Are Hybrid Coworking Spaces the New Normal?

There’s an office building in New York City’s flatiron district with a “chill space” in the basement. This space has free coffee and beer and an assortment of stylish sofas.

Upstairs, you’ll find purposed wood tables and office spaces with glass walls, which seem to function as a metaphor for this workspace environment. Transparency. It can be the difference between a successful first year and a struggling startup still in the red. Many of this space’s inhabitants love the idea of mingling with other businesses right in the same area – sharing tips and sometimes even projects. Unlike traditional office space, this hybrid coworking space/office suite seems to foster a sense of community. There are hundreds of spaces like this one popping up around the US, and the trend is still on the rise.

What’s even better is that the community is not forced upon you. A company that wishes to rent space here has the option of frosting the glass walls of their office for more privacy. You don’t have to use the communal kitchen and free coffee if you don’t want to. You can ask for a bigger space and the management will knock down walls.

Another remarkable advantage of a hybrid coworking space is the scalability. A small business has the option of renting space at one of the communal tables for very cheap. The next step up would be a small “private” office space, followed by a larger and larger one depending on the budget. But everyone gets to share in the amenities, which include:

·      Free wifi
·      Free coffee
·      A kitchen/bathroom area
·      Conference rooms
·      Access to the “chill space”
·      Mail service

It seems like a logical step for the next generation of workspace. The hybrid coworking space offers a sense of community, entertainment, and doesn’t sacrifice any of the benefits of a traditional workspace.
For more information about hybrid office spaces like the one described, contact us today.

How Technology is Reshaping Our Workspace

Over the last decade, the continued and rapid growth of information technology has helped shape and grow the workspace industry.

The implementation of the cloud, along with the ability of executive office suite facilities to build, maintain, and continually improve on infrastructures capable of supporting sophisticated, high-speed systems has lead to a decentralization and shrinkage of conventional office space environments. In other words, companies no longer need to spend their valuable capital on build-outs or supporting their own IT infrastructures, and are increasingly realizing the values (and cost efficiencies) of a more mobile workforce by opening up satellite offices across the globe.

With flexible lease terms and thousands of executive office suites in the US alone, it has become a no-brainer for larger and medium-sized companies to use this type of convenient office space to their advantage.
We believe that constantly evolving technologies will continue to shape the serviced office industry. Because our industry survives and evolves by incorporating the latest technologies and IT systems into facilities, the ability of business centers to keep up with these technologies and implement them in cost-efficient ways will help to influence the rate and level of growth of the industry as a whole.

How the Office Industry is Changing in 2014

The way we do office space is changing. I’m not just talking about razor scooters and beanbag chairs; I’m talking about our entire perception of what an office is. Here are two prominent trends occurring right now that you can expect to continue through 2014:

1. Executive office suites will become standard

Since the birth of the executive office suite industry decades ago, serviced offices have commonly been associated with startups looking for temporary solutions until they are ready to commit to long-term, traditional space. These types of offices are still great for this demographic, however, there is a shift occurring. Workforces are starting to become leaner and more mobile as larger companies are beginning to realize that it is more cost efficient to expand by opening up satellite offices that don’t require a significant investment in new infrastructures. Executive office suites are perfect for this type of requirement and are more often becoming the go-to solution – as everything is already set up and ready-to-go!

Because our company finds executive office suites for companies of all industries and sizes, we are experiencing this shift firsthand. With the newest evolving office cloud technologies and the highest-speed internet connections being integrated into the infrastructure of these offices and included in rents, it is very likely that this trend will continue, as well as catch on to companies in all markets and of all sizes.

2. More companies will opt for Co-working Spaces

A conceptual offshoot of the executive-office-suite-type framework, coworking space is designed for small companies and business-minded individuals who want to work in a collaborative environment that fosters productivity and creativity. It is the definition of shared space, as companies not only share open-plan space with each other, but also ideas.

A recent global coworking survey shows that 96% of people said that “community is an important value among members in their coworking space” and 85% of coworking space operators believe that membership numbers have “risen sharply” in 2012. Coworking space is a great option for new companies that are looking for temporary, modern office space and want to increase their networks.

Top Five Signs You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Office

Think of Roy Scheider causally chumming the Atlantic Ocean when Jaws suddenly surfaces – gnashing his terrible teeth.

Roy walks backward slowly and makes his way to Quint, the captain. His eyes fixed on the water. His cigarette hanging on his lips. Finally, he says, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Now think of what this moment was for you. Perhaps you were with a few colleagues, enjoying the view of the vacant lot from your second story office, and suddenly your inbox went from 10 unread inquiries to 300.

In case your own personal Jaws hasn’t reared its head yet, we’ve got some tips for you concerning the warning signs that you may need a bigger office:

1. You’re turning down clients – the biggest indicator that you need more office space is a simple one: If the demand for your product or service has surpassed your ability to provide, you need to bite the bullet and move on up. Hire more and get a bigger space. Congrats, you’ve just reached level 2 in the game of business.

2. You literally bump into your employees multiple times per day – humans need personal space. If you find that you can’t get to the copy machine without an “excuse me”, pack it up and get a bigger office.

3. You can never find anything – a small office does not mean a more organized office. A larger space can give you more room to store important things (instead of shoving everything on top of the filing cabinet).

4. You’re ashamed to bring clients back to your office – this should be a giant red flag. Whatever your business is, you should never feel ashamed to bring anyone back to the office. Now, your car, on the other hand, is different. Why are there so many unfinished diet coke cans? I don’t know, just move them to the side and sit down.

5. You can’t stop fantasizing about being in a bigger office – listen to your gut! It’s telling you that you’re too big for this space. And if you’re thinking about it, you can bet your colleagues are as well. Making the move into a bigger office might seem daunting at first, but in the long run it’ll improve the morale, organization, and overall functionality of your business.

The Number One Reason You Absolutely Positively Need an Office

The issue of whether an office is necessary in the 21st century has sparked a lot of debate and while many factors influence the decision, ultimately the best course of action is to get yourself an office. Now, here’s why…

In 2012, Bank of America changed its policy regarding working from home and required its employees to spend more time at the office. In 2013, a Yahoo! executive, Marissa Mayer, wrote an internal memo to the company. Within the memo was this sentence:

“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

But these are industry giants. Does a startup company in the 21st century really need an office?

Prestige and trustworthiness definitely plays a role in the startup world. Nowadays, customers and clients get an impression of who you are as a company mostly through the Internet, but with the Internet comes boundless competition. Provided your web presence is the same as your competitor’s, why would someone choose your company if your competitor is in an executive suite on Madison Avenue?

Still, for the best reason, we go back to Yahoo! and Bank of America. It’s all about communication and interactions – and that doesn’t change whether you’re a small business or a giant. The New York Times reported that employees who work remotely have a more difficult time getting promoted. This may have to do with the fact that the interactions and happenstances you share with co-workers in an office are invaluable. Great ideas happen over lunch. If an office space is off the table, the next best thing to consider is a virtual office, which will allow you to build office-like relationships with your co-workers remotely.

Bottom line, don’t take the risk. Building a great business means building it right. Follow suit with the industry giants and get the team together in a space you’re proud of. You’ll be boosting collaboration, integration, and prestige.

Microsoft Office for iPad and Android on the horizon?

Microsoft’s CEO spoke to Wall Street analysts on September 19, 2013.

The meeting was webcast live. During the meeting, he mentioned “upside opportunities” concerning Microsoft expanding the compatibility of its software with non-Windows platforms. This may include the religiously windows-exclusive MS Office.

The CEO, Steve Ballmer, continued saying that executives keep their eyes wide open for additional revenue opportunities such as “porting products like Office to other platforms” (PC World).

Allowing MS Office to be compatible with iPad and Android could be a double-edged sword for Microsoft. On one side, the additional exposure would definitely boost sales and awareness of Microsoft’s new Office 365 cloud-based system. One the other side, the lack of Windows exclusivity could have dire consequences with regards to sales of Windows 8 and the Surface devices.

5 Ways Startups Can Establish a Powerful Online Presence

A good marketing plan is absolutely essential to the success of any startup business.

If you are looking for an affordable and effective marketing solution, a great start is to build a strong and powerful online presence. In fact, in an era where computers have become ingrained into the lives of even the smallest child, having a strong online presence is absolutely essential to the success of your marketing plan from the very beginning. Here are five ways that you can help promote your startup business online.

1.) A Professional Website

A solid and well thought out website has become the cornerstone most 21st century successful startups. A strong website is perhaps the most important marketing vehicle that a business can have nowadays, and blossoming into a successful company without one is about as likely as successfully climbing Mount Everest in a pair of flip flops. Naturally, not having a website is one of the biggest mistakes that a new startup can make and is a missed opportunity considering how easy it has become to create one. Even if your website has a basic design, it can serve as a great starting point for your future web footprint.

2.) LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the number one social network for business networking. It is especially great for new and growing companies, who can use the tool to attract the attention of larger, well-established businesses as well as prospective clients. It is a great way to participate is group discussions, create brand awareness, and even establish leads for your business. Used as kind of a mini search engine, LinkedIn has a smaller but more professional network of industry professionals that will result in more targeted connections.

3.) Facebook

Facebook is the largest social networking site in use today, so it is important to have a presence there. It is easy to set up and manage a simple Facebook page for your startup company. Although the site is not nearly as specialized for business connections as LinkedIn, Facebook has a much wider and larger audience. The sheer breadth of the site makes it a must have for building your startup’s online presence. At the very least, you can use it to give basic information about your company along with maybe directions to your office space headquarters..

4.) Twitter

Twitter is unique in that users communicate updates with short tweets of 140 characters or less. You might not think that 140 characters would be enough to communicate anything important about your startup, but you’d be surprised. Twitter is a great business networking and marketing tool that allows you to customize your page in a way that attracts the audience that you desire. It is definitely important to take advantage of this leverage. Start tweeting and people will start following. It’s free marketing!

5.) Mobile Applications

An Internet presence is no longer limited to websites. Many people now rely on their smartphones and tablets for a majority of the Internet usage. A mobile application is therefore a great way to establish a significant online presence for your business; it is a convenient way to reach out to potential clients and customers who are always on the go. If you already have a website, there are certain steps you can take to make it more mobile friendly.

Although many uncertainties and challenges arise when building a startup business, one thing that is certain is that establishing a web presence is most likely crucial to your success. In fact, your online presence may very well be the most effective way to market your business your years to come. Follow these strategies to build a presence for your startup.

Office Superfoods: Lunch Foods to Keep You Going Throughout the Workday

The mid-afternoon slump is definitely not a myth.

It is a real problem that many office workers suffer from shortly after returning from their lunch break. There are many reasons why we tend to experience a slump in the middle of the afternoon. Some are grounded in the science of our body’s internal clock. The other reasons have a lot to do with our daily routine. If you are not getting enough sleep, it is fairly obvious that you would wind up feeling sluggish before the workday is over. What many people don’t realize is that our diet can have a lot do with our energy levels.
A good well-balanced lunch is absolutely key to beating that afternoon slump. Here are several foods that will keep your energy up throughout the afternoon.

Drink Water –

Water may not be a food or even have any calories whatsoever, but it should still be an essential component of your lunch. A nice glass of cold water can be the perfect way to wake you up when your energy is lacking, and proper hydration is key to keeping your energy levels up. Our bodies can easily confuse our thirst for hunger. If you are feeling hungry and sluggish around the middle of the afternoon, you might just be dehydrated. Make sure you are drinking the recommended minimum of eight glasses a day, and drink at least one glass of water with your lunch.

The Right Carbs –

Whole grains are an excellent way to boost your energy levels since it takes your body longer to process them. You should choose foods like whole-wheat pasta, granola, and whole grain bread instead of white breads or sugary foods. The latter are made of unrefined carbohydrates that will cause you to experience a peak in blood sugar levels. However, that effect will die off quickly and cause you to feel tired. So, avoid hitting your commercial office space’s vending machines for lunch, no matter how tempting it may be.

Proteins –

The body digests proteins slowly, so meat is a good source of steady energy that will last the entire afternoon. You don’t necessarily need a plate full of meat for lunch, but you should make sure your lunch has at least one serving of protein. If you aren’t a big meat eater, nuts and beans are great sources of protein.

Vitamin, Mineral and Antioxidant Rich Foods –

A well-balanced lunch should be your number one priority, so you should make sure that you are eating foods from each of the major food groups. Fruits and vegetables are essential to an energy-rich lunch, especially if they are rich in antioxidants, like strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Make sure you pack at least one serving of fruits and vegetables in your lunch or as part of a healthy mid-afternoon snack.

Avoid Caffeine –

Caffeine may be a great way to get a quick energy boost, but you should avoid it at lunchtime. The effect will wear off long before the workday is over, leaving you even more tired than before. You might be thinking that the soda or coffee will help you prevent a mid-afternoon slump, but it might actually be one of the factors causing it. Besides, most office spaces don’t have very good coffee anyway. It will definitely take a while to adjust to a diet with less caffeine, but your energy levels will be far more consistent if you can limit yourself to just a cup or two of coffee per day.