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Coworking as we know it is changing. In fact, it might have already changed. For a time, the practicality and efficiency of shared office space at a price lower than most commercial rent rates was the main selling point. Tacked onto the end of the pitch, almost as an afterthought, were notions of community and paeans to networking. But it seemed a little forced, a little heavy on wishful thinking. Was anyone really taking a coworking desk to make friends? Heading into 2017, the answer is yes, actually, community in coworking is extremely valuable. And not just to those enterprising individuals seizing the opportunity to connect. Coworking, at least the retooled version, could impact whole cities, whether they're asking for it or not. As a budding industry, coworking is entering a highly competitive phase. Shared space at lower rates is no longer enough to lure the cognoscenti. It's the extracurriculars that can make coworking more than the sum of its parts. The same promises of "community" are making the rounds—they're just backed with a little more proof now.
If you thought finding an apartment in New York was hard... Whether you're actively on the office space market or you're eager to get a head-start on your commercial leasing education, you may have noticed something: Convenient, digestable information on the basics of office leasing can be hard to come by. Sure, you can come across the odd blog post or two. But to complete a basic picture of what it takes to find and rent an office, you have to do a lot of Googling and a lot of reading. And even then it's not always immediately clear - Where to start looking for available space Who to contact in the event you find a great space What you'll really pay when renting an office Why pictures of commercial space can be so hard to come by. Among a host of other considerations. Not to worry. We've set out to clarify and simplify the office leasing process with what we're calling a Quick Start Guide to Finding Office Space. Download It Now Here's a preview of what you'll find in the guide.
Maybe you've heard: your desk chair is killing you. Here are the basic physics. Sitting in the standard desk chair for hours on end collapses the lumbar (lower) spine and causes the rest of your spine to curl into a sickly "C" shaped slouch that can cause chronic back problems, starting with poor posture. This fact helped propel the standing desk phenomenon that swept technology companies in particular off their feet a few short years ago. Until people realized that standing for eight hours a day was hard and opted to sit back down (this writer included). In its place, the workforce is exploring sedentary alternatives—including taking up residence on their office's couches or conference room chairs. Here are three representing the spectrum of affordability and advancement.
Though not accompanied by any official announcement, TheSquareFoot does in fact have an office pet. His name is Riz and he is a star-in-the-making. Look at that face.
Featured Comany: Hired Office Location: 425 Broadway, New York, NY The Space: A full floor loft in a boutique SoHo building Size: 3,200 sq ft The Team: 22 strong (in New York), 231 globally. As its name suggests, Hired isn't just a jobs board: it wants to make better matches between talent and employers and facilitate actual hires. Perhaps more than data and technology, Hired uses relationships and a local understanding of each local job market to do so. Which is why Hired has a dozen offices and counting around the world. On the latest episode of SquareFootage, we visit their SoHo office and learn how they're tackling the ultra-competitive job market that is New York City.
What makes a building green? Turns out, that's not always such an easy question to answer. How efficiently the building supplies and consumes energy, the sustainability of the materials used in its construction, the sustainability of the site its located on, the relationship between its design and its impact on the environment, and how energy efficient its occupants are all contribute to a building's green profile. While a number of standards exist to help answer this question, one of the most visible is the Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED) ratings system. With over 200,000 LEED certified buildings globally, momentum is growing, as is the pressure for real estate developers and landlords to get onboard. Still, progress is slow. In New York City, where one might expect an aggressive trend toward green buildings, progress has been gradual to say the least. Out of roughly 4,000 commercial buildings in Manhattan, 41 have a Core & Shell (like the buildings' exoskeleton) that is LEED certified or pending LEED certification. That's a scant one percent.
Call it "the other amenity." Next to no-hassle commutes and assorted lunch spots, having your pick of nearby gyms ranks high on the list of conveniences businesses consider when searching for office space. Makes sense. Other than a cup of coffee, the gym is one of few routine destinations people decamp to during the workday. If you're lucky, it's a gym you look forward to visiting. And if you work in Flatiron, you're doubly lucky. The Flatiron District, nestled between 14th and 23rd street along Manhattan's central corridors of Broadways and 5th Avenue, has over 50 gyms. Big chains and boutiques alike. Hence the nickname "Fitiron." It wasn't always this way. Before the real estate boom of the 80s, this stretch of Manhattan was known as the Toy District. Now it's a playground of a different sort. From SoulCycle to Sweaty Beaty, Flatiron is a fitness brand mall for thousands of working professionals.
This article was originally published to our Forbes column on October 6, 2016. We took our first big step as a startup when we moved TheSquareFoot from Houston to New York to participate in Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. During this time, the accelerator program provided us with a place to work, and while it wasn’t our own office, it suited its purpose. We’d spend the next few months refining our business model and getting acclimated to an entirely new market. As our time in the accelerator neared its end, we wanted to achieve two milestones: (1) prove that our new model worked, and (2) find our company a home to grow in. This was a unique, two-in-one opportunity for us. Before our first deal, we became our very own guinea pig. The challenges we faced during our first search for an office proved pivotal in helping us develop a better product and service for our clients. Here’s what we learned:
We put business on the map. That's a claim Yext, the location management giant running 800,000 business addresses on its platform, makes on its website. Only fitting, then, that their choice of office space seeks to make a statement and signal the company's arrival. The kind of space that puts Yext on the map. That space is the fifth floor of One Madison Avenue, better known for its tenants in the financial industry, like Credit Suisse and Charles Schwab. On our latest episode of SquareFootage, we examine why it's exactly where Yext wants to be.
TheSquareFoot team recently hosted a Job Shadowing event for the Career Awareness Program (CAP) through the Fresh Air Fund, a year-round academic, leadership development and mentoring program for middle school and high school students from low-income communities in New York City. The aim of the program is to capture youth at a critical point in their development and encourage them to explore ideas about their future careers. Past Job Shadowing hosts have included: Google, Madison Square Garden, Seventeen Magazine, Young & Rubicam, Vogue and more. We had a group of 23 students, ranging in age from 12-15, who visited us in our office in the Flatiron District. We kicked off the event with pizza, soda, and a short presentation about who we are, what we do, and what kinds of roles we have on our team. We broke down our team into three main sectors: marketing, technology, and transactions to teach the students about potential careers they could have based on their interests.
Did you know September was National Self-Improvement Month? Probably not. And yet for many, autumn's commencement is a kind of self-improvement clarion anyway. The old back to school sensibility of reinvention still lingers, no matter how many years removed from a classroom you are. Dealing with a pressure-filled Q4 and changing daylight hours requires peak powers of operation. It's a time to reflect and recharge. Renew focus. Complete the work. The research tells us meditation is one of the best means to that end, a performance-enhancing tool for the ages. The irony is that, as an ancient practice, mediation wasn't designed as a business tool at all—or as a business, for that matter. Quite the opposite. Nonetheless, 22 percent of employers will have offered mindfulness training to employees this year, and the meditation industry is now estimated to be worth a billion dollars. Clearly, the tenets of mindfulness and wellness resonate with a workforce seriously overstretched and overburdened with digital detritus. If you haven't already invested in yours, here's a good place to begin helping your workforce.
Don't call it co-working. That's the advice New Lab's Communications Director Molly Erman gives to anyone visiting Brooklyn's new anchor in the so-called Tech Triangle. Since opening in June 2016, New Lab could be mistaken for co-working space, albeit on a grand scale. It offers desks and shared space to young companies and small operators. It offers community the way your standard WeWork might. But the crux of New Lab's place in the tech vanguard is the rash of growth-stage companies working in the applied sciences that have taken up residence. Companies with names like 10xBeta, Nanotronics (on whose board Peter Thiel sits), Honeybee Robotics, Graph Commons and Light. Personalizing your morning smoothie, these companies are not. Their work is in AI and bioengineering and 3D printing. They pursue complex global challenges like worker safety and smart cities. They share in common outsized ambitions and the need for workspace that enables design, engineering, construction, agriculture and lab work. You know, the typical startup demands. This is where they call home for the time being.
It's the ultimate question in today's workplace zeitgeist: What are you willing to give up for more time off? Amazon is eager to find out, with a pilot flex program offering employees 30-hour workweeks at 75% of normal salary (but all their full-time benefits). It's debatable how progressive Amazon's new program really is. After all, this is a company that has struggled with perception of its workplace culture in the recent past. And as Crowded.com's cofounder Joe Rubin points out, Amazon is merely offering people less pay for less work. Is that really so revolutionary? In today's workplace climate, where people feel stretched beyond their capacity, yes. Right alongside minimal wage growth, excessive work hours and an inflexible work schedule are among the top five reasons people quit their jobs, according to a recent Ernst and Young study. That same study found that among managers, a workweek in excess of 40 hours was the norm. Would you be willing to give up a little pay for a more flexible work schedule?
Like it or not, open offices are here to stay. Too much effiency and a lack of better alternatives have made it so. But that doesn't mean your team is stuck in a nosiy pool of borderless, unproductive space. In this post, we'll focusing on how to use partitions to alleviate some of the well-known problems with open office environments.
Welcome to Nancy Liang's dreamworld. The Syndey-based illustrator is coming off recent acclaim for her work on an interactive story about an 83 year-old Hiroshima survivor called Junko's Story. With her Old Spaces project, Liang has rendered a fictional world capturing the nightime magic of cities that never sleep - even as their residents do. Her animated illustrations include Atlantic City-like boardwalks, quiet suburbs and even remote parts in subtle, animated illustrations. Naturally, we were drawn to the more urban handiwork. Liang's work isn't pure ficiton, though. She uses old landmarks and references to inform her illustrations, like old neon Coca-Cola signs in King's Cross from the 1960s. “The scenes I depict are a collection of forgotten tales from urban landscapes and suburbia. I like to draw out the whimsy and unthought narratives in these spaces that are otherwise considered as the mundane everyday,” she tells It's Nice That.
"Get some plants!" is becoming a common cry for office culture warriors seeking ways to spruce up the workplace, and for data-backed reasons. The presence of plants has long been linked to a reduction in stress, noise and air toxins in the workplace. Doesn't hurt that they're aesthetically pleasing either. One has to wonder, though, how much tangible difference a few plants in the windows makes to an employee's day. Whether a stressful work environment or a tediously mundane one, furniture is furniture, and as they stand in most offices, plants are definitely furniture. Except you can't sit on them. Which is to say maximizing the holistic qualities plants offer probably requires more active participation. Enter garden clubs. Company Garden Clubs While residential garden clubs may be on the rise, they certainly don't spring overnight. In New York housing communities, for example, they usually require some support from a non-profit like GrowNYC and plenty of cooperation from development partners. You can imagine, then, the difficulty in running a garden club out of a commercial space. ⊥ Read: New York Buildings with Community Gardens And yet, the company garden isn't exactly a new idea. A few years ago, they, too, were reportedly on the rise. At the time, providing a corporte garden seemed like a concession driven largely by the recession, a perk intended as a balm for pay grade freezes and slowing business. They were also almost entirely exclusive to big companies with compounds and campuses. PepsiCo in Purchase, NY. Google and Yahoo in Silicon Alley. Kohl's headquarters in Milwaukee. You certainly weren't hearing about them in crammed urban centers with dense populations like New York City. Now it's 2016. Companies aren't just interested in offering perks for the sake of offsetting lower salaries. They're offering great perks because they know they help lure—and retain—talent. They're offering them because happiness is lucrative. And gardening brings happiness to a staggering number of people in the US. By last count, nearly 1 in 3 homes is growing some kind of food in the US, and the presence of community gardens has grown by at least 200 percent. ⊥ Read: The Rise of Company Gardens
The Flatiron Dirstrict, which some have been known to call Silicon Alley, has become a hub for tech startups in Manhattan. The increase in companies choosing to call the area home means that more employees are looking to take advantage of everything the Flatiron district has to offer. If that sounds like you, we've done the research already and have created a list of our Flatiron favorites for you to check out!
When 12 o'clock rolls around and you feel your stomach starting to growl, you know what it means. It's time for you to ditch your desk and escape your office to take on lunch-hour, but New York City can be dizzyingly full of options. That's why, from hidden gems to the most popular NYC eats, we're breaking down the best places for you to grab lunch neighborhood by neighborhood.
It's one of the earliest questions you need to answer in your search for office space: How big does my office need to be? It can be a tricky question with multiple layers. There's the number of current employees at your company, the number you expect to add in the future, conference rooms to consider, utility rooms to store equipment, a reception desk for admitting visitors, industry standards you could use to try and guestimate all of the above... Or. You could just use our new space calculator and arrive at an answer quickly and accurately. We've rolled out a simpler, more visual interface to help you spec out the office that meets your needs - both now and in the future. Go on, give it a try.
At the southernmost tip of Manhattan is the Financial District. Due, in no small part, to Wall Street and the large number of prominent financial institutions headquartered in the Financial District, New York City has made a name for itself as the most economically powerful city in the world. Despite the finance-forward thinking of the district, FiDi also offers hidden gems that employees in the area should definitely take advantage of! Luckily for you, we've made finding those gems a bit easier and have rounded up the best of the best for you to check out!
Published July 27, 2016 In residential real estate, a number of sites like Zillow, Trulia and Street Easy have gained traction as the go-to places for people to rent, buy and sell properties. Finding office space has been a little less straightforward. It's not always clear where to find the most relevant listings online, how to get in touch with the right person who can supply information and tour the space with you, and how to make an offer. If you're in the market for office space, here are a few places you might have considered looking. Some come more recommended than others.
Here's something that's easy to take for granted in office space: The art on the walls. How on earth do people choose the artwork for their office? While even a limited selection of art is certainly preferable to bare white walls, is it worth the expense to opt for quality? Will anyone really even notice?
Building classifications in most markets offer a way to tell what kind of condition commercial property is in. Conventionally, the better the "grade" or classification, the more desirable the property, but as we'll see, desirability is largely defined by your own business's needs. Let's review the basics.
For companies who call the East Village home, or those that soon will, we've picked out the best-of-the-best establishments in the area to help you ensure that you're making the most of your neighborhood. We've covered everything from coffee shops to workouts, so be sure to keep reading if the East Village is where you dwell.
We are in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer, which I just learned A.) has astronomical origins as an idiom and B.) corresponds to actual dates on the calendar. Who knew?
Something you read about with more fequency now is companies (especially in tech) choosing to make a statement with the location of their new office. Not the office space itself. The location. The building or neighborhood your office is in can convey a powerful message about the status of your company. You may not even be looking to make a "statement" with your new location, but on some level, every business makes a symbolic calculation in the process of finding new office space. Thoughts like, "Will a cool new SoHo locale boost my brand?" or "Will being the only company in my industry to move into the Empire State Building cement our leadership position?" start entering the consciousness...
Recently we discussed a few ways to make the office more like home. While we haven't encountered much resistance to that idea yet, we're not above admitting that it could be picked apart little. For many, home simply isn't condusive to productivity. Even if their jobs allowed them to work from home, many wouldn't - they'd have to find someplace else, like a cafe, to get on a roll. That's what makes home "home" - it offer comforts away from the steady pulse of the work day. That being said, at a glance, office space commonly veers too far in the other direction - the direction of discomfort and anxiety. Even the most stylish offices that are all but de rigueur for the tech and creative industries still haven't quite figured out how to make employees comfortable. At least not when it comes to the part of the floor where they actually spend most of their time: their desks. Why does that matter? The evidence that employee happiness yields better results for the entire company is starting to mount. Naturally, much of that discussion orbits territory like management styles and more thoughtful benefits. But the physical spaces employees inhabit throughout the week are big pieces of the happiness puzzle, too. If you're looking for more ideas on how to bring a little more joy to your space, the team over at Justworks has you covered. Check out their infographic below.
Mediamath, the ad tech company headed by CEO Joe Zawadzki, recently relocated to 4 World Trade Center in New York's Financial District, and it's both the first privately held company and the first tech company to do so. Impressive stuff, to be sure. But even more impressive is the way they ultimately chose their new downtown digs. They put it to a vote. Previously located in Midtown, where much of their media partners and advertising counterparts work, the choice boiled down to another Midtown locale and 4 World Trade Center.
There are offices, with standard arrays of open space, desks and meeting rooms, and then there are "startup studios." The offices of Betaworks falls into the latter camp.
The path to the perfect office starts here.
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