Posts Tagged ‘Business Advice’

Cost of an Office Fit-Out or Renovation in the USA

July 21st, 2021

Office renovations can help create a more productive workplace and support a business’s branding strategy. However, these projects can have a significant impact on capital expenditure. Calculated per rentable square foot (RSF), fit-out and renovation costs went ranged from $90 to $220/RSF in 2019-20, depending on location, office size, cost of labor, and industry sector – since some businesses (such as tech companies) require fit-outs to higher and more costly specifications.

What follows is a breakdown of the costs involved in renovating an office in the United States. *

Construction Costs

These costs involve the removal, addition or alteration of physical elements in a building, office floor or office unit. Construction costs include materials and labor, as well as fees charged by contractors, and they serve as the biggest expense in fit-out projects – accounting for 50% to 70% of the total cost.

Average costs are $90/RSF. Depending on location, they can be as high as $139/RSF or as low as $54/RSF.

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Introducing Pets into the Workplace, a Smart Idea or Barking up the Wrong Tree?

January 11th, 2021

The office can be a stressful place at times, particularly when deadlines are looming and clients are expecting results fast. These stresses can result in negativity, tension, anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of dread, feelings which can ultimately impact productivity and mental wellbeing. Companies across the globe have worked tirelessly to combat these workplace stresses, introducing comprehensive strategies to improve the wellbeing of their employees and cultivate a healthy working environment. Introducing pets into the workplace is one such plan that can, if implemented correctly, positively impact employees by improving morale, reducing stress, easing anxiety, and increasing job satisfaction.

Amazon is a prime example of a global company that has successfully introduced pets through their long-standing tradition of bringing dogs into their Seattle headquarters, a space which is now home to as many as 7,000 dogs on any given workday! The example set by large companies such as Amazon has inspired countless other businesses to adopt similar initiatives, resulting in pets becoming increasingly common in the workplace, particularly in millennial-driven organizations and  creative offices that encourage collaboration.

But what exactly do you need to know before introducing your furry friend to the workplace and what benefits or downsides can come from bringing your pet to work?

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The Differences Between Class A, B, & C Office Space in the USA

January 5th, 2021

There are several types of office space in the USA. These properties are classified according to their quality standards and amenities, using the classification system developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association. This system establishes three main types of office space: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Here are the defining features of each Class:

Class A Office Space

These properties are characterized as having the highest quality standards, amenities, and fixtures. Common features include top-tier HVAC and lighting systems, the latest telecommunications infrastructure, and often have unique design or architectural traits. Because of their high standards, Class A offices are typically (but not always) in new or trophy buildings with high-quality road and mass transit connections. Location also plays a role in Class A offices, as they are often located in sought-after areas such as Capitol Hill, Downtown Los Angeles, and The Loop in Chicago.

Class B Office Space

Class B properties are a middle-of-the-road option for office-based businesses. They are a step below Class A properties in terms of design, systems, and infrastructure, but they are still functional spaces that can accommodate a wide range of office operations. Depending on their location and potential, some Class B buildings are acquired by property management or investment firms and refurbished to Class A standards. Many of these offices are located in buildings that are between 10 and 20 years old.

Class C Office Space

Class C offices are typically located in older buildings (20 years+) outside of the CBD or other highly sought-after business areas. These properties may have outdated infrastructure, fixtures, and amenities, with some requiring partial renovation.

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United States Commercial Property Prices 2020: Per Square Foot

December 15th, 2020

The United States is home to one of the world’s largest commercial real estate markets, with an estimated worth of approximately $950bn. In terms of size, industrial space is the largest sub-market with 21bn square feet, followed by retail with 13bn, and offices, which account for 11bn.

In Q2 2020, the average price per square foot for US offices was just over $35. Retail averaged out to $18.09 / square foot, and industrial space came in at just under $8 / square foot. However, there are significant variations in average prices based on location and real estate class. Here is a summary of average commercial rates in key USA cities:

  •   New York: Average gross rates for metro New York offices are $81 / sq ft / year. Industrial space averages $19 / sq ft / year.
  •   Los Angeles: $44 / sq ft / year for offices in the metropolitan area and $11 / sq ft / year for industrial premises.
  •   Miami: In the same range as Los Angeles for CBD offices and slightly lower for industrial space ($8 / sq ft / year).
  •   Boston: $39/ sq ft / year for metro offices, rising to $80 in Cambridge. Industrial properties average $10 / sq ft / year.
  •   Philadelphia: $36 / sq ft / year for city center offices, $27 for suburban space, and $6 / sq ft / year for industrial properties.
  •   Atlanta: Slightly under $30 / sq ft / year for offices with a rate of $35 in Downtown Atlanta. Industrial space is charged at an average of $5 / sq ft / year.
  •   Chicago: Approximately $33 / sq ft / year for office space, rising to averages above $40 in The Loop. Industrial premises average $6 / sq ft / year.
  •   Dallas and other urban centers in Texas: between $25 and $30 / sq ft / year, whereas industrial rates are below $5.

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Setting Up A Business In Los Angeles County

April 6th, 2020

Los Angeles County is home to the nation’s second largest metropolitan area and to one of the world’s most powerful economies. The county is made up of 88 cities and has approximately 300,000 employers, which provide jobs to a workforce of nearly 5 million people.

Major Industries and Employers in Los Angeles County

Key industries include entertainment and media due to the presence of highly successful companies like Walt Disney, Warner Bros, and Paramount Pictures. Trade is also a strong economic driver due to the location of the Port of Los Angeles, situated in the southern part of the county, which is one of the state’s largest employers with over 800,000 employees.

Education and healthcare have been paramount to the local economy since the mid 20th century, as the county is home to prestigious institutions that include the University of California, California Institute of Technology, and Loyola Law School, as well as to healthcare corporations like CareMore, Health Net, and Molina Healthcare.

Other sectors worth mentioning include pharma, fashion, hospitality, tourism, financial services, and publishing. Tech-related activities have grown fast and now employ nearly 400,000 people, but the creative industry is by far the sector with the highest growth rates, supporting more than 740,000 jobs.

Key employers include CBRE, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Snapchat, and Universal Pictures (Los Angeles), Walt Disney (Burbank), Riot Games and Hulu (Santa Monica), Toyota and Honda (Torrance), Isuzu Motors (Cerritos), and Avery Dennison (Glendale).   Read the rest of this entry »

Growing your business in Las Vegas

March 17th, 2020

Las Vegas is one of the most visited cities in the United States and has managed to grow as a distinct economic hub despite its location on the Mojave Desert. The city was originally established as a stopping point for important trade routes between the Midwest and the Pacific Coast, and eventually grew to become one of the 30 most populated cities in the nation.

Las Vegas Business Environment

The local industry is clearly dominated by tourism, hospitality, leisure, and entertainment. There is also a large number of government and healthcare agencies, along with professional and business services firms, that support tourism-related activities.

Las Vegas is an internationally renowned hub for business conferences, meetings, and conventions, and the business events industry supports more than 66,000 jobs in the city. Since 2012, efforts and investment have been put into building a strong technology sector in Las Vegas, offering financial support and real estate discounts to tech companies. However, the tech talent pool is still small relative to other cities where similar initiatives have been implemented. A similar trend is evident across the state of Nevada, where the tech sector barely accounts for 2.5 percent of all economic activity. Read the rest of this entry »

Setting Up A Business In Venice, Florida

October 1st, 2019

The city of Venice is located on Florida’s west coast, approximately 20 miles south of Sarasota and 60 miles away from Fort Myers. Administratively, Venice is part of Sarasota County and has a permanent population of over 22,000 people, although this figure increases during the winter months, when many snowbirds move to the city temporarily.

Key Industries and Employers in Venice, Florida

In its origins, the city’s economy relied on agriculture, fishing, and trade, but currently Venice has a diverse economy that has so far been able to weather the global economic downturn. The largest industries are healthcare and educational services, followed by retail, trade, accommodation and food services, finance, insurance, and manufacturing. Tourism and recreation are also essential to Venice’s economy due to the city’s seaside location and proximity to several natural reserves.

Key employers in Venice include manufacturing firms PGT Industries, which was named one of Florida’s best employers by Forbes (with over 2,800 employees) and Tervis Tumbler, Venice Regional Bayfront Health, Bon Secours Venice Healthcare, and Publix Supermarkets.

Venice has seen a marked increase in the job market over this last year (2019) of 2.6%, with only a slightly lower unemployment rate (3.3%) than in the rest of the US (3.9%). Predictions show future job growth over the next decade to be just over 42%. Venice resident’s average income comes in at just under $40,000 a year, which is higher than the average income across the US and currently stands at just under $30,000 annually. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago’s CBD

October 4th, 2016

An Overview of Chicago’s Central Business District

Chicago’s central business district (also referred to as The Loop) is among the nation’s top three largest business hubs. Chicago’s CBD occupies a total area of approximately 1.6 square miles and is located in the eastern side of the city, right on the shores of Lake Michigan. The CBD can be sub-divided into five smaller areas: West Loop, South Loop, Michigan Boulevard, Printer’s Row, and New Eastside.

The Loop is a densely populated area where business and residential areas exist side-to-side. Unlike other CBDs in American cities, The Loop continues to experience rapid growth in terms of its permanent population, which exceeded 30,000 people in early 2016. The Loop attracts a large number of young professionals due to its convenient location, excellent transportation links, and supply of quality housing. The area is well served by buses, commuter trains, Amtrak services, and CTA trains that link the central business district with O´Hare and Midway international airports.

Chicago’s CBD among the country’s top 20 metropolitan areas with the highest business density, ranking 6th with nearly 33 business establishments per square mile. The Loop’s dynamic economy relies on a diverse industrial base and healthy mix of small, medium, and large companies. Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media in the Workplace

May 4th, 2016

What is considered acceptable use of social media in the modern workplace? How can what you post on social media both in and out of the office be used against you?

Although in many cases U.S. laws and regulations have not kept pace with all the latest developments, legislators and employment specialists have become increasingly aware of the issues. Facebook has over one billion users, with Twitter boasting around 500 million – and LinkedIn around half that.

Understandably, many employers were reported as having noted this tendency with some degree of alarm, voicing fears such as reduced productivity, adverse publicity and a possible trend in work-related claims and liability. Some have wondered about their rights to ban social media usage in the workplace – yet these same employers have seen their levels of businesses grow in many cases due to social media’s innate ability to market products and services to new customers. Companies also hire bloggers, endorsers or community managers to take advantage of the phenomenon.

In addition, employee morale is usually higher with access. What is clear, however, is that social media policies are just as important an area as any other (such as vacations, special leave and anti-discrimination) in contracts of employment and the general relationships between employers and employees.

As social media developed, some government agencies began issuing guidance. While some of this has been based on common sense and an intuitive approach, other examples have been less so. Specifically, some NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) pronouncements on the subject have been viewed as self-contradictory and confusing. The NLRB has received most of its press attention for supporting the employee right of engaging in concerted activities. Here, one key test is whether any one employer policy would reasonably have the effect of distressing employees; such clauses are deemed invalid in employment contracts. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEC) has also taken an interest in the question. Read the rest of this entry »

Company Relocation Guide

April 13th, 2015

 

When a company decides to relocate to a new location, whether they are an SME or a corporate giant, the relocation project can be complex. Whether a business relocates in-state, across the country or internationally, it requires a team of planners with diverse skills and experience to accomplish a smooth, seamless relocation process.

In addition to the actual relocation planners involved, there are often additional teams of assistants that are required. These include:

  • Personnel and human resources experts and recruiters
  • Corporate legal advisers
  • Real estate managers and supervisors
  • Tax and/or CPA specialists
  • Environmental consultants

These are a few of the teams needed to accomplish relocation with minimal disruption.

The size of a company will relate to the size of the relocation project and amount of planning. There is much less involved in relocating a law firm comprised of a half dozen employees than a research laboratory with two dozen research personnel and administrative associates.

Small to moderately sized offices are generally easier to relocate than manufacturing and retail facilities with several detached buildings in the facility’s complex. Read the rest of this entry »