Community News and Insights
Community News and Insights

How to Make Your Open Office Private

Sacha R - Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Open Office Floorplan

Remember five years ago when you decided to redesign the office to have an open floor plan? The idea was exciting, and your employees were on board with the decision. Fast forward to now; privacy is at an all-time low and employee’s productivity is suffering. So how do you encourage collaboration while still offering privacy when it’s needed? We have a few suggestions.

 

Redesign Your Open Office

 

The feeling that someone is watching you work is an unsettling one. The need to take a phone call, read a confidential email, or simply sit in peace, arises at least once a day. A lack of privacy fosters a need to constantly be working, even if that work is unproductive. Your manager may be watching so you better type for the sake of typing!

 

To create an environment that is built on trust and encourages employees to do their best work, consider a few changes to the office layout. Moveable panels allow team members to create a collaborative workspace on a whim. Installing dividers between desks will offer privacy without the stifling feeling of cubicles.

 

If visual privacy is the issue, a screen filter is a great option to stop snoopers in their tracks. Screen filters allow the user to see what’s on the screen if they’re looking straight on. If they look from an angle the screen appears to be black. This provides employees the comfort to respond to confidential emails or prepare for a performance review without the fear of someone reading over their shoulder.

 

Plants will also provide some visual privacy while white noise can drown out conversations. Wool or felt can be used to line cubicles to keep sound levels to a minimum.

 

Activity Based Planning Model

 

With an activity-based planning model, employees have the option to work at their desk, a phone booth, or a small meeting room. Phone booths are ideal for conference calls and demoing new software, while meeting rooms are perfect for, well, meetings.

 

With the activity-based planning model, you may want to think about implementing some rules and new tools for each of the areas. No phone calls at a personal desk will encourage the use of phone booths. Providing employees with laptops will enable them to freely move about the office while keeping their work with them.

 

With an activity-based planning model you can trust that your office will be productive, engaged, and private!

 

Lead by Example

 

Many times, employees feel like they can’t use the amenities and spaces provided to them at the office. Even if private rooms are available, utilizing one could be seen as goofing off. For this reason, it’s important that managers make use of the phone booths and meeting spaces just as employees should. Take your phone calls in a private area and pull people into a meeting room if you need to have a discussion.

 

Need a new office to call home? Learn more about our “A” rated commercial buildings and how we can customize the space to fit your needs. A productive and engaged office can be in your future!

 

Tips for Finding A New Office Space

Sacha R - Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Tips for Finding a New Office Space

There’s nothing better than seeing your company grow and expand. Sales are up, employees are happy and you’re hiring more team members. More often than not, a growing company requires a bigger office space. If your company has outgrown its current location, keep reading for our tips on finding a new office space.

Talk to Your Property Manager

Assuming you’re renting your current space, talk to your property manager! It’s likely that they have a building that will suit your needs or know of one that will be available soon. They may also allow you to keep your existing lease terms despite the move. The worst they can say is no, so it’s worth a shot!

Consider Multiple Offices

With email, online chat systems and video conferences, it’s no longer necessary to have all of your employees in one office. Consider opening a second office and moving some employees there. Having employees in multiple locations opens up more opportunities for new business as well.

Prioritize Company Culture

Where are most of your employees commuting from? Finding an office space an hour from where most of your team lives is not going to go over well. If you can find an office that will make the commute simpler for your employees that’s even better.

It’s also important to think about how your company operates. Is there a lot of collaboration or do people mostly work on individual projects? Do you want each person to have an office or will an open floor plan be better? This will influence the type of layout your new space will have.

Get the Word Out

Let people know that you’re looking a new space. Post on social media, add a line to your email signature, and ask around. You never know who knows of an office that will suit your needs. A good message for social media may be, “We’re growing! If you know of an available office space, please pass the information on to us.”

Focus on Engagement

When an office is so full that people become too close for comfort, you know it’s time for a move. If it’s hard to schedule a meeting because the one conference room is always in use or the parking lot is full with only 5 cars in it, employees start to get angry. An enjoyable work environment leads to more productive employees. It’s in your best interest to look for a new office that will boost morale and productivity.

Search Our Properties!

When it comes to office space, Rosetti Properties has you covered! We own and manage 500,000 square feet of commercial and retail space in Albany County. Our commercial buildings are “A” rated and be altered or built to meet your needs. If you’re looking for an office with 5 meeting rooms, space for a ping pong table, and a full eat-in kitchen, you’ll find it with us.

Discover our available properties and contact us today to discuss your new office.

 

How to Tidy Up Your Business

Sacha R - Monday, July 08, 2019

Coworkers Looking at Chart

While the hype surrounding Marie Kondo and her Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, has died down, the decluttering method is still as useful as ever. The series offers viewers organization tips to rid their homes of clutter and live a simpler life. Marie Kondo has created a global sensation, teaching others to only keep happiness inducing items, fold each item in a dresser drawer, and to “thank” items before discarding them.

The advice, however, is not just for your home. The “KonMari” organizing method can be applied to your business to tidy up daily operations and the sales process.

Declutter Your Client List

Start by spending quality time with your clients. Or rather, your client list. Scrub the list of CRM contacts, potential clients, or leads that have gone cold. You don’t need to chase after every person who has come in to contact with your business, because truthfully not every client will be a good fit.

Once the cold leads have been scrubbed, it’s time to consider your current clientele. Are there clients that require more energy than they’re worth? What about clients that you have outgrown or that are actually costing you money? Evaluate your clients and come up with a plan to cut ties with the ones you no longer enjoy working with. You’ll be happy you did in the long run.

Evaluate Your Sales Process

When you started your business ten years ago, your sales process was a well-oiled machine that was reliable and up to date. Now? It’s out dated and could use a refresh.

Do you like the CRM system and other sales tools you’re using? Is there a conference or trade show you attend every year despite receiving very few leads? Are there steps in your sales process that have much lower conversion rates? Take good look at the entire sales process and ask yourself if there is any part of the process that isn’t working but your keep doing “because that’s how it’s always been done”?

Establishing, learning, and implementing a new sales process can take time, but it’s necessary as your industry and business grows. Demo new sales tools, write new call scripts, evaluate your company mission statement, and set up trainings for your sales team. When everyone is on the same page, you’ll be amazed at how quickly new leads can come up.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

It can be easy to go about daily operations just to “get the job done”. This mentality will cause your business to go stagnant, with no direction or goals in sight.

Take time to set S.M.A.R.T. goals so you develop clarity and direction on your next steps. S.M.A.R.T. stands for the following:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-bound

S.M.A.R.T goals will hold you and your team accountable and are more likely to be achieved than a more generic goal. An example of a S.M.A.R.T goal that will encourage growth in your business is “Develop three new sales scripts in three weeks”. There is direction, it’s time bound, and you will clearly be able to tell if the goal was met or not.

Be Grateful

The last step in the “KonMari” method is to thank every item you plan to either donate or throw out. While this may feel uncomfortable at first, it will help you practice gratitude and recognize how far you’ve come. Even if your sales process, a current client, or some other aspect of your business is no longer a good fit, it still served a purpose. Be grateful for it and welcome new opportunities!

Perhaps through this process you’ve recognized a need for a new office building. Your current space isn’t working for you or your employees and it’s time for a change. Rosetti Properties offers commercial and retail space throughout Albany County that can be customized for your needs. Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour!

Four Ways to Matter to Millennials

Sacha R - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

team meeting with laptops

By now there is no way of denying that Millennials choices and preferences have a profound impact on the way companies operate. The youngest Millennials’ are 22 years old, meaning many are now in the work force or will be entering it soon. Their influence is shifting the way people work – forcing companies to change their ways to connect with this important generation.

Make Flexibility A Priority

Millennials are blurring the lines between work and free-time. They bring their work home with them and take their social expectations to the workplace. Many Millennials say that is they’re not finding what they need at their jobs, they’re willing to pick up a side hustle or turn to full-time freelance work.

72% of Millennials say it’s important for them to work for a company that offers flexible working arrangements. As a business owner this means providing laptops and smart phones so your employees can take their work with them. It also means allowing employees to set their own hours, in addition to allowing them to take breaks when they like. Showing that your trust employees to get their work done on their own time goes a long way in building a strong team.

Make Your Values Known

Across 11 markets surveyed globally, Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers to say it’s important for them to work for a company that shares their values. They’re also 1.5X more likely to say their workplace is a community. When Millennials are considering which company to work for, they often evaluate if they feel aligned with the company’s values.

Make sure you have a page on your website that includes your mission statement and company culture/values. This page will allow Millennials to assess if your company is one they want to apply to work for.

Communicate

One of the most important things to Millennials is transparency. They want businesses to communicate openly on social media just as much as they do. Millennials say the top three topics they want companies to be transparent about online are company values, changes to products and services and employment practices.

Post photos on Instagram of company outings to communicate to Millennials that your employees get along and enjoy being together. You should also share press releases and statements recognizing employees when they’re rewarded for their achievements. These posts attract potential employees, letting them know that they’ll be valued at your company.

Leverage Technology 

No one wants to work for a company that is stuck in the stone ages. Millennials embrace technology that makes their lives better and your company should too. Introduce online sharing platforms and leverage live video and messaging to allow co-workers to communicate. 87% Millennials say they value being able to message colleagues so if you don’t already have a chat system, now is the time.

Millennials are also 1.4X more likely than Baby Boomers to say that AI will help people lead more organized lives. So, while AI is certainly a bit more difficult to implement a chat system, it’s worth looking in to.

Millennials are bringing new expectations to the table and establishing new ways of working. From desiring flexible work arrangements to using the latest in technology, Millennials are setting the new standard for how businesses operate. Adopting their values will help your company stand out to Millennials and attract the strongest employees amongst this influential generation.

 

Which Workplace Amenities Are Worth Investing In?

Sacha R - Friday, June 07, 2019

Group of friends laughing

With the list of great employers and job mobility increasing, amenities are taking center stage as a way to lure employees in. Gone are the days of simply going to the office to sit at a desk - employees want more. Collaborative spaces, break rooms, flexible work spaces, and even game rooms are becoming some of the most sought-after amenities when people are deciding to work for a company. Which workplace amenities provide the greatest performance boost, though?

Which Amenities Perform Best? 

Gensler recently released their 2019 U.S. Workplace Survey, which represents the input of more than 6,000 office workers across a variety of industries and demographics. Gensler analyzed how each amenity corresponds with a better environment and a better experience. Since amenities are investments, amenities and alternate workspaces that provided the greatest performance boost were prioritized.

The study found that the amenities that connect directly to people’s work-related needs deliver the greatest impact. Amenities such as lounges and break rooms provided the smallest performance gains.

While this isn’t ground-breaking news, there is something to say for those non-work focused amenities. Half of all employees say that their working environment has a negative effect on their mental health and well-being. Two-third of employees that they rarely feel valued.

Many employees state that increasing workloads, followed by a lack of time to focus on well-being and exercise are the leading causes of stress. When your employees are too stressed to focus there is a noticeable decrease in performance.

So What Can Be Done?

At Rosetti Properties, we offer over 45,000 square feet of commercial and retail space in Albany County. Our commercial buildings are “A” rated and offices can be altered or built to fit the needs of your business and your employees.

With this in mind, these are a few recommendations so you can boost performance while also helping your employees manage their stress.

Fitness Center – A fitness center doesn’t have to be large to be effective. A couple treadmills, ellipticals, free weights and yoga mats will allow employees to stretch their legs on their lunch break or get some exercise in after work.

Quiet Spaces – When designing your office, make sure you designate a few rooms as quiet spaces. People will appreciate having an area to go to make phone calls or focus on their work without any outside distractions.

Collaborative Spaces - Just like people need quiet spaces, they also need areas where they can work together. Put white boards, a big table, couches, and computers in these areas so teams have everything they need to work on their project.

Outdoor Workspaces – Many people say that they ability to get outside during the day lifts their mood and increases productivity. If space allows, create an area outdoors with tables and umbrellas so people can get some fresh air,

Ready to get started on creating an amenity filled office? Contact us today!

You’re Killing Your Productivity by Doing These 6 Things

Sacha R - Friday, May 24, 2019

Woman writing in journal at desk

 

To some degree, productivity is an art. We scour the Internet for journal articles, videos, and eBooks on how to be the most productive version of ourselves possible. Many of these articles and videos mention the same common tips and tricks. What if they’re wrong, though? What if many of the things you’re doing to be more productive are actually causing more harm than good?

 

Below are six common beliefs and practices that are ultimately making you less productive.

 

Stop Doing the Easy Things First

 

Doing the easier and more fun tasks on your to-do list first is causing you to procrastinate the more necessary tasks. Knocking off a few items quickly will make you feel a sense of accomplishment, but are they really items that no one else can do? “Just because you’re checking something off the list doesn’t mean it was worthwhile doing,” says Jeff Skipper, Calgary-based leadership and change management consultant.

 

Before you write anything down on your to-do list, make sure it’s a task you should be doing to begin with. If not, delegate it to someone else.

 

Stop Forcing Yourself to Get Up Early

 

Contrary to popular belief, you can’t force yourself to be a morning person. Each individual has their own circadian rhythm that is difficult to mold and re-shape. If you find that you work better when you sleep in, try shifting your morning workouts to after work hours. You could also see if your boss will allow you to come in to the office later and leave later or work from home. Taking advantage of your natural energy peaks throughout the day will allow you to optimize your productivity.

 

Stop Letting Irritations Slide

 

If we let the “little things” go we’re not allowing ourselves to lose focus or become less productive. At least, that’s the idea.

If the “little things” aren’t dealt with in a timely manner, they can become big problems. Resentment can also drain our energy levels and focus, causing us to mull over the situation over and over again in our heads. Confront the situation before it becomes a larger issue and you’ll be more productive in the long run.

 

Stop Planning Your Breaks

 

We’re creatures of habit and many of us work best when we plan out our days. A common practice is to take a 5-minute break for every 30 minutes of work you do. While this can reduce eye strain and is good for our circulation, it can be detrimental at times. If you’re on a roll, keep going even if 30 minutes have gone by. You’re better off listening to your body and taking note of your energy levels to know when it’s time for a break.

Stop Working Under Pressure

 

Many people claim that they work better under pressure. A looming deadline is certainly motivation to complete a project, but it is not conducive to producing quality work. Pressure leads to a decrease in cognitive functioning and creativity. Working under pressure also adds unnecessary work stress. Unless you’re given two day’s notice to complete a project, allow yourself time to do your best work.

 

Stop Thinking Procrastination is Just a Bad Habit

 

Procrastination is usually a sign of a deeper issue. Maybe you’re afraid that you’ll do the project wrong, look bad, aren’t good enough, or you have impostor syndrome. Procrastination has even been linked to higher rates of depression, substance abuse, phobias, and more. By recognizing and dealing with the root cause of your procrastination, you’ll be able to be more productive.

 

Bonus Tip: Stop Working In A Bad Office Space

 

The wrong office space can also be harmful to our productivity. Rosetti Properties has numerous office spaces throughout the Capital Region for you to choose from. Our commercial buildings are “A” rated and office can be altered and/or built to promote a productive space. Contact us today to schedule a tour.


 

 

Working from Home the Right Decision for Your Small Business?

Sacha R - Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Women sitting with laptop of lap

Over the last decade, working from home has become a desired perk by many. Many claim that they’re more productive, they’re happier with their jobs, and that they have a better work/life balance. While these may all be true, allowing employees, and yourself, to work from home may not be the right choice for your small business.

Where are Employees the Most Productive?

Avast Business conducted a study of small business employees and employers to find out how working from home affects productivity, satisfaction, and morale.

  • 38% of employees say they are most productive when working at home
  • 35% say they are most productive when working at an office
  • 21% say they are most productive when working in a public space, like a coffee shop or library
  • 6% prefer a “hot desking” situation. Hot desking refers to coming into the office and working at a shared work space or whatever desk is available.

Pros & Cons of Working Remotely

Pros

The biggest benefit that mobile working offers employees is happiness – ‘I am happier’ was chosen by 34% of respondents. But it’s not just employees that benefit from mobile working, it’s you too. The survey shows that when working outside the office, people also take pride in what they do and deliver higher quality work. Great news for your business!

Some other pros of working from home include:

  • Better work/life balance – 34%
  • Increased productivity – 30%
  • Employee takes pride in what they do – 22%
  • Employee delivers higher quality work – 21%
  • Employee takes fewer sick days – 16%
  • Employee feels empowered – 14%

Cons

While working from home or remotely may seem like all fun and games, there are cons that go along with it. The biggest downside of mobile working is getting distracted (45.5%). People are also more interested in having a good work/life balance and being able to take breaks when they like than respecting their employer or staying with the company longer.

Other cons of working from home include:

  • Procrastination – 40.5%
  • Employee misses something important that happens at the office – 40.5%
  • Employee works longer than they’re supposed to – 40%
  • Weaker relationships with some colleagues – 37%
  • Employee may be overlooked for promotion – 29%
  • Cybersecurity – employees who use an unsecure Wi-Fi network put the company’s email, banking, projects, and documents at risk for an attack

One concern, or con, that many employers express is not being able to see and communicate with employees well. This concern can be remedied by establishing weekly or daily video calls to discuss current projects and the employee’s performance.

Pros & Cons of Working at the Office

While working remotely is the ‘shiny new toy’ that many employees just have to have, there are still many positives to showing up at the office every day. The biggest positive is collaboration. If you run a business that is highly dependent on collaboration and group work, having employees spread out across town (or the state, or even the country!), probably will not work. Offering space within the office for employees to get together and work is a better use of everyone’s time.

Other pros of working at an office include:

  • Less emails in your inbox – working in an office encourages face to face communication
  • Sense of belonging
  • Easier to connect and communicate with managers
  • Increase in creativity – collaborating with coworkers will help you think in new ways
  • Ability to provide technological support and expertise

Let’s review some cons of working from an office:

  • Lack of trust from employees
  • Employees have identified stress and anxiety as the main factor affecting their productivity when working in an office
  • Sedentary lifestyle – office jobs are one of the leading causes in obesity . Working in an office setting does not encourage regular breaks for standing and short walks
  • Lack of daylight – sunlight increases happiness and productivity and is an essential part of life
  • Potentially spending a large portion of the day commuting

Which Option is Right for Your Business?

Ultimately this is up to you. As mentioned previously, if your company relies on collaboration, a work-from-home culture may not be the best decision. However, if your employees do more independent work, maybe it is best to let them choose where they work from.

One solution is to survey your employees to gain a better understanding of their work habits and preferences. From the survey results you’ll be able to make a more informed decision. Maybe you allow one work-from-home day a week, or you get rid of your office completely! Only you can make that call.

If you are looking for a new office space for your budding business, we have numerous options that will fit your needs. Contact us today to schedule a tour!

Is Noise Pollution Causing Your Employees to Quit?

Sacha R - Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Featured image clean office desk

At some point in the last decade, open plan offices became desirable by business owners and employees alike. They promised increased collaboration, productivity, and symbolized a youthful company culture. However, for many employees this has not been the case.

63% of employees say they lack quiet space for focused work, which has a negative effect on their productivity, satisfaction, and well-being. Many go for walks outside, while others use headphones to focus and block out distractions.

Many employees who work in incredibly loud offices say they are likely to leave their job in the next six months.

Ultimately, noise pollution has a negative effect on productivity, which impacts financial performance. Executives see employee productivity as critical to their financial performance, yet very few understand the link between noise, distraction, and productivity. Even worse, fewer have equipped their office with noise mitigating features.

So What Can You Do?

Even if you’re committed to maintaining an open office, there are steps you can take to ensure your employees don’t quit because of noise pollution.

Provide dedicated quiet spaces – If you have a room or two to spare, turn them into quiet spaces. Make these rooms off limits to meetings and group work to ensure that they’re always available to individuals who want some peace and quiet.

Provide loud spaces - Like the quiet spaces, loud spaces are ideal for collaboration and meetings. They encourage discussion and interaction with white boards, TVs and a computer and can also be used for making phone calls. Designated loud spaces signal to employees that time spent working at their desk is meant to be quiet.

Install Sound Absorbing Materials – If your office space is particularly noisy, it would be a good idea to look in to installing sound absorbing materials. Basic carpeting, acoustical ceiling tiles, and cubicle partitions will help with some of the noise. If your budget is a bit larger, consider drop ceilings the soak up sound, wall decorations that double as soundproofing, and live greenery and plants.

If you’re looking to move your business to a new building, Rosetti Properties owns and manages 50,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. Our buildings are “A” rated and can be altered or built to meet the needs of your business and employees. You can say good bye to noise complaints!

When you’re ready to tour our available spaces, let us know!

 

Three Ways to Spark Inspiration at Work

Sacha R - Monday, April 08, 2019

Featured image clean office laptop

Feeling bored and depressed at work? While these can be signs that you should start looking for new job, they may also be signs that you’ve fallen into a rut. It’s easy to succumb to habits and daily rituals that ultimately lead to boredom and a lack of inspiration. The next time you find yourself asking, “do I even like this job?” try doing these things to spark excitement.

Become Curious

A simple way to tackle boredom is to find something that makes you curious. Find a documentary that covers a topic you know little about, or a biography about a famous person within your field. Your sense of curiosity will likely cross-over into what you’re doing at work. Try asking yourself how your decisions will affect your co-workers or customers and work from there. It may simply take putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to make you feel inspired.

Change Up Your Routine

Ever heard the saying “change doesn’t come from comfort”? While we all love our habits and morning routines, they may be damaging our productivity and career growth. Pick a new location for your weekly team meeting, try writing in a different style, or go for a walk during your break instead of spending it on your phone. A simple change may lead to big ideas.

Face Your Fears

In addition to switching up your routine, try doing one thing a month that scares you. Maybe it’s speaking up in a sales meeting or pitching an idea that you’ve been sitting on for a while. In addition to sparking inspiration, facing your fears also builds confidence and courage. You may even discover a new skill that you’re really good at in the process!

Bonus Tip! While changing your office space is certainly a big move, we guarantee it will make you feel inspired and breath new life into your job and business. Learn more about our “A” rated commercial buildings and offices and how we can help you find the perfect space for your business.

 

Is Your Open Plan Office Reducing Productivity?

Sacha R - Friday, March 22, 2019

Open Office and Productivity

Just like open floor plans at home, open plan offices have been increasing in popularity over the past few years. They often give off the vibe that a business is relevant, relaxed, and has a lot of employee perks – Buzzfeed or Google come to mind?

However, while open plan offices are great for collaboration, they can also lead to stress and a decrease in productivity. 60% of the working day is devoted to individual task-focused work while only 25% is devoted to collaboration. This means that 60% of the time employees in an open plan office are not in the right environment.

In a survey conducted by Unispace, 15% of people reported that noise was the main reason for inefficiency at work. 13% reported that it was lack of quiet areas, while 9% said a lack of privacy was the reason for their lack of productivity.

While collaboration is an important and necessary element of any business, so are individual tasks. Many of the tasks performed at work require the ability to focus, and with no way to shut the door to get some peace and quiet, focusing is becoming increasingly difficult. In open environments increased noise, a lack of privacy and quiet areas consistently show up as top complaints among employees.

What Can Be Done?

Rather than designing an office space that is completely open, take the opposite approach. Have cubicles or private offices for each employee with designated rooms for meetings, collaboration and taking breaks. Put white boards, easels, TVs and large tables in the collaborative spaces so employees will feel inclined to meet there.

If your space allows for it, build a kitchen and break room away from employee’s desks or offices. The smell of food, sounds of people preparing lunch and conversations won’t distract others who aren’t on their break.

In the market for a new office building? All of our commercial building are “A” rated and offices can be altered and/or built to meet the needs of your business. Explore the spaces we have available and contact us today to set up a tour!