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Not your father’s office space.

millennial office spaceOffice space planning for the millennial generation.

In today’s office environment, bigger isn’t always better. Gone are the days when each employee was treated to his or her own private office, racing up the corporate ladder to larger, more coveted offices.

According to a report by Property Portfolio Research, the size of the average American office has decreased by 21 percent over the past decade. And real estate data provider, CoreNet Global, estimates that American offices now average 151 square feet per worker. Put together, it provides fertile ground for workspaces that are more collaborative, more open, occupy fewer square feet and, yes, cost less. So just how much office space does your small business need?

The rule of thumb for office space planning is this: Think smart. Plan well. If you’re moving into a new office, reorganizing your current space, downsizing or “smart-sizing,” keep these three tips in mind when determining how much space you need.

  1. Make a List. Check it Twice.

Any good planning project begins with a list. If you’re planning office space, start early by defining your space. with a list of employees and their office space requirements. Maybe the boss needs an office, but Becky, George and Lisa need cubicles in a shared, open area. If you need a conference room, reception area, break room or storage space, you’ll want to add that in, too.

  1. Plan for Growth

Why spend time and money planning and outfitting your office space, only to outgrow it and do it all over again? If you plan for growth now (think three to five years out), you can avoid growing pains later. A good rule of thumb is to carve out 125 to 225 square feet of office space per employee. But if you plan to grow your company, don’t forget to add in those future employees.

  1. Get Technical

When planning your office space, don’t forget to include your technology needs, such as access to and wiring and cabling for computers, servers, fax machines, telephones, copiers and video conferencing equipment. It even includes break room appliances, such as a refrigerator and coffee machine. Think about where these items will live so your contractor can plan for them before you move in.

Search the internet for companies that specialize in it or property management companies that offer space-planning services. You’ll get an expert assessment of your current office space and future needs, including office workflow, space usage, amenities, energy efficiency, leasing costs and technology requirements. You could even save as much as 20% on your current occupancy costs and eliminate office space that doesn’t fit your needs.


For more information about space planning or to sign up for The Anderson Group’s Smart Office Audit, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

 

 

 

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OFFICE SPACE PLANNING 101

Your Office Space Planning Questions Answered

It’s no secret that your office layout can make or break office productivity. Studies show that workplace design impacts employee performance, engagement and innovation.

office space planning 101

In a recent Gensler U.S. Workplace Survey, a nationwide study of 2,035 professionals, researchers found that “only one in four U.S. workers are in optimal workplace environments. The rest are struggling to work effectively, resulting in lost productivity, innovation and worker engagement.” According to Gallup, “employee disengagement in the U.S. is a serious issue that costs U.S. companies $450 billion to $550 billion every year.”

Based upon these statistics alone, it’s clear that space planning entails much more than finding a sunny spot for your potted plants. But you don’t have to hire a costly interior design company to handle your office space planning needs. Instead, look for a commercial realtor or property management company that offers free space planning services as part of your lease agreement. Many have in-house professional designers who will help you determine circulation patterns and provide scaled floor plans for open space, furniture and equipment.

But where do you start? Use these questions to lead your discussion with a commercial space planning professional:

How much space will I need?

Start by asking yourself how many people will be working in your new space – and on what kinds of tasks. Office designers typically plan for anywhere between 150-200 square feet per employee. If you expect to add employees, you’ll want to incorporate some flexibility into your space planning process. To accommodate future growth, it’s smart to add 10% to 20% to the total square footage.

What do I want my office space to communicate about my company?

Your office design and layout says a great deal to internal and external audiences. A functional, efficient and aesthetically pleasing office layout will give your space an identity and help your employees promote and live your brand. Whether you express your brand through use of colors and logos or communicate your brand via furniture, décor and lighting, your office layout and design influence the way the public and your employees view – and experience – your company.

How do I arrange my office for maximum productivity?

If you determine the location of your copier based upon available electrical outlets, you’re probably not giving full consideration to office workflow. It’s well worth taking the time to meet with a design professional to figure out the most efficient and productive layout for your office. A good property management company or commercial landlord will help you tailor your space to fit your needs, not force fit your needs into a predetermined space.

How do I want my employees to work and interact?

Gensler reports that the most effective office layouts allow for employee focus and collaboration. That means providing spaces that allow employees to concentrate on their individual responsibilities, as well as creating meeting spaces that facilitate employee interaction, collaboration and idea generation.

The bottom line is, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all office space. Before you make your next office move or embark on your next office reconfiguration, invest time in thinking about your business goals, employees, and desired office culture. The time you spend can positively impact both employee satisfaction and productivity.

 


Need help with office planning to better fits your needs?

Take advantage of The Anderson Group’s Smart Office Audit. The Smart Office Audit is a free, expert assessment of your current office environment and future needs, including workflow, space usage, amenities, energy efficiency, leasing costs, and technology requirements. The Anderson Group has helped companies save thousands of dollars a month by making changes to their current office space, as well as recommending what to look for in a new location, if it’s time to move.

To learn more, or to schedule your own complimentary Smart Office Audit, call The Anderson Group at 518-458-7726.Smart Office Audit logo

 

Also posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, General News, Managing Your Business, Office Productivity, Office Space Design, Office Space Efficiency | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

8 Questions to Ask Before Leasing Commercial Office Space

The Anderson Group's Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson of The Anderson Group

Expert Advice on Leasing Commercial Office Space

Leasing commercial office space is a big step for your businesses, so it’s important that you do your due diligence. Greg Anderson, partner at The Anderson Group, offers answers to the top eight questions prospective tenants should ask when considering an office space move.

  1. How much space does my business need?

There are general industry guidelines for commercial office space (i.e., 150 square feet for a standard office and 25 square feet for a standard cubicle), but these guidelines fail to account for the corridors and common areas included in most leases. The best way to determine your business’s size requirements is hiring a space planner who can help you visualize your space based on your unique business needs and workflow. A good commercial developer / property management company may offer this service for free, saving you time, money, and the hassle of hiring an architect or space planner who must develop unique plans for each office building you’re considering.

  1. Should I rent the square footage my business needs now, or find space with room to grow?

Unless you know for sure that your business will grow significantly in the near future, it makes sense to rent only the space you need now. In many instances, when a tenant realizes substantial or unexpected growth, property management companies are happy to place that tenant in a larger space without penalty. Your ability to expand will depend upon the building you’re in. Ask for “right of first refusal” if space adjacent to yours becomes available.

  1. Can I make improvements and modifications to my office space?

In many cases, new office space is either “plain vanilla” (unfinished walls and floors) or is tailored to the previous tenant’s needs. In either case, you likely will want updates and modifications to bring the space to your standards. Many property management companies will price your construction requests and amortize the amount over the length of your lease. Some will give you an allowance per square foot (typically around $2 per square foot per year) that you can use to complete construction with an approved contractor. Your best-case scenario is finding a property management company that offers free construction management services and will invest the time to help you customize your space on time and on budget.

  1. How can I make sure this space supports my brand?

Many business owners hire interior designers to ensure that their office space supports their brand. A good commercial real estate developer / property management company provides professional interior design services free of charge to prospective tenants. Whether you want an open office layout or individual offices, or specific wallpaper, paint, lighting, furniture and carpet, experienced in-house designers can help you tailor your space to fit your business needs and ensure that your space sends the right message about your company.

  1. Does the office space meet my technology needs?

Most commercial properties today offer a variety of networking options, such as cable, DSL, T1s and fiber. Tenants whose business practices demand heavy bandwidth should verify that potential properties have the infrastructure to support their business needs.

  1. How do I know if I’m choosing the right location for my business?

You’ve heard it before: in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. And where you locate your office may depend upon the type of business you operate. Do you need a central location close to airports and train stations to accommodate out-of-town clients and heavy business travel? Do you need to be near major highways or bus lines to make it easier for your employees to get to work? Are ample parking and proximity to shopping and restaurants important? Or are you looking for a quiet location away from the hustle and bustle? Consider all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of each property before you zero in on the one that’s best for your business. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. What is included in my rent? 

What is included in your commercial rent will vary dramatically from company to company. Many property management companies offer modified gross leases, which means you’ll be charged a base rent, plus an additional fee per square foot. When you sign a modified gross lease, items such as utilities, housekeeping, maintenance, and insurance are often additional—and can significantly add to the cost of your rent. A modified gross lease can also mean that you’ll be financially responsible for major mechanical, electrical, and plumbing issues. Don’t like surprises? Find a property management company that offers full gross leases, which means you pay a base lease with everything included.

  1. Is the property owner trustworthy?

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’ve done your homework on the property owner and/or property management group. Is the owner creditworthy?

Does the owner have a good reputation? Are they responsive? What kinds of security measures are in place? Is the property up to code and ADA compliant? Be sure to ask, and don’t be afraid to ask other building tenants. A reputable property management company has nothing to hide.

For more information, or to begin searching for your commercial office space, email Greg Anderson at ganderson@tagny.com or call 518.458.7726.

About The Anderson Group

The Anderson Group is a full-service real estate management, development, and brokerage firm offering premiere commercial real estate across the Capital Region of New York. Experts in office-space efficiency, productivity, and profitability, The Anderson Group offers leases with flexible terms tailored to fit your needs. All leases include utilities, housekeeping, construction services, space planning, interior design services and more.

 

 

 

 

 

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Anderson on WGY Radio: Improve Layout and Efficiency

Smart Office Audit LogoYou can update your current workspace to reduce costs and improve productivity. The Anderson Group’s efficiency experts will help you improve the layout and efficiency of your office with a free Smart Office Audit. Request your audit today online or by calling 518-458-7726.

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The Anderson Group Unveils “Smart Office Audit” to Help Area Businesses

Smart Office Audit LogoNovember 13, 2013 (Albany, NY) – The Anderson Group LLC, one of the largest commercial property owners and property management companies in Albany, NY, is offering a free service to help area businesses who want to make their office space more productive, efficient, and successful.

The Smart Office Audit ™ is a free service created by The Anderson Group to help businesses that believe their current office space is too expensive or not efficient enough to meet their needs. The goal of the Smart Office Audit is to show a company how they can save up to 20% of current occupancy costs.

According to managing partner Andy Anderson, many businesses are concerned that they are paying for more office space than they actually need. The process of doing the audit determines if this is the case, and they will present a list of options for companies such as reconfiguring and retrofitting current space.

Audits also can uncover issues affecting productivity and utility costs, such as inefficient lighting and HVAC equipment. “There’s an immediate financial payback for most businesses that upgrade to more energy efficient technologies,” explained Anderson.  “We’ve been investing heavily in upgrades for our buildings. In one building, we reduced utility costs 40% in the first year alone, resulting in positive cash flow even after a $30,000 investment.”

The Anderson Group is the first landlord in the area certified by NYSERDA’s new HVAC Business Partner Program, which allows the company to identify problems with existing HVAC units. “Lighting and HVAC are the two significant drivers of utility costs,” said Anderson.” We can help businesses identify options for saving money, and help them identify incentive programs with National Grid or NYSERDA.”

According to Anderson, businesses do not have to be an Anderson Group tenant to take advantage of the Smart Office Audit ™.  “We find that small to medium-sized businesses really need this kind of help,” explained Anderson. “We are happy to work with businesses to improve office productivity. It’s part of building a long-term relationship and standing by our solid reputation as forward-thinking innovators of office communities.”

Easy, but Thorough Process

The Smart Office Audit begins with a meeting to review your business’ current operations, space, energy usage and utilities, technology and communications requirements, and any issues and concerns.  After an interactive process, the outcome is a set of recommendations to create the most productive workspace possible in your existing office or, if it is clear that a different space is needed, detailed recommendations on square footage, layout, energy and telecommunications, common areas needs, parking, and other requirements for your future office pace.

To request a Smart Office Audit, companies can visit www.SmartOfficeAudit.com or call 518-458-7726. You can also hear Andy Anderson discussing typical findings of the audits during two-minute “Ask the Expert” segments Thursday mornings on the 810 or 103.1 WGY Radio Chuck & Kelly talk show.

The Anderson Group LLC offers premiere commercial office space at outstanding locations in Albany, NY. Experts in office space efficiency, productivity, and profitability, Anderson also offers the free Smart Office Audit to businesses interested in optimizing their office operations and lower occupancy costs. The Anderson Group’s full services include commercial property management, property development, and brokerage services. Popular executive suites with flexible leases for smaller firms are also available.  Founded in 1966 The Anderson Group today has become the New York Capital Region’s most respected authority on creating work communities that are productive and efficient. For more information, visit www.tagny.com or call 518 458-7726.

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