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How To Be Productive

October 17, 2017 Leave a comment

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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The Top 10 Things Employees Want in Their Office

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Competition for top talent is fierce. As it becomes increasingly more challenging to recruit and retain talented employees, companies are getting creative and turning to workplace design as a solution.

But do you know what your employees want in the workplace? Leesman, a private company that collects workplace data, has been analyzing the answer to that question from more than 250,000 respondents. As an architect who has worked on many office spaces throughout my 20-year career, I find the results to be fascinating.

Here are the top 10 physical and service features that employees considered to be most important in the workplace, in order of preference:

  1. Functional desk

As technology has evolved throughout the years, desks have followed suit. Sit-stand desks are popular among employees, and the most-requested desk type I get from clients. In recent years, sit-stand desks have become more cost-effective and companies looking to convert traditional desks can do so for between $600 and $900 each, an investment that’s in line with other higher-end desk types. Soon, we’ll be waving goodbye to large corner work surfaces that previously housed oversized computer monitors.

  1. Comfortable chair

Given the amount of time your employees spend in their chairs, this should be a top priority. After all, ergonomics can dramatically increase comfort and productivity, help to improve posture, and reduce health risks. Investing in good seating is an investment in the health of your employees.

  1. Tea, coffee, and other refreshment facilities

Eighty-five percent of employees surveyed want this. During an interview with a company’s leader, I learned that he purchases coffee for his team, and makes it for them. There are so many great coffee-and-tea options available (along with some pretty cool office coffee bars to dream about) that this should be a no-brainer. A coffee or café bar can be a wonderful addition to any office, and encourages workers to fuel up throughout the day.

  1. General cleanliness

Bacteria can be found anywhere, especially where food is stored, prepared and eaten. But how often do you wipe down and clean your desk? Many employees eat at their desks, yet every cleaning crew follows cleaning limits. Check out what your crew’s limits are, and fill in the gaps to prevent germs from spreading throughout the workplace. Your employees will notice.

  1. Temperature control

This is probably the hardest to control because user preferences vary. One person may feel great with 76 degrees, but another may prefer 66. The most effective way to make this work is to go “free address,” in which employees are free to move to the area of the building with the most comfortable temperature for them.

  1. Small meeting rooms

The open office has brought to the forefront the importance of small collaboration spaces. With more employees connecting through task orientation, the demand for concentration space and small rooms for impromptu meetings is on the rise. Function is key when creating various small meeting spaces, and employers that don’t adapt are putting employee satisfaction at stake.

  1. Restroom privacy

This is an area that can improve employee comfort several times throughout the day. I have seen an increase in requests for walls dividing toilet spaces, not just a flimsy panel with no acoustical privacy. This takes more space to achieve; but if your restrooms are due for a remodel, it’s worth seeing if this change can be made. Also, adding in a few amenities, such as mouthwash, mints, and toothpicks, adds a nice touch.

  1. Functional printing, copying and scanning equipment

Equipment needed to do your job is typically a given, so much so that 78 percent of employees surveyed put this on the list. Nonworking or outdated equipment not only frustrates employees but can also negatively affect efficiency and productivity, a reason why many businesses today are investing in office equipment that helps them successfully operate with ease.

  1. Natural light

As a WELL Accredited Professional, this makes me smile. Natural light is of primary importance to the health and wellbeing of every person on the planet. According to the World Green Building Council, employees working near sunlit windows have a 15 percent higher production rate, so it’s great to see employees taking note and listing this as a most-wanted feature.

  1. Nearby restaurant or canteen

Food options in close proximity to work round out the top 10 list of must-have features. If nearby parking is an issue for your building, reasonable walking distance to restaurants is even more important. Other options are food trucks plus pop-up catering and delivery from restaurants out of walking range.

Now it’s up to you to evaluate where your own workplace falls on the employees’ top-10 list. I always recommend that companies have their employees surveyed by an outside firm or conduct their own focus groups to see where they stand. Workplaces that strive to provide the features their employees want benefit the most in attracting and retaining a loyal workforce.

This article originally appeared on the Inc. 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.

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Which Birth Dates Are Most Common?

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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Property Management Services from The Sundance Company

September 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Property management is a critical component of owning a commercial property. As a property owner, you must think about maximizing the value of your asset. And so does The Sundance Company. Our more than 40 years of Asset Administration experience in in the Boise Valley – Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, and Caldwell – allows us to offer you a high-quality alternative approach to traditional Property Management services. The Sundance Company team of commercial real estate professionals will:

  • Forecast the needs of the property
  • Help to reduce your interest costs and loan fees
  • Assist in reducing renewal costs
  • Provide opportunities for reduced insurance premiums
  • Offer significant operating expense savings
  • Understand owners’ objectives and tailor our Asset Management Plan to your performance expectations and building needs
  • Advise on financing, long-term planning, market analysis and capital forecasting
  • Allow you to focus on your core business objectives while we help reduce operating, legal and accounting costs
  • Perform high-quality services such as:
    — Full financial and reporting services
    –Security/fire/safety programs
    — Supervision and training of personnel
    — Contract administration
    — Standard operating procedures manuals
    — Building operations and maintenance
    — Customer and tenant services
    — Lease administration and management
    — Ongoing building and safety inspection programs
    — Annual customer and tenant surveys

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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Are Open Floor Plans Killing Productivity in Your Office?

September 19, 2017 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, some colleagues and I were invited to a meeting held in a state-of-the-art conference room at a popular co-working space in Lower Manhattan. As we walked through the open floor plan of the co-working space, one of my colleagues–the CEO of a large technology company–turns to us and asks, “How does anyone get any work done here?”

We looked around to see people chatting, typing, and conducting phone meetings. The environment was busy and noisy and anyone trying to focus on the task at hand could easily get distracted.

And therein lies the problem.

When the open office trend took off a few years ago, it heralded a new era of collaboration. The wall-less environments would revolutionize the way we work, promote teamwork, and foster a culture of innovation. Businesses jumped on the bandwagon and tore down cubicle walls faster than the main character does in the movie Office Space.

But, as the popularity of this new way of office life surged, so did the studies. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, noise and privacy loss was associated as the main source of workspace dissatisfaction and the “benefits of enhanced interaction didn’t offset disadvantages in open-plan offices.” Another study, conducted by the Asia-Pacific Journal of Health Management, suggested that this type of floor plan produces an increase in noise, conflict, stress, and turnover. From a personal perspective, I’ve heard stories of managers and executives ducking into stairwells and closets to take confidential calls and/or conduct critical meetings.

As it turns out, the open office life isn’t the end-all be-all solution we once thought it was. So, how do we course correct and improve productivity? Here are a few ideas:

Find out what works best for your employees

A diverse workforce comes with a diverse set of needs. Not every single employee will thrive in a bustling environment or have the capacity to “tune out” the noise. You might discover that a particular group or department performs better when they have quiet places to work or a private area to conduct meetings. Environment preferences depend on your employees and the type of work they are trying to accomplish.

Regularly check in with your staff to find out which type of environments they work best in or what they need to do their job. You can then create an atmosphere that best fits their needs.

Strike a balance

While open offices might not be a one-size-fits-all solution, the opposite comes with disadvantages as well. Many companies today are looking into hybrid approach–a blend of open spaces and private areas for employees to use as needed.

Fortune suggests that the next generation of office floor plans will cater to this balanced approach. A hybrid office will combine “private offices, cubicle banks and truly open floor plans (in which even cubicle dividers are dismantled) as well as communal areas and soundproof rooms where employees can go to concentrate on solo work.”

Going mobile

While the hybrid solution is a viable compromise, this approach to office life is missing one major component: the mobile worker.

The Digital Age has made it easy for workers to be productive on the go–they can access files, chat with coworkers, and even participate in meetings wherever they get mobile reception or Wi-Fi.

So, instead of sinking a ton of remodeling resources into the physical office space, determine how you can make it easier for your workforce to be productive anywhere in the world. Some suggestions on how to do this would include:

  • Provide employees with portable Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Create a practical cloud-based infrastructure with the right apps to support the business
  • Invest in new tech like VR in order to conduct virtual prototype meetings
  • Ban paper use in the office

The key here is to make it easier for employees to get things done when and where they need to–whether that’s by making documents accessible via the cloud or investing in an online collaboration tool that allows employees to easily connect regardless of location.

This, of course, brings up the debate on working from home. IBM once boasted about their company’s ability to let employees work remotely–only to recently call them all back into the office. The reason? The company released a statement saying, “In many fields, such as software development and digital marketing, the nature of work is changing, which requires new ways of working. We are bringing small, self-directed, agile teams in these fields together.”

So, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution with mobile enablement, either. Which brings me to my next point: the omni office approach.

Introducing the omni office approach

At Centric Digital, we often recommend that our clients provide customers with an omni channel approach. This digital strategy consists of a cross-channel business model that companies use to improve their customer experience. The result is a seamless experience whether a customer is on the company website or physically in a brick-and-mortar store.

Similar to this customer-facing digital strategy, smart businesses should consider introducing the omni office approach to employees. This strategy would encompass everything mentioned above: employee preferences, a hybrid physical environment, and the ability to work on the go. As the business world becomes more digital, the omni office approach would allow companies to remain flexible, while providing workers with a seamless office experience.

Of course, in order for this to approach to succeed, you’d need to work closely with management to ensure they are enabling employees to work how and where they are most productive. Sometimes that might mean a day or two working from home, but it is up to the manager to discern what will work best for the employee. If a role requires the physical presence of an employee in the office or if a particular employee seems distracted when working from home, then the manager needs to adjust the approach as needed. Flexibility is key.

Final word

While it’s becoming apparent that the open office environment is posing legitimate threats to productivity and healthy stress levels, the current proposed solutions seem to be lacking digital foresight. The solution is to not shoehorn one approach and claim it is better than the others. Instead, we must be conscious of the changes in today’s business world and ensure we are adapting with the changing needs of our employees.

This article originally appeared on the Inc.com 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.

 

 

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How the Average Working Adult Spends Their Days

September 12, 2017 Leave a comment

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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Happy Labor Day 2017

September 1, 2017 Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Uncategorized