5 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind While Leasing a New Office Space

Leasing a new office space can be an exciting venture in your path to success within your business. The feeling of having a space that you can call your own and personalize to your liking is incomparable to anything else in business. However, we can often get so wrapped up in the details and excitement that we sometimes forget to take certain safety precautions before signing the lease. Below are some recommendations that will ensure the safety of not only yourself, but your employees and clients as well.

ASSESS IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS

Being aware of your surroundings is of crucial importance when leasing a new office space. Familiarize yourself with everything within a two-block radius at minimum. Here are a few things to look for when assessing your immediate surroundings.

  • Crime Rates and Statistics in the area
  • Well-lit outer building and parking area
  • Noisy or disruptive neighbors
  • Make sure that your space is handicap accessible

CONSULT WITH A LOCKSMITH

No matter what measures that you as a business owner take to protect your office space as well as the employees and customers that will be entering, the efforts will be meaningless if the foundation can be easily compromised. Having a licensed locksmith ensure that all of the windows, doors, and AC units are properly secured is a priceless step that should be one of your first tasks.

Along with properly secured doors and windows, a solid security system should be put into place. There are many cases as to where a person may be working overtime or late on a project. Their safety needs to be considered while working alone in a building as well as walking to their vehicle alone, especially at night.

BUILDING INSPECTION

Structures can often seem normal or intact to the untrained eye, with no real knowledge of what lies underneath. Never take a landlord’s word about the condition of a building. Conduct your own inspections, preferably through a professional whenever possible. No amount of money is worth compromising your health and/or safety. A few things to check for are:

  • Weak Foundations
  • Mold (Very harmful to one’s health)
  • Leaky Faucets and Pipes (Can cause extreme damage and ruin to the contents in your office).
  • Signs of Infestations (mice, rats, termites, etc.)

READ THE LEASE CAREFULLY

It is important to go through the entire lease with a fine-tooth comb. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a leasing agent or your lawyer to take a look at the lease with you. Whatever the case, a person that is extremely familiar with leasing jargon needs to overlook the lease before it is signed. You need to be clear on what the landlord is responsible for versus what the tenant is responsible for as far as utility and repair costs. Also familiarize yourself with what actions would be considered as grounds for termination of the lease.

INVESTIGATE THE LANDLORD

Keep in mind that this is the person who you will have to deal with for the duration of your lease. Take precautions to make sure that they are reputable and honest. Conduct backgrounds checks, reference checks, search for any complaints of fraud, and even consult with current and former tenants if you are comfortable with doing so. Also, if they are leasing out spaces under a business name, look into checking on their status with the Better Business Bureau.

The suggestions mentioned above may seem like a lot of precautions to take in the beginning. But remember, getting these precautions out of the way prior to signing the lease will ensure your comfort and safety in the future. You will potentially eliminate a great deal of hassle and costs in the long run. The quicker that you utilize these safety tips while leasing a new office space, the sooner you can get to making money.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a  passionate traveler and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 

4 Simple Strategies for Boosting Your Employees’ Morale

Employee morale makes a big difference in workplace productivity. As an employer, you can’t control your staff’s mood, but you can definitely ensure that they have a happy, healthy, and considerate environment to work in. Here are four simple strategies to consider implementing.

Open Up Communication

People like to feel as if their work makes a difference. This can be a difference in the world at large, or simply a difference for the person they are working for. It’s difficult to put in effort all day without understanding the reasons or seeing the results. Keep staff updated on your business’s successes and pitfalls, and make sure you let them know the results of projects they have personally worked on. Good communication builds trust and rapport. If you set a standard of openness, your employees will understand when something simply must be kept under wraps. 

Stock the Break Room 

Snacks in the break room can be a small but effective way to show that you care. A coffee machine is a good place to start; warm drinks offer comfort, and caffeine provides an energy boost to finish out the workday. To avoid the classic problem of burnt break-room coffee, try a Keurig brewing system. Single-serving Starbucks K-Cup pods let your employees brew themselves a cup when they need one, and don’t share the mess or cost of brewing an entire pot. Don’t forget to stock decaf pods too; everyone deserves something hot to drink. 

Fight for Employee Benefits 

To be an employee is to invest a large part of your time and energy into someone else’s business. The deal doesn’t have to be a bad one; as an employer, you have the opportunity to make a large difference in your employees’ lives. Look for ways that your business can provide benefits that staff would not be able to acquire on their own. This might include package insurance plans, vendor discounts, or even chances to travel. Working for your business should feel like an opportunity, not a cost. 

Encourage Career Growth 

If you’re the business owner, you’re likely already living your dream. Your business is a culmination of your career and the effort you have put in. On the other hand, your employees are likely at the start of their careers. As much as you enjoy seeing them every day, it’s important to remember that your staff want to grow and move forward in life. Try to provide opportunities for growth and success within your business. If an employee has a dream that will one day take them outside of your company, don’t be afraid to encourage them. The person you help go to school today could very easily be your industry contact of tomorrow. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to employee morale; what helps one person’s mood might make no impact on someone else. The best strategy is to set a standard of respect, communication, and care for your employees’ needs. If you have a good attitude, a good work environment will follow.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Expert’s Guide To Painless Business Relocation

Moving your business to a new office is a strange mix of daunting and exciting. The grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence and indeed, relocation can offer many benefits. On the other hand, it can also have a severe disruptive influence on your operations, clients, employees,and finances.

To maximize the positives and minimize the negatives, you have to plan and schedule activities ahead of time. So, embrace a systematic,proactive, and efficient approach. Get ready to organize everything from the nitty-gritty to the smallest detail. Here are some tips that should help you get on top of tasks and finish relocating with flying colors.

Formulating a game plan

Meticulous planning and preparation hold the key to a successful relocation.  Most often,businesses kick off this process several months up to a year in advance. They start by identifying all tasks and setting a time frame for them. In other words, one of the first steps is to put together a detailed checklist for the new office. Before you can do that, though, you need to take several tours.While at it, pay special attention to key aspects such as technology, furniture, utilities, connectivity, and office equipment. You must have all the essential elements of a productive work space in place and make them fall together seamlessly.

Mind the size and layout of the new space

The crucial thing is to look beyond your present needs and factor in how your business will grow and evolve in years to come. Office size and layout are the crucial aspects you need to grasp here. Modern businesses usually aim for a multi-functional space geared toward a dynamic workforce and flexible work styles. In recent years, an open floor plan is all the rage andit does have some great advantages. But, you need to do what makes the most sense for you, not what is trendy. It is also necessary to take care of some basics and designate the main areas. We are talking about the lobby,meeting/conference rooms, workstations, the front desk, private booths,chill-out zone, etc.

Doing packing the smart way

Packing is always one of the most dreaded aspects of moving. There are many ways to go about it, but one thing is certain. You must work out a system and prevent the chaos from ensuing.Double-check the inventory and confirm that you have enough storage units. Color-code your documents and label the boxes. Furthermore, take this chance to do some de-cluttering. There is really no need to bring excess belongings to your new office. That would only require additional resources and storage space. Thus,do not hesitate to purge everything that serves no clear purpose other than collecting dust.

Rally the troops

It pays off to actively involve your team members right from the get-go. To do it right, set clear roles and responsibilities and delegate as much as you can. At the same time, you should note that your equipment,furniture, and other belongings might need to be handled professionally. This especially goes for packing and transportation. Australian businesses, for instance, tend to hire local removalists in Sydney and other major cities, since expensive office equipment requires delicate handling, from packing,transporting to disassembling and assembling furniture and disconnecting and reconnecting appliances. Conduct a research and try to get the best relocation quote you can.  Make sure everything reaches the destination on time and intact.

Getting over a rough patch

One of the main overarching priorities is to mitigate the negative impact on your profit margins. Namely, you cannot afford to lose business to your competition because of the relocation. Notify all relevant parties, including your customers, stakeholders, and clients and explain how your services or communication will change during the relocation. Along the similar lines, see to it that your online information (especially on your website and social media profiles) is up to date. Do not overlook your traditional marketing tools like business cards and flyers. Spread the word out across all touch points so that no one is left in the dark.

Changing your base of operations can set you up nicely for growth. But, there is one problem: planning and executing a smooth move is no walk in the park. There are so many different things to keep a close eye on. So,come up with a solid plan that will allow you to stay in control during the whole process. You cannot go wrong following tried-and-tested steps presented above. Just do not try to do everything yourself. Summon professionals to your aid in order to avoid stress, delays, and headaches. Get back up running as soon as possible and open a brave new chapter of success.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Things to Consider Before Relocating Your Company

Moving is always hard, whether you have to relocate your home or your business, and there are so many factors you need to take into consideration. If you don’t do it right, you might face potential less when it comes to your customers, business partners or even your employees. However, there’s a way to avoid all of that,make the move smooth and continue working the same day you finish the move. In order to achieve that, you need to be organized and prepare everything in advance. That will help you spend as little time possible on the actual move and help you focus on what’s truly important – doing your job.

Do Market Research

In order to find the perfect space for your new office, you’ll have to do a thorough market research and discover the best areas. That means you have to see where the biggest companies are settled at the moment and find your spot there. Also, try to get closer to the companies you work with, because that will make organizing your meetings much easier.

On the other hand, you can move to a neighborhood where there’s no company like yours, and thus became a true leader. This will give you an opportunity to establish a new market and make your own rules, which is something many businesses are good at. You can be a leader if you research all of your options and offer something new to the clients in the area you choose.

Location Matters

The word “location” has different meanings for different businesses location, but they all have one thing in common – staying close to their clients. If your office is far from your clients, they might realize that they don’t like the commute and could eventually stop doing business with you after a while.

This will also prevent you from getting new clients –you may have the best office in the world, but if it’s far from your potential clients, they won’t have time for meeting with you. Think about the location of your competitors and try to find a space somewhere close. That will allow you to be in the center of the happenings, and bring you closer to new business opportunities.

Organize your new office

Before you start moving all your belongings, think about preparing the space and making it ready. Start by painting one wall at the time and making them look more appealing, but be sure to pick the color that’s going to suit everyone. Fix everything before you bring in the furniture because it’s always easier to work with empty space, and you’ll be able to see what needs to be fixed.

Apart from that,find a company that will help you set up an electricity connection and make everything work before you move into your new office. This is crucial because you’ll have to power all your equipment from day one, so make sure you organize this in advance.

Cost issues

Find a real estate agent who works with office spaces, can negotiate a good deal for you and make sure you get the best space on the market. Although this sounds like an expense you don’t need, think of it as an investment in the future of your company because you don’t want to move again after a while just because it turns out that the new space isn’t working for you.

When it comes to your employees, they will have to balance doing their jobs and helping you with the move. You’ll have to give them bonuses, because this is definitely not what they’ve initially signed for, so make it worth their while.

Find a Moving Company

No matter how small your business is, you won’t be able to move everything on your own. With all the computers, chairs, desks and other furniture, it’s always better to leave it to professionals instead of trying to do it on your own.By doing this, you’ll avoid accidents that could damage your sensitive equipment and thus ruin your moving budget.

Organize everything and ask your moving company to pack your entire office and label all the boxes just to make the unpacking process easier. That will allow you to let your employees unpack their personal belongings on their own, and this will fasten the entire process.

Although the moving process can be stressful and exhausting, you can organize everything in advance and it easier. Include your employees but show them that you appreciate their help and they’ll be happy to help you. Think about all the steps you need to take after the relocation and don’t waste your time in the new office. By continuing where you’ve left things off in your previous office, you’ll be able to get back on the right track and immediately start making new deals.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

Creating a Client-Worthy Home Office

With the number of home offices rising year after year, the design of these spaces is constantly getting improved and upgraded. The point of such an office is to give you a productive place to work, but also make an area for meeting the clients as well. An office will reflect your work habits and clients will pay attention to every detail in order to get a picture of your professional skills. The true challenge lies in dealing with shared space and being productive, and these are the things a good office can help you with. Achieving all of that in a place where you also live can be quite tricky, but there are a few simple rules you need to follow in order to make everything work.

Choose just one area

When welcoming clients into your office, it’s important to be able to separate everything else going on in the rest of your home. Firstly, choose a space that’s far away from the living room, because that’s usually the loudest room in the house. Apart from that, talk to your family or roommates, explain your delicate situation to them, and ask them to be quiet when you’re having meetings.

This space should be dedicated to your work only, and you should keep all the distractions outside. If you don’t have a spare room in your home, choose a quiet area and set your office there. Just make sure you have privacy, especially if you’re stuck with an open space.

Be professional straight away

Your front porch and the hallway will be the first things your clients are going to see, so try to make these clean and simple. When it comes to the outdoor area, always keep your porch clutter-free and add some plants to bring in a dose of nature into the picture. Be sure to have secure and sturdy entrance doors because that will show everyone your style and personality in a matter of minutes.

Keep the space from the entrance to your office clean and stylish, because you’ll have to walk with your clients through the house. Don’t put away your personal belongings because your clients will appreciate you more if you have pictures, travel memorabilia and personal items displayed in the hallway.

Provide comfortable seating

The seating area for your clients should be divided into two parts to make it work for different types of meetings. One should be right next to your desk and you can choose between comfortable and ergonomic chairs. That way, you’ll be able to work over some strategies on your laptop and deal with the paperwork. In addition to that, you can add a cozy sofa which will be great for brainstorming and going through different ideas.

By breaking the seating area into two sections, you’ll be able to meet everyone’s wishes and provide them with enough comfort, and your clients will cherish how you’ve thought of everything. Your desk and chair should be comfortable and positioned in the center of the office because you need to be able to work and function throughout the room when you have meetings.

The space should reflect the business

An organized space is one thing, but you’ll take everything to a whole new level if you opt for styling your office in accordance with the type of your business. For example, if you’re in the real estate business, you could hang pictures of modern houses and apartments, or showcase successful sales you’re proud of.

On the other hand, if you are a marketing guru, you can add a whiteboard to be able to show your clients some of the ideas you have for them. It’s important to connect the style of your home to your business, because that will show your professional side as well as your wish to always be productive.

Add some color

You should definitely forget the “office beige” and focus more on finding some color combinations that will help your productivity. One option is to use vibrant colors to boost the productivity level and combine this with some subtle décor.

On the other hand, many people like to use soft hues such as orange, green and blue, because these are both professional and playful, and can be combined with different types of furniture. However, if you want more style, you can use wallpapers and choose different types of patterns and prints.

When designing your own home office, make it inviting and professional, and create a balance you and your clients will love. They need to feel comfortable, but also know that you’ll do a good job and make your collaboration successful. Although it may seem like a lot of work for a home office, this is also a working area, and it should reflect all the abilities of your business. In the end, make sure you’re inspired because working from home has its advantages, but you’ll always struggle with trying to be productive.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

What Is Slowing Down Productivity In Your Business?

So, here’s the thing. If you aren’t getting through your working day effectively, with tasks still remaining at the close of your business hours, then there may be an issue around productivity. This isn’t too much of a problem if those tasks aren’t a priority, but if deadlines aren’t being met, if targets aren’t being reached, and if you have a mounting workload piling up on your desk at the start of each day, then you and your business will have problems.

In short, productivity is key, and you need to figure out what may be slowing down your working day. Where do we start?

First of all, let’s consider your office space. If the area is cluttered, if you struggle to find what you need when you need it, and if there are other issues – lack of storage being one – then you won’t work efficiently. You need to make the most of your office space, and the ideas we presented to you here, design-and-storage-tips-to-make-the-most-of-your-small-office/ may be just what you need to improve matters.

Another issue is your workflow management. You may have too much work to do. You may get bogged down with tasks that take you away from the important things you need to focus your time on. And you may be working on areas of your business that you aren’t fully equipped to manage. Therefore, you need to find ways to manage the work you have to do each day, speeding up processes and alleviating your burdens. There are a number of ways you can manage this. You can take on less work for starters, even if you do have to disappoint a client occasionally. You’re only human after all, and you can’t do everything. You might also automate your business processes, using the software tools presented to you here, bpmonline.com/l/bpm/definition/business-process-automation to free up your time to concentrate your efforts elsewhere. And you might consider outsourcing, handing over the jobs that take up too much of your time over to people who may be able to do them better than you.

Then think about your work ethic. Could you be the problem? Is productivity at a minimum because of your behaviour? You may be taking one too many breaks. You may be spending more time in front of your smartphone screen instead of your computer screen. You may spend more time making ‘to do’ lists than actually doing any of the tasks on them. You may be doing any number of things that are slowing down your productivity at work. The productivity tools listed here, iqvis.com/blog/6-productivity-tools-apps may be just what you need to get you back on track.

Finally, perhaps you are just tired. If you have worked long hours, if you do have too much work to do, and if you’re not spending enough time in rest, then you are going to get exhausted. Once your body and mind feel the effects of exhaustion, you are going to work slower. Give yourself a break once in a while, follow our tips to alleviate your workload, and make sure you get plenty of sleep to give you time to fully energise yourself, both physically and mentally.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Design and Storage Tips to Make the Most of Your Small Office

Working in a small office doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort and space. If you organize everything according to your needs, you’ll be able to achieve all your tasks easily. The true secret behind being successful in a small office is in using every corner you have – by giving every inch a purpose, you can transform even the smallest office into a proper work area. It will provide you with enough storage space and different zones for every part of the working process. Keep in mind that most startups were created and ran from crowded rooms or basements, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same.

The color psychology

Even though you may think that plain white walls are the best solution, there’s more to that than you think. You’d be surprised with the effect that green and blue have when it comes to productivity and efficiency. These two restful colors can really boost the creativity in the office and help you tackle more tasks.

You should avoid white, beige, purple and gray because they can seriously affect your mood and even create some gloomy feelings. During working hours, you don’t want anything less than full productivity, which is why you should stay away from bright colors because they have a tendency of being disruptive.

Choose the furniture wisely

Every piece of furniture needs to be carefully picked because you’ll have no room to spare. For starters, you’ll need some comfortable office chairs and practical desks. Apart from that, if you work with clients, you’ll need an additional seating area for meetings. To avoid crowding up the space, just add two additional chairs to your desk and you’ll be able to work and have a meeting at the same time.

Working with tight space means you need to be creative when it comes to furniture, so foldable desks are all right, while those large L-shaped ones are definitely not. You don’t have room for huge furniture and everything needs to have a real purpose, not just an aesthetical one.

Think about storage

The best way to be sure you’ve utilized all the space you have is by thinking beyond the common storage space options. Many people use vertical spaces for additional storage units, and this can be a solution for small offices. Besides giving you more space to work with, these units can be a great way of keeping items close to your reach. Apart from that, you can always use your desk and add additional drawers around it which will come in handy for all your documents.

You can also use storage units to fill in the empty space beneath the window, behind the door or underneath a coffee table. It goes without saying that decluttering goes hand in hand with creating designated storage spaces. You need to throw away everything you don’t plan on using and make room for the things you’ll actually need.

Get organized

Keeping everything organized starts from your desk, and it needs to be impeccable! Create different zones to be able to keep track of every step of your working process instead of feeling lost. If you’re dealing with lots of papers, use binders to keep them separate and all in one place.

It’s inevitable to always struggle with the lack of space, so try to use the additional seating area to make phone calls, drink coffee or schedule meetings. That way, you won’t be distracted from the actual work and will always know where everything is. Also, use modern technology, start going paperless and stop piling up so many documents – maybe you don’t really need them at all and you just waste time and space on storing them.

Small spaces can be turned into the most functional and inspiring offices if you use a little bit of imagination. You don’t need a large office to be productive and finish all your tasks on time when you can do the same in a much smaller space. Being a successful entrepreneur is more than having a cool office – it’s all about finding the strength and willingness to work in any kind of conditions. Only the people who manage that end up running the most successful businesses.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.