Creative office space evolved as a progressive alternative to traditional space, enhancing corporate culture and identity, and offering exciting recruitment opportunities for creative businesses.
However, its physical definition (typically an open plan with concrete floors, open ceilings, unfinished walls) belies its true meaning and potential. Moreover, creative space is often counterproductive if not precisely delivered to meet businesses’ and employees’ needs.
Numerous workplace studies show that the physical attributes of an office space have a huge positive or negative impact on not just creativity, but productivity, performance, well-being, and recruitment, and most businesses still blindly overlook this. As workspaces, and how businesses utilize them, evolve, so does the scientific understanding of how work environments impact human activity. Thus, the true definition of “creative office” is now being realized as businesses understand the benefits of investing in space as well as people.
A successful creative office space transcends its obvious physical attributes, focusing on form before function. The office space should be an organic, dynamic product, formed from the collective and individual needs of the people and technologies it accommodates, not based solely on a superficial vision of what we think it should look like.
The visual attributes of a space are important in terms of how they are viewed by the employee, and customer. But first, it’s essential to consider critical factors, including temperature, natural light and views, colors, noise control, ergonomics, choice, employee engagement, human behavioral traits, communication, workflow and schedules, and well-being. A recent study by Warwick University found happy employees are 12% more productive, and unhappy employees are 10% less productive. That’s a 22% variance in performance!
The statistics are endless and continually reinforced by numerous clients of mine. Gigasavvy, a creative marketing agency in Irvine, developed a highly functional creative office space in a historic building, which improved company culture, productivity and morale, and recruitment; proof again that office space is evolving from and inconvenient cost of doing business, to an asset that, if tailored thoughtfully to the needs of people, can deliver a significant competitive advantage.
The more a space is customized towards its ultimate purpose, the more successful and efficient the business it accommodates will be. It’s ultimately about the people. And creative office space in the original and real sense of the word, is what the workforce of the future wants.
For advice on creative office space solutions and real estate strategies for your business, contact Stefan at 949-263-5362 or via email at email@example.com.
The Orange County office market continued to display sound fundamentals in the second quarter of 2017, supported by an almost 3% drop in the overall vacancy rate, a 6% increase in average asking lease rates and a surge in both transaction volume and velocity.
Orange County is now clearly a “landlord’s market” across all asset classes and we expect this environment to continue for the foreseeable future, given the health and diversity of the local economy. Rumors of a “correction” in the real estate markets and the greater economy have persisted for some time now, but this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled or even truly defined. While it would be reasonable to expect a downturn in the near future based on the length of the current recovery / expansion when compared with previous cycles, we now find ourselves in uncharted territory defined by a historically slow and steady economic recovery.
Traditional indicators of a downturn seem muted at best from our perspective as businesses both large and small are hiring and contemplating expansions and consolidations. With the election behind us and federal monetary policy generally stable, business and real estate owners seem to have a relatively clear view of the future and the confidence to make well informed, long-term commitments. A fair amount of uncertainty still exists when it comes to inflationary pressures and the local implementation of government policy (trade, regulation, etc.), but this concern has yet to impact tenant and buyer activity as space continues to be absorbed at an aggressive pace.
The current landscape presents opportunities for developers/investors, landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers alike:
Developers have an extended window to identify tenant demand and workplace trends and to deliver innovative solutions. These solutions will likely take the form “value-add” and adaptive reuse opportunities where older, functionally obsolete product is being transformed into higher and better uses.
Landlords have an opportunity to continue to push rents and improve tenant retention by enhancing onsite amenities / services while providing flexibility for their tenants.
Tenants are now looking at longer leases, allowing them to extract maximum economic concessions and control their overall occupancy costs. They are focused on efficiency and intelligent workspace design to maximize recruitment, retention and productivity, much more than in previous cycles. Flexibility to expand and contract over time is expected to remain a key driver for tenants as technological advancement continues to change the overall business environment.
Buyers, both investors and users, have been taking advantage of the low cost of capital and more lenient underwriting criteria to acquire stabilized long-term investments, and we anticipate this trend to continue. Business owners will also look to purchase their own properties in an effort to stabilize their occupancy costs and invest in their own specific improvements during this attractive interest rate environment.
For more information on the Orange County office space market and how to capitalize on real estate opportunities to grow your business, contact Stefan Rogers (949.263.5362 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click HERE to download Voit’s Q2 17 Orange County Office Market Report.
Stefan Rogers Returns to Voit Real Estate Services
Voit Real Estate Services is pleased to announce the return of Stefan Rogers as Senior Vice President to the Irvine office. Rogers, a fifteen-year international commercial real estate veteran, has rejoined Voit as a shareholder in the firm, and will continue his focus on corporate real estate services and investments.
‘Voit is a progressive, collaborative, environment with a unique culture unmatched anywhere else in this industry,’ according to Stefan. ‘There’s no layers of bureaucracy unlike at the larger firms, enabling quick decisions and the delivery of rapid, customized solutions for every client. This, coupled with the recent restructure to a broker-owned organization, compelled me to make the move back to a brokerage firm I previously called home for many years.’
Voit’s CEO, Eric Hinkelman is also thrilled to welcome Stefan back. ‘We are so pleased to have Stefan on our team once again. He has the reputation for professionalism and integrity that mirrors the priorities of the company. His energy, sense of humor, and experience make Voit an even better place for all of us.’
Stefan began his real estate career in his teens, at his father’s property consulting firm. After earning an honors degree in Real Estate Management from Oxford University, England, he joined Cushman & Wakefield in London in 1999, working in asset and property management, development, agency, appraisal and investment sales, handling assignments for clients including BP, Disney, McDonald’s, Tesco, Tetra Pak, H&M, 3M, The Daily Mail, Prudential, and Virgin Atlantic. In 2001, Stefan was awarded the global professional designation of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the world’s most respected global ‘Standards and Membership’ organization for real estate professionals.
‘My multi-disciplinary education and experience, and my RICS designation, is something I bring to every relationship and assignment. It’s a great differentiator and has steered me towards a more analytical and consultative approach, which has served me well in terms of repeat business and relationship-building.’
Click HERE for the full press release on Globest.com
The essential checklist for relocating your business
As corporate real estate consultants, managing clients’ commercial real estate often includes significantly more that advising on strategy, locating office space, negotiating leases and project managing tenant improvements.
One of the most important elements that is often overlooked and one that we often receive requests for advice on is the relocation process. What do we need to consider? When and how do we plan for a move? How much will it cost? Who shall we select as vendors for furniture, phone systems, the relocation process?
We go to great lengths to ensure the relocation process goes as smoothly as possible, with the aim of minimizing disruption to our clients’ business and ultimately, their profitability during this always difficult transition. Every scenario is different so it’s critical that all the factors involved in a move are investigated and evaluated long before the lease or escrow on a new facility is closed. Planning is key – if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
3 Months before Moving Day
- Get office space
- Communicate to employees
- Identify major tenant improvement needs
- Set budget
- Choose the move day
- Obtain necessary permits
- Start contracting for major tenant improvements
- Order new phone number
- Order new fax number
1-2 Months before Moving Day
- Design office space
- Assign office space
- Order chairs
- Order desks
- Order systems furniture
- Hire movers
- Evaluate server room needs
- Evaluate computer networking needs
- Order change of address labels for notification
- Order new address labels for existing stationery, marketing materials
- Order signage for new location
- Identify phone system requirements
- Order phone lines
- Order Internet access
- Order phone forwarding
- Arrange internal/external maintenance service
- Arrange for trash disposal
- Set up cleaning service
1 Month before Moving Day
- Get business insurance quote for new space
- Arrange for copier move or buy new equipment
- Order security system
- Order keys, access cards
- Arrange for beverage service
- Send change of address to all vendors
- Send change of address to all customers
- Send change of address to all subscriptions
- Notify all lessors of equipment move
- Order checks with new address
- Order long distance service
- Transfer 800 numbers or order new numbers
- Sell old equipment, furniture
Preparing for the move (1 day to 1 month before Moving Day)
- Install phone lines
- Install phone system
- Assign new phone numbers, extensions
- Order new stationery
- Order new business cards
- Order new business forms
- Repair new office
- Clean new office
- Identify closest overnight drop off boxes
- Inventory existing computers
- Inventory existing furniture by room
- Order dumpster for purging
- Purge old, obsolete materials
- Create new office extension directory
- Create new office layout map
- Create new fax cover sheet
- Create driving instructions
- Get new shipping labels
- Notify Post Office of change of address
- Update Web site with new information
- Add note inside mailbox about change of address, move
- Obtain moving crates/cartons
- Back up computers
- Take down systems furniture
- Pack up desks, personal spaces
- Pack up common areas
- Store property that will not be moved
- Tag furniture to be moved
- Tag all wall items and move to central location
- Install systems furniture
- Distribute new keys, cards
- Collect old keys, cards
- Empty, defrost and clean refrigerator
- Code new office space on a map for movers
- Post coded signs in new office for movers
- Protect main moving paths
- Move plants
- Install office art/decor
- Periodically visit old office to pick up mail
- Schedule phone training
- Schedule security training
Real estate is often a business’ largest expense, second to payroll.
Reducing your real estate cost can create an immediate and dramatic increase in profitability and an increases in financial efficiency and flexibility. This is particularly relevant in today’s increasingly competitive business for three reasons:
- Since the sharp decline in real estate values during the Great Recession, many businesses are still over-paying for their real estate, and are unaware of the options available for reducing their occupancy costs before it’s too late.
- Exponential increases in technological innovation and workplace efficiency continues to create opportunities for businesses to occupy less space versus unnecessarily occupying more space than they need, and paying the price.
- Even the smallest reduction in overhead can mean the difference between a business’s survival, bottom line or competitive edge.
‘Voit reduced our operating costs by 29% and were able to negotiate critical expansion space without interruption to our business operations.’
Metropolitan West Capital Management
Many businesses fail to proactively manage their corporate real estate because they underestimate the business risk involved in not doing so, or don’t have the time or expertise.
Outsourcing corporate real estate management to a professional real estate consultant can be very beneficial. Doing so will ensure that occupancy costs are kept to a minimum and that the corporate real estate remains efficiently aligned with the business plan.
The cost of hiring a real estate broker is minimal and often pays for itself many times over. The process involves an understanding of the business’ real estate requirements and budget, investigating every option for reducing occupancy costs, determining the net occupancy cost savings of every option, and professionally executing a process to achieve the required results.
There are five ways to reduce your occupancy costs and potentially control these expenses over the long term, including:
- Lease Audit and Service Charge Scrutiny.
- Disposition of surplus space by sublease.
- Early lease renewal to reduce rent/ operating costs to fair market value or below.
- Lease renegotiation to reduce total occupancy costs to an affordable amount.
- Lease termination/buy-out.
We’ve proven to typically reduce clients’ occupancy costs by up to 30% on service charge scrutiny, new leases, lease renegotiation and renewals and up to 100% on subleases and assignments. So, if you haven’t professionally and thoroughly reviewed your corporate real estate and occupancy costs, we’ll gladly provide a complimentary no-obligation consultation and occupancy cost audit to determine any options to quickly reduce your overhead.