed to technology and computers until these methods became a necessary part of the employment. Often they feel that due to their impending retirement they should not be required to move into the computer age. Because the work methods used early in their career were low-tech yet workable, they want to continue to use printed paper trails and other more familiar methods that they are comfortable with. Yet, the work environment has moved into high-tech and these workers are forced to adapt. Technology is the major hurdle for the generation of workers born prior to 1946. This can cause conflict between the Silent Generation and those born into the age where technology was part of their lives from childhood onward.

Paper Agers often feel that any information not presented in hard copy has little meaning. They find it difficult to conform to the paperless workplace. Their strong work ethics and “get it done” attitudes can add strength to teams and tasks assigned to be worked alone. This group of workers has no room for failure and drive toward success. They strive to please superiors in all their efforts and they do fine ways to adjust to technology when presented with training opportunities.

Often, veterans born prior 1946 find themselves in management positions because they are long-term employees and tend to be upwardly mobile in the organization chart. Their structured backgrounds lead them to have strong respect for hierarchy.  They build strong relationships based on loyalty, structure and time. They work well in management positions because they have been long exposed to experiences where information was provided on a “need to know” basis. This makes them able to keep information to themselves where necessary and provide information to the right parties when necessary. Their frugal natures make them capable of adhering to both budget and schedule.

It can be very difficult at times for younger managers to relate to the workers from this era. Frustration arises when the high-tech manager has to deal with their lack of native technical expertise, but they can excel in technical positions when provided necessary training. The younger manager may have grown up with high-tech and resents the cost and time required to train these workers in technology. Yet, the long-term work experience and lessons learned gained from these workers can lead to creative ideas that generate greater profit for the organization. Therefore, younger managers should be trained to value these workers and utilize their skills while providing growth opportunities through technical training.

Final Words

As you can see, there are many factors involved in creating a great workplace. Hopefully we have given you some ideas you can work with to enhance your business.

If you are looking for the right office space to create your great workplace, we’d love to help. It is what we do on a daily basis through out the US and Canada. Give us a try. No cost and no obligation. Let us know what you are looking for and we will get right on it.

What You Need to Know in Hiring Virtual Assistants

virtual assistantsAs a business owner, your prime objective is to make money. As the old adage goes, time is money, especially in business. Did you know that by attempting to perform every task related to the operation of your business yourself, it may be costing you up to 40% in lost revenue?

According to statistics by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the average small business owner spends up to 40% of his or her time on routine administrative tasks. Also, business experts say, approximately 80% of your time should be focused exclusively on performing activities that create the most value and profits. The more time you can spend planning, strategizing, marketing, networking, and creating and delivering your revenue-producing products or services, the greater your business will grow and profit.

The demand for services from Virtual Assistants has seen a steady increase in recent years as business owners seek ways to run and grow their businesses using support services that are flexible and cost effective. Virtual Assistants can offer many benefits, but it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate those that are reputable from those that have set up to make easy money without the relevant experience, skills, or systems to do the job effectively.

In this article, you will learn about all the things you need in hiring virtual assistants:

  • What is a “Virtual Assistant” and what they can do and scopes of jobs they can deliver.
  • Legit platforms where you can hire virtual assistants
  • Screening the right VA for you.
  • Salaries and Fees

What is a Virtual Assistant?

According to Wikipedia, A virtual assistant or VA is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Virtual assistants are in demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses that need support but don’t require or want to have their staff physically present in their work locations or offices.

What can they offer?

You might be wondering, what can a VA offer if they are miles away from you or from your business. With the technology that we have right now, nothing is impossible to get things done (except shred the paper).  Virtual Assistants works are not limited to administrative or clerical work, or as your Executive Assistant doing your admirative project from scheduling meetings, taking calls. There are a lot of VAs provide marketing, web design and IT support, social media management, project management and can even provide Customer Service or support for your customers via phones or email.  There are VAs too that can help you to manage finances, help you with Taxes, accounting or bookkeeping.

However, take note that just like the other normal employees in an office based set up, VAs has specific skill sets too. For example, a marketing or PR virtual assistant only does marketing or PR work, same goes with web developer and other fields. Other Virtual Assistants do a variety of duties but within a specific industry. On the other hand, there are Virtual Assistants that are flexible and can perform general administrative tasks to make your life easier, delegate tasks so to free up your time that will allow you to focus on the work that will make money.

How and where do we get a good one

First, you need to know what the tasks are you want to outsource.

The first step in hiring a virtual assistant is to make a list of the tasks you want to outsource. Make a complete list, prioritizing the activities you want to delegate first.  For example, if managing email takes up too much of time and tedious, put it at the top of your list. Or, maybe assisting your customers with their concerns is also important for your business, hiring an experienced customer service representative will be really a great help for you. You are spending too much time for your technical issues, search for someone who is an expert in IT or website management.

Next step is to determine who to hire. There are many ways to hire a Virtual Assistant. You can connect with an agency or a company that hires and trains and profiles them according to your requirements.  Going through an agency will save up time in sourcing, interviewing and screening your VA, agencies will also cover the works for the compensation for the VA. However, getting a VA via agencies might a little expensive than going through a freelance service.

Here are some of the top platforms in hiring freelance Virtual Assistants:

  1. Upwork

One of the largest marketplaces for projects. You can see all expertise, projects and you can see freelancers related to it. It has now 12 M registered freelancers and 5M registered clients. Can offer shorter/longer-term projects, from entry up to expert level.  Upwork has a tool to monitor the work and time spent by your VA then you will pay your VA through them.

  1. Onlinejobs.ph

One of the largest job board in the Philippines, with more than 250,000 members. Onlinejobs.ph is a subscription-based pricing model, where you will be subject for a fee to be able to contact the workers. You can do all the filtering and searching you want, but you can’t communicate with the workers until you pay. Here, you can arrange payment directly with your VA .

  1. PeoplePerHour

It offers all-around freelancers and outsourcing marketplace with a wide range of categories like Web Design, Video, Audio, Web Development, Sales & Marketing, Support, Writing, Translation, Social media, Software Development, Mobile Development.

  1. Guru

Another marketplace for finding VAs, they have a simple hiring process. Marketplace is smaller than the mentioned platforms though making it less competitive.

  1.  Freelancer.com

This could be possibly second best to Upwork.  According to their homepage, they have millions of businesses use them.

Rates and Fees

Virtual Assistants’ rates varies from $5 USD to $25 USD plus per hour. There are also factors that decide rates of freelance virtual assistant.

First is the location, hiring VA based is significantly higher than other part of the region.

Secondly is the experience, experienced VAs frequently charges more money than the beginner ones. That is why it is really important that you identify what task that you are going to offload, weather is a simple task that can be done by a fresh graduate or complicated one that needs someone who has an experience.

Another factor is the type of service or technical expertise, Virtual assistants with technical expertise in any software or application, such as programming, digital marketing are relatively charging hugely.

Use these as a guide when you are evaluating a Virtual Assistant. Determine if the rates are worth, probe they length of their experiences, seek testimonials from previous clients, or proof of their good work from past projects. Do you need who complete pro or maybe newbie that can perform the simple tasks. On a brighter side, you can always negotiate with reasonable rate, of course. Always ask nicely, they are doing these jobs for a living, so it is always within their right to say no. Come up with an arrangement that will work for both sides. If this doesn’t work and not a good fit, move on and jump to the next applicant.

To sum up, here are the Pros and Cons of having a Virtual Assistant.

PROS:

  • Makes your life easier. How great it is to know that you always have a helping hand.
  • Saves time (resulting to a healthy work-life balance)
  • Decreases stress level, beating deadlines or dealing with hard customers, pass it on!
  • Saves Money, significantly more cost efficient than hiring an in-house assistant.
  • Provides flexibility, VAs have flexible working hours, you can also work on a contract month-by-month basis, replace someone who’s not performing in just little amount of time.
  • Makes you focus on developing your business. You will have more time to plan and strategize sales (more profits) while your precious VA is continuing the day to day administrative operation.
  • Bonuses/rewards are flexible. Since you are not mandated by the government and VAs are independent contractors.

 CONS:

  • Language barrier. Since you hire someone from different region, there will always be cultural differences. Always us simple English.
  • Work monitoring is difficult. You can’t watch your assistant’s screen and monitor how they actually work.
  • Trust and Confidentiality. VAs will be exposed with you and your client’s information. Observe and know your VAs very well before exposing them to confidential information.
  • Connectivity can be an issue. Internet/Technical issues are beyond our control. It can cause big problem in case there are urgent tasks. Ask your VAs to have a backup connection or plan and always communicate in times like this.
  • Unable to meet face-to-face. Tech tools such as Skype or Facetime are available, but meetings and conversations are always better face-to-face….. also… you cannot treat your assistant for lunch.

So, maybe youare wondering why a company who helps business get into office space would be promoting remote workers. The reason is we want to see business thrive and if it means you take a few square feet less, so be it. Even if you use a virtual assistant or two, you will still need some office space for your local staff. That is where we come in. Our local reps are pros at helping make sure you get the right office space for your business. There is no cost to their services. The landlord pays them to represent you. We do a lot more than just find offices that could work for you. We make sure you get the right space at the best possible price. Give us a try.

Do You Have a Great Workplace for Employees?

How good is your workplace?Everyone wants a workplace that is wonderful but why is one workplace great while another is lacking? Is it the leased office space that makes a particular firm productive and profitable? Could it be the specific office furniture or location? None of these things alone make any workplace truly great.

A great workplace is not about the brand of computers, the prestige of the building’s address. Here are six attributes that can work together to allow business owners to create an organization that excites employees, resulting in the reputation of being a great workplace.

6 Attributes of a Great Workplace

  1. Replace Policies with Company Mission: Hiring, motivating and retaining top notch employees if not about policies; those are simply rules. Create a company mission and vision that the team believes in and supports. With passion for a mission based on the CEO’s vision, rather than a bunch of policy statements, cultivates a real team capable of leaping forward with ideas and innovations as well as loyalty and hard work.
  2. Nurture Collaboration: Never stifle team members’ desires to work together, carrying ideas from one area of the business into others. Create a workplace where each group or department is allowed to freely convey ideas to other organizational groups. The pay-off in productivity, amazing leaps forward and trained staff retention is incredible.
  3. Cultivate an Agile Workplace: Today’s office space is not the traditional cubicle or corner office. An office hoteling software application allows easy utilization of much smaller workspaces and allows each member of an organization to work in the style that is best for them. Technology allows the telecommuting or third place team members to only be physically in-office as needed. Work areas that provide desks or standing work counters allow team members to avoid the strain of sitting at a computer immobile for hours at a time. Staying in close contact does not have to mean being in the same conference room any longer. The office space of today is any area where business can conveniently and productively be conducted.
  4. Replace Ownership with Membership: Everyone employee is accountable to their customers and managers but in the past processes were “owned” by an employee, generating office stress and politics as power plays were often used to try to win the ownership role. Instead, remove the territorial nature of office spaces and encourage the concept of being privileged to be a member of a team or teams that create revenue and find ways for the company to save money. It becomes everyone’s process and fosters a sense of belonging and identity in the work environment.
  5. Create a Quality Experience for Employees: It is little surprise that employee retention is low in those workplaces that are dull and uninspiring. Create an office space that team members what to enter into and do work. Strive for a vibrant, magnetic space that draws people in during their in-office work time. This engages employees and they will look forward to the connected, exhilarated feeling obtained when they need to hotel an office space for an hour or a day.
  6. Stay on the Cutting Edge: Today’s fast paced, constantly changing economy allows those companies built on flexible office spaces with strong company values and loyalty to survive,  while others around them fail. As work methods, technological capabilities and mobile computing power speed along, use best practices to stay on the cutting edge. Remember that it’s the people who create value in a knowledge based company; an office is just a space that houses technology where people can come perform productive tasks. .

These are some of the attributes that will help turn your office space into a great workplace for your employees; making them both happier and more productive at the same time.

Furthermore, INC.com reviewed the best in office amenities and policies that were covered in Inc. and on Inc.com.

Here are 10 Tips for Making Employees Love Their Workplace:

  1.        Stay Organized
  2.        Make it Comfortable
  3.        Give Everyone a Say
  4.        Consider Openness
  5.        Make the Workplace a Community
  6.        Focus on Utility
  7.        Make the Office Optional
  8.        Make Education a Priority
  9.        Consider Mixing Uses in a Great Space
  10.        Add Some Perks

Some interesting opinions that we found in Workplace Experience Group on LinkedIn.

One of the keys to a productive workforce is happy employees and a positive workplace not only helps productivity, but also reduces the number of employees leaving.

“Organizations of all types, large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit, from across the U.S. and Canada, are implementing programs and policies that foster employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance.”

http://www.phwa.org/ – American Psychological Association – Psychologically Healthy Workplaces

“We have been listening to employees and evaluating employers since 1980 in order to understand what makes a workplace great. We know that the foundation of every great workplace is trust between employees and management. Our employee survey, culture assessment tools, research, and advisory services have made us leaders in helping organizations build high-trust workplaces. “

http://www.greatplacetowork.com/ – Great Place To Work Institute

If you need help finding a great workplace for your business, we’d be happy to help. Let us know what you are looking for and we will get right to work. There is no cost to you for our services. It is FREE.

Going Green: Key Features of an Eco-Friendly Office Space

Target a green eco-frienldy office spaceWhether currently searching for new office space or seeking climate-friendly renovations for your current property, “green”  eco-friendly office space provides innovative solutions for greater productivity and employee well-being.  Although many companies and representatives may give the impression of being “earth-friendly” not every building automatically fits the strict parameters for a “green” office. Unlike traditional offices, “green” offices take full responsibility for their waste and environmental effect. These office also actively seek to minimize their carbon “footprint.”  As you seek a healthier, eco-smart workplace, consider these key features in green offices.

LEED-Certification 

For an office to be truly “green,” it must carry strict certifications from organizations such as The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  This independent organization carefully grades buildings based on their infrastructure, resource efficiency, pollution output, and overall employee health.  Investing in an LEED-certified building provides a safe, sustainable environment to maximize workplace efficiency.

“Living” Infrastructure

Green offices are built with far more than simple wood and metal.  Sustainable offices recognize the value or bringing the “outdoors” inside with innovative features such as “living walls” and indoor gardens. Office plants and greenery provide natural air filtration, boosting employee health and well-being while also creating a more restful, natural atmosphere.

Rejuvenating Work Space

Green offices often stray from the traditional office “cubby”design.  Employees in green offices enjoy open office space with minimal segregation and walls.  These open offices allow greater use of natural light and air filtration without necessary walls and cramped work spaces.  Green offices such as  The American Society of Interior Designers employ “human-centric” floor plans that improve natural employee collaboration, creativity, and workplace moral.

Ecodistrict

Although green office space can be created nearly anywhere, these healthier, earth-friendly havens are often found in “ecodistricts,” designated areas that actively push sustainable energy and “green” principles.  Many cities, particularly in Washington, Colorado, and California are passionately supporting the creation of more ecodistricts with greater emphasis on clean public transportation and electric energy use. If looking for new office space, start your search in a clean, ecodistrict first.

Although creating a completely “green” office may appear challenging, creating a climate-friendly work space begins with small but meaningful changes anyone can make. Going green begins with managing your office’s power, water, and carbon output.

For information on finding a new, eco-friendly office space opportunity, please contact us today.

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

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

Consider Chair Alternatives

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

Find a Posture Coach

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

Dynamic and Anti-Fatigue Standing

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

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

Your Business Profits: Investing In Markets Vs. Back Into Your Business

Medical office space costsBusiness is never in black and white. There are endless different ways to make your annual profits; however a very contemporary debate within the world of business concerns whether it’s more profitable to invest in emerging and current stock markets, or whether you should consider investing some of what you earn back into your business. With a front to back investment management platform available on the market, you’re able to properly analyse your profit efforts, but which technique should you opt for?

Investing Business Profits In Markets

More Chances To Grow Your Money

While stock markets are renowned for their volatility, there’s no denying the growth potential when investing in upcoming markets. Usually, the stock market tends to rise in value over time, so you’re almost guaranteed an increase in profit if you invest wisely. Having said that, the prices of singular stocks are even more volatile, and can appreciate one day and depreciate the next, so investing in markets can be quite a high risk for all businesses. It is possible to stay safe when investing in markets, as some are undeniably more stable than others, so there is a high potential to build your wealth when making this decision.

Dividend Income

Furthermore, there are some stocks on the market that provide income in the form of a dividend, although it’s worth noting that this doesn’t apply for all markets. Essentially, this means that the payments will arrive and make you a profit even if the stock has decreased in value. Particularly for individuals looking to fund a retirement or budget for further investments in the future, dividend income can be highly useful.

Investing Back Into Your Business

Guarantees Business Growth

As we’ve already explored, you can grow your profits via market investments regarding that you make the correct choice, however reinvesting in your business provides you with opportunities to grow your company as a whole. Failure to reinvest money into your business will limit the amount of growth that you’re able to experience. Naturally, one of your main business goals will be to slowly increase the amount of money that you’re earning each year; however, you’ll find this figure staying stationary if you fail to invest back into your business. Due to the ample opportunities that come with reinvesting into your business, it’s something that you’ll want to enforce from day one.

Opens Room For Further Support

Particularly for small start-up businesses, it can be a challenge to accomplish every single one of your business goals on your own or with a limited team. In order to improve the professionalism and efficiency of your business, you’ll want to hire a range of different job roles, with freelancers and contractors just being the beginning until you’re able to hire more full-time staff. Initially, this can be a scary investment to make for your business as you’re losing a considerable amount of revenue, but regarding that you’re wise with your investments, it should inevitably lead you to success.

To summarise, we’d recommend investing back into your business before you take the leap into investing in stock markets. While this can provide you with much larger profits, the volatility of stock markets pose as a larger risk than benefit, whereas reinvesting in your business is a stable way to ensure that you slowly increase your ROI value over time.

As you grow and reinvest in your business, we can help with your office space needs. Contact us today if you are in need of office space.

How to Help Your Team Comfortably Transition to Standing Desks (Part 1)

Transition to Standing Desks

Transition to Standing Desks

Good employers have always done their best to promote health and well-being in their workers and not just because a healthy worker is energetic, has a better attitude, and needs to take less time off. Many companies are genuinely dedicated to being part of ‘the solution’ rather than ‘the problem’ and in light of recent studies, there’s no denying that sitting all day at work has become a major health problem. Companies have tried in-office gyms or gym membership vouchers, inviting landscaping with jogging paths, catering healthy lunches, and hosting employee sporting events. However, with heart disease, cancer, and waistlines still on the rise, it’s no wonder businesses are trying something new.

Standing Desks: Solution to Employee Health?

Standing desks address the age-old problem of leading a horse to water. You can make company gyms available and implement reward programs for using them, but you can’t actually force a steadily less healthy workforce to actually use the workout machines. Implementing standing desks, on the other hand, gets everyone up, on their feet, and their blood moving at a quick, healthy rate all within the usual work hours. In many ways, implementing a standing desk policy in your office can help to reverse some of the damage caused to your employees by years of sitting still and working for hours. While you may meet some resistance from your team about the change, the key to a successful standing desk transition is to do it gradually with the right posture, timing, and equipment.

Introduce Standing Desks Over Time

It’s important to understand when switching to a standing desk office that standing for long periods of time requires a number of posture and stability muscles that most people haven’t worked on, especially if eight hours of their day or more are spent sitting and working. This means that a full 100% transition is likely to see a lot of hurting feet, legs, and lower backs, not to mention the drop in productivity as fatigue sets in. Instead, it’s best to introduce standing slowly over time, adding an hour or two of standing per day each week with the help of soft fatigue mats for adapting feet.

This means that you don’t want single-height standing desks. While you can work with two desks at separate heights, the best solution is an easily height-adjustable standing desk that can transition depending on whether your employees need to be standing or sitting. This also allows you to make personalized adjustments to achieve the optimal standing desk height for each employee’s personal size.

Standing desks are one of the best things that has ever happened to office and employee health but introducing them to the team is only the beginning. Join us next time for the second half of this two-part series where we’ll talk about chair alternatives, posture, and new ways to think about standing.

If you are looking for office space, contact us today!