Open Office Spaces Can Offer a Positive Work Environment

Open Office Spaces Can Offer a Positive Work Environment

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The general consensus has gone back and forth as to whether open office spaces help boost productivity. There is research that suggests that coworkers in open office spaces have poorer relationships and reduced job satisfaction. Some people have a hard time concentrating while trying to work in the same room as all their colleagues. However, there are several distinct advantages to working in an open office space. 

Open Office Spaces Limit Superfluous Chit-Chat

One might conclude that an open office space would foster a lot of social conversations that are not actually relevant to the task at hand. However, research indicates that the open setting and lack of secluded space to converse actually discourages unnecessary conversations. People tend to socialize more in private settings, where they believe they will not be overheard. Studies indicate that people tend to be less social in general in open office spaces. People in open office spaces have been shown to have more frequent interactions with their coworkers, but actually spend less time overall interacting.

Open Office Spaces Inspire Constructive Conversations

When people in a workspace share the same goals and are respectful of each other’s noise preferences, open office spaces work great for fostering productive interactions without lowering workers’ job satisfaction. Workers in open office spaces have more opportunities to collaborate with their coworkers.

                Workers in open office spaces are more likely to learn from their coworkers. Training new employees is often easier in an open office space. They are not left to flounder in their own offices and can quickly and easily ask any number of people for help without greatly interrupting anyone’s workflow. Also, its easier to learn important information from overheard conversations in a shared space. Anyone can ask for help and receive it in short order. Employees can put up whiteboards, flow charts, drawings, and mind maps, and all contribute to these tools when they have ideas. Open office spaces allow for constant group brainstorming and problem-solving.

How Open Office Plans Can Be Made to Work

The employees’ mindset is the most important element of making an open office space work for a company. They have to be available to help others without getting too distracted with everyone else’s tasks. They also have to be able to see periodic interruptions as opportunities to help and learn, instead of as problems.

            It is also important to establish rules as a team. These should be discussed as a team in order to gain full cooperation. For example, there should be agreed upon way to ask one’s colleagues not to interrupt a task. Appropriate noise levels and activities should be discussed to minimize distractions. Protocols for brainstorming productively can be established, so everyone knows how they will be expected to contribute.

If possible, open office spaces should establish some more private spaces as well. For example, it is often helpful to have a room available for quiet work time. In addition, there should be meeting rooms for projects that require extensive discussion between specific team members, since tasks that require in-depth discussion do poorly in open work environments.

            Another factor that contributes to successful open workspaces is if everyone is working on connected tasks. If everyone is working on projects that are mostly independent of each other, they can become distractions to one another. However, if the tasks are connected, employees are able to work on most of the tasks collectively. In this circumstance, workers must be able to quickly exchange information and become used to lots of short interaction throughout the day instead of fewer longer discussions.

            Lastly, it is important to realize that open workspaces do not work for every type of work. For example, scientists doing research found that open workspaces were too distracting. Any workplace that specializes in mostly individual tasks will probably not be benefited by an open floor plan. When considering an open workspace, match the nature of the tasks with the space.

The Effect of Tech/Creative Tenants on Office Leasing

The Effect of Tech/Creative Tenants on Office Leasing

The companies that are among the most prominent tech and creative companies in the world have had an impact on society so massive that it has never been seen until now. They have made a point of making sure that no one today can do without their products, and have improved the general quality of life for many people. Despite the incredible effect they’ve had on the world, at least three of today’s ten largest companies by market capitalization are relatively new. Amazon incorporated in 1994, and it’s actually the oldest of the three. Currently its the sixth largest company on the list. Next came Google in 1998, and it is number two in market capitalization. Facebook, the fifth on the list, came next in 2004. These businesses and others mark a new era of companies, and they have been at the forefront of drivers of rapid leasing activity. They are not only expanding in their primary markets, but also taking advantage of lower real-estate costs and spreading out to secondary markets.

Another indication of how fast things are changing among tech companies is the fact that most of the 162 private companies worth $1 billion or more reached that billion mark in the last three years or less. The oldest one made the list in 2009. These companies are listed on the CB Insights Unicorn List.

Firms that have shown up in the last twenty years have been leasing more office space as they’ve grown. They have had a profound impact on the leasing of office space. These creative and tech companies are defining trends in leasing, despite the prevalence of more traditional companies in the leasing market in the past, and they are beginning to affect other sectors. These companies are even taking Boston and New York by storm, despite the fact that historically the majority of their office spaces were leased by more traditional industries, even as other cities hosted more and more creative and tech companies.

As a result, the commercial real estate market is experiencing a boom. In 2015 the absorption figure reached the highest it had been in a decade, 86.7 million feet of absorption. On the other side, vacancy declined 70 basis points, falling to 12.5 percent from 2004 to 2005. The vacancy rate is the lowest it’s been since 2008. The majority of the change is due to Creative/ Tech companies. Salesforce.com leased 300,000 more square feet in New York. The building is to be renamed Salesforce Tower New York. Amazon went from 8.3 million square feet in the Silicon Valley and San Jose to another 11 million square feet in Seattle. Facebook also added another 275,000 square feet. According to experts, almost all of the net absorption of commercial leasing space has been due to the new Tech and Creative companies.

Creative companies and tech companies, companies mostly staffed by and strongly related to millennials, are taking the world by storm. They’ve had an exceptionally significant impact on the amount of office space leased, and it looks like they will continue to in the future.

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History of Clifton Park, NY

history-of-clifton-park-ny

Nathan Garnsey House, Clifton Park NY (1791)

Clifton Park is a township in the state of New York, located in Saratoga County. The town is located in the southern reaches of the county, only approximately 12 miles from Albany, the state capital. The southern border of the town is marked by the Mohawk River, where much of its history originated.

The history of Clifton Park dates back to Dutch settlements in the area, but prior to European settlers, the area was home to Native American tribes. The Mohicans and Mohawks lived in the area and referred to it as Canastigione, or “corn flats” because they grew corn along the shores of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.

History of Clifton Park, NYEventually European settlers came to the area and settled nearby in what was then just Halfmoon. The Dutch began to cross over to the area that would later split to become Clifton Park and Halfmoon within the late 1600s. Families traveled across the Mohawk River from the Schenectady area, creating more permanent settlements.

Lord Cornbury, also known as Edward Hyde, the 3rd Earl of Clarendon, was awarded the title of Governor of New York in 1701 after his support of William III of Orange in the Glorious Revolution. One of his duties was to grant land patents, and he and other European authorities began to grant land patents in the area around Clifton Park.

The area that would become Clifton Park was named by Nanning Harmansen in 1707. He wrote to Lord Cornbury for Letters of Patent when Harmansen had purchased the area from the indigenous peoples who were originally living in the area.

Travel around the area became more commonplace, as settlers began using the Dunsbach Ferry in 1710. Eldert Vischer established Vischer’s Ferry on the shores of the Mohawk River. An important place  in the community, Amity Church was established as a place for the area’s Dutch community to worship, rather than needing to travel across the river to the Niskayuna Dutch Reformed Church.

Amity Church was a center of the community, and it eventually had to be replaced with a larger structure for its congregation. In 1871, a new Amity Church was built, but it was destroyed by fire less than two decades later. The congregation built a new church on its location in 1888, which still stands as a historic site.

As of 1723, a census shows that there were at least twenty settlers living in the area, which was still referred to as Canastigione. The site became important historically with famous visitors, such as George Washington.

Nicholas Fort maintained an area on the Mohawk River known as Fort’s Ferry. He also had a public house prior to the American Revolution. George Washington traveled across the river by ferry at this location and supposedly stopped at Fort’s tavern while he was in the vicinity in 1783, during his northern tour.

Before long, transportation would lead to the town’s expansion. The Erie Canal opened in 1825, and Halfmoon was on its shores. With its burgeoning popularity, the town got too large to maintain at its size, and Clifton Park split from Half moon on March 3, 1828. The town’s initial name was Clifton, but it became Clifton Park on March 3, 1829, when Clifton Park took the name of the 1708 Clifton Park Land Patent.

Clifton Park had its first town meeting in 1828 at Grooms Tavern. This location has remained a major historic feature of the town, initially starting out as a grocery store. It was a popular shopping spot for local families, until it became a tavern in 1828 run by James Groom.

As a major center of town life, James Groom became an important figure in the town’s history. Multiple meetings occurred annually at Grooms Tavern, and Groom himself served as town clerk from 1832 to 1835. He was also the town supervisor from 1836 to 1837. Groom’s son added several businesses to what would become the Grooms Tavern Complex, including a blacksmith’s shop and a wagon repair business.

Grooms Tavern went through several incarnations, including turning back into a store, before it was eventually bought by the Town of Clifton Park. Since 2007, it has served as a historic and cultural center, with the downstairs restored for future generations.

Clifton Park maintained itself as an agricultural town for many years. Commerce and visitors came via the Erie Canal, while mills were built along the Mohawk River. Many people had farms and even apple orchards, as the Macintosh apple was developed here and introduced to the world.

Churches began to be built throughout the township of Clifton Park and were found in many different denominations. One-room schoolhouses were also built, and these aspects of daily life anchored the families in the region. The schools were brought under the auspices of the Shenendehowa Central Schools in 1950, which helped unify the area.

In the 1960s, a major change happened in Clifton Park. The Adirondack Northway, also known as I-87, was built and connected Clifton Park to cities, including the capital city of New York, Albany. What was once an arduous journey became an easy commute for residents of Clifton Park, especially as bridges took the place of the Erie Canal system.

There are several major hamlets found within Clifton Park, and many of them have a basis in the town’s history. Grooms Corners contains the Grooms Tavern Complex, as well as the Mohawk Valley Grange Hall, both places on the National Register of Historic Places. In the southern part of the town, you can find the hamlet of Vischer Ferry along the Mohawk River. Rexford was the location of Rexford Flats, located along the western edge of town and the Mohawk River.

Nowadays, you can find just about anything you’re looking for in Clifton Park. It has a bustling business atmosphere, but you can travel a little way outside of the city and go picking apples at one of the local orchards. In addition to historic sites, such as Amity Church, you can find plenty of recreation options for your family.

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Should you Rent or Buy Commercial Property for Your Small Business?

Should you Rent or Buy Commercial Property for Your Small Business?

Nowadays, many small businesses start their journey to success from home.

Maybe they start in a spare bedroom or use a room behind the garage. That’s all fine when, there are, let’s say, 2 or 3 people working together, but what happens when your business grows? What happens when you need to start taking on more staff to fulfill orders or to provide the necessary sales or administrative support? What about your files, records and new office equipment, where’s that going to fit in to your current space?

Moving involves several key decisions

Well then, it’s really time to start thinking about moving to a purpose-built office or other type of commercial space. But the big question is: Do I rent or buy commercial property to facilitate my business expansion and future growth plans?

Once you have made the decision (probably in conjunction with your partners or staff) to make a move, there are a myriad of factors which you will need to review to help you with your decision. And these factors may differ slightly if you are making the first move out of home, or have moved premises once (or twice) already.

Questions which have to be asked

Questions which have to be asked

The list of questions to be covered is not endless and each small business may have their own reason whether to rent or buy commercial property. In any event, have a think about these questions which we at Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union suggest you ask yourself before you make a decision:

What future growth does your Business Plan call for?

Future business growth is always difficult to predict. If you have a 2-3 year plan to hire “X” more people, maybe add a showroom to your premises, for example, you probably want to lease. This will allow you more flexibility in case you grow faster than anticipated.

Lease terms can be as short as three years, with possibly an option in the lease to further extend if all covenants are complied with. Generally, leases are much easier to adjust.

On the other hand, buying a commercial property and paying a mortgage suggests more of a sense of permanence. If the mortgage offers fixed monthly payments, this may be better for planning long-term. In addition, you can enjoy capital growth if property values increase in the location you buy in—but, as we all know, this is not always the case as extraneous factors can affect value and cause a decline.

But, be careful. The last thing you want to do is buy commercial property, only to find it’s too small in, say, 3 years’ time and have to try to sell on the property.

Do I have enough savings/cash for the required deposits?

If you are leasing or buying you will need money for a deposit. If you plan to rent property you will need money for the security and utility deposits under the terms of your lease—although, of course, you get this back at the end of the lease term.

If you buy you will need rather more money for the down-payment as part of the purchase agreement. Even if you can afford the down-payment, do you want to tie this money up in buying property or would it be better to, at this stage, put it into the growth of your business?

Of course, it’s wise to discuss this issue with your accountantor financial adviser who will help analyse the move from a purely financial perspective.

They can:

  • consider any tax implications or benefits from interest, depreciation and non-mortgage expenses;
  • analyse the impact of rental or mortgage repayments on your annual operating budget;
  • make recommendations about your cash flow and working capital needs

How important is your location?

If you are reliant upon clients finding you at a particular location or depend, to some extent, on retail sales, then the availability of the right property will help determine your decision.

Some prime locations are only ever for rent as Landlords are keen to hold on to their investments. Plus, the cost to buy in a prime spot may be just too high for a fledging business.

On the other hand, if you primarily go to visit your customers or do a lot of work on-line then a second-tier location may work for you. In such case, renting makes sense as there is more chance of getting additional space in the same building as and when you need it.

Have I calculated occupancy add-on costs?

Don’t forget that there will be various direct and indirect costs to be added to your cost of occupancy, whether you rent or buy commercial property.

If you rent, many of the expenses might be built into the lease rent but you need to be sure about your liabilities for common area maintenance fees, parking costs and the like. Then there are utilities and operating insurances to be paid.

Renting also brings fewer headaches leaving you to focus on your business growth and not worry about running the building.

If you decide to acquire a building, this comes with this the added costs of building repairs and maintenance, building insurance (as compared to operational insurance). Plus,the costs of security systems or guards, common area cleaning and, probably building or property taxes levied by the City or district.

So, what’s it to be?

The final decision whether to rent or buy rent or buy commercial property for your small business needs a great deal of thought and future planning. One other key factor for other small business owners is how long they expect to stay in a property before their anticipated growth requires them to move again?
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How to Negotiate a Great Lease for Your Startup

How to Negotiate a Great Lease for Your Startup

In the process of starting and growing a new business, there are a lot of hurdles than entrepreneurs have to face. One of those hurdles is the cost – starting a business is expensive, and leasing office space is one of the biggest expenses a young company will incur. Therefore, it’s extremely important to know how to negotiate for the best possible lease. This can save you money that can then be redistributed into other parts of your company. Every lease is different, but the following tips will help you learn what to look for and how to make sure you get a lease that meets the needs of you and your company.
            Of course, you’ll need to note that your ability to negotiate a lease depends on how much leverage you have, so scout around. Find out if there are other companies that are interested in the space you’re looking at, and how long it’s been vacant. This will let you know how much leeway you may or may not have when it comes to negotiating the exact terms of the lease. So, some other things to think about:

The Lease’s Length

The Lease’s Length

           Finding a new tenant can take a lot of work, so landlords are often willing to work with you on lease terms if, in return, you’re willing to commit to a longer lease. On the other hand, if your needs change, you may end up stuck in a lease that’s too small, too big, or too expensive. If you can, sometimes a compromise is the best option – look for a shorter-term lease with the option to renew, and you may be able to get the best of both worlds.

Rent Escalations

            A steady rate for rent is relatively uncommon over a long period of time. This makes sense – housing markets get more expensive, and there’s always inflation, so landlords have to raise the rent over time. Sometimes, this takes the form of annual, percentage-based increases connected to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is often negotiable, to some extent. You can try to make a deal for a rent increase that doesn’t kick in until after the first two years (at least), or try to negotiate for a cap on how much the rent can increase per year. You can also negotiate ahead of time for a fixed increase, rather than one based on the CPI.

Improvements

            Many leases state that the tenant may not make unapproved alterations or improvements to the property. But, the space may need some improvements in order to fit your needs, so ask for a clause that will allow you to 1) make those improvements with the landlord’s consent, and 2) provides that the landlord cannot unreasonably withhold or delay that consent. Since improvements raise the value of the property, your landlord may be willing to give you a tenant improvement allowance, a pre-negotiated amount of money that the landlord will provide you to make the improvements you want.

Repairs and Replacements

            Many leases contain a clause that states that at the end of the lease, the premises must be in the same condition that they were in at the beginning of the lease. Try to negotiate for a clause that will exclude ordinary wear and tear, fire damage and damage that wasn’t the tenant’s fault, and (of course) any landlord-approved alterations or improvements.

Assignment and Subletting

            As a growing company, you need to prepare for possible mergers, changes to share ownership, and other types of reorganization. Make sure you negotiate for an Assignment and Subletting clause that is flexible enough to accommodate these possible changes.

Shop Around

            Be aware that the terms “usable square footage” and “rentable square footage” are not the same, and they are not interchangeable. Remember that a space’s useable square footage is always less than the rentable square footage. This is because “usable square footage” excludes common areas – for example, hallways, elevators, bathrooms, and lobbies – so don’t compare two spaces that have different units listed; make sure you’re comparing apples with other apples, and nothing else.

Think About Subleasing

            Sometimes companies grow and take up more space over time. Other times, they shrink, and some older companies end up with a large space that outsizes their needs. You may be able to find a good deal subleasing office space from a company like this. Subleasing also comes with a handful of potential advantages over a direct lease: The space is already in use, so any needed improvements are probably already in place, t may be cheaper and easier to get than your own dedicated facility, and you can probably get a shorter lease term (so you won’t be trapped if it doesn’t work out).

Of course, in addition to the other company, you’ll also be beholden to the terms of the original lease with the landlord, so don’t skim that document.

Letter of Intent

            It may be helpful to begin your negotiations for your space by presenting the landlord with a letter of intent. This is a good way to start out the negotiations with your essential terms already on the table: lease rate, term, renewal options, improvement options, et cetera. After laying the groundwork with the letter of intent, you can negotiate for a lease that both parties will find satisfactory.

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9 Commercial Real Estate Trends to Dominate 2019

9 Commercial Real Estate Trends to Dominate 2019

The commercial real estate market is already forecasting 2019 to be a year of significant trends that are sure to surprise even the most adept agent. From a shift in industrial absorption and the development of new zones of opportunity,there is no lack of substantial changes occurring in the sector. Let’s look at nine critical trends that you will want to keep your eye out for this year.

1. Hipsturbias

The name may sound funny, but if you’ve never heard it, you have not been paying attention.These areas continue to grow by housing recently married millennials who want to keep the hustle and bustle of the city but wish to tone things down a bit. “Urban-burbs” as they are also called are suburban areas that allow for easy access to public transportation and have several businesses within walking distance of the home.

Millennials are flocking to these precious gems because the housing is much cheaper than in the city, and this means that the retail landscape of those areas is soon to change to accommodate the newly minted homeowners. You can expect to see more health conscious supermarkets, quaint coffee shops, book stores, and more avocado toast. This is a trend you want to sink your teeth into right away.

Construction Costs Rising

2. Construction Costs Rising

This is a story carrying over from 2018. Construction costs are rising due to problems with the labor force and difficulty getting prime materials due to the trade war. Steel, porcelain, lumber, and other vital materials come from Canada, China, and other countries that have been sparring with the USA for some time now.

For the commercial real estate market, this is alarming as it means that setting up new businesses or production facilities can really hurt margins and ultimately affect the bottom line of any investor. Hopefully, the volatile political climate will ease as the year progresses, but in the meantime, it is better to be well-informed.

3. Hotel Occupancy to Continue Rising

This is a trend that has been going on for almost a decade, and we can expect more of the same in 2019. Hotel occupancy is expected to rise to nearly 67% according to the STR, and they say that it is mostly due to the high demand that offsets the incoming supply. This continued surge is impressive as businesses like Airbnb have really made a dent in the hospitality industry,and yet hotels seem to be coping with its effects.

For commercial real estate connoisseurs, this means increased business traffic yearly via conventions, events, and other events that are sure to drive profits and give the market yet another boost this year. Keep your eye out for the numbers at the end of the year, too, as 2020 is already looking good.

4. More Warehouse Developments

Amazon recently became ILPT’s largest tenant, and warehouse developments continue to grow as the internet swallows more and more commercial space. The warehouses of today are entirely different from those of old.They tend to be multileveled and store various products.

The operations managers in these new warehouses will have their hands full with all the changes, but it is essential that the savvy commercial real estate agent pay close attention to how it all unfolds as this could mean yet another spike in warehouse developments next year.

5. Hope for the Best but Expect the Worst

We don’t want to be grim here, but as the economy nears a full decade of expansion naturally, everyone fears a new recession at any moment. Downturns generally occur a couple of years after employment levels hit peak levels, and while there no tell-tale signs at the moment,it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

There may not be any need to mention that real estate is not resistant to business cycles and can be heavily impacted by even the slightest downturn in the economy. Keeping a close eye on the subject and keeping a “beware the good news” attitude is not the worst thing that can be done this year.

6. Less Brick and Mortar Retail Bankruptcies

A lot of once-significant players in their respective industries shut their doors last year, including established brands like Sears, Claire’s, and Brookstone. The trend is expected to continue this year but with a bit of a slowdown. Brick and mortar retailers are beginning to adjust to the ever-increasing presence of online shopping, and closing certain locations is often how they are changing and avoiding bankruptcy. Stores are focusing on their online presence, and this can only help them in the long run. The animal is not dying; it is merely adapting to change.

7. Groceries Moving Online

Similar to other retail locations, grocery stores are feeling the pressure of new home delivery services that are making life a lot easier for families at home. Commercial real estate players should expect to see more significant chains focus their attention to online services while also closing down major locations in urban areas.

The grocery store transformation will likely be much slower than in any other retail business, but it is essential to see what moves they make in 2019 as the internet continues to penetrate the way that stores in almost any industry do business. Everyone needs groceries, but how they get them will come down to grit.

8. Demand for Office Space to Slow Down

While at the moment stable, the office space leasing sector may see a very slight slowdown in need this year as employment numbers seem to settle. The trends of 2018 in this area are being put into question, and yet the come-down is not expected to be too harsh. Start-ups and established companies are coasting at the moment and barring some major change, everything in the office space world looks to be business as usual.

9. Commercial Real Estate Tech Boom

Commercial real estate players can expect more help this year as start-ups are being offered new technology by global fund investors who want to see even more growth in the industry. The many technological advances that are coming are sure to impact the industry in many ways. You can be sure that your competitors are already making room for more tech in their portfolios and that means you should, too.

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Open Plan Offices – A Failed Experiment?

Open Plan Offices - A Failed Experiment?

If you’re searching for commercial space for rent you might be considering moving into a building with an open plan design. While this office design is great in theory you might want to rethink the type of office leasing you’re looking for – open plan offices have a few problems that may affect the workflow of your employees. 

The theory of an open plan design is sound. The lack of small, enclosed rooms (such as private offices) coupled with a wide, open layout theoretically should encourage workers and managers alike to interact with one another and prompt collaborations.

However, a fairly recent study has revealed that workers are doing the exact opposite of collaborating with one another — they’re keeping to themselves more than ever. To conduct the study, researchers used microphones and electronic badges to track email use and the level of interaction among employees.

The study revealed that employees had decreased face-to-face interactions by 73%. Instead of interacting with one another employees buried themselves in text messages and emails which both saw an increase of over 67%.

What's the Argument for Open Plan Offices?

What’s the Argument for Open Plan Offices?

The concept of open plan office spaces seems like a great idea. Studies show that our social environment contributes significantly to our ability to stay motivated and work that much harder. Furthermore, work environments today are places where “playing well with others” has become more essential than ever.

That’s why the idea of an open plan office makes complete sense. The workplaces that have higher interaction amongst employees tend to not only improve work output but also improve job satisfaction, as well.

One major influencer of employee productivity, job satisfaction, and improved willingness to collaborate with others is the design of the workplace (theoretically anyway). The entire point of the open plan office concept was to create a wide space that discourages independent work and encourages more social interaction.

The open plan office concept was all about creating a sense of community — solo work would be reduced in favor of a group based effort which would (theoretically) improve overall work output.

It turns out workers need one vital factor to concentrate – privacy

One aspect of productivity that the open plan office design didn’t take into account was the fact that employees require privacy to get work done. Imagine yourself in an open plan office — every movement, every bit of conversation, every individual — all visible to you and serving as distractions from your work.

On average it takes about 23 minutes to get back on track after you’ve been distracted. Thus, employees try to make up for these distractions by expending additional mental energy to regain their concentration. As a result, they tend to communicate even less with their coworkers, research shows.

During these periods of constant distraction workflow is interrupted, and the employee will likely perform at a lower level than average. Efficiency and productivity will decrease, and mistakes will arise.

Focus is the key word here. The failure of open plan offices lies with the fact that employees aren’t able to focus. There are just too many people doing too many things in too dense an area for anyone to truly concentrate on their work.

What the cubicle design gets right is that it allows employees to bury themselves within their own little world as they focus on their work, free of distractions. Focused work is the key to productivity. When focus is taken away so is an employee’s ability to stay truly productive.

Why aren’t employees making more of an effort to collaborate?

Whether intentional or not, open plan offices were designed to increase collaboration and interactivity at the expense of concentration and focus. The problem with this concept is that employees expend emotional and cognitive resources attempting to make up for their lack of focus. As a result, they’re not as willing to collaborate with others.

Further research indicates that the combination of lack of privacy along with increased crowding in the workplace often puts workers on the defensive and office relationships are strained as a result.

The real reason why open plan offices fail

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all for office designs. As individuals, we all view workplaces differently. Where one person may find an open plan office to be the perfect environment for getting collaborative work done another person may see it to be incredibly distracting.

Concentration and focus will always be the foundation of productivity. That’s why organizations should attempt to find a workplace solution that not only allows employees to have a certain degree of privacy (which leads to increased focus) but also fosters the need for more interactions amongst employees.

If you happen to be searching for office space for rent in Clifton Park, we can accommodate you. Atrium properties has over 40 years of experience in building and managing office buildings. We always ensure our tenants are paired with the ideal commercial property for rent because we know that if our tenants are successful, we’re successful. Contact us today for more information.

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What is the best way to find commercial office space for rent?

What is the best way to find commercial office space for rent?

Finding the perfect commercial office space for your business takes time, effort, and a willingness to do in-depth research. Moving into the wrong type of office space can have disastrous results for your business. For example, if you pick an office space based in the wrong location (little to no traffic, significant security issues, hard to physically locate), then you can expect your business to suffer on multiple levels.

Other factors such as size, rent, and overall budget also play a significant role in the type of office space you should choose for your business. Identifying the best way to find commercial office space for rent can seem like a daunting task from the surface, but focusing on the essentials will make your task that much easier.

Let’s breakdown the best way to find commercial space for rent.

1) Create a shortlist based on your budget

Creating a shortlist doesn’t just help you find the perfect office building for your business — it also saves you time and money. Rent can vary depending on the locality, so weeding out the office spaces that are outside of your budget range will ensure you don’t waste time looking at commercial spaces that aren’t well suited for your business.

2) Consider how much space you need

Space is one of the most important factors you need to take into account when you’re choosing a commercial office to rent. How large does your office space need to be? Small? Medium sized? Large? Understand your needs in terms of space before setting out on your search. As you determine the right size of your office space consider the number of people you employ, whether or not you intend on having customers visit your office, and so on.

3) Furnished vs. unfurnished office space

Depending on who you speak to this option may seem like a luxury. Despite this, you should consider the pros and cons of moving into a furnished vs. unfurnished commercial office space. The obvious drawback of moving into a furnished office space is that the extra amenities will likely cost you more each month in rent.  However, one major advantage is you’ll potentially save hundreds of dollars upfront because you won’t have to purchase (and transport) your own furniture.

4) Business centers

Business centers are a great place to start for many companies. Even some of the most reputable businesses base some of their branch offices in business centers. Business centers are useful because they handle the hassles of administrative work that businesses deal with during their day to day proceedings. This will free you up to focus on what matters most — growth and revenue generation.

5) Look for well-known office complexes in commercial areas

Why should you look for office complexes? That’s because well-known spaces such as these are known for providing the best amenities for their office spaces such as water, central air conditioning, electricity, and more.

6) Look for online listings

There are plenty of online listings out there that will help you track down the perfect office space for your business. Listing sites such as LoopNet and Zillow do a fantastic job of listing properties available in your area of choice. You can also turn to broader sites such as Craigslist. While Craigslist provides a wide variety of services, it has proven to be an effective resource for finding available commercial property. 

There are many online listing sites to choose from. Do your homework and focus primarily on the most trusted sites. The two qualities a good listing site should have is time efficiency and accurate listings. Ensure the site is always kept up to date (otherwise you’ll just be wasting your time). Also, you should be able to navigate the site with little to no issue.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right type of commercial space for your business takes planning and time. Making a choice without thoroughly analyzing the needs of your business could lead to you making the wrong choice — a decision that can haunt your business for years. Take your time, do your research, and execute your strategy. With enough diligence, you’ll be able to identify the best commercial office space for your business.

Looking for a commercial space in the Clifton Park area? Contact Atrium Properties today. We’ll match you to an office space well suited for your business. With more than 40 years of experience building and managing buildings we know what it takes to make our customers happy. Contact us today for more details.

Featured Image Credit: Free-Photos / Pixabay

5 Benefits of having a Green Office Space

5 Benefits of having a Green Office Space

Choosing to go green in your office space comes with a number of benefits. These include cutting back on paper usage, reducing waste, cutting energy costs, providing a better work environment for employees and much more. Let’s break down 5 benefits of having a green office space and how you can go about making your office space greener today.

1) Increased Productivity

When compared side by side, the employees of green offices tend to show more productivity than their counterparts in non-green work environments. Employees tend to have more pride in their work when their employers are environmentally responsible which encourages them to work that much harder. More and more businesses are becoming aware of this spike in employee productivity and have begun to go green just to improve productivity in their own offices!

2) Happier and healthier employees

Whether you realize it or not the health and mood of your employees can be directly affected by the environment where they work. From air ducts exposing employees to unhealthy air to drab color schemes painted on every wall in the building, the work environment often has a direct impact on how your employees perform. Changing this atmosphere by going green is often the medicine needed to make employees happier and healthier to boot.

Office plants add liveliness to any office environment. As an added benefit, plants can also catch the containments in the air, making the work environment that much healthier. Throwing flowers into the mix will provide the office with a fragrant aroma for your employees to enjoy. Also, you can’t beat the mood improving bright colors you’ll be adding to the space!

3) Lower Bills

Going green doesn’t just allow businesses to reduce their environmental footprint. It also saves them a lot of money. Every green step that an office makes, from using natural lighting to recycling, reduces overhead costs and ultimately impacts the bottom line positively.

4) Improved company image

Image is everything in the business world. A bad reputation not only reduces your chances of attracting new clients, but can also repel potential future employees. Both newer employees and customers appreciate a company who makes an effort to go green. You’ll be seen as caring about more than just your bottom line — you’ll project a message that you care about your employees and the environment.

5) Positive impact on the environment

Humanity has done significant damage to the environment. With millions of vehicles shooting pollutants into the air, companies dumping corrosive chemicals into the ocean, deforestation and more every little bit helps when it comes to fixing the damage we’ve caused. Having a green office space reduces this impact even if it’s only ever so slightly. It’s simply the right thing to do, and hopefully, more businesses will follow your lead as you continue promoting green practices on a daily basis in your office environment.

Tips on how to go green in your office space

Going green may be easier than you think. Here are a few ways you can go about reducing your impact on the environment in your office space:

  • Switch to organic cleaning supplies that are non-toxic.
  • Lower your utility bills by using office equipment optimized for reduced energy consumption, changing the energy settings on your computers and handheld devices, and replacing all of your standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Start slowly and change one or two things at a time. You can start with changing the settings on your computers and handheld devices and then move on to changing out your light bulbs. If you make the process of going green gradually, you may be surprised at the transformation of your office a month down the road.
  • Coach your employees on how to be green. Have them get into the habit of turning off lights, use reusable cups, forks, and knives, and so on.
  • Do everything you can to reduce the amount of paper you’re using in the office every day. Use recycled paper when you can and reuse shipping and packing materials.
  • Encourage your employees to reduce their environmental impact by carpooling with fellow coworkers. You can also try to condense work schedules to reduce the number of days your employees have to drive to work. Telecommuting is also an option.
  • It isn’t difficult to recycle used cans and bottles. Recycling becomes a problem, however, when recycling bins and are not easily accessible. You can remedy this issue by placing recycling bins next to the workstations of your employees. That way there will be no excuse when it comes to recycling.

Going green in your office space

Going green is the way of the future. If you find yourself falling behind the times, you may find it harder to attract future employees and customers. With the many benefits of transforming your office space into an ecologically friendly environment, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t think about going green with your office space today.

Featured Image Credit: Goumbik / Pixabay

Find and Lease Clifton Park Office Space for Rent in 6 Easy Steps

Find and Lease Clifton Park Office Space for Rent in 6 Easy Steps

If you’re searching for office space in Clifton Park, there are a number of steps you need to keep in mind before taking action. Factoring in your potential growth, budget, and current needs (amongst many other factors) is essential to choosing the perfect building for your business.

The commercial space you lease is often crucial to the success of your business — making a wrong decision can have a lasting negative impact that can affect your business for years to come.  Let’s break down the 6 essential steps you need to find an office space for rent in Clifton Park.

1) Determine your office needs

As you search for your ideal office space, one of the first things you need to do is ascertain the needs of your business and your employees. Answer the following questions to help you identify your needs:

  • How much space do you need?
  • What’s your overall budget?
  • What class of office space do you require?
  • What should the office layout be?
  • Do you have enough space if you grow?
  • What are your parking requirements?

Considering every possibility will help to paint a picture of the perfect office building for your business. For example, leasing a large office space with extra square footage will leave room for future growth.

You must also consider the location of your office rental. Will you be in an area that attracts decent foot traffic? How accessible is your commercial space?The building you choose should be convenient not only for your customers but also for your suppliers and employees.

2) Estimate your budget

Your budget will ultimately determine the type of office space you will be able to lease. You can estimate your budget by analyzing your financial constraints, your needs for space and services, and local rental costs. You can gain an accurate picture of the budget you’ll need by multiplying the average local price per square foot by the space requirements of your business. When you’ve made that calculation, add in utility and maintenance costs to help you determine a budget that’s realistic.

Once your budget is set, you’ll have a good picture of what type of building you should be looking for. For example, if you only have a budget to accommodate a Class C office building, you won’t waste time looking at Class A and Class B buildings.

3) Locate the office space that meets your criteria

There are two ways to locate a property in Clifton Park. First, you can do so yourself by searching through online listings. Second, you can hire a broker to do the heavy lifting for you.

Hiring a broker comes with a wide range of advantages. A good broker will have local insight that you may not have and will help you during lease negotiations. Brokers bring specialized knowledge to the table and it’s their job to get you the best deal possible.

To simplify your search in the Clifton Park area, reach out to Atrium Properties. They’ll get you into a commercial space quickly so you can get your business up and running without delays.

4) Tour available office spaces for rent

During your search, you’ll likely find many suitable office spaces for rent. When your search has concluded you’ll want to narrow your search down to the most promising commercial properties that meet your criteria and schedule a tour.

Before going on the tour you’ll need to do your due diligence and conduct research on the building. Keep these considerations in mind when you’re considering a specific commercial space:

  • Surrounding area
  • Security features
  • Other tenants
  • Ease of access
  • Age of building mechanicals (air-conditioning units, elevators, plumbing, etc.)
  • Parking availability
  • Office amenities

Taking note of these considerations will help you to determine whether or not a particular office space is a good fit for your business.

Working with a commercial brokerwill make this process more relaxed because they will provide the background information on each of the properties you decide to look at and they will schedule the walkthrough on your behalf. Working with a broker will also ensure all of your questions and concerns will be answered.

5) Collect and organize the proper financial information

The financial position of your business will play a substantial role in the commercial spaces that will be available for you to rent. You’ll need several pieces of vital information that will help your landlord determine whether or not you’ll be an excellent commercial tenant. This information includes:

  • References
  • Profit and loss statements (at least two to three years, however, this may not be possible startups)
  • A current credit report
  • Balance sheets
  • Bank records
  • Tax returns

Having your financial information ready will save you time and energy because it will allow you to move forward the moment you find a suitable rental space.

You should also sign a personal guarantee which is a statement that communicates that the owner of the business will comply with the terms of the lease. A personal guarantee is binding even if you leave before the term of the lease has ended. Signing a personal guarantee will be another gesture to your landlord that you will be able to cover your rent even if your business is unable to generate enough revenue to cover the cost.

6) Make your choice and move on to the negotiation phase

You will eventually come to a point where you will find the ideal office space that meets your criteria. Next, you will negotiate the lease with the landlord. Knowing the various types of leases out there and how they work will give you an edge during the negotiation phase which will ultimately allow you to negotiate better terms for your lease.

There are three lease types for commercial spaces you should be aware of:

Full-service lease

Under this lease type, the landlord holds most of the responsibility. They will pay all expenses associated with the commercial space that includes repairs, maintenance, property taxes, insurance, utilities and janitorial services. Full-service leases are the most common type of lease.

Net lease

Under this lease type, the tenant pays less rent annually in comparison to a net lease but will be required to pay monthly “usual costs” which include property insurance, common area maintenance (CAMS) fees, and property taxes.

Modified gross lease

Under this lease type, the tenant covers the fee for property insurance, property taxes and CAM fees in a lump sum which is paid alongside the rent. The advantage of a modified gross lease is that the rent will be fixed therefore the tenant won’t have to worry about hidden fees.

Leasing office space in Clifton Park

Before searching for office space to lease in Clifton Park, it’s essential you ascertain the needs of your business, budget, and plans for growth.  Going in unprepared will likely force you to settle for anoffice space that isn’t ideally suited for your business.

If you’re looking to simplify your search and find the perfect commercial space for your business, contact Atrium Properties today. With more than 40 years of experience the professionals at Atrium Properties will help you find the perfect Clifton Park commercial space.