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

7 Keys to Creating a Hybrid Work Schedule

Agile Workplace StudyA hybrid work schedule is a work schedule that combines elements of a compressed workweek, remote work and flextime. Typically, in a compressed workweek employees will have some long days where they come to the office for a set number of hours and then leave early on other days to make up the difference and then work remotely other times.   The combination of these methods can increase productivity and morale, reduce employees’ work-related stress, and decrease absenteeism. It is also known as an agile workplace.

However, implementing a hybrid schedule is not an easy task. It will take careful planning to make the transition as smooth as possible for both managers and employees. This article provides 7 tips on how to successfully implement a hybrid work schedule.

1. Communicate

It is essential to go over the new policy with all employees before it goes into effect. This way they can ask any questions and voice their concerns. To ease employees’ worries about how this will impact their schedules or other aspects of their jobs discuss hypothetical examples that explain how the schedule will work and share success stories of other companies that have successfully implemented a hybrid work schedule in their workplace. This way employees will understand exactly how this change will affect them and they can feel confident that their concerns have been addressed.

2. Identify scheduling and moral issues

A survey should be distributed to employees asking them about their concerns and ideas for the new policy. If possible, it would also help to gather feedback from managers as well. Look at how employees currently spend their time and identify any scheduling issues that may arise. For example, employees may be worried about how they will get projects done if they are expected to work 50 hours in four days instead of 40 hours over five days. Morale also needs to be considered. Employees who feel like their work schedule has become more flexible and fair are going to have a greater commitment to the company.

3. Create a detailed proposal

Once you have gathered all of this feedback, it’s time to create an official proposal with details on how the new policy will be implemented. Articulate precisely what the compressed workweek portion of the policy entails and present any rules that apply to employees who choose to take advantage of flextime. Also, be specific about which jobs qualify for the compressed workweek or remote working and how much time employees have to take advantage of it.

4. Include management training

If managers are expected to complete their regular duties during the hours when most employees are at home there needs to be proper training in place so they can manage these responsibilities effectively. Managers will also need to be properly trained in the concept of a flexible workplace if they are expected to supervise employees whose schedules differ significantly from their own. Also,  if employees are working different hours from their managers they may have trouble communicating or sharing information. Proper training in collaboration and communication will help integrate these teams into a productive, well-oiled machine.

5. Provide support for shift workers

If shift workers are included in the new policy they should have two weeks to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not they want to participate. Since there may be scheduling conflicts with their outside commitments, this period will allow them to work it out and give them ample opportunity to voice their concerns and suggestions. Allowing some lead time before launch will also help management identify potential problems that may require more thought before the policy goes into effect.

6. Launch gradually

Although it may seem like implementing a new policy overnight will prevent further complications, launching the policy too quickly will only cause issues that can potentially delay or derail the change. Before choosing this route, consider how much time you need to launch properly and present this method as an alternative to your employees. If they are concerned about lack of preparation, ask them to help you brainstorm ways the change can be successfully implemented. The more input your employees have the better.

7. Train employees for success

Change can be difficult and it is important to encourage employees who will soon begin working a hybrid schedule to have realistic expectations. The new policy should provide them with social support from coworkers, supervisors, and human resources so they know they are not going through this alone. If everything has been done correctly the transition to a hybrid workweek should be a smooth one that both managers and employees are happy with.

It is important to remember that the goal of an agile workplace is to better accommodate employees’ needs and provide them with more growth opportunities. It can be difficult to change company policy, but organizations should remain open-minded about new ways to boost their business performance. Following these tips will help managers ensure that their employees are satisfied and respected under a new policy like the hybrid workweek.

If you need help finding office space, whether conventional or flexible space, we can help. Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion on how we can help.

8 Tips on How to Efficiently Organize Your Workspace

Do More - Organize Your Workspace

Whether you are completely digital-oriented or choose to go old-school using paper, the physical environment of your workplace can have a significant effect on your career productivity. So, organize your workspace!

In fact, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), disorganization of the workspace could result in financial losses equivalent to 10% of a manager’s salary to a company. And more importantly, a cluttered desk restricts your ability to engage and even limits your brain’s ability to process information which can lead to problems at work.

All in all, there is no question regarding the merits of clearing out your desk. An organized and serene environment might be just the right dose you need to get yourself motivated and succeed at your job.

1. Start With Your Computer

When thinking about organizing your workspace, the first aspect that comes to most of our minds is our office space or the desk in particular. However, the one thing that we use the most is our computer/laptop. If this go-to device is disorganized, then it could be the primary source of experiencing distraction even at a dream job.

So, the first thing you want to do is organize your computer storage. Start by assigning separate folders for personal and office files. The last thing you want to do is send the wrong item to the wrong person when you are in a hurry. You should also make it a point to delete the files that you don’t need anymore.

This digital decluttering can be a part of your daily tasks so that you will have a clean monitor to come to every day.

2. Clean Your Inbox

The next crucial decluttering should happen in your email inbox. Make sure the email in your inbox is only the email you need to work with in the future. File away emails thay you have already dealt with. Keep it clean. Think of it as cleaning out your resume. Do you really need that extracurricular to be listed in your CV? Or do you want specific work experience to stand out? In fact, when you get professional help from a LinkedIn Profile Service, the first thing they would do is get rid of unwanted job descriptions and skill sets that do not matter for your application. To land an interview, you need to interest the recruiter and your future employer. In other words, you want the hiring manager’s attention to go to your career accomplishments.

Similarly, the promotional emails you receive every day might be one of the main reasons for you to miss an important message about a meeting or landing a job for that matter. When you scan through your inbox, you want it to be clean and organized, and not overcrowded. So, make it a point to unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists at least once a week.

Organize Your Workspace Infographic
Provided by Skillhub

3. Things you Need at Arm’s Length

One of the best ways to clean the clutter is to consider what things should be on your desk. Do you really need that dictionary or the old client files within your reach? Maybe you do not need all those pens, pencils, and highlighters when you hardly use one on an everyday basis.

Instead, you will have a clean desk if you get rid of those unnecessary items that make up the visual clutter. Even only this is a reason enough. For most people, you only need space for your computer, keyboard, mousepad, two pens, a notepad, and a personal item. Any other supplies can be kept in the storage.

4. Tag & Code

While the majority of us might have shifted to digital files, there might still be many professions that require dealing with papers. This can be a severe problem, especially when you can’t find a critical document when you need it.

That said, with all the tools and lifehacks available, it is easier than ever to organize your papers. It would be a good idea to tag them with a name or a color code. It will give you visual cues to quickly identify the file when in a hurry. However, remember to prepare a legend for which color is for what when creating this system.

Apart from this, you should also purge unwanted items, archive older files, and keep the system organized once every three to six months.

5. Get Creative With Storage

If you are one with plenty of storage on your office desk, then count yourself lucky. All you need to do is to keep your things tidy. However, if you do not have sufficient space, then consider it an opportunity to get more creative.

This doesn’t mean that you have to get a new desk or build an entire cabinet. Instead, you can keep your items organized in baskets or boxes. There are plenty available today, with different colors and patterns that can add personality and style to your workspace.

These will make your desk look cleaner, rather than having things scattered. Add a plant or two, and you have an Instagram-worthy workspace right there. You can also add storage to the walls by installing hooks or boards to attach papers.

6. Sort Your Junk Drawer

Let’s accept it: we all have that drawer where we just dump things (in theory, some don’t have one, but then, they wouldn’t be reading this).

Many of us throw things into drawers to keep them out of sight, which will give us the false impression that at least the surface of our desks is clean. However, this junk can only add up in time. It would be best for you to sit down once every month to clear out everything in these drawers. You might have to add a reminder in your calendar to do this regularly.

7. Know Your Habits

Before coming with your organizational plan, you might want to consider what your daily habits are. There is no point in keeping an item you use daily tucked away in storage. Instead, you will need quick access to them. Think of where you reach when you need a pen or a notepad—and assign their spaces accordingly.

Similarly, if you generally carry a bag, or coat to your workplace, designate a space for these things to stay out of your way.

8. Make Cleaning a Habit

Decluttering your workspace is not something that needs your attention once in a blue moon. Instead, by taking time every day to clean out, you can eliminate the mess from forming in the first place.

If you think about it, keeping aside just 10 minutes at the end of your workday can make a huge difference in maintaining a clean and organized workspace. Use this time to put back things where they belong, toss the garbage, wash the cups, and when possible, create a to-do list for tomorrow.

This might not fall into one of your ‘duties’, but it will certainly make your workday flow smoother and help you start every morning with a clear space and mind.

And if you are looking for a new office where you can re organize your office, we can help. Contact us today so we can show you how we can help you find the right office at the best price. No Obligation!

How to Easily Transition Employees Back to the Office

Back to the OfficeYou’re not alone if you’re worried about how your team will handle the move back tothe office  to whatever sort of in-person work your company plans. Most employees, you’ve already seen, don’t want to go back to whatever normal looked like before the outbreak.

According to a recent Harvard Business School survey of 1,500 employees, 81 percent of them either don’t want to come back to the office or prefer a hybrid work paradigm. Of them, 27 percent want to work from home full-time, while 61 percent want to work from home two to three days a week. Only 18 percent want to return to full-time in-person work.

While those percentages may vary depending on your team, it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of your employees will be disappointed when your company reveals its plans for a return to work.

So, how can you keep your staff motivated and engaged during a corporate transition as a leader? Of course, part of that will be dictated by factors outside your control, such as the level of flexibility provided by your employer.

Employees will be less resistant to the move back to the office if they have greater control over their work structure. Setting aside the things you can’t control, there are a few things you can do to make the transition to whatever your company’s version of “next” looks like easier for everyone.

1. Be open without appearing to be a victim

When you can’t provide employees with the level of flexibility they expect, listen to their concerns and disappointments with empathy. Make as much information regarding the organization’s logic for the policies in place as possible.

Never say something like, “I’m sorry, but it’s out of my control,” as this shows weakness and defensiveness, which will likely irritate them even more. Early on, bring up any issues you have and convey them regularly.

People will assume you know more about new regulations and protocols than you do, and you may be asked questions for which you have no satisfactory answer. Learning to respond honestly will be crucial to demonstrating excellent leadership.

Inform them ahead of time about any impending changes you learn about, and let them know what you’re doing to keep them informed. You may help ensure that others’ expectations don’t become roadblocks in an already difficult shift by successfully managing their expectations.

2. Documentation

There will almost certainly be a lot to keep staff up to date on when they return to work. In reaction to lost revenue, new office regulations regarding health and hygiene may have been created, new programs may have been implemented, and bonuses and incentives may have been updated.

Each and every returning employee should be given documentation on any office changes, and if there are a lot, you might want to prepare a packet and keep it on each person’s desk. Even if they are receiving digital pay statements, it is a good idea to include a YTD paystub in the package. YTD stands for year to date. This will help the individual to reorient themselves to the new normal and assess their personal progress so far this year and make it easier for them to create a pay stub.

3. Involve the team in balancing the requirements of individuals and the collective.

If you have some control over how WFH regulations are implemented on your team, you’ll need to figure out how to apply those principles to specific situations without being unjust to others. After being apart for so long, it’s critical to reestablish cohesion, so you don’t want to start with some people feeling resentful of the flexibility you provide others but not them.

Engage your staff in determining how to best use the discretion you’ve been given wherever possible. Allow each member to voice their requirements and preferences, and then charge the team with balancing them within the parameters set. Single parents, for example, may have different flexibility requirements than those caring for aging parents. When it is their decision to do so, people will be more flexible, even sacrificing, for the sake of the team.

Encourage the team to develop new work practices that everyone follows for both where and when work is done. Ensure that all meetings, for example, have video links so that individuals working from home can participate equally.

Set specific work hours, such as 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, during which everyone must be available online, as well as weekend boundaries during which everyone is expected to be offline. If you’re having a large meeting, have everyone attend from their computer, whether they’re at home or at work, so no one feels left out.

People will be significantly more dedicated to the solutions they help build, and the creativity they demonstrate may energize and generate excitement for the transition, alleviating whatever anxiety they may be feeling.

4. Allow people to grieve in their own time.

Regardless of the level of flexibility you provide, the transfer from WFH may signify more than just a loss of control over their time for individuals. Some folks were bereaved by Covid-19 but never had the opportunity to say their final goodbyes. Others renewed their relationships with their spouses and reached new levels of intimacy with their children.

Others have created personal routines that will be interrupted as a result of the changes. Allow individuals to grieve the loss of whatever this past season has meant for them, no matter how good “next” may be. Some people may appear to be unusually silent. Others are a little terse.

Some people may become teary-eyed when a coworker recalls their family. If you give folks the opportunity to let go of the last 18 months, they’ll be more able to embrace the new normal you’re encouraging them to help build.

5. Bring all of the pandemic stories together in one place.

While the pandemic’s horrors cannot be overstated, there were some unexpected benefits and lessons for many. As dinner tables functioned as classrooms and workplaces, there were WFH blunders with video cameras and kitchen pandemonium.

Unexpected revelations of personal resilience and inventiveness, as well as revelations of personal limitations, necessitated the development of self-compassion. One of the organizations with which I work is throwing a “return-to-next” reentry party, at which each team member will build a digital scrapbook of their favorite pandemic experiences.

You can assist your team see each other in a new perspective by sharing aspects of the past 18 months that they encountered while separated. We will not be the same people we were 18 months ago. Creating a unique experience to uncover who you each became will renew your team’s relationships while reinvigorating your excitement for the future.

6. Be a source of happiness.

Creating a sense of lightheartedness for your team is one of the finest methods to alleviate any angst they may be experiencing. There are certain aspects of working life that individuals miss: routines that your team liked, festivities that were halted, and opportunities to go off camera and feel less isolated.

According to a PwC report from June 2020, 50% of employees believe that teamwork and relationship building are better in person. Assist folks in seeing how you’ll be able to reestablish those things once everyone has returned. Humor, when utilized properly, may be very beneficial in bringing delight to others.

Share your own tales of WFH mayhem to encourage others to do the same. This is an especially opportune opportunity for you, as the team’s leader, to demonstrate servanthood by doing all you can to personally ease the transition for team members who may find it tough. Demonstrating true support today will strengthen the team’s loyalty and commitment to one another, as well as to your performance goals for the year. This way you mill some high income skills as a team leader.

If the move to WFH wasn’t difficult enough, returning to the office could be even more challenging. Our minds will be searching for familiar routines to “return” to, but they will not exist. Our brains will have to devote extra energy to adjust on the go if this happens.

This transition will encourage us all to bring our best selves back to work and demonstrate how the pandemic has strengthened us. Knowing this, your job as the team’s leader is critical in assisting people in navigating this with optimism, kindness, and patience in order to ensure that those are the versions that come up.

And if you are looking for an office for your employees to return to, we can help! Our local reps know the market, know the landlords and know who takes care of their buildings. Contact us if we can help! No obligation.

 

How to Encourage Employees to Return to the Office

Return to the OfficeThanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused most businesses to adopt remote working, most employees are reluctant to come back to the office. Some of the reasons for the reluctance include the flexibility and convenience of working from home and safety concerns. Therefore, if you plan on reopening your offices, you need to find a balance between the company’s needs and those of your workers to ensure a smooth transition. Here are a few tips that you can use to encourage employees to return to the office.

1. Employee Safety

One of the biggest challenges hindering employees to return to office is safety and health concerns. As the HR or management, you need to assure your staff that they can work from the office without putting their health at risk. To do this, put in place safety measures and policies to safeguard employee physical and mental health.

Some of the best practices to implement at the office include providing protective equipment like masks, thorough workplace sanitization, social distancing, and testing. As the management, ensure you communicate to your staff about how you intend to make the workplace safe. Doing so inspires trust and confidence from employees and makes coming back to the office less scary.

2. Have a Flexible Back-to-Office Strategy

Employees will be more receptive to the idea of coming back to the office when they are under no pressure to report to work. Therefore, come up with flexible guidelines on how your staff can get back to the office. You can decide to allow employees to work from the office for a few days of the week and then work remotely for the remaining days.

The best way to manage office re-entry is to involve the staff when coming up with the ground rules for getting back to work. Doing so not only makes them feel included and valued, but it also makes the whole exercise less pushy. By gradually reintroducing your staff back to the office, you ease employee anxiety and make it easy for them to acclimatize to the new working environment.

3. Organize Training to Upskill Employees

Most employees value career development and will be more excited coming back to work knowing they have opportunities to upskill and boost their financial security. As such, employee training programs at the workplace is an excellent incentive to encourage employees to get back to the office.  Besides fostering personal and professional development through upskilling, employee training programs allow your staff to find mentors.

While job-related upskilling courses such as coding classes for your IT team are great motivators, consider soft skills such as problem-solving and team building. It is advisable to make the training programs long-term to promote employee motivation and upward mobility.

4. Adapt Your Office Space to Match Employee Needs

One of the keys to achieving a successful employee return to the office is understanding that their needs may have changed when they were away. Some employees may be motivated to come to the office by the possibility of socializing, while others require a quiet working environment without the distractions of working from home. As such, you should adapt your workspaces to accommodate the different needs of your team and offer personalized experiences at work.

Consult your employees before opening up your offices on what they need so you can prepare adequately to meet their expectations. You can do this by sending out surveys and questionnaires to help you consider everyone when reimagining your office spaces. Your employees will be eager to get back to the office once they know their individual needs are well taken care of, and they can feel at home working from the office workspaces.

5. Promote Personal Connections among Employees

Reports show that 73% of employees working from home miss socializing with their colleagues. To encourage your staff to get back to working from the office, you need to capitalize on the need for human connection. You can do this by creating working spaces that encourage personal interactions and introducing activities requiring your staff to come together.

Since the office setup may limit the necessary connection your employees need, come up with creative and fun activities outside work hours. These include community service, going for picnics, scheduling alfresco lunches once in a while, and organizing games. By incorporating fun activities in your return-to-the-office strategy, you get to leverage the fear of missing out (FOMO) on those who are reluctant to come back to the office.

The Bottom Line

How you handle your company’s transition from remote to office working can make or break your employees’ morale, affecting your business productivity in the long run. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, the above tips can help encourage your employees to get back to the office. By listening to your employee’s needs and striving to provide them with the ideal working environment, you can achieve a successful transition back to the office.

Looking for an office for your employees to return to? Many companies had the fortune of getting out of their leases during the pandemic. Our local reps know the market, know the landlord and know what takes care of their buildings. Contact us if we can help! No obligation.

8 Tips To Help You Better Organize Your Office

If you work in an office, there is a good chance that your desk has become cluttered with papers, pens, and other items. This can be problematic because it may lead to stress and make it difficult to find what you are looking for when you need it. Organize your office to be more productive.

Luckily, there are a few ways that you can better organize your office so that everything stays neat. In this post, we will discuss eight tips to help keep your office organized!

Tidy Up Your Desk Every Day

If you work in an office, the chances are that a lot is going on around you. The constant movement of people can make it easy to ignore the messiness of your own space. This will lead to stress and frustration, which are not good for anyone! Ensure to tidy up your workspace at least once per day so that things don’t get out of hand. You can use a plastic banding machine for the office to bind items together which helps to declutter and make your office tidy. It’s also important that all items have a place where they belong – this includes pens and other stationery items. Clean off the top of desks regularly.

It is important not to let papers and other items accumulate on the top of desks. This will increase clutter, making it difficult for people to find what they are looking for when they need it. It’s also a good idea to clean off your desk every day so you don’t have old coffee cups sitting there as well!

Rearrange Your Office

Organizing your office is not just about sorting through things and throwing away anything you don’t need. Sometimes, it can also be helpful to redesign your co-working space or rearrange where certain items are located so that they’re easier for people to find when they need them.

For example: if a person always grabs their phone charger from the same place every day, it might make sense to have chargers stored in drawers or lockboxes on each desk instead of having one centralized location across an entire floor!

Develop a Filing System

If you have many papers and other items that need to be filed away, develop your system for where things should go. For example, if all invoices are stored in one cabinet in alphabetical order by company name, then it would make sense to store them this way on your desk as well!

This will help keep everything neat and organized so that people can easily find what they’re looking for when they need it without having to search through every single drawer or file cabinet themselves.

Organize Your Desktop

If you want to organize your office, you need to keep your desk organized. It might be helpful to store things like notebooks, pens, and other stationery items in drawers or containers rather than sitting out where they can get knocked over when someone walks by. Do not place anything on your keyboard because this will make the keys harder to press, leading to frustration while typing!

Keep an eye out next time you’re at a conference for how neatly some offices are set up: something is satisfying about walking into an office space with everything neat! When we take care of our own spaces – whether it’s our desks at work or our homes – we have a better sense of control over the chaos that comes with being busy.

Time Management Tips

If you have a hard time managing your time, consider giving yourself more “deadlines” so that there is a goal to work towards. For example: if you need to finish three tasks by the end of the day but can’t seem to get them done before lunchtime rolls around, it might be helpful for you to give yourself specific deadlines throughout the morning instead.

To-do lists are also great because they make sure we do not forget anything. If you find that these don’t work for you or feel overwhelmed with all of the different items on them, try breaking down your list into smaller parts.

Organize Digitally

It’s also important to keep your digital workspace organized, especially if you work remotely. You might want to create a specific folder on your computer for any projects currently in progress and store other files into sub-folders.

This will make it easier for people who come (to) visit your office space or remote location to find what they’re looking for without having to spend hours scrolling through all of the different documents on your desktop!

Communicate on Schedule

If you correspond by email, make sure that your emails follow a specific schedule so that people know when they should expect to hear back from you. This will help alleviate any frustrations or misunderstandings since everyone knows what is going on and has some idea of where things stand at all times.

It might also be helpful to reply with a timestamp at the end of your email so that people know when it was sent or received. This can help someone who is on the go and needs to get back to you as soon as possible, so they don’t have to wait around for an answer!

Ritualize Your Day

If you find that your day is always a rush and it’s hard to get everything done, then try ritualizing what time of the day you should complete each task. For example: if most days are hectic because there are so many meetings, then maybe schedule your morning hours for answering emails or making phone calls while in the evening hours focus on tasks like writing blog posts or creating graphics!

This will help give some structure to your workday so that things don’t seem disorganized and overwhelming when you’re juggling many things at once!

Now that you’ve learned all of these tips to organize your office, it is time to put them into action. Start by purging your workspace and tidying up your desk every day. Next, rearrange the office furniture, so everything has a place. Develop an organizational system for paper filing and digital files on your computer desktop as well as in folders on your laptop or phone. Make sure to schedule blocks of time for each task you need to accomplish and stick with those times daily or weekly! When scheduling appointments, meetings, and events, make sure they are written down somewhere (paper planner, online calendar) so there is no confusion about what needs to be done when. Finally, try incorporating some rituals like reading emails at the same time every day.

And if you are looking for a new office where you can re organize your office, we can help. Contact us today so we can show you how we can help you find the right office at the best price. No Obligation!

7 Key Factors When Choosing A New Office Space

Your office space isn’t just any other space–it’s the center of innovative ideas and the collective effort of your whole team. That being said, you should always be extra prudent when choosing a new office space. 

Whether relocating or starting up, here are several things to consider when choosing a new office space for your company:

Location

The first item to tick off your priority list is the office’s location. Choose a location that’s easy to access, not only for you but also for your employees. Ideally, the office space should be accessible for your clients, partners, and suppliers. Also, consider its proximity to necessities such as public transportation, restaurants and other amenities.

Parking is also another factor to consider when choosing the location. Is there adequate parking for both your employees and customers? You don’t want your customers getting frustrated because they couldn’t find a parking space. Downtown locations generally have very limited parking so it is important to decide how much parking you will need.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure involves several aspects, not just the internet connection. Of course, you want an office space that has reliable connectivity, especially since, nowadays, a business may find it difficult to function without an internet connection. But also take into consideration other aspects of infrastructure like telephone connections and postal services.

 If you’re planning to buy a property and turn it into an office space, you need to ensure that the infrastructure is good, especially the availability of good Internet access, electrical, heating and cooling (HVAC), and plumbing systems. If you are planning major renovations for a rehab, check out what is in stock at EasyMerchant.

Your Clients And Other Stakeholders

If you’re moving to a new office, you need to consider if your clients and other stakeholders will find it easy to access the new office. If you’ve been operating in your old office for some time, they’ve undoubtably acquired familiarity with the location and everything around it. 

Tasks And Workforce Amenities

Amenities are also an important consideration in determining how comfortable your team will be in the new office. Are there enough amenities for the whole workforce to use and enjoy? An example would be conference facilities that can accommodate the whole team whenever you need to hold a company-wide meeting. 

If you’re renting, there are important amenities that should be present in the building like shared meeting areas and daycare centers. Other amenities that may be considered are fitness centers, a lounge, cafes, and even outdoor spaces for tenants. 

These amenities will ensure that your organization remains productive at work, and, most importantly, encourage employees to come to the office more frequently, especially if you are implementing an agile workplace with remote work.

Scalability

Scalability means the capacity of your office space to be changed or modified either by size or by scale. Your new office space needs to be flexible enough to accommodate the size of your workforce and it should also have enough room to grow your team. 

With scalable office space, you don’t need to worry about having to relocate again just because the space can no longer accommodate your growing company.

Competition

While the office usually needs to be situated in a place where business is centralized, you also need to consider if there are competitors in your prospective area. Make sure and do some research to find out if there will be any competitors that would impact your business nearby.

Price

Whether you’re renting or buying the whole property, you need to know if the asking price is fairly competitive for its location and amenities. If the landlord is not providing tenant improvements, an allowance for them or if you’ll need to do any remodeling and or reconstruction yourself, make sure the price for such is reflected in the price. It is important to make sure you know what it is going to cost prior to signing a lease. You don’t want any nasty surprises after you are committed to a long term agreement.

Conclusion

A productive office space isn’t only for your team’s benefits, but also for the image of your company. Choosing a new office isn’t a walk in the park, but with the help of the tips provided, you have a few of the most important things to consider when choosing a new office space. Needless to say, we recommend you obtain the services of a qualified tenant rep to help you in acquiring your office space. They do this on a day-to-day basis and know what needs to be considered to make sure you get the right space at the best price. We have over 600 local tenant reps to assist you. Contact us today to get in touch with one. No obligation to inquire. You will be glad you did.

 

3 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an Office Seat Cushion

Sync Your Home Office With Your Main OfficeAre you thinking of getting a cushioned seat for your office chair? According to a recent poll of 51,869 people, persons aged 20 and up spent an average of 6.4 hours per day sitting, while those aged 12 to 19 spent 8.2 hours per day sitting. In addition to considering the ergonomics of a chair, you should also consider a seat cushion. A paradox of choice arises from the large number of office seat cushions that all appear to be the same. Choosing a cushioned seat for your office chair isn’t rocket science, but it does require some research. Now that you know how important it is to select your cushion seat carefully, it is recommended that you should avoid the following blunders.

  • Choosing the Wrong Colors and Material

Horrible aesthetic decisions won’t make you sick, but they could make you feel abandoned. Perhaps the upholstery has a strange, off-kilter feel to it, or the color is unattractive to your workstation. These options will not make your seat cushion uncomfortable, but they may make you less want to sit. Evaluate your desk and sitting situation to avoid this difficulty. It’s a good idea to make a checklist before going shopping for a seat cushion so you can filter out the ones that aren’t right from the ones that are.

  • Preparation

When it comes to choosing the right office seat cushion for your chair, you’ll need to go through a lengthy decision-making process. However, once you’ve decided on the right cushion, don’t make the mistake of ordering it from sites such as Amazon and other retailers without carefully considering your current work setup and the exact measurements of the seat cushion you’re about to buy.

What is the width of the chair? How will the seat cushion fit in your workplace chair, for example? To summarize, attempt to consider every aspect of the relative arrangement of the seat cushion and the amount of room you have in your office chair to identify any possibly deal-breaking issues. Also, keep in mind that all seat cushions are rated based on weight, so it’s a good idea to pick a cushion seat that matches you in this regard as well.

  • Don’t Cut Corners

Some seat cushions for your office chair can be pretty pricey, so whatever you do, don’t try to save money by cutting corners. Keep in mind that the more expensive the seat cushion, the longer it can last, even up to 12 years for some. Remember that calculating the cost over 12 years and reducing it down to a monthly basis results in a improved perception for a high-quality office chair cushion.

If you buy a cheap office seat cushion, it may fall apart after a few years, so you may end up spending the same amount of money on numerous cushion seats over a decade as you would on one of the more expensive cushion seats.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into buying an office seat cushion for your office chair online from places like Amazon and others, but avoiding the frequent mistakes listed above will ensure you obtain the best seat cushion for your office chair.

And if you need an office to go with the seat cushion and chair, we can help. Contact us today so we can show you how we can help you find the right office at the best price. No Obligation!

 

 

 

 

5 Costly Office Maintenance Problems

 office maintenanceRegardless if you’re a building manager, business owner, or company employee, a sudden office maintenance problem in your office is a huge headache. For one, it can introduce inconveniences that can distract, annoy, and ruin your day. Add to the fact that some of them can get very expensive. Even if you are in a fully service office where the landlord pays for maintenance, you should still be aware of these potential problems to ensure the smooth operation of your business.

Thankfully, you can avoid most office maintenance problems from happening if you’re aware of them and perform basic preventative measures. Below are some of the common ones.

Roofing

Damage to your roofing can easily escalate to bigger problems. Some of them are the following:

  • Water damage
  • Mold growth
  • Breakdown of insulation material

To prevent roof damage, you should frequently inspect your roofing and gutters for any signs of wear and tear. When you see any damaged, broken, or missing shingles, immediately replace them. On the other hand, if you’re roofing is already eight to nine years old, you should get it inspected by professionals.

Also, remove any dirt and debris accumulating in your gutters since leaving them may cause water to stagnate. The stagnant water may cause damage to the gutter and your roofing system.

If you’re not confident to do these things, don’t hesitate to consider getting help from roofing contractor office space specialists.

HVAC

Most people in your office will go crazy when your heating venting air conditioning (HVAC) stops working during a scorching summer day or a freezing winter night. And, of course, getting your HVAC repaired is an expensive and time consuming ordeal. 

To ensure that your HVAC won’t just give up on you, be sure to do the following:

  • Check any vent blockages: There are many reasons vents get blocked in offices. Some of them are employees taping them up, relocated pieces of furniture, and dirt accumulation.
  • Inspect filters and thermostats yourself: You need to rely on professionals to ensure that your office’s HVAC is in working order. However, getting yourself familiar with your HVAC and basic and routine checks, like checking your thermostats’ batteries, setting, and wiring, can help you save money by preventing yourself from unnecessarily calling a tech to come over just because you were unaware that a single battery was dead.

Plumbing

Universally, water damage is a costly problem. Aside from expensive repairs and renovations, it can also cause health problems in your office as it can encourage mold growth.

Fortunately, you can prevent water damage from happening by doing these simple steps:

  • Be vigilant of your utility bill: If your water bill increased for no good reason at all, there might be a leak in your plumbing.
  • Perform scheduled ocular inspections: Roaming around the office building can help you find any potential water damage disaster biding its time. Also, be extra observant during winter as it’s common for pipes to freeze during this season, which may lead to burst pipes and flooding.

Appliances

One of the biggest challenges in offices is extending the life of all equipment and appliances. After all, accumulated maintenance, repairs, and replacements overheads can cost a company an arm and leg. Not to mention that discord between management and employees can easily happen once both parties don’t agree on what to do with problematic office equipment, like printers, copiers, and even refrigerators.

Unfortunately, most modern office equipment nowadays has a set lifespan. Since you can’t make your appliances and office machines last forever, what you can do is to at least make them operational until they’re near their end-of-life (EOL).

EOL is a stage in a product’s lifecycle that manufacturers stop producing parts, developing updates, and supporting owners. Most electronic products today have estimate lifespans of 10 years, which often coincides with their EOL.

Here are the steps you can take to prevent unexpected breakdowns of your appliances or unnecessary costly repairs:

  • Keep any documents, trinkets, and items needed for warranties intact.
  • Train users on how to properly use the machines and appliances according to the manual.
  • Set a strict policy about the consumption of food and beverages in the office.
  • Assign point persons who’ll perform periodic basic maintenance.

Floor Coverings

Regardless of the type of floor covering your office is using, it’s one of the most abused parts in your workplace. Replacing them is both a hassle and an expense you don’t want to incur. To ensure that your floor coverings can service you for a long time, do the following: 

  • Check appliances that contain or generate water. Some of the common ones are water dispensers, refrigerators, and dehumidifiers. They may be leaking water that may spread water damage on your floor coverings.
  • Replace iron and plastic caster wheels with rubber ones. However, be sure that you check the specs of the replacement wheels since some of them may break if the load exceeds their limits.

Finally

These are the most common office maintenance problems you can prevent to avoid suffering from business interruption and/or sudden costly repair expenses. In addition to saving money, it can also make the people working in your office happier and the business run smoother.

Looking for an office you do not need to worry about these maintenance issues? Our local reps know the market, know the landlord and know whw takes care of their buildings. Contact us if we can help! No obligation.

The Secret to a Well-kept Office Space

office spaceMany of us can agree that we become more productive when working in a clean and tidy office space. Not only does a neat workspace increase your motivation but it also is better for your mental health. A disorganized office has more distractions which disrupt your mental state of mind. These disruptions may be a subconscious reaction that may not even realize. 

If your workspace has pieces of paper shoved all around the room; on chairs and on desks, this image immediately triggers your stress levels. Once stress levels are high, it becomes difficult to focus and get anything done. Seeing a pile of papers on your desk may also reduce your motivation levels, creating a negative mindset of your job and yourself. Furthermore, an office space is where many of us spend 8-10 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week. If this area is unsanitary, filled with a build-up of dust and dirt, the effect that has on both your physical and mental health can be harmful. 

Yes, cleaning the office can be a tedious and difficult job. Sometimes we find ourselves spending hours cleaning up the room on days we should be relaxing and enjoying ourselves. However, making sure your office is tidy and well-arranged doesn’t have to be difficult. This article will be discussing the one secret you need to a well-kept office. 

A proactive mindset 

The secret you need to learn is a change in your mental state of mind: developing and maintaining a proactive mindset. This mindset is an “act now or pay later” mindset where you realize that if you don’t clean your office regularly, in 6 months you will be spending hours trying to. It is the realization that 10-20 minutes of maintaining the office space once a week beats over 3 hours of cleaning it up on a Sunday afternoon.  Once you get into this habit you will be programming your mind to be proactive. Cleaning won’t end up being a hassle at all. Before you know it you’ll be spending a couple of minutes every day tidying up in order to come back to a clean space in the morning. 

This proactive mindset will also become useful in your day-to-day life. You will get to thinking ahead and creating a contingency plan in case anything goes wrong. Your next family trip will be as easy as pie because you will have packed the necessary things for any emergency. 

Now that we know the secret to a well-kept office, the question is how do we achieve it. 

How to become a proactive person

  • Think big picture: shift your mindset to focus more on the future. If you catch yourself trying to find the easy way out of a task or procrastinating remind yourself that in the long run taking action now will only benefit you. Attempt to remind yourself of your own long-term goals. Where you want to end up, what you are really trying to accomplish. A great way to do this is to begin journaling, it allows you time to reflect on yourself and reminds you of the things you find important in your life. 
  • Own up to your mistakes: often we find ourselves and others complaining about others lack of motivation, lack of opportunities, etc. These complaints are an unhealthy habit; trying to convince yourself you are not responsible for a certain situation or outcome within your control. 
  • Focus on what you can control: sometimes we don’t realize that we are getting wound up in situations we can’t control. This creates feelings of anger, stress, and disappointment. However, if we accept that certain situations are not in our hands we begin to focus on things that we can change. This leads to feelings of confidence, empowerment, and achievement. You may not be able to control how bad the traffic is one day but you can make sure that you step into a clean office and ready to work. 
  • Prioritize: being able to prioritize certain tasks aids us in getting things done. Completing every task at once is impossible. However, if you can decide on which task to complete first you will get it done well and be motivated to carry on to the next task. Holding yourself accountable is an action you must take. Don’t be the person waiting for something to happen but be someone who gets tasks done. Actions like this will also motivate and drive other employees to act similarly. 

Steps you can take now

  • Restart 

if the thought of going into your office makes you shudder because of how unorganized it feels then your first step is going to be to restart. To begin a new habit of becoming proactive in keeping your desk clean, you need to begin with it clean. Spending a day tidying up and reorganizing the files and papers is worth it when you remind yourself after this you won’t have to do it again. You can also use this opportunity to rearrange your workplace in a way that you think might suit you more, you may even consider finding a new office space. Working in a new area might create more motivation since you will be viewing a different perspective.  If you stay proactive about keeping your office organized, this will be the last time you spend hours tidying up. 

  • Create more storage space

After completing the first step you should have cleared out some drawers, cabinets, and files. This has already increased your available storage space. In order to keep your desk clutter-free, you must use your storage space to the biggest advantage. If you would like to invest, you can purchase storage boxes place old files that you still need. 

  • Keep essentials items close 

Everyone wishes for a clean and organized desk. The best way to achieve this is to minimize. You should aim to identify the tools you need most to complete your work on a day-to-day basis. These items should be the ones that are kept on your desk. Any item that will be redundant or isn’t needed most of the time should be kept in a drawer or separate cabinet in order not to create clutter. 

  • Create work zones

If your office is spacious enough you should consider creating work zones, this will minimize work that is done at your desk. An option would be if you have a chair or sofa next to a coffee table. This could be assigned as the area to look over paperwork and do some reading. One section or side of your office could be where you keep all of your supplies. This section should preferably have a closet or shelving space to help you stay organized. Once you end up creating these work zones and using them, they will eventually become a habit. You will find your office will be neater because you are not doing all of your work in one space. 

  • Find a filing system that you like

If you are someone that doesn’t have to do any filing for your job you are in luck. Yes, filing is extremely tedious but thankfully we live in an age where a lot of things are online. The main filing we need to worry about is all of the paperwork – this still needs to be organized efficiently. It is useful to research different types of filing systems that will be most helpful to you. If you are lucky and you don’t need to file paperwork, but need to keep track of digital documents, make sure you develop an easy-to-use system so you won’t lose important documents.

And if all this does not help and you want to find a new office you can start from scratch with, contact us and we can help.

4 Professionals You Need on Your Side When Leasing Office Space

Leasing Office SpaceLeasing office space requires a lot of work. It is not easy. There are many things that need to be considered before choosing the best location for your business. Most businesses lease their space and need to deal with a commercial lease. While it is essential to select the best location that will benefit you and your business in the long term, there is a lot more to do than just finding the right space. A good location is an advantage especially in creating a sophisticated brand image for your business. Your business also needs to have a place where both employees and clients are happy.

The process of acquiring an office space can be lengthy. You need to make sure to allow enough time to complete the process. Understanding the leasing process and timing and who are the people that can help you with it is very important for a timely completion to the process. You need to make sure to get the lease agreement negotiated properly to make sure you don’t have unintended consequences pop up in the future. With the right team, you can get a great space at a fair price, with terms that meet your needs and no future suprises. Here is a list of the professionals who can help you when leasing office space.

1. Commercial Real Estate Broker

Yes, we are commercial real estate brokers who specialize in tenant representation. Yes, we are biased by decades of experience. The basics: Commercial real estate is a property that is purposely used only for business or investment purposes. These properties are generally owned by investors who collect the rent from operating businesses in the property. Commercial real estate brokers are people or the middleman between sellers and buyers. They help their clients with selling, leasing, or purchasing commercial real estate.

Not all commercial real estate brokers do the same thing. A commercial real estate tenent rep broker can work independently, unlike commercial real estate listing agents. A tenant rep works solely for you. The listing agent works solely for the landlord. But how can a tenant rep help you with the office space lease? Aside from the fact that they can help you save time, money, and effort, they can also provide numerous advantages. One of the most significant advantages of having a commercial real estate broker is their knowledge of the market, the players and the ability to analyze lease terms.

Acquiring an office space without the help of a tenant rep is like going into court without an attorney. Something you don’t want to do. In addition, not only do tenant reps work soley for the tenant, the tenant does not have to pay them directly. In most cases their fee is paid by the landlord’s listing agent. The commission is already built into the price of the space. If you don’t take advantage of using a tenant rep, the listing agent will not only take advantage of your inexperience, but also pocket the entire fee.

2. Accountant

Accounting is a crucial part of any business. One must understand the role of an accountant when leasing an office space. Commercial accountants, specifically, are people who are responsible for the efficient running of the commercial elements of an organization’s finances. They help companies with budget analysis, audit reporting, portfolios, and other accounting related to the business. These people can help you understand further how commercial real estate works and what you can do to maximize your profits.

It is crucial that you understand the tax issues, budgets, and planning in your business. That is what accountants can help with especially when choosing the best office space for your business. Most significantly, accountants provide you the information you need in the contract negotiation process to avoid making financial errors. An SMSF accountant can provide you with detailed advice and guides about how you can fully take control of your funds.

3. Attorney

Commercial lease review is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the office leasing process. Even with multiple experiences in a commercial lease, specifications still change depending on the landlord. Every landlord has different lease. Furthermore, complicated terms are also on the line especially in commercial leases. While a tenant rep can review a lease and make business recommendations, getting help from an attorney to review the legal aspects of a commercial lease is important to make sure your rights are protected.

An experienced real estate attorney can easily navigate and review a commercial lease’s legal and financial specifications. They can make the details easier for you to understand. any legal issues about the lease.

4. Architect

Whatever location you choose, an architect / space planner is someone who can help define how to best use the space. Not only can they prepare a space plan, but they can help you identify other factors that can affect the project budget, project schedule, and the general feasibility of the location.

Contacting an architect early in the process is a good idea. Even before you have chosen a location. they can be your guide and added protection in the decision-making process. An architect knows about any construction codes and zoning regulations your business must comply with. An architect partnered with a designer will also help you with modification or renovations on the office if needed.

Other Office Leasing Considerations

In addition to the help you get from professionals, there are still many things you need to consider. These considerations are significant for your business and your employees in deciding on a final location. A list of other factors you should consider when choosing a new office space include:

  • Location and accessibility
  • Price
  • Growth constraints
  • Technology and infrastructure
  • Layout and design
  • Contingency plan

Leasing office space will always be a challenging thing to do. Obtaining enough knowledge, guidance, and understanding will help smooth the way. That is where we come in. Did I mention that what we do is help businesses acquire office space? We have been doing it since 1995 and have developed the finest online network of local tenant reps. We have over 600 of them throughout the US and Canada. If you are looking to make a move, we’d love to talk with you. No obligation to contact us. Hope you do.