Coworking Spaces: The Way of the Future

Coworking is becoming a popular office environment all over the country. What is it, and is it right for you?

If you’re a remote worker, working out of your spare bedroom or basement can be isolating. Even small teams who meet in someone’s dining room or at the coffee shop can feel separated from the rest of the workforce. Over time, isolation can lead to fatigue and poor productivity.

Furthermore, working in environments that aren’t made for work can be distracting. You’re exposed to stimuli that isn’t conducive to productivity. People in the coffee shop are loud. There aren’t any seats at the library. Or maybe your spouse wonders why you couldn’t do a load of laundry since “you’re home all day.”

If you’re one of those people who struggle working from home or in public places, you aren’t alone. Lifestyles are changing, and many people are now capable of working away from the traditional office setting (especially the millennial generation).

Make sure your coworking space has everything you need with this checklist!

What is coworking?

Image: Zona Coworking / Flickr
Image: Zona Coworking / Flickr

Coworking is based on the idea that working alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone. You can still work in an environment designed for work. “Coworking is still an emerging industry and, while many people are now familiar with the term, it’s sometimes hard to explain,” says Diana McLaren of New Worker Magazine.

A coworking space is an office environment with all of the basic work amenities. There are desks, chairs, proper lighting, and access to Wi-Fi and power. In the best coworking spaces, you’ll find tables for small and large groups, quiet spaces for concentration, free snacks and coffee, and a clean, trendy design that clients can respect.

The most luxurious coworking spaces (and the most expensive) offer some incredible features that might be worth the money. Green Desk offers bike storage and a mail service. CoCo has a room filled with game consoles, dart boards and a foosball table. Hera Hub gives you access to paid staff who will work for you.

You’ll find all sorts of people using coworking spaces. Freelancers and solopreneurs are the most common type, but there are plenty of teams who enjoy the simplicity and flexibility. It’s common for solo workers to meet one another, collaborate, and even do business together in a coworking space. For some people, it’s a fantastic networking tactic.

Typically, coworking spaces charge by the seat. You can buy access on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Permanent desk spaces (where you have an assigned spot and can leave your stuff each day) cost about $387/month on average. Flexible spaces (where you find your own seat wherever you can) cost about $195/month on average. If a coworking space has a large conference room for use, there may be a reservation fee. Most spaces offer special rates for teams.

While there’s nothing preventing large teams from using coworking space, at a certain point (usually around six or seven full time team members), it may be smarter to rent a dedicated office space. In some coworking spaces, seats and desks are first-come-first-serve. If a large team is using a popular coworking space, finding enough adjacent seating can be difficult, which makes collaboration tough.

You can rent adjacent desks in a permanent-desk coworking space, but those cost more. Fortunately, bigger teams can get the same flexibility in a turnkey office space.

What’s the future of coworking?

Deskmag’s 2016 Coworking Forecast found the coworking trend will continue. They discovered that 62% of coworking space owners want to expand their spaces, and one out of three are looking to open another. 80% of coworking space members plan to stay where they are for another year and that overall satisfaction with the model is rising.

According to the Small Business Administration, there are 28 million small businesses in the United States, which account for 54% of all sales. A majority of people work for small businesses. Even though “corporate America” has been downsizing and outsourcing outside the country for years, the small business market has been growing. The number of startups have increased and their failure rate has declined.

This type of environment is perfect for the shared work model, which is why it’s becoming a permanent part of the American workstyle. Coworking spaces are popping up everywhere. Some are big players, like WeWork, which is valued at $16 billion.

“Coworking represents less than 1 percent of the world’s office space. But that tiny percentage, which represents nearly 11,000 shared workspaces exist around the globe, is certain to grow, according to many experts,” says Patrick Sisson on Curbed.

As workers divide into smaller, more flexible companies, they’ll need amenities that allow them to enjoy the benefits of a large business (having a trendy, comfortable work environment) without the cost.

Why work in a coworking space?

benefits-coworking

The benefits of coworking spaces extend beyond costs. There’s a good chance a coworking environment is right for you and your team.

1. Coworking exposes you to more people

Unlike traditional offices, coworkers work for a range of companies in different industries. There’s no direct competition between them. There are no internal office politics to deal with. Don’t like someone? Stop talking to them. There’s no pressure to behave a certain way.

You’ll also work near people with varying skillsets. There’s likely a programmer, a writer, and an executive somewhere in the room. Over time, you’ll learn about how your “coworkers” are adding value to the world, and you’ll be able to lean on each other for help.

2. Coworkers have more autonomy

Coworking spaces are usually available outside normal businesses hours. Early birds and night owls can work in a professional setting at their preferred time. They can choose to work in quiet spaces for focus, or communal spaces for collaboration and interaction. Coworkers are the type of people who prefer autonomous lifestyles, so a working environment that supports that is useful.

3. Coworking adds structure to liquid schedules

Autonomy is beneficial to the modern worker, but so is a little bit of structure. Coworking puts you in an environment where work is expected. Even though comforts are available, it’s still a working space that keeps you motivated.

A coworking office is a far more productive environment than a living room couch or a coffee shop. Plus there’s a community of people to silently judge you if you decide to blow off the day and play video games at your desk.

4. Coworking creates a community

Even though the members of a coworking space aren’t employed together, there is still a sense of community. For the most part, coworkers have a lot in common: They work for small or solo businesses, they are successful enough to afford rent, and they’re driven to work in a professional environment that limits distractions and spurs productivity. Socializing isn’t forced, but it’s available.

Furthermore, each coworking space has its own vibe and feel. Some are trendy, designed for young, tech-savvy and creative people. Some are modern and stark, designed for corporate folk. Others are prim and classic, designed for lawyers and other professionals. They come in all shapes and sizes.

Download this free checklist: Does Coworking Space Have Everything You Need?

So is coworking right for you?

Unfortunately, I can’t answer that for you. If you have a large team, then probably not. You need a dedicated space so everyone can be together. But if you’re alone or working with two or three other people, coworking might be a good arrangement.

If you’d like to look into coworking spaces for yourself and/or your team, contact us.

Designing a Productive Office Environment

Every business cares about productivity, especially growing ones. Learn how to design an office layout that helps your team work better and faster.

Your office is more than the place you do business. It’s the heart of your company. If the heart doesn’t pump energy to the rest of the body (you and your team), your work will suffer.

Productivity is on everyone’s mind these days. How do we get more done in less time? How do you improve the quality of your work without disrupting the balance of your lives?

You don’t need to hire an expensive office designer to create a productive work space. Nor do you need pricey office perks like ping-pong tables, nap pods, or beer fridges. For small, growing businesses, those aren’t options anyway.

In a turnkey office space, you don’t have the luxury of redesigning your space. Want to blow down that wall? A generous property owner may give you that freedom, but don’t count on it. They typically want to preserve the space so it’s easy to rent in the future.

But that doesn’t mean you can neglect office design. There’s overwhelming evidence that a carefully designed office can increase employee well-being, happiness, and productivity. You just need to make some basic changes.

Use this easy checklist to create your own productive office space.

Comfortable lighting

productive-office-lighting

Lighting is an often overlooked office feature. Poor or painful lighting can cause fatigue, headaches, and eyestrain. Working in poor lighting conditions over long periods of time can actually cause depression.

According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, consistent light exposure during the day makes workers sleep longer and better at night, feel inclined to participate in physical activities, and report a better quality of life.

Dr. Ivy Cheung, co-author of that study, told CNN that “light is the most important synchronizing agent for the brain and body.” It improves mood, communication, focus, and even regulates physiological functions, like blood pressure and heart rate.

It’s a simple formula: Healthy light = healthy people = better work.

Natural light is the best lighting for work, so for best results, open the blinds or use daylight color balanced CFL bulbs. They’re naturally energizing. Moods and productivity will improve.

Ergonomics and appearance

A person can’t be productive if their back hurts, their chair is too low, or if any of their equipment creates discomfort. Just using a computer can be painful, says OrthoInfo: “Under certain circumstances and for vulnerable individuals, frequent computer use that involves awkward postures, repetition, and forceful exertions may be related to nerve, muscle, tendon, and ligament damage.”

Supply your team with equipment that facilitates comfort for your specific working environment. For example, if your team spends hours sitting idly, you need ergonomic chairs for maximum comfort and monitors positioned parallel to the worker’s neck. But if your team is frequently moving, opt for standing desks (or desks that convert to different positions) for easy access and less body strain.

Encourage your team to take opportunities to adjust their bodies depending on their own needs. Let them stretch their legs with a short walk. If it’s all the same, consider taking a walk during meetings. Or, provide alternate types of seating based on their preferences.

Appearance is important if you regularly bring clients into your office. For instance, attorney clients expect large, heavy desks and shelves with legal books. Even if these objects aren’t necessary for a modern team, they build a perception your clients expect.

The right technology

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It doesn’t matter how positive you are, how talented of a leader you are, or how diligently your team works if you don’t have the right tools. Technology is key to building a competitive business.

This infographic from Intuit explains how much of an impact technology has on productivity.

  • Dual monitors can increase productivity from 9% to 50%.
  • Laptops instead of desktops improve productivity by 100 hours/year.
  • 69% of IT professionals say cloud computing improved their productivity.

I can’t tell you what the “right technology” means for your business. That would depend on what you do. But I recommend using newer devices, modern tools (like shared Google Docs over Word), and a strong Internet connection.

De-clutter-ize

According to Princeton University, “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”

That’s a fancy way of saying that clutter in your workspace negatively affects your ability to process information and stay focused.

The best way to reduce clutter is to digitize everything. Maintain all records electronically – just make sure to regularly back up your drives. Even calendars and notes should be replaced by apps so they aren’t lost, damaged, or misplaced, and can be shared.

Create a standard file naming convention across your company so anyone can find files on anyone’s computer or shared folders.

Anything paper that must remain should be clearly labeled and filed in a drawer or cabinet so it’s out of the way. Anything that doesn’t have immediate use or anticipated use should be archived.
Insist on a clean desk policy. Some employees may resist, but the increase in productivity will soon be apparent.

Spatial arrangement

office-spatial-arrangemet

Often, offices are furnished quickly without much thought to the actual space. The movers drop a table against a wall and it stays there. You can enhance the productivity of your team by positioning items and equipment where they make sense.

For example, it doesn’t make sense to position Joe and Sue’s desk away from one another when they have to collaborate throughout the day. Every time they need to speak, they have to swivel around. It may take only a second, but over the day (and year), those wasted moments add up. Every unnecessary action costs something. Plus, they’ll be less inclined to speak to one another because it means repositioning and breaking from their current task. Over time, this handicaps your teams overall productivity. And that’s just one example of a tiny flaw that can do damage to your business.

And what about Eric the receptionist? He uses the copier several times an hour, but it’s on the other end of the office. Each time he needs it, he intrudes on other people’s workspace. It would make more sense to put it right near his desk.

Even if you have a simple turnkey space, you don’t have to stick to the original arrangement. Get creative with the furniture. Should everyone face each other? Should desk space be sacrificed for a conference table? Who should be near the door? There are countless permutations.

Temperature

A study by Careerbuilder found that working in an office that’s too hot or too cold affects productivity. Workers are easily distracted, prone to mistakes, and more concerned about alleviating discomfort than producing quality work.

What’s the right temperature? Software Advice conducted a study of office workers. They found that 50% of people are dissatisfied with the temperature in their workspace. Medium temperature preferences for men are about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas women prefer 72 degrees.

However, the correct temperature is the one your employees prefer. The only way to find out what they like is to ask them. Just make sure to match your required office attire to the temperature so employees can be dressed properly.

Setup a productive office environment of your own with our free checklist!

Productivity and simplicity

The single best way to be productive with life and business is to simplify what’s on your plate. Remove any tasks that aren’t necessary to burn through your to-do list.

The biggest advantage of a turnkey office space is how hands-off you can be. Instead of wasting your time dealing with contract negotiations, facilities maintenance, billing, and construction, you can write your rent check on the first of the month and let someone else worry about the details.

If you’re ready to find your next office, start your search here.

4D Printing and a New Wave of Office Technology

Technology advancement never ceases to amaze business professionals when it comes to everyday practical use.  Remember the days where office equipment technology was at its infancy?  As the 21st century surges forward we as the workforce are becoming more reluctant to work in an environment where office equipment doesn’t provide a competitive edge. Office equipment has driven innovation in communications, working styles and even in the value placed on certain skill sets.  Geography is no longer a barrier to doing business, nor are business travelers cut off from communications infrastructure that support their work.  It is difficult to predict the office and landscape of the 21st century. Trends point to smarter and faster technology that will be capable of carrying out more complex functions with minimal human input.

4d-printing

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) is itself an emerging technology and has in fact been around for over 30 years! It is continuously being reported that 3D printing is now becoming more mainstream, but is still very heavily underutilized in the business world, considering its potential.  The potential to economically and time efficiently 3D print ANYTHING is an irresistible proposition. 3D printed materials is not the end of the story though, there are techniques to create materials/objects which can be pre-programmed to operate in a certain way.  Pretty amazing technology, what if I told you there is technology being worked on that would make 3D printing a thing of the past?

4D printing may be bursting onto the scene and leaving people in absolute awe.  Think of 4D printing as the same as 3D printing with the addition of time. By adding time to 3D printing the concept of 4D printing is born. This enables objects to be pre-programmed in various ways to react to a range of different stimuli.

4D printing is futuristic and a very exciting future at that. 4D printing delivers the possibility of designing ANY transformable shape, which can be made from a large selection of materials. These different materials will have many different properties and a range of potential applications and uses. There is a real opportunity for the creation of dynamic self-assembling objects which could transform and be used in a wide range of industries and in a large number of applications.

Research has cited examples such as the water systems of office buildings reshaping itself to efficiently allow water to be processed with minimal cost.  That very same office building can house a company that develop 4D sportswear/sports equipment that adapts its shape to its user and how they are performing when their body temperature of environment changes around them.  The possibilities seem endless. As time goes on 4D printing may just end up being available at your finger tips literally.  The cup you drink from, the desk you use for your work station to office building production.

4D Printing will play a key role in future production.  Making this happen on a human scale, is much more challenging, particularly in more traditional industries, such as building construction.  There is potential,in using self-assembling materials in disaster areas or extreme environments where conventional construction is not feasible or too expensive however. We might one day experience a future of adaptive infrastructure. In extreme cases we can apply this technology to  geographic locations that are notorious for producing earthquakes.  Just imagine where technology has come from.  If we can help save lives based on a concept that originated over 30 years ago.  Maybe one day constructing a building from 4D printing will be the norm.  Now that is technology.

Using the Olympics to Create Team Spirit

As the 2016 Olympic games are underway in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, viewers around the world will be tuning in to watch their favorite teams compete for pinnacle prize of gold.  It might just strike you to know that around an estimated 3.6 billion people will be glued to the Television rooting their teams on, that includes the 72% of business professionals.

olympic-village

Summer tends to see a decline in productivity, with more workers taking off during the prime months of July and August than other months throughout the year.  Throw the spectacle of the Olympic Games into the mix and–let’s just say there’s plenty to distract a workforce this season.

So rather than reprimand employees, employers can set a new standard by encouraging employees to celebrate the games and creating opportunities to foster strong culture within the office.  Capturing the joy and celebration that comes along with the Olympic games there are ways to welcome the Olympic spirit into your workplace and boost employee engagement.

Host in-office olympic viewing parties. By soliciting employee input on the events streamed in office, you not only show them that you care about their opinions, but also create windows of opportunities for team bonding. Employees may uncover common sports interests with their colleagues.  They may even carry those shared interest forward even after the Olympics end further cementing team bonding within the office.

Companies can also host healthy competitions amongst the co-workers and generate teamwork with a focus on building relationships with one another, workers can simply inspire each other to achieve goals together, then translate that same focus and collaboration into their daily work routine.  One may even suggest starting a company sports team, there is no better opportune time to start a company sports team.  Distribute surveys to your employees on what sports they enjoy playing the most, and what days of the week they’d enjoy participating on a team.

By encouraging team sports you help employees get the routine exercise they need – which in turn has been proven to decrease stress, increase productivity and reduce employee absenteeism.  It also produces an environment where they feel supported leading to a more success company.  These Olympic games only take place every so often, why not embrace these rare moments and celebrate the opportunity to bring strength and unity to the workplace.

When To Take A Break At Work

Many of us are spending more and more of our workdays sitting in front of a desk managing tasks virtually.

In fact, the recently coined phrase “actively sedentary” refers to a new category of office workers who attempt to compensate for sitting 8-10 hrs a day by engaging in at least 60 minutes of daily exercise. While the effort is valiant, recent studies have shown that this amount of exercise is not nearly enough to offset the negative effects caused from sitting all day. Is there anything else that we, as the “actively sedentary” workforce, can do to make up for the long periods of time we remain stationary at our desks? Believe it or not, the answer may be as simple as taking more breaks.

Taking mid-day breaks is something most of us do of course. The questions is whether we are taking enough of them. Many recent studies have shown that for every hour that someone sits in a chair typing away, or immersing themselves in product software, or whatever their job might entail, they should be getting 5-10 minutes of activity (walking, stretching etc). That means in an average 8-hour workday we should be getting anywhere from 40 to 80 minutes of activity.

Now of course some bosses are more lenient then others when it comes to allowing employees out for a quick walk around the block every hour. However if you manage your time well throughout the day and exhibit proper “break etiquette”, most everyone can achieve this goal and stay healthy even while sitting all day.

In order to develop a proper daily break routine at the office, you must first and foremost know when to NOT take breaks. For me this falls under three categories: When you’re “in the zone”, when it’s inappropriate to do so, and when you are under immediate time constraints. The first category deals with breaking your concentration. We all have periods of time during the day when we are more productive then others. If you find yourself “in the zone”, working quickly and efficient and knocking off you’re daily to-dos rapid-fire, don’t stop what you are doing to get up, stretch and go out to grab a coffee for you and a colleague just because it’s break time. This can completely disrupt your concentration and inhibit those productive moments. Remember, we are trying to convince the boss that short, semi-frequent breaks actually enhance overall productivity, not hinder it.

It’s also prudent to refrain from taking breaks when it would be inappropriate to do so. For example, if you just got back from lunch 5 minutes ago, or your boss asks you to do something for him or her right away, it’s probably not the best time to go out for some fresh air. Similarly, if there is a task that requires your immediate attention, or if there is an approaching deadline for that day, it can be inappropriate to take breaks.

The key is to develop an adaptable routine where you are regularly getting up to stretch or get some air, or to go for a quick walk, without it affecting your productivity and without causing too much fanfare in the office. 5-minute breaks are great for not attracting too much attention and give you enough time to stretch your legs, use the restroom, get some water etc. The 10 and especially 15-minute breaks should often be reserved for later in the day, where even the bosses start becoming a little jaded. It may be likely that you’ll go less noticed from, say 4:00-4:15pm then you will from 9:45-10:00am. Therefore, pick your times wisely and do your best to get a minimum of 40 minutes of activity every day.

Is Telecommuting Good?

Working from home. A dream for some people, a time management nightmare for others.

It takes a kind of resilience and penchant for solitude to work from home. It can require a great deal of self-motivation, strong emailing skills, and of course a steady internet connection. Avoiding traffic, or the bus or train can be a virtue, yet the freedom to brainstorm and socialize with your coworkers without a screen is a difficult benefit to match.

The concept of telecommuting is relatively new. In the early 1970s, Jack Niles, a rocket scientist for NASA first coined the term when a colleague asked, “If you can put a man on the moon how come you can’t do something about traffic?” Niles’ first foray into telecommuting was with an insurance company in 1973. Since the personal computer still hadn’t come into existence yet, Niles worked from one of the satellite offices the company had set up.

The statistics of people who opt for the home desk rather than the office suite are rather surprising. According the think tank, Global Work Place Analytics, the average commuter is breaching middle aged, has a college degree, works for a company with 100 or more employees, and earns around $58,0000 a year. They estimate that about 50% of the U.S.’s full-time work force holds a position that allows for flexible at-home work.

The environmental benefits of telecommuting are unprecedented. Global Work Place Analytics says that if all U.S. full-time workers spent half the week working from home, their business would save $11,000 per person per year, workers would save between $2,000 and $7,000 a year, and “greenhouse gas reduction would be the equivalent of taking the entire New York State workforce permanently off the road.”

However, it’s difficult to replicate the kind of creativity and productivity that an office produces by working at home alone. “I love being in an office and bouncing ideas off of my coworkers. Working in-house promotes a stronger sense of camaraderie within my team.” Says Alfred, who has been working for a San Francisco-based start up the last three years. Without the physical presence of an employee, it’s difficult to determine the caliber of their work, is the most common argument against telecommuting.

Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic, a company which permits more than half of its employees totelecommute has a different theory. “It’s easier to slack off in that office than if you’re working remotely. If you come into an office and are well-dressed and on time, you assume people are working because they look busy. At home, all you have is your output — did you commit the code, did you write the post, did you make the proposal? There’s no theater of physical proximity.”

How To Not Fall Asleep At Meetings: A Comprehensive Guide

Office-Meetings

Molly Schneider is a meeting snoozer. She works as a marketing researcher at a major PR firm in Miami.

She’s an active lady, regularly runs half marathons, volunteers at an animal shelter, and goes on weekend hikes and trips with her friends. It’s hard to believe that someone like her – funny, smart, and engaging can barely keep her eyes open in a conference room. At her job, she typically spends half the day at her desk and the other half in meetings listening to presentations. She’s been to sleep specialists, psychologists, meditation retreats, and once drank a 16-oz espresso, but nothing’s helped. Apparently, Molly isn’t alone. Many office workers suffer from meeting-naps or “shoulder drooling sessions” as Molly has appropriately called her bouts of slumber. We at Turnkey Office Space have compiled a list of some great tips that will keep you awake during that lecture or meeting.

The Presentation Voice. Does your facilitator sound like Ben Stein or Gilbert Gottfried? Narelle Lee, founder of Performance Masters, says, “The tonality of presenters contributes (to worker engagement) as there are certain monotone delivery styles that are hypnotic and this easily induces sleep.” Have HR reach out to a cheap talent agency and get a trained baritone or tenor to sing data reports and marketing objectives to the group.

Temperature Change. Setting the thermostat to 72°F can be just warm enough to lull us to sleep. Blazing heat will make workers uncomfortable and distracted. Install a couple of extra AC units in your conference room and turn them up full blast during a meeting. Tell workers that they’re not allowed to wear extra layers during the presentation. Keeping the room around 44°F is guaranteed to keep employees cold enough so that they’re alert and paying attention, but not so cold that their skin is turning blue.

Aromatherapy. According to Tucker Cummings at Lifehack, “one simple life hack that can bring about an almost instant improvement in productivity is aromatherapy. By simply smelling the correct scents, you can lower your blood pressure, sharpen your mind, and improve your outlook on life.” Cummings recommends natural scents like orange, rosemary, and lemon as “energizing and invigorating” scents. We at TurnKey Office Space, on the other hand, suggest keeping a collection of communal diffusers filled with gasoline, skunk spray, and permanent marker ink. A deep whiff of any of these during or before a meeting will most likely light your smell receptors on fire and increase brain productivity to the zillionth power.

Avoiding The Commuting Plague in Chicago

“My commute is killing me!” Words we have uttered far too often.

For the vast population of people who live in the suburbs and drive to the city, there is only one adjective to describe sitting in traffic: misery. According to Robert Putnam, Harvard political scientist and author of Bowling Alone, over the last 20 years the average commuting trip grew 37% longer. He also noted that each additional ten minutes spent in daily commuting interferes with family and social activity by 10%, you know, the sort of things that make us happy. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that 40% of workers who spend 90 or more minutes commuting one-way “experienced worry for much of the previous day,” compared to the 28% who commute less than 10 minutes one-way.

The epidemic of the commute has especially affected residents of Chicago suburbs who work in the city. According to the Census Bureau, 14% of Chicago’s workers have an hour-long commute, the highest rate in the Midwest. Texas A&M Transportation Institute ranked Chicago as having “one of the nation’s most unpredictable commutes.”

So, what’s a Chicago-area suburbanite to do? Chicago is still one of the most affordable major cities in the country to both live and work. Workers with families are attracted to the picket-fence life for obvious reasons. A big house with a driveway, guest room and fireplace provide a kind of comfort that no apartment can. A sprawling living room is a great place for family gatherings and nothing beats a backyard BBQ, yet the question begs, are these surplus amenities worth it? Economists at the University of Zurich reported in their study “Stress That Doesn’t Pay: The Commuting Paradox” that “for an extra hour of commuting time, you would need to be compensated with a massive 40 percent increase in salary to make it worthwhile.”

Making things easier is the fact there is an abundance of office spaces dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses available in the surrounding Chicago suburbs. In South Barrington, there are co-working spaces that start as low as $350 per month. In Lincolnshire, executive suites come with full amenities such as secretarial support, internet, and conferences rooms and start at $750 per month. There’s ample availability at the Orrington Plaza Business Center in Evanston. In Schaumburg, there is a wide variety of office space on East Golf Road that starts at $600 per month and includes internet, conference rooms and a full kitchen.

If Management Frameworks Were TV Shows…

Management Frameworks are decisive ways to boost employee moral, designate raises and develop and maintain hierarchy.

However, they’re not the most cut-and-dry systems. We at Turnkey Office Space have come up with an easy way to understand these complex ideologies. TV shows! Every company has its own particular set of expectations and cast of characters, and the same goes for sitcoms and dramas. Check out our list below!

Stack Rankings = The Bachelor

Microsoft employees took a deep sigh of relief last fall when the software magnate decided to do away with its employee-review and compensation system colloquially known as “stack ranking”. Since the 80s, Microsoft had practicing a method of pitting employees against each other and numerically grading workers’ performances. However, the system was more like highway cops trying to make their ticket quota. It required managers to collectively label a minimum of 100,000 employees as “underperformers”. The system left employees feeling belittled and unrecognized. If only Law and Order had a “Speeding Tickets” series. We’ve decided that this management framework’s prime-time counterpart is The Bachelor. Just like “stack ranking”, contestants are pitted against each other and manipulated into thinking they’ll never be good enough for a rose.

Holacracy = The Brady Bunch

Holacracy is taking over companies small and big worldwide. The concept was conceived by Hungarian-British writer, Arthur Koestler in 1967. It’s a democratic, insular management strategy that governs employees with tasks rather than authoritative figures. Workers are arranged into “circles” based on their skill sets, and every employee is selected to be in either a higher circle or a lower circle. The higher circle sets the expectations for the lower circle and thusly evaluates its performance. Circles are run autonomously without managers or supervisors and everyone makes decisions collectively. Primarily smaller corporations have found success with Holacracy, specifically Zappos being the most recent and biggest convert. Other notable companies that have hopped on the Holacratic bandwagon are Mashable, Moveline and Conscious Brands. Due to their size, it’s doubtful that mega-tech companies like Google or Facebook will ever adopt the new-age framework, but there’s no telling for sure. Holacracy’s big-family-hug nature speaks adeptly to The Brady Bunch’s tight-knit camaraderie. Carol and Mike Brady and Alice are the higher circle, while Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy are the lower circle. Both circles are open and honest with each other, and despite the arguments and rivalries, they value respect and family above all.

The Cafeteria: The Heart of the Office

It’s lunchtime. Will you be getting take-out?

Digging into your brown paper bag? Going around the block to the sandwich shop? Or hitting up the cafeteria? Every office has its own specific lunch culture. And in the age of the start up, it seems that more and more businesses are taking meals very seriously.

Many small and up-and-coming businesses have figured out that leaving the office, scouting the neighborhood for a restaurant, and sitting down to order and wait takes up valuable work time. As a way to boost employee moral, encourage worker camaraderie and save time, CEOs and managers are hiring regular lunch catering services to come in every day or a few times a week to feed their employees. Places like Cater2me, Fooda and ZeroCater connect with healthy and local restaurants that create and provide versatile meal options to offices. Fooda has a “rotating cast of restaurant options” and never recruits establishments that are in walking distance of the office. This way, employees are genuinely looking forward to lunch and can expect new and exciting flavors each day.

The cafeteria is the most critical organ of the office. The National Grid Café on the 1st floor of MetroTech knows this. Particularly a hang out for police officers waiting to testify at nearby courts, the café attracts Brooklyn professionals of all walks of life. The Café is mainly considered a secret lunchtime sanctuary. Most of its patrons discovered it through word-of-mouth. “It reminds me of a college cafeteria,” said Erin Barnes, 28, for The New York Times. “No one bothers you. They aren’t going to kick you out, and you feel safe because there are so many cops around.”

At Square, the concept of the cafeteria has been completely revolutionized. They provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for only $1 each meal. “There’s lots of variety. The food is healthy and they provide options for various dietary needs. It’s the sunny, social place in the office that staff are excited to go to,” says Jessica, an employee. Other booming start-ups boast generous staff meal programs. At LinkedIn, there’s an alleged “magic whiteboard” where staff are encouraged to write down what they’d like to see on the lunch menu and days later it appears. Other places like Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor and Dreamworks also provide their staff with multiple daily meals a day, with guaranteed unique flavor every time.