Popular ‘Post-COVID’ Trends for the Office

working in the office during covid

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we do things, from extra sanitation measures to socially distanced workspaces. After months of working remotely from the coziness of home during lockdowns and quarantines, returning to the familiar ‘hum and buzz’ in a cramped office building doesn’t exactly inspire enthusiasm. While many have spent the past year or so making upgrades to their living quarters, the focus has now shifted to creating a more comfortable, relaxing, and stress-free work environment. As we return to the working world amid our “new normal,” the bar has been raised for how and where we now spend our time away from the comforts of home. These post-COVID office trends are just a few simple ways that employers are now helping to boost employee morale, efficiency, and overall satisfaction in the office setting. 

Promote individuality and a sense of ‘self’

We are all undoubtedly unique and each has a certain way we like to do things; however, this is often lost at the office where uniformity and practicality take precedence over individuality. Eventually, this can lead to a lost sense of “self” for employees who feel they are just another cog in the machine, which can generate feelings of dissatisfaction and even depression. By encouraging personal touches, such as adding a few personal items to the work area or custom color panels on cubicle walls, an improved blend of personality and coziness are brought into the mix. 

Providing flexible furnishing options, such as height-adjustable desks and various types of handy organization tools, gives employees the freedom to choose how they can best carry out their workday. When we’re not caught up in fighting with the same old desk chair or trying to find that one favorite highlighter, we’re able to perform faster and produce higher quality work- especially when there’s a feeling of working in one’s own cultivated domain. To boost employee inclusion, consider incorporating a fun photo wall or cork board where pet photos, children’s artwork and other personal mementos can be shared to spark conversation and encourage camaraderie. Take it one step further and allow employees the chance to participate in any upcoming office renovation decisions or design choices, giving them a sense of involvement along with helping to upgrade the office in a compatible way. 

Incorporate acoustic furniture for workspace optimization

Even the most spacious office settings can quickly become overcrowded and noisy with “shop talk” at any point during the day. The added backdrop of constant keyboard tapping and mouse clicks, paired with excessively loud or uninvited conversation within earshot, is enough to put considerable strain on anyone’s nerves while trying to focus. A quick and easily applicable solution for this is to incorporate sound-dampening chairs, benches and wall panels that support a quieter, more peaceful workspace. No more sliding and grinding of metal chairs across the squeaky-clean floor, or the reverberating echo of laughter from a co-worker down the hall. Include private meeting areas and individual workstations along with these therapeutic additions, so employees can seek them out while in discussion, escaping the discussions of others or needing a change of scenery. 

Generate positive energy flow with an open floor plan

For businesses with multiple employees sharing a single space, perhaps the most ambitious trend is to remodel with an open floor plan. For one, these types of office layouts are much easier and faster to clean as they have less corners, nooks, and crannies to gather dust. One aspect that open floor plans don’t include is a lot of high-contact surface areas, such as doorknobs and entryways, making them ideal for any COVID-19 resurgence concerns. 

The absence of narrow corridors and hallways also allows for greater social distancing, along with significantly increased air flow throughout the entire space. Open floor office layouts are thought to encourage employee collaboration, creativity, and communication, all of which can lead to an improved feeling of positive energy at the office. Having the flexibility and extra space to move around also supports physical movement and a reduced sense of “entrapment,” increasing blood and oxygen circulation that keep the brain working flawlessly.  

Put your people first using human-centered design

Who doesn’t want their employees to feel engaged, empowered and fulfilled while they are at work? Saying ‘goodbye’ to outdated equipment and furniture can make a world of difference when replaced with more human-centric options. Gone are the days of boxy (and boring) cubicles that keep employees separated from one another, and from higher management, which can generate a strong feeling of isolation for those working in them. Luckily, modern solutions to upgrading the private desk area, such as shortened glass dividers, textured fabrics, and various types of tabletop options, can give the workspace a more open, inviting, and appealing vibe. 

Research has shown that fulfillment is the key to happiness and having a sense of purpose, which inspires the desire to do well and succeed. A stimulating work environment that offers multiple meeting areas, un-designated quiet zones, and various communal break rooms, may be essential for creating a more rewarding workplace in general. Recreational perks, such as employee access to walking trails and outdoor gathering areas, can encourage exercise that helps to reduce the long-term risks of musculoskeletal disorders resulting from prolonged sitting, standing, or hunching over a desk. To keep health considerations in mind, non-porous materials like laminates, acrylics and marker boards are excellent, bacteria resistant options for easy sanitizing. Plexiglas dividers can also be retrofitted to many existing furniture options, allowing for visibility while reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

Putting It All Together

In short, the post-COVID working world has become one that is substantially more considerate of how we relate, interact, and thrive together in the workplace. With physical and mental health at the forefront of employee relations, employers are guaranteed to see positive, lasting changes that are beneficial for all. 

Featured Image Credit: MaximeUtopix / Pixabay

Office Space for Rent in Clifton Park NY FAQs

How Much Space Will You Need for Office Rental Space?

This is one of the primary questions that people ask when they are thinking of office space for rent and looking for the perfect Clifton Park location for their office. Commercial spaces for rent are not all created equal, and you will need to make sure that the office for rent that you are looking at will meet your business needs.

When looking into offices for lease, always make sure that you are going to be able to grow into the space as your business grows and be sure that you are not compromising on your office space needs. While you might not be able to rent the office of your dreams when you are first starting out in business, you should at least remember that you will need to have some space to expand after you have moved in. You should also never pick an office space for lease that will not attend to your needs comfortably.

How Will I Know if Clifton Park is the Right Location for My Needs?

This is one of the times when you are shopping for office rentals that reaching out to your contacts in your business space can be very helpful. You can find out a lot about any commercial property for rent in any location by talking to locals and conducting some research into the area. People who live and work in this location will know what the market is like and they might be able to offer you some insight into the needs of the local population related to your business offerings.

You should also conduct some research into your own client base if you have an established business that you are moving to this location. You should not move your business to Clifton Park if most of your clients are not going to be able to come to this location. For new business owners who are just starting out, make sure that this area will be beneficial to your overall business needs before getting serious about picking a commercial office space in this area.

How Is Maintenance Taken Care of?

For most commercial locations, the landlord will care for maintenance needs on the property related to the buildings and landscaping that was present when you moved onto the property. Make sure that you do not add any items to the landscaping or the office location that is forbidden by your contract language. You should also check that painting and other upgrades or changes to buildings are allowed before you spend money on these changes.

If you have done upgrades that were not allowed via your contract and then you need help with maintenance on the property that relates to these items, you might find that your landlord will not honor these needs. You should never make any major changes to the office space that you are renting without discussing them with your landlord first. This will help make sure that maintenance requests are handled seamlessly in the future.

Consider Surrounding Areas

If you are not sure about the location surrounding an office that you are looking into leasing, you should spend a little time checking into the neighbors and the activities of the other neighbors in that area. You do not want to move into your new offices only to find that the apartments next door host loud parties all the time that are too noisy for you to conduct your daily business needs. You might also inquire about parking for your guests and customers.

Being able to learn a little bit about the local area can make your transition into your new office space much easier and help you to avoid major issues with your office location. Other businesses and people living in the local area can create an atmosphere that will not match your overall business needs and you should check into these potential concerns before you decide on office space for rent.

Create a Checklist

If you are having a hard time narrowing down where you should be looking for an office space to rent and what items are must-haves for your needs, you should create a checklist. This checklist should have all the items that you absolutely must have written on it. You can include secondary concerns, but the primary portion of your list needs to be things that you cannot live without.

Armed with this list of considerations, it will be much easier to rule out properties that will not meet your needs. You can save yourself a lot of time during the research process by making sure that you are aware of everything that is absolutely a must-have for your business to succeed in a rental location.

Consider Atmosphere

You should always look with a critical eye at the property that you think you want to rent. If the interior is nice but the exterior looks run down, you might want to pass on that property. This can also apply to the parking and neighbors around a property. The atmosphere of a property has a major impact on your business’ success.

Ask the Landlord or Management Company Questions

When in doubt, do not make assumptions. You should always reach out to the landlord or the rental company who manages the property to ask about the details of their office rental policies. You can find out a lot about the area and parking and other concerns when you speak to property management.

Many people tour office locations that they fall in love with, only to find out during the application process that they are not going to be able to rent the location due to factors built into the contract or related to the use of the space. These issues can be eliminated by reaching out to the owner or the management company before you even go to see a location that you think that you might like for your office rental.

Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia

8 Types of Commercial Real Estate

commercial real estate

What is Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate in Clifton Park is property or land exclusively used to conduct business and residential properties that have five or more units. Anything under five units such as duplexes, triplexes, and quads are still considered residential real estate.

More often than not, tenants lease commercial real estate for income-producing businesses such as restaurants, nail salons, department stores, etc. Some businesses own the property they occupy, but most companies seek out Clifton Park commercial space for rent to control overhead costs.

Types of Commercial Real Estate

Clifton Park commercial real estate falls under eight different categories:

  • Multifamily
  • Office
  • Industrial
  • Retail
  • Hotels/hospitality
  • Mixed-Use
  • Land
  • Special Purpose

Multifamily

Multifamily or multi-dwelling unit (MDU) is any property meant for habitation with five units or more such as apartment buildings, condos, townhouses, etc. Individuals can either lease these units directly from an owner or landlord or sometimes can purchase a single unit of an apartment building or an individual condo or townhouse.

Office

Businesses of all sizes tend to reach a point where they need to find Clifton Park office space for rent. Office buildings are often grouped into three categories, Class A, Class B, and Class C, depending on their location, the structural integrity of the building, and the health of the real estate market in that area. Class A is the best in terms of the structure of the property itself and the location. A Class B property has a sound structure but is located in a less than ideal area.

Class C buildings tend to be distressed and in bad locations for business

Industrial

While commercial real estate encompasses properties reserved for businesses that interact with the public, industrially zoned locations are often used for manufacturing or packaging. Industrial properties fall under four different categories.

  • Heavy Manufacturing: These buildings house heavy machinery used for manufacturing.
  • Light Assembly: These buildings are used for storage and/or product assembly. They aren’t as customized as a heavy manufacturing building.
  • Bulk Warehouse: These properties are used for storage and/or distribution
  • Flex Industrial: These buildings house both industrial and office spaces.

Retail

Retail real estate is any property used for shopping and entertainment purposes. Retail spaces depend on foot traffic and can be multi-tenanted buildings such as a shopping center with different businesses or standalone buildings which tend to be occupied by chain establishments.

Hotels

A hotel commercial property is any property that provides accommodations and other services for travelers. Hotel properties fall under six different categories.

  • Limited Service: These establishments do not provide room service or meals, only sleeping accommodations. An example of a limited-service hotel commercial property is a motel.
  • Full-Service: Hotels that include room service, concierge services, and an onsite restaurant
  • Boutique: An independently owned hotel (not a chain) that tends to be smaller but still provides full-service amenities.
  • Casino: A location that provides entertainment for guests in the form of slot machines, blackjack tables, etc.
  • Extended Stay: These properties are meant for individuals and families that require long-term accommodations. These properties provide fully-equipped kitchens in each room.
  • Resort: These properties are typically located in tourist locations such as Hawaii or Florida. They tend to sit on large pieces of land and have extra amenities such as access to an onsite golf course, water park, etc.

Mixed-Use

Commercial properties designed as “mixed-use” in Clifton Park include both residential and commercial spaces. An example of a mixed-use building is a Clifton Park business located on the ground floor with apartment units above. In most Mixed-Use properties, the residential portion of the building takes up more square footage than the commercial portion. Tenants often refer to mixed-use spaces as live-work spaces.

Land

Commercial land in Clifton Park is any plot of land used for commercial purposes. An example of commercial land is a parking lot next to a large retail store. This parking lot is used to generate business and thus is considered commercial land.

The value of commercial land can fluctuate wildly depending on the location of the parcel and the profitability of the businesses surrounding it. Commercial land can fall under three categories

Infill Land: This land is located in a city and surrounded by developed commercial and residential properties.

Greenfield Land: This category of commercial land encompasses undeveloped land but also farms and pastures.

Brownfield Land: This type of land has been previously used for commercial or industrial purposes but is now available for other uses. Brownfield land tends to be impacted by an adverse environmental incident such as a chemical spill or explosion.

Special Purpose

Land designated as “Special Purpose” doesn’t fit neatly into any of the other categories. Examples of Special Purpose land use include amusement parks, theatres, zoos, etc.

The Commercial Leasing Process

Say you own a growing business and you are ready to find a Clifton Park office space for lease. The first step in leasing the right office space is finding a commercial real estate agent to assist you in your search. Ensure you interview several agents and pick one with lots of experience with commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate is different from residential real estate, so you want an agent who understands these differences and can help you avoid making costly mistakes. A quality commercial agent in Clifton Park can help you find a suitable space and negotiate terms with the owner.

You want to provide your commercial agent with your budget, space requirements, as well as the amenities and layout you need for your Clifton Park office space.

Once your agent understands your needs fully, they will set you up on a search so you can see the available Clifton Park office rentals available. Your commercial agent will set up tours with property managers and accompany you on these visits.

Once you find the Clifton park office space that meets your needs, you will need to present a proposal to the owner or property manager. This is where a quality commercial real estate agent becomes invaluable. An agent will help you analyze market data to create a proposal that details the rent you are willing to pay and the specific lease terms.

The owner or property manager will then accept your proposal or make a counteroffer, and your agent will help you through the negotiation process.

For example, you can sometimes negotiate for the owner to cover expenses such as maintenance and taxes for the first year before they pass back to you. This is especially important when you are only using a small portion of a large commercial space. It can be expensive if you are responsible for replacing an essential mechanical component that covers the entire property.

Once you’ve come to an agreement, you will sign a lease.

Types of Commercial Leases

Unlike residential rentals where a tenant signs a simple lease agreement, a Clifton park commercial property for rent can fall under four different lease types.

  • Single Net Lease: Tenants are responsible for paying property taxes
  • Double Net lease: Tenants are responsible for paying property taxes and insurance
  • Triple Net Lease: Tenants are responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, and all maintenance fees
  • Gross Lease: Tenants are responsible for paying only rent, and the landlord takes care of the other expenses.

Different Clifton Park businesses have different needs when it comes to their lease terms, so make sure to consult with an agent to help you negotiate the kind of lease that works best for you and your business.

Expect these Office Changes upon your Return

Image Credit: MaximeUtopix   / Pixabay

As vaccines roll out and COVID cases are declining, more and more companies are resuming operations and opening their doors back up to employees. Many businesses that had to close their offices due to lockdowns are now looking for new office space for rent. Some have already found offices for lease and are designing them to be safe for both their workers and clients.

Here are some changes that you can expect to see in your office when you get back to work

Hybrid Work Is Here to Stay

Before the novel Corona virus, commutes were getting longer. According to the US census, the average commute was a record high in 2018; around 27 minutes.

Employees have become more interested in balancing work and home responsibilities. Post-pandemic, many workers prefer to be closer to family, opting for suburban locales, like Clifton Park. Locations once considered exurban or remote are now more attractive when it comes to renting commercial space.

While rents in many downtown office locations are decreasing, suburban office space in those same markets is often commanding a premium. As we enter a post-COVID period, many organizations are trying to maintain their urban presence, but finding their employees prefer the suburbs.

Limited Face-to-Face Time with Colleagues

You will observe a mixed form of social interaction when you get back to the office. People will need to continue practicing all the suggested social distancing guidelines, even if you work in a small office. Many companies will establish open spaces and one-way walking systems in corridors to help people maintain distance from other employees. Moreover, offices will limit the number of people in restrooms, lunch rooms, meeting rooms, or elevators to ensure everyone follows the guidelines.

There may be additional precautionary measures implemented to prevent the virus from spreading in higher-risk places such as kitchens. Companies may even ban the use of fridges and microwaves to prevent cross-contamination of drinks and food. Therefore, workers may have to bring their own snacks and drinks and keep them in their own workspace.

Some companies may stagger the return of their workforce. They will schedule workers to report to the office on different days. Work shifts may also get altered, and some may even work on alternate weeks. If you work in a large office that can accommodate a lot of people at one time, you may still have a percentage of co-workers working from home as the hybrid model of work becomes more common and acceptable.

Design and Ventilation are Now Priority 

People want to feel safe and healthy and need to work in a clean environment. They want to believe that their office buildings are more than just energy-efficient green buildings. Employees want to see cleaning protocols, limited people on elevators, upgraded filtration system and air filters, and directional symbols in office spaces and common areas.

Sharing is Not Caring Anymore

Whether it is a large space or small, companies will establish policies on sharing beverages and food and even the water cooler to limit the chances of contracting a virus. The CDC has suggested finding alternatives to shared food and drinking items. They recommend replacing bulk snacks and coffee pots with single-person packaged items.

Everyone should be prepared for no longer having a large kitchen area. Additionally, one may have to carry a cold or hot container to maintain food temperature. Ask HR for the new/revised policy if you use medicines that you need to store in a refrigerator.

Less Zoom Fatigue and Fewer Meetings

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was difficult for employees to adapt and attend seemingly endless zoom meetings, one after another. This created zoom fatigue, and back-to-back live group discussions and meetings made it challenging to do other things. During the last year, people have understood the psychological impacts of never-ending meetings.

Almost every manager and executive is now aware of what it feels like. Hence, there will be a structure to address the cost of meetings. Companies will recognize that people will get more stress and burnout if they stay on calls throughout the day.

Another thing that will reduce meeting fatigue is that as more people work in the office, there is less need for online meetings. Workers will be able to discuss their matters in large meeting rooms instead of Zoom.

The New Digital Tech Will Remain

Even if your company has invested in larger office space, you will need to continue using software and online digital apps that were adopted in the lockdown. Offices may recommend using Zoom for quick discussions, rather than speaking face to face. You may also need to use Slack to ask questions via messages. These policies will help you follow social distancing guidelines.

Some clients may also feel uncomfortable meeting you in person to discuss project details; and will appreciate you continuing to use these tools to communicate project information. Clients will be able to reach you through information portals, video conferencing, and secure cloud storage. These tools will provide flexibility to you so that you can decide how and when your clients can access your services.

Workers Still Want Private Spaces

Although many workers will prefer to work in the office on alternate days, employers will surely invite their employees to their new offices. Businesses will also design meeting rooms with VR meeting technology or videoconferencing to engage employees who are still working remotely.

As people have worked from home for a longer period, they now want to get back to the office, especially apartment dwellers and parents. However, organizations still need to invest in different parts of the building for individual-focused work, such as small offices that you can book by the hour or building privacy booths.

Popular larger corporate offices will also develop quiet and peaceful areas similar to a library, where small groups or individuals can go to work without any work noises inside the office building. In general, many companies will avoid going for cubicles and opt for a more flexible and open atmosphere.

Rigorous Hygiene Procedures

Before asking workers to get back to the office, employers will use risk assessment. This will help them ensure that all employees will be completely safe in the working space. The risk assessment will help to determine which activities can lead to the spread of the virus, how to avoid this activity, and how likely virus contamination can occur. An appropriate risk assessment with experts means that you don’t need to worry about getting sick.

Similar to restaurants, supermarkets, and retail stores, employers will get the offices deep cleaned regularly. Workers will also have access to the necessary PPE, such as masks and hand sanitizers.

Bottom Line

Businesses are trying to figure out ways to create a better workspace environment that can cater to the needs and concerns of employees. For this reason, more and more companies are looking for new office rentals to design them according to their preferences. Having a new, cleaner, and bigger space could also help companies to facilitate employees with all the mentioned facilities and features in their offices.

 

Re-thinking Office Space in 2021 and Beyond

time-to-rethink-about-office-space-leasing-and-rental

It is no secret that Covid-19 has impacted the way that companies and their employees view office work. In some areas, the virus has had an impact on commercial property similar to the great recession of 2007 – 2008.  Depending on your location, there may even be an increase in office space for lease.  

Is this a Long Term Trend?

In short, no!  As vaccinations are rolling out, most employees will return to the office. Even the “hybrid model” of working part time from home requires office space. In fact, some predict that office rental will soon become harder to find. We are creatures of habit that thrive when working together.  Being able to go to the next cubicle or workstation and have instant communication is invaluable.  Business owners know this, and workers know this.  Therefore, business owners, and sometimes their Executives, are now strategizing on when employees will come back to the office.  Google recently announced they were accelerating partial reopening of their offices.  And Amazon made a similar announcement stating “our plan is to return to an office-centric culture as our baseline” with employees coming back to the office early Summer.  This has caused business leaders throughout the world to start planning what the office layout should look like, post-covid.  So what changes are being discussed and how could this affect the commercial leasing industry?

More Open Space

The whole idea behind more open space is how we can keep one another safe, via social distancing, while also being productive.  This means cubicles could be a thing of the past and “workstations” (think of a workstation as a centralized hub for things such as conference calls) could be the new norm. Removing some walls and having more open space will also increase airflow and air quality. Not to mention, cleaning these types of office layouts will be much easier than individual cubicles which often go uncleaned.  

More Sanitization Stations

If you have gone shopping the past year, you know that one of the products that were hard to find was hand-sanitizer and other bacteria-killing products.  Thankfully, these are back in stock, for the most part, and are expected to play a bigger role in offices…not just in the restrooms.

Childcare

One of the perks of working from home is not having to take your child or children to daycare if you are a parent.  More and more companies are discussing ways to incorporate childcare within the same facility, or within close proximity, the parent is working at.  Expect to see this used in recruiting efforts of employers as the cost savings alone is a great perk for an employee.

Rotating Schedule

Business decision-makers are brainstorming different forms of schedule rotations, where half the employees will work in the office on Monday, Wednesday, Friday one week and then Tuesday and Thursday the next week with the other half of the employees on the opposite schedule (or some variation).  This hybrid approach to the office will keep workers “fresh and more focused” say, experts.  Not to mention also having a positive impact on traffic and climate!  Can you imagine going into the office with half the cars on the road?  

Upgrading Technology

Technology is great and, in most cases, makes our jobs and lives easier.  Now it will play a vital role in protecting us from Covid, and other sicknesses, as many believe you will see a trend toward more touchless technology incorporated in our work lives.  From voice-activated devices to Infrared sensors (I.R.), the need to touch equipment or other people is reduced and, in some cases, removed completely.  Your mobile phone, as long as it was made within the last few years, has the technology to scan you into buildings, parking garages, and make payments, all without having to touch anything or anyone but your phone.

Satellite Offices

Business owners are now looking to move away from one central Headquarters, where employees are crammed together, and instead, they are looking to open satellite offices.  One example of this is the company REI.  They have scrapped their plans to build a traditional “HQ” and instead are looking to open multiple satellite offices.  Google is also joining in on this and calling their satellite offices “hub offices”.  Many experts are now saying this will be the future in Silicon Valley, so expect others to follow the trend. 

Outside Offices

Previously popular by restaurants, mainly, business leaders are looking at ways to incorporate an outdoor setting with their office.  This could be on the rooftop or perhaps a patio section extended off the office.  Experts say that working outside reduces stress and helps with employee focus while allowing social distancing and more air circulation. 

Is Now the Right time to Lease Office Space?

With the changes mentioned above, many relating to employees being spread out; that could mean that some businesses will have additional office space needs.  This could cause a boom in the office rental business and make it harder to find office rentals, especially in popular areas, like Clifton Park, NY.  Furthermore, restaurants are starting to reopen as well, and with the majority of restaurants operating under commercial leases, this will further increase commercial property occupancy.

With costs and leasing terms likely to go up, as demand increases, now may be a great time to start planning your business footprint and signing the office lease(s) before someone else does!

Commercial Real Estate Leasing Trends For 2021

real estate leasing trend

Everyone was affected by the global pandemic in 2020, including the commercial real estate market. Commercial leasing all but stopped during the mandatory stay-at-home order. Now, it’s a new year and the economy is growing stronger, and businesses are looking for new spaces to rent. So, what’s new for Clifton Park (NY) and the commercial real estate (CRE) market? Here are six trends in 2021 that may become the new norms. 

6 Commercial Real Estate Leasing Trends in 2021

As businesses reopen and begin planning for the future, many are looking for commercial space for rent. Here are 6 potential trends that may influence the commercial real estate leasing market.

new normal office set-up

1. Coworkers Return to Work

Remote employees were common last year, but many are returning to work as the vaccination rollout continues. As companies reopen they often need office space for their employees. 

Some businesses let their leases expire and are looking for new office space for rent. Others have employee health and safety in mind and need a larger space to accommodate social distancing. 

2. Short-Term Leasing

Before Covid-19, businesses often opted for longer leases. They had the security of knowing employees wouldn’t have to move to a new location in the middle of a project. Long-term leases are often more cost-effective. Post COVID, tenants may find they can lock in shorter terms at favorable rental costs and escalations. 

Business owners learned in 2020 to expect the unexpected. They realize being locked into a long-term lease is not always cost-effective. 

3. Increase in Subleasing

Some commercial property owners are open to subleasing. Not every company is bringing their remote employees back into the office. Others are keeping some of the staff at home and only requiring essential workers to show up at their desks. 

Companies with extra space will be looking to sublease the offices to other businesses. It gives other organizations a chance to relocate or expand without being locked into a traditional lease. 

4. Warehouse Space Remains Popular

Last year saw a huge rise in online shopping, especially with consumers staying home and avoiding contact with others, outside their Covid pod. It’s not only safe, but it’s also convenient. Merchants need warehouse space to store their inventory. It’s not only large businesses looking for large warehouse space, but also smaller companies that have entered the online marketplace. 

5. Repurposing Retail Space

Some businesses gave up their retail space entirely in 2021.These empty spaces are being repurposed as offices for lease. It’s a new trend that is predicted to stay throughout 2021. 

6. Revitalized Industrial Areas

The Covid-19 pandemic illustrated the problems within the country’s supply chain. Commercial real estate leasing trends in 2021 predict the abandoned industrial areas will see a spike in revitalization. Along with office space for lease, there will also be an increased demand for storage for online retailers. 

Commercial real estate leasing trends in 2021 look promising in Clifton Park (NY) and across the United States. 

Featured Image Credit: geralt  / Pixabay
In-post Image Credit: MaximeUtopix  / Pixabay

Guidelines for Greening Your Commercial Business

Guidelines for Greening Your Commercial Business

By Pat Friedman-Bobker

Turning your commercial business environmentally friendly has never been more en vogue than it is today. But going greener is much more than being trendy, it’s essential. Not just to the earth, but to your bottom line. Beyond the money that you start saving immediately by conserving at the workplace, you also draw more savvy, long-term customers. More buyers are choosing businesses that distribute and promote goods made with sustainably obtained materials, processes and practices. Whether your company has been at it for decades, or just getting started down the primrose path, these points will streamline your efforts, maximize returns, and impress your customer base. . . all while helping a fragile planet.

Purchasing Choices:

Every business professional knows that not only does it cost more money to purchase an item new, but it’s a greater ecological liability – starting with the extraction of raw materials to build it – leading up to the mark it leaves when it’s disposed. In the interim, why not re-use whenever possible? The EPA puts it in pretty straightforward terms. You not only save money by reusing all that you can, but “the most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place.”  Select used, recycled, repaired or borrowed items for use company-wide. Make it easy for employees to do the right thing every day, by brewing coffee without disposable pods, cups, or straws for example. Purchased items that come heavily packaged should start coming from companies using more enviro-friendly packaging and manufacturing. (1)

It’s also very cool to partner with groups like Habitat for Humanity – which buys and sells the spectrum of reusable building materials plus sundry objects and office furniture, even wall art – they also worthily accept donations of building objects or funds which enable them to not only provide those materials and products for your use, but also to build homes with new homeowners needing a bit of help. That is a rare win-win-win with a great track record.

Recycling Policy:

“Without exception, recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve the environment, the economy, sustainable manufacturing and to prevent waste from going into oceans.” (3) When someone casually tosses a recyclable item in the trash – or vice versa – it may not seem as dramatic as the staggering end results. Since 1960, total U.S. municipal waste has more than tripled, with only a fraction being recycled and composted. The total generation of municipal solid waste, MSW, aka trash or garbage, was 292.4 million tons or 4.9 pounds per person per day. Of the MSW generated, nearly 70 million tons were recycled, and 25 million tons were composted. Together, that totals only 32.1 percent. And more than 146 million tons of Americans’ trash (50 percent) was landfilled. (2)

Since the average person still ditches 5 lbs. of trash daily, one solution comes from Darby Hoover, an NRDC senior resource specialist. “People need to familiarize themselves with community guidelines.” What you can recycle at the workplace (takeout containers? direct mail?) and how you should do it (curbside? drop-off centers?) varies greatly. See your town/city website FMI about your local recycling and composting rules and options. (3)

H2-OH!

Water, water everywhere is seeping money along with waste, hiding in plain sight. Sinks and toilets may easily have slow leaks that are simple to find and repair. The caveat to having running water, is that you pay for it coming in and going out. Then the earth pays for the depletion and the waste. The less you use, the more you save. Two-fold. And freshwater is not as readily a renewable natural resource as was once believed. Simple signage solutions in even the tiniest company kitchen and bathroom areas remind people to use much less water. It’s a core business concept: if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Companies like American Standard and others showcase their water-efficient sinks, toilets, and bathroom products for sale.

Of the 322(+/-) billion gallons of water drawn for use in the U.S. every day, a seemingly low 12% is for public use – including all domestic, commercial, and industrial use. Taking the “pie” is largely irrigation (188 billion), and thermoelectric power (133 billion) gallons used per day.(5)  But it’s all relative; those 32 billion gallons you use at home and work constitute the places you and your colleagues can make the greatest relative difference. Besides, it just feels good!

Common Mistakes: A growing issue is the vast array of contaminating, non-recyclable materials such as Christmas lights, diapers, and hoses which are astonishingly tossed with recyclables; items that contaminate and can catch in the sorting equipment and trip up operations for recycle experts, according to USA Today and other reports. For personalized Q&A support on the subject, or to help advance your company’s “waste diversion goals and to support a society-wide standardized label solution for recycling bins,” shoot an email to info@recycleacrossamerica.org.

Not easily overlooked is the massive e-waste problem that surrounds you. Every year, Americans improperly dump computers, other electronics, and components replete with heavy metals that easily find ways into the environment, and our bodies, leading to cancer and other severe health problems, along with infrastructure deterioration, acid rain formation, corrosion, and more. (6)  According to companies like Green Earth, which specializes in mitigating waste in all business sectors, they will ‘help you limit the environmental impact of your business, organization, or municipality’s electronic waste.’ These actions position you for another triple-win: between first users, second users/participating nonprofits, and Planet Earth.

 Company-wide Compliance: Companies with employees that green together, stay together. It’s a top-down thing: when management makes wise decisions, it’s easier for staff members to join in. Incentives for employees to walk, bike, carpool, or use public transit to work, as opposed to driving individually, is one way your business can spare the environment and look good in your company profile, social media and P.R. opportunities. Motivate your employees to faithfully and correctly use clearly marked recycling bins, and compost if possible. Anything that was once living is compostable. Reminders will keep folks engaged: every sheet of paper has two sides. So every employee should have a bin handy for second-sided paper for internal use. Just the savings on paper alone will energize management to save a proverbial tree. Remember, incentives always get staffers stoked – the “catch them doing good” technique never carried so much water.

 https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/national-overview-facts-and-figures-materials#R&Ctrends (1,2)

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/recycling-beyond-bin (3)

https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2018/3035/fs20183035.pdf (4)

https://www.recycleacrossamerica.org/recycling-facts (5)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844020315346 (6)

Featured Image Credit: OpenClipart-Vectors  / Pixabay

8 Commercial Lease Tips during COVID-19

8 commercial lease tips during covid-19 pandemic

 

The ongoing pandemic has forced a seemingly countless number of businesses to close or limit their hours of operation.  However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The outlook is good for the pandemic to end at some point in 2021, presenting an opportunity for business to return to a level of normalcy.  Let’s take a look at a couple helpful commercial lease tips for Clifton Park business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus Clauses

The pandemic has given birth to corona virus clauses in commercial leases.  New terms added to leases will address global pandemics for posterity’s sake.  When in doubt, lean on your attorney for advice.  A lawyer will analyze the commercial lease’s COVID provisions and determine each party’s specific responsibilities.

Maintain a Dialogue 

The pandemic has had an impact on commercial leases.  Both business owners who want to renew their lease and those who are new tenants should take a close look at the commercial lease agreement language.  Speak to the lessor in a forthright manner to keep the lines of communication open as they pertain to the commercial space for rent.  The expectation is for the lessor to address any questions and concerns ranging from guidelines and safety protocols to insurance risks and more.

Space for Social Distancing

Consider the amount of space necessary to socially distance within the facility.  Though the current pandemic will likely come under control this year, there is no guarantee another will not occur in the future.  Consider whether your commercial property for rent has enough space to add barriers between workstations.  Is there ample room to maintain six feet of distance?  If not, consider another commercial property.

Consider the Flexibility and Length of the Lease

If you are thinking about exiting a commercial lease contract, remaining in the current lease or finding a completely new space, it is important that you first review the contract’s terms.  The contract’s term-end date is particularly important.  Find out if an abbreviated time frame for the lease (or flexibility in another form) is available in the event that your company’s needs shift in the months ahead.

Alterations in the Context of Operations

Coronavirus precautions such as no-touch hand soap dispensers/sanitizer dispensers along with heightened maintenance and nuanced rules for custodial staff will likely be implemented. This is especially true in cases where the landlord handles the site’s maintenance and cleaning.  Such alterations might have to be shared with tenants in accordance with the language of the lease agreement.  In fact, there might even be a lease addendum, in the event that someone contracts the virus.  It is important that you are aware of such policies well ahead of time, so you can react appropriately.

Good Faith

For existing tenants, a landlord might be open to keeping a lease going, during lean times.  If you can’t pay the rent in full, perhaps you can work out a payment agreement. If an agreement is reached, stick to the terms; pay the rent and work through the difficult times in order to avoid further disruption to your business. 

Think Long-term as Opposed to Short-term

You are your best advocate.  Be crystal clear about what you bring to the table as a tenant.  If you have a record of paying your rent in full and on time, highlight that when speaking to the landlord.  After all, many businesses are struggling to pay the rent during the pandemic. If you are flush with cash, you are the ideal tenant. 

Featured Image Credit: geralt / Pixabay

Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Lease

Lighting up the “open” sign on any business is preceded by many arduous hours of preparation, planning, negotiating, budgeting, and an infusion of capital. The stakes are high when beginning or expanding any business. A significant factor in putting any retail or commercial enterprise on a path towards successful profitability is finding the right commercial property for rent. 

Unlike the month to month rent of residential units, entrepreneurs must find a commercial space for lease which locks in a reasonable amount of time for the business to succeed.  When searching for a commercial property for rent, time commitments are an essential part of the lease. Opening any commercial or retail enterprise comes with investments in building out the infrastructure of the commercial space. 

Once found and secured the commercial property for lease must be built out to accommodate the commercial or retail enterprise that will occupy the space. This makes the initial term as well as the options for extensions of the commercial space for lease an essential consideration that can make or break the chances for success of any business. 

If the commercial property for lease does not offer an initial term that makes the build out investment economically reasonable, it will affect the success or failure of the business which occupies the space. Likewise, without contractual terms of lease extensions built into the initial contract for the commercial space for rent, the business cannot plan for success.

Both sides, the lessor and the lessee of commercial properties have a vested interest in securing a known, predictable time for the occupancy. Both sides of the commercial property lease need to take part in negotiations for a successful contract for all. Entrepreneurs looking to secure a commercial property for lease should consider these essential tips when negotiating with landlords, owners, or brokers.

KNOW YOUR BUDGET

After finding your “perfect” commercial space for lease, and before you begin negotiations, know specifically the limits of your budget. Unlike residential rentals and leases, commercial properties include many other expenses along with the rent payments. Learn about the types of commercial leases. 

Types of Commercial Leases

The negotiation of a commercial lease may involve representatives of the landlord, owner, or potential tenant. In the end these representatives will not be signing the contract, it will be signed by the interested parties, business tenant and the landlord, owner, or corporate officers of the owners. Therefore, it is important as a commercial lessee that you understand the terms, conditions, and financial obligations of the lease. A commercial lease is a legally binding document between the business tenant and landlord with specific financial obligations, even in default. 

Understanding the type of lease is a major factor in determining the costs for utilizing the commercial space. The most common type of commercial lease is:

  • The Net Lease With a Net lease, the tenant is responsible for a base rent payment PLUS, additional expenses. These additional expenses might include: 
  1. Utilities               
  2. Insurance
  3. Property and or Building Maintenance 
  4. Real Estate Taxes

A Net Lease comes in many forms. These include the Single, Double, Triple, Full Service Gross Lease along with the Bondable Net Lease, and others. Each type of lease lays different financial responsibilities on the tenants and owners while the commercial space is rented. 

KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

Know the base rent that makes the commercial space for rent workable for you. Vacancies in commercial property for lease are not good for property owners, so there may be a willingness to negotiate. Do not just look at the price per month when calculating rental rates. Concessions like free or discounted rent during the build out can add up to an appreciable discount. 

TIME TERMS OF LEASE

Negotiating the rent goes hand in hand with base time of the lease as well as extensions, and terminations. In some cases, committing to a longer time frame, can lead to lower monthly rent payments, or a guaranteed rent at renewal. Owners and landlords prefer occupied buildings. 

RENEWAL TERMS OF LEASE

Lock in renewal terms and rents by spelling them out in clauses of the initial lease agreement. Typical commercial property for lease terms may include a multi-year lease with an automatic renewal at a specified term and base rent. By extending the initial lease term and renewals, the tenant offers the landlord or owner the security of an occupied space for a longer guaranteed time. This may help in negotiating a favorable rent rate. 

To Find a Commercial Space for Rent – Search, Budget and Negotiate

Everyone searching for a Commercial Property for Rent must be prepared in many ways. Finding the right commercial space for rent is only the beginning. Many have heard the mantra of real estate, Location, Location, Location. When it comes to the commercial space for rent, the location is dictated by its use. For commercial retail spaces, traffic, visibility, and accessibility may be the most important factors in finding the right commercial property for lease. While for other businesses looking for commercial office space, manufacturing or warehouse accommodations, the right location has different parameters. Once you have found the commercial space for lease that best meets your requirements, preparing a concise budget and negotiating a lease which stays within its limits are essential.

Commercial property for rent, offers many options. Base rents, time, renewals, early terminations, sub-leases, co-leases; co-tenancies are all factors that need to be nailed down. It is seldom a “buyers” market for commercial real estate with a great location and amenities but the savvy renter should be able to find a good fit, after doing some research.

Disadvantages of Working from Home

Over the past decade, technology has made it easier than ever to work from home. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, companies throughout the world started to shift their workforce to a work from home model. And although there may be some advantages to working from home, there are plenty of disadvantages that many people don’t consider.

While the flexibility of working from home can be convenient, it’s still a good idea for companies to keep their office rentals active. Giving your employees the option to come in and work in an office when they need it can have huge benefits for both your company productivity and your team members’ mental health. Here are some of the biggest disadvantages of working from home that every company should be aware of.

Communication Difficulties

One of the biggest disadvantages of working from home for many people is that it is more difficult to communicate with your team members. You can’t just walk over to your coworker’s desk and ask them a question – you need to do it through email, instant messenger, or video chat. While there are huge benefits to all of these technologies, they can also be limiting. For example, it is much more difficult to communicate emotion and tone in an email than it is in person. Many people also interpret humor differently in an instant message than they would in a face-to-face conversation.

These small communication roadblocks can lead to bigger problems over time. It often takes more time to complete a collaborative task online than it would in person, which can decrease your company’s productivity over time. Additionally, it can be very challenging to brainstorm and come up with new ideas as a group when you’re spread out, which can ultimately lead to a lack of creativity.

For teams that use video chat, there are a wide range of challenges associated with these new video platforms. The pandemic has given us the term ‘Zoom fatigue’, which is a feeling of exhaustion that many people experience after a long day of Zoom meetings. Lagging internet connections can make it hard to hear your colleagues, and large group meetings often end with coworkers talking over each other. Additionally, many people feel self-conscious in front of the camera, which could inhibit their ability to contribute to the team in the long term.

Mental Health Challenges

While some people thrive when working from home, others struggle with their mental health. This can be particularly true for extroverts, who thrive in the company of others. Working from home requires you to spend several hours alone each day, which can start to wear on even the most introverted people after a while. Cabin fever can start to make employees feel lonely or even depressed, especially if they don’t have an established routine outside of work. It takes a huge amount of discipline to work on your own every day, and over time, that can become very exhausting.

Difficulty Bonding With Team Members

Another major struggle that many people experience while working from home is a difficulty bonding with their team members. This is a particularly large challenge for anyone who is starting a new job from home and doesn’t get to meet their coworkers in person. It can be very difficult to build camaraderie without spending time together, and over time this can have a negative effect on morale. If you have remote workers on your team, it’s important to bring them together for social engagements on a regular basis to make sure they feel included and supported. Having the chance to network and build social connections will be a key part of their success in the job.

Work-Life Balance Struggles

It’s very common to struggle with work-life balance when spending all your time at home. When there’s no physical separation between your work and the rest of your life, it can be easy to start feeling like you have to be working all the time. Over time, this can lead to irritability and burnout.

Alternatively, there are plenty of distractions at home that employees just don’t have when they’re spending time in the office. Remote workers who live with family or roommates might find themselves easily distracted by other people at home, particularly if they live in a loud environment. It can be particularly challenging to stay focused if they have children or pets that they need to attend to throughout the day. If you’re trying to work in a home that’s full of distractions, it can make even basic work tasks feel more stressful.

Lack Of Space

The lack of a comfortable space to work can make things very challenging for remote workers. Not everyone has access to a home office, especially if they live in a small apartment. If you don’t have a designated work space, you may find yourself trying to work from a couch, dining room table, or even your bed. This can get very uncomfortable if you’re working for eight hours a day, and can also make it difficult to relax when the workday is over.

Additionally, many people working from home do not have the electronic equipment they need to get their work done successfully. Not everyone has a printer or fax machine, for example. Their internet connection at home could be weaker than the one they have in the office. If you require additional data security, this can be even more challenging to replicate at home.

While working from home is a viable option for some employees, it’s not going to work for every job or every personality type. It’s important for companies to be aware of the disadvantages of working from home, and consider them before asking employees to make the switch to remote work. Having a designated office rental in Clifton Park, NY gives your employees a designated place to collaborate and be productive. Giving your team the flexibility to come into the office when necessary can improve morale and even increase productivity.

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