About how long did it take to load up the web page you’re reading right now? Just a second? Two seconds? Maybe twenty? Your ability to complete tasks at work and communicate online is directly affected by the speed of your internet. Knowing the different options you have for internet service providers and data plans is important for maximizing productivity in your office space. While it can be tempting to choose the lower-tier internet plans that save you $20-$50 per month, those slower speeds can come back to bite you.
Here’s a quick calculation to prove it: About how many web pages do you think you visit in a day? I’d say 200 is a fair number—that’s maybe even a low estimate. Now let’s say on a low-tier internet plan it takes an average of 10 seconds to load each of those pages. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time to wait. But if you add up all those loading times in a day? That’s approximately 30 minutes of time lost to loading web pages, sending files, and downloading documents.
Here’s the kicker—now imagine you have 10 employees in the office, all visiting the same number of pages and all with the same load times. For the whole office, that’s a whopping 300 minutes—5 whole hours—of productive time lost in each day. And all because of an internet plan that’s $30 cheaper per month.
Though a few extra seconds of load time might seem like nothing, you could easily be losing a lot more time in productivity and revenue along with it. Make sure to consider all of your options when searching for an internet service provider for your office, and don’t be afraid to pay a little extra for speedy service.
It’s perhaps the most universal truth known to man: everybody hates Mondays. The prospect of an early Monday morning commute can send shivers down the spines of even those who truly and dearly love their job. But where there are those Monday lows there are always Friday highs. Ah, Friday—undoubtedly the most fun work day, but also the day when the least amount of work is done. Employees often spend the end of the work week eagerly awaiting the weekend—usually with their work long finished or tucked away until the next week. As Saturday edges ever closer, so too does the proclivity for work drop. Does anyone really get any work done after 4 PM on a Friday? If not, what can your office do to boost productivity on Fridays and provide incentive to keep up the hard work until the clock strikes ~4 PM?
Why not try a weekly office party? Instituting something as simple as a happy hour or snack binge that starts at 4 PM each Friday can incentivise employees to go above and beyond and finish the bulk of their work early enough to take part in the festivities. It also endears the company and management to the employees—if a company is willing to invest in the happiness of its employees it can go a long way toward productivity and devotion to the company’s mission.
Okay, while having a weekly party sounds great in theory it definitely has the potential to break the bank in the long run. So, if your office can’t necessarily afford the party, why not give employees who work hard an even better incentive? Many businesses are instituting half-day Fridays, wherein employees who finish their work for the week can book it home a little earlier. Because people are usually finished with their duties early in the day anyway, this can do a lot to prevent gloomy and antsy employees on Friday evenings.
What’s your office’s personality? Is it quirky and eccentric—think bright colors and 80’s style hair, big neon scrunchies, and ruffle skirts? Is it professional and chic—imagine tall, slender, and navy blue pinstripes with classy brown hardwood? Or is it a minimalist masterpiece—simple whites and blacks that would give Cruella de Ville a run for her money? Whatever it may be, finding the perfect wall art to bring out the mood of your office is important. After all, it’s the feel of the place that will draw in customers and clients as soon as they enter. You can’t deny the importance of a first impression. So how can you find the right art to showcase your office the way you want?
It can be easier than you think—searching for the right art just requires a little bit of time and a vision. First, you should come up with a persona for your office like we did above. What do you want someone to feel when they walk in the door? If your office was a person, what would they wear and how would they act? Take that vision and choose a few complimentary colors that speak to you. Maybe a couple of light blues and yellows or a soft pink and grey. These will be the cornerstone of your aesthetic—just to keep things simple and to make sure the office matches, try to find art that always in some way incorporates the colors you chose.
You might be wondering the obvious question—where in the world do I go to find art that’s fit for an office? This is the fun part. While big box stores like Target and the like will sell highly commercialized and printed art, the best avenue is your own backyard. That’s right, get out there and scour the local art market in your city or town. Buying from local artists connects your office’s personality to the larger culture of which it is a part. It shows visitors that you care about your community. And by going out and socializing at galleries and art events, you can even make business connections and friendships that will last a lifetime. Doesn’t that sound better than spending $50 on a print from Wal-Mart that the artist won’t see a penny of?
How confident are you that your business will succeed? Do you think it will for sure last another year? Two years? At what rate do you think your employee base will grow? How long will the geographic market you’re currently in be viable for your business? Will you need to expand soon? Okay—yikes. These are tough questions to answer. But they’re the exact questions you need to ask yourself when looking into leasing office space. This is especially true when you’re trying to determine the appropriate length of time for a new lease contract. So, what are some of the options when negotiating the length of a lease, and how can you try to find the best deal?
With a month-to-month lease you’ll obviously have better flexibility. With this option you could feasibly move to a bigger or smaller space or end the contract completely at the end of each month. But you’ll also likely pay a larger sum of rent to afford that flexibility. And that’s not even to mention the risk of increasing renewal rates—because the price of your rent isn’t fixed in a long-term contract, it will likely rise along with the real estate prices in your area.
With a longer lease period—say two years—you’ll save money and avoid frequent renewal rate hikes, but you might be left in a tricky situation if your business hits rough waters. In the case you want to bail yourself out of your lease contract early, you’ll need to pay whatever early termination fee is required (and it’s likely a hefty fine).
A good rule to follow when trying to pick a lease length: be realistic about your business’s future. It’s usually safe to secure a year-long lease for a new and thriving business, and it leaves opportunity for growth in the long run. But it’s up to you to determine what works best under the circumstances your business faces. Always ask yourself those hard questions and be prepared for everything—both failure and success.
The biggest worry people tend to have when they move out of a space is, obviously, the moving itself. You’ve got to collect all of your most valuable items and ship them someplace else—whether it be to a new office, a new warehouse, a new flex space, or to a new home. But focusing on the things you want to keep often leaves you with a lot of the other stuff: things you need to throw out. By the time most people are packed and moved, they come to the realization that there’s a lot of junk that doesn’t need to be taken along with them.
A move is the perfect opportunity for a little purge of the inessentials. The only problem is, when you’re finally finished moving, all those trash-worthy objects are probably scattered around in piles upon piles and in big garbage bags. The big clock you bought on an impulse six years ago? The broken chair that’s been sitting in the living room for months? It’s all got to go. So, what’s the best way to make a plan for moving that includes throwing out the things you don’t want to take along?
Always start early. As soon as you know you’ll be moving—ideally a month in advance—start to separate things into “keep” and “toss” piles. Regularly toss the “toss” pile as time moves on, so that you won’t have to carry loads and loads to the trash on moving day. Take a look in closets and in cupboards and above shelves as well—a good rule is, if you haven’t touched it in over a month or two it can probably be thrown out. One of the biggest hassles when you move is having to pile up the trash bins with garbage. This way, you can do the work incrementally and the task is far less daunting. By getting rid of the inessentials early you can better plan and box up the things that you know you’ll want to keep.