How To Become A Morning Person

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About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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How to Build Culture Through Office Design

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Culture is the only long-term competitive advantage an organization can bring to bear. Over the lifetime of an enduring business, team, product and execution are supporting players: rockstar executives will jump ship, network effects can fade, and new challengers emerge with increasing frequency in our tech-mediated economy.

Once you’ve defined a vibrant culture, how can you help your team live it? One of the most powerful ways to cultivate culture is building it—literally—into your workplace. In this article, we’ll review what culture means in the organizational context, and suggest five ways to integrate culture into your physical environment.

Defining Corporate Culture

There are countless ways to define culture, but one of the most popular theories was developed by Edgar Schein, professor emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In his book Organizational Culture and Leadership, Schein defines culture as a pyramid with three levels. The foundation consists of basic underlying assumptions shared by a team—unstated beliefs and modes of thought—followed by espoused beliefs and values, which are goals and aspirations that might appear in a mission statement.

The final level of the pyramid consists of artifacts—tangible manifestations of underlying assumptions and values. Dress code, your logo, the structure of team presentations, and your physical environment are all cultural artifacts.

Artifacts are the main way teams interact with culture. As the most prominent artifact in your organization, your office is a crucial vehicle for ensuring culture is not only known, but lived and perpetuated. Let’s dig deeper into five of Schein’s basic cultural assumptions, and explore how to convey your organization’s point of view on them through office design.

  1. Space

How close are members of your team, figuratively and physically? Do certain parts of your organization function separately from the rest? Space is among the most fundamental of Schein’s basic assumptions, and clearly relates to the layout and nature of your workplace.

Open layouts with integrated common spaces foster a sense of connection, fluidity and creativity among your team members, while cubicles or private office layouts are conducive to execution and focused collaboration in smaller groups.

  1. Authority

How does your organization consider authority? How do you decide what to do? The distribution of team members within your space serves as an implicit and powerful expression of cultural assumptions with regards to authority.

In a hierarchical business, the “corner office” with an executive desk is a physical symbol that rank has its privileges. On the other hand, a “flat” culture could disperse managers among employees, equipping everyone with the same tools and furniture. A compromise layout might offer executives privacy in inner offices but distribute corner offices with gorgeous views to pods of junior employees.

  1. Time

Do your team members rely on scheduled meetings or serendipitous collaboration? Do people work long hours or keep a typical schedule? If you took the clocks in your office away, would your team be more productive or less? The notion of time as a driver of culture may seem abstract, but the awareness of time deeply inflects how your organization works.

Organizations where the awareness of time matters more—professional services and other client-oriented businesses—are well served by a design that helps colleagues hold each other accountable. Semi-open bullpens facilitate collective time management, while clear barriers maintain transparency in meeting spaces and private offices.

For teams that depend less on time—creative agencies, startups, research groups—physical design can blur the boundaries between home and office. Soft seating, common areas and casual furnishings smooth the awareness of time passing, while private nooks and booths let team members cloister themselves for indeterminate periods of creativity.

  1. Truth

How does your team know what is happening? Do you trust someone to tell the truth, do you decide it together, or do you prove it with empirical metrics?

In cultures where controlling information matters—legal offices, or sensitive R&D—your office should reinforce the importance of visual and auditory confidentiality. Decreased density is complemented by private booths, sound attenuating privacy panels and high-backed furniture. Furniture can redirect people in transit to paths limiting spontaneous interaction, complemented by central spaces for planned collaboration.

In transparent cultures, open floor plans permit maximum visual and auditory equivalence. Visual freedom can be complemented by screens broadcasting key metrics for all to see, while collaborative spaces are accessible and clear.

  1. Relationships

Are you individuals or a collective? Do team members express their personalities or conform to a uniform style? Relationships are the fundamental building block of any culture, organizational or otherwise.

In cultures where disciplined adherence to a shared norm is most important, the office should embody those norms though cohesive decor and colors. A roomy event space should have the capacity to hold everyone in the organization for company meetings.

In individual cultures where free expression matters most—creatives, journalism—teams and individuals should be free to customize furniture, lighting and decor within a broad aesthetic. Personalization should extend to common spaces, which can contain modular furniture suitable for any configuration of people.

Build Culture Into Your Space

Designing your office to reflect your cultural assumptions can make a real difference in a growing organization. When you design your office with care, it returns the favor—helping your team grow beyond “culture” that is window dressing for the recruiting page on your website, and into an authentic culture that carries your organization to the next level.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the bureau website.

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

 

25 Self-Improvement Tips

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About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

The Many Ways Technology is Transforming CRE

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New technologies can be intimidating, and it’s not always easy to figure out the best ways to use them effectively and profitably in commercial real estate. But there’s no doubt that tech innovations will keep advancing, so the sooner you embrace them, the better equipped you’ll be to remain a strong competitor in the market. These are some of the main tech trends you should be following if you’re in CRE.

Data, Analytics and IT Infrastructure

Many CRE companies are not fully tapping into the power of their data to make sound investment and operations decisions. Investing in advanced business intelligence software enables better management of business functions, reduces manual work and equips property managers to make fast, informed decisions. A key step in effectively deploying and integrating technology internally at a property management company is developing an enterprise-wide technology strategy. You can upgrade your technology infrastructure while still accommodating legacy systems, but a well-thought out plan for integration across the enterprise is still essential.

And, upgrading internal technology to newer, more efficient and user-friendly options doesn’t necessarily mean it has to happen in-house. Companies now have the option to contract with external cloud-based service providers for certain business areas or even outsource entire functions to specialized firms that handle payroll, HR, accounting and more.

AI and Smart Technology

Smart building management systems can carry out automated procedures and track building operations, and smart devices and AI-augmented technology can be used to identify patterns and anomalies in the data. Data can include anything from tenant satisfaction to business functions to building temperature. These innovations allow property managers and building engineers to more effectively apply predictive analytics, perform preventative maintenance, optimize energy usage and save costs.

Tech-Savvy Building Design

Today’s tenants rely on connected devices in their workspaces, and to meet their expectations, property owners and managers need to consider upgrading the digital infrastructure in their buildings. CRE companies must recognize that IoT technology is a priority when designing or retrofitting their buildings. Also, modern tenants increasingly value tech-based sustainability initiatives such as solar-powered outdoor lighting and installing green technologies will not only boost tenant satisfaction, it can also reduce energy bills and improve property value.

Drones

Small unmanned aerial vehicles now have many commercial applications. Drone technology is being used in real estate to photograph properties from appealing bird’s-eye vantage points and other normally inaccessible angles. Using high-quality visual imagery from drones when advertising your properties can increase perceived value, which can translate into a higher asking price and a faster rental cycle. Some security departments are using them for surveillance to be able to monitor larger properties with less required manpower. Drones are also being deployed for surveying, architecture and construction—something to keep in mind if you’re building a new property.

The Sharing Economy and PropTech

Innovative business models inspired by the new sharing economy are now arising in commercial real estate. The most notable, WeWork, provides shared workspace and particularly appeals to tech startups and freelancers looking for flexibility, convenience, special amenities and technologies that enable their mobile workstyle. At the same time, CRE is moving online, with internet-based PropTech startups transforming the traditional business model. Zillow, Trulia and Redfin have been disruptors in the residential sector, and emerging companies are now aiming to shake up the CRE industry in a similar manner – are you prepared for what this might mean for your building?

Technology is advancing every day, and if you’re not making efforts to stay current, you’re likely falling behind. By embracing new innovations like these, your property, your tenants and ultimately your profitability will benefit.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the NREI website.

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

 

The Evolution of Office Dress Codes

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About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Amenities with Meaning: What the Modern Marketplace Demands

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We talk about trends in the workspace sector all the time, but what’s happened to the office landscape in recent years has been nothing less than a seismic shift. In a relatively short period, office buildings have gone from being places where people do things to being places that do things for people. And, in today’s fierce war for talent, being able to offer a workplace environment that employees want to spend time in – one that actually enhances their working life – can give businesses that all-important competitive edge. A big part of this is having the right blend and standard of amenities in place.

The demand for meaningful workplace amenities is being driven by a multitude of factors, each one influencing the way our workplaces evolve. A rise in the number of freelancers and self-employed workers, now accounting for around 15 percent of the working population in the UK, has spurred increased demand for co-working space with shared amenities that support networking and collaboration, the growing appeal of flexible workspace to businesses of all sizes is, again, fueling demand for high-quality shared amenity, as is the continuing influence of the Millennial generation that places an onus on the social aspect of work and the impact of workplace wellbeing  – with a healthy office now being an essential aspect of the employee experience.

Successful amenity provision speaks to each of these demands, helping to create workspaces that support businesses in attracting and retaining talent; contributing to their growth. Planned in the right way, workplace amenity can also bond building clusters together, forging vibrant new communities in our towns and cities.

The Wellbeing Factor

Happy, healthy people are the biggest asset to any business. Human beings aren’t just units of production, and workspaces that treat them as such create a battery hen experience where wellbeing suffers and productivity drops. Encouragingly, increasing numbers of employers are recognizing the benefits of having a workspace that supports wellness; a recent survey from the Confederation of British Industry, in partnership with Bupa and HCA Healthcare, found that 63 percent of respondent companies viewed workplace health and wellbeing as an important business issue.

This reflects what we’re hearing from our customer steering groups. They’re telling us that that wellbeing at work is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘must have’ and they want to be able to offer employees convenient access to high-quality health and fitness amenities. Today’s workforce is more health aware than ever before and with retirement ages being pushed further and further back, employees expect their employers to take a responsible attitude towards their long-term health and wellbeing. Everyone wants to feel like their employer is looking after them. So, we must ensure buildings and developments provide amenities that can really help customers to support employee wellness, from both a physical and mental point of view. This goes far beyond providing the essentials like bike storage and shower facilities, to offering access to things like yoga studios, virtual fitness classes, guided meditation sessions, on-site gyms, astro-turf training areas, holistic therapy pop-ups, and chill-out zones.

We’re focused on taking these benefits to as broad a range of customers as possible, so we cluster buildings together and share amenities across them. What we say is that, if you’re part of the Bruntwood community, you can come and enjoy the facilities at any of our other buildings too.

Green Space as Amenity

According to the United Nations, by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. And as urban infrastructure expands to cater to this influx, access to green space and a connection to nature as an amenity will become increasingly desirable. Exposure to green space has been linked to employee well-being and productivity, and some big players have taken note. Facebook, for instance, has topped its Silicon Valley headquarters with a huge rooftop park and Google plans to incorporate a 300m-long rooftop garden, complete with running track into its new London headquarters in King’s Cross.

We see green space as a multi-functional amenity, it can provide a place for customers to work, collaborate and relax. A number of our flagship buildings such as Platform in Leeds and Neo in Manchester have green rooftop terraces and the new urban neighborhood we are creating in Manchester, Circle Square will be centered on one of the largest new city center green spaces for generations. Not only will the inclusion of green space in and around our workspaces help to address the future needs of urban workers but it will also ensure that our growing cities are sustainable.

Collaboration and Community

Amenities have to work hard these days. Used in the right way they can help to facilitate a sense of belonging and stimulate a collaborative, creative culture – essential parts of the modern, co-working scene.

Businesses want shared amenities that provide opportunities to collide and interact with like-minded ventures within the workspace community. Where, once upon a time, people might have congregated by the water dispenser, they’re now coming together in open plan kitchen areas, shared lounges and on communal roof terraces and this type of amenity is in big demand.

For small businesses, freelancers, and start-ups, shared amenities like these can be places to source invaluable peer support and advice. They act as the center of a workspace community and we’ve seen them reap serious rewards for our customers in terms of knowledge exchange and network building that supports growth. Larger companies are switching on to the benefits of collaborative amenities too and, as a result, we’re seeing more of them taking up space in co-working buildings in a bid to gain access to innovative start-ups and rich talent pool

Retail Amenity Reimagined

Workspace amenity can inject energy and interest in developments. We’re now blurring the lines between retail and office space to provide quality services and provision within buildings themselves. This not only ensures that customers benefit from easy and convenient access to stand-out retail, including independent food and beverage providers, but it adds to the overall vibrancy and amenity of buildings. It’s all about using amenity to create a destination for the entire business community. And the perfect example would be Hatch, the existing new pop-up food and drink destination we’ve created at the Oxford Road corridor in Manchester. Hatch is satisfying a number of objectives – providing an incubator for innovative start-up retail and leisure ventures, a fantastic amenity for businesses that will be based within our new Circle Square neighborhood and a new must-visit ‘foodie’ attraction for Manchester as a whole. Amenities like Hatch also act as an effective ‘third space’ for the businesses around it – another place where co-workers and colleagues can connect and recharge.

In this brave new workplace world, businesses that can offer a meaningful amenity to their employees are bound to have the advantage. And, for developers, this means constantly redefining what ‘amenity’ means and always pushing it to deliver more.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Work Design Magazine website.

About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

 

The Most Useful and Universal Mental Models

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About The Sundance Company                                                      
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.