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The Changing Workplace

Revolution or Refinement? The Impact of Technology on the Modern Workplace

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How are advances in automation and mobile access reshaping today’s workforce?

A recent article in The Economist speculated on the future of jobs in the context of increasing automation, spelling out certain professions, including professional jobs in legal services and even accounting, that may totally be replaced by technology.

Technology has categorically changed the workplace in a variety of incredible ways. It has allowed a whole host of jobs that were previously office-bound to go mobile, enabling many workers to do their jobs from almost anywhere. And as technology continues to evolve, it will not only change the nature of the work that is being completed, but it will also impact the skills necessary to survive in this “new” economy.

What is changing?

  • Shift in focus – In the past, businesses looked primarily at previous performance and aimed to correct mistakes based on historical data. Today, organizations must make decisions by analyzing data in real time, helping quickly predict future trends and profitability.
  • Opportunities abound – With real time access to “big data,” organizations can make split-second decisions to take advantage of opportunities that would have been unheard of in years past. This allows companies to be more agile in the face of market shifts.
  • Power of mobile – Today, most workers are equipped with a mobile phone that is more powerful than a full-sized computer from a decade ago. This allows workers to perform many of their job duties right from their smartphone or tablet, as opposed to being chained to an office. This not only increases productivity, but it gives workers a bit of freedom in performing their core functions.

Introduction of robotics in the workforce

In addition to technology that simply makes it easier for human workers to perform their duties, robotics are another area that has witnessed remarkable advancements over the past several years. Robotics allow many repeatable activities to be learned and performed by machines. There are countless examples of how this automation, coupled with the Internet of Things, are allowing individuals, companies, and even cities and municipalities to leverage the power of technology.

Take smart cities, for example. Communities are showing how highly technical, connected environments are able to learn and predict life patterns to help to turn lights on or off at certain times and adjust water flow by usage. All this helps to make our cities cleaner and it benefits our overall economies.

What does this mean for office space?

While more people are offered freedom in today’s remote workforce, few companies are completely doing away with their office space. An office still serves a vital function for many companies and it will likely do so well into the future. It’s not that workplaces are going away – rather, organizations are looking at ways to make their space more efficient and integrated with new technology.

Interested in learning more about the latest in office trends?

If you’re interested in learning more about some of the top office trends that are being driven by technology, or you are looking to find the right commercial space, feel free to reach out to Morris Southeast Group, one of Ft. Lauderdale’s top commercial real estate firms. Give our team a call today at 954-474-1776, reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400, or email kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

Flexibility and Collaboration: The Top Office Design Trends of 2016

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Tired of your outdated office layout? Check out these design trends that are sure to be a hit this year.

At Morris Southeast Group, we’ve been in the commercial real estate business for decades. During this time we’ve seen a variety of office design trends come and go. 2016 looks to be another year focused on flexibility and collaboration, when it comes to office space. Check out some of the top office design trends to get some ideas about upgrading your current space.

1. Standing desks

With a variety of research being released that attributes health problems with sitting for long periods of time, companies are promoting standing desks as a healthy alternative to 8+ hours per day of sitting at a desk. Standing desks also offer a much cleaner and more modern look, compared to the traditional bulky desks, which were prevalent in most office environments for so long.

2. Open concept work areas

While the executive suites may not be there quite yet, companies are investing in open concept designs for the majority of their office spaces. This helps to improve communication and foster team culture.

3. Mix of different textures

Office designers are now bold in their color and texture choices. Gone are the days of drab carpet and dark wood desks. Today, designers are using a variety of materials and colors to create a more inspiring work environment.

4. End of permanent layouts

Flexibility is paramount in today’s business world. While years ago, permanent layouts were the norm for commercial office space, now modular office components are being used that can be mixed, moved, and stacked to offer an almost unlimited amount of potential configurations to promote creativity and collaboration.

5. Designated lounge areas

As technology continues to become more wireless and mobile, companies are looking for ways to create designated lounge areas. These areas are meant to make work more enjoyable and relaxing in hopes to stimulate collaboration.

6. Versatile workspaces

If you walked in any large office building 10 years ago you were likely to see wall-to-wall cubicles. Today, cubicles are disappearing and being replaced by more versatile, non-assigned seating. Companies are ditching cubicles and instead using multipurpose areas that can be utilized for a variety of things from multimedia presentations to small breakout sessions.

7. Large community tables

If you’ve been into any of the new, hip restaurants in South Florida, you’ve likely seen a shift to community tables as opposed to large numbers of smaller tables. This same trend can be seen in office settings where people are looking for more social interaction while at work.

As you can see from these popular office trends, companies are looking for ways to breed creativity and flexibility, while also promoting a more relaxed and collaborative environment. If you’re looking for new office space that shares some of these hot trends, contact Morris Southeast Group, a leading South Florida Commercial Real Estate Services Firm today at 954-474-1776 x 303.

Making the Right Call for Your Retail Space

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Keep these factors in mind when making the decision to purchase or lease your retail space.

If you’re in the retail market and looking for commercial space you likely have a variety of options. One of the most important considerations is whether to lease or buy your retail space. This is an extremely important decision and one that should not be taken lightly. In this article, we’ll try to outline the benefits and drawbacks of both leasing and purchasing a commercial property for your business.

Factors to consider when choosing to lease or buy your retail space

The following elements may cause you to decide to purchase as opposed to lease your retail space.

  • You’re able to consider the long-term cost

While a lease may sometimes be more beneficial in terms of cash flow in the short term, a purchase is usually cheaper over the long-term.

  • You want ultimate control over the property

Are you interested in doing major renovations or additions to the property? If so, you’ll likely be better off purchasing a commercial property as opposed to leasing. When leasing you’ll need to obtain permission from your landlord for any major changes.

  • Location, location, location

For many retail businesses, location is everything. If you find a property that is for sale and not for lease, in a perfect location, it may be best to purchase to secure the property for the long term.

  • Land values are increasing in your area

If you’re in an area where you think land will increase in value, it will likely be better to own the property rather than rent it. This is especially true if you’re able to secure a good deal on the purchase price.

  • Purchasing could bring tax benefits

By purchasing a property you’re able to utilize a variety of tax benefits including interest deductions and depreciation. It’s best to check with your tax professional for details on purchasing as opposed to leasing commercial property.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the following factors, if relevant, could lead you to consider leasing as opposed to purchasing a commercial property.

  • Your cash flow is tight

A lease may be a better option, especially in the early years, for business owners lacking significant cash flow. This is due to the fact that upfront capital outlays are usually lower with a lease compared to a purchase.

  • You want to have the ability to relocate

Renting may be more beneficial, if you’re not sure the property you’re interested in will meet your future needs.

  • You don’t want to deal with maintenance issues

With many leases, maintenance duties are the landlord’s responsibility. These can include items such as roof repairs, heating and cooling maintenance, structural issues, and plumbing repairs. If you’re not prepared to deal with these costs, leasing may be a better option for you.

  • Your company may not be approved for a mortgage

Depending on your company’s credit rating you may have difficulty being approved for a mortgage on a commercial property. While you will likely have to meet certain income restrictions to be approved for a lease, the standards are usually lower when compared to a mortgage.

  • You’re unable to find a suitable property for purchase

Even if you’re interested in purchasing a property, you may have difficulty finding an adequate location. In this case, a short-term lease may be a better option until a suitable location is found for your business.

Contact Morris Southeast Group with your commercial real estate questions

If you’re still unsure whether leasing or purchasing a retail space makes more sense for your company, don’t hesitate to contact South Florida’s leading commercial real estate brokers, Morris Southeast Group, today at 954-474-1776 x 303.

Scoping the Space

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Keep these lease requirements in mind when shopping for office space for your company.

If your company has grown out of its current office space or you’re looking to relocate, you likely understand the complexities of leasing office space. You want to make the best choice possible, but you want to do so while keeping costs as low as possible. Choosing office space should not be taken lightly as it will be you and your employees’ second home for quite some time.

You’ll want to enlist the help of a commercial real estate firm to guide you through this sometimes arduous process. A commercial real estate agent can walk you through the details of a potential lease and spot issues that could cause problems down the road.

When evaluating new office space, there are several things that you and your real estate agent should keep in mind.

Know the type of lease that you are signing

There are typically three types of leases used in a commercial setting: a full service lease, a gross lease, and a net lease. While there are other types of leases, these are the three most commonly used.

A full service lease is an agreement where the tenant pays a price that covers insurance, taxes, common area maintenance, utilities, as well as janitorial services. The tenant is also responsible for increases in operating expenses each year.

In a gross lease agreement, the tenant pays a price that covers insurance, taxes, common area maintenance, utilities, and janitorial services. With a gross lease the rent increases by a certain amount each year to account for increases in operating expenses. Therefore, in a gross lease, the risk of high operating expenses is transferred from the tenant to the landlord.

With a net lease, the tenant’s rent amount covers all expenses, except janitorial and electric services, which are paid directly by the tenant.

Ensure that your real estate agent is thorough in examining and communicating all lease terms so that there are no surprises as it relates to unexpected expenses.

Know exactly what you are renting

You’re interested in renting an office space, but what exactly does that include? Will you have access to common bathrooms, hallways, and elevators? Ensure that you’re clear on exactly what areas are included in your lease and how the landlord came up with the quoted square footage and whether any of this space is considered common to other tenants in the building.

Know who’s responsible for maintenance

It’s incredibly important to understand who is responsible for common maintenance tasks. Who will cover the costs of an air conditioning repair or a roof leak? It’s also a good idea to learn how responsive the property management company is based on talking with other tenants in the building where you’re interested in leasing.

Investigate signage clauses and requirements

If your business relies on foot traffic, you’ll likely want to invest in a sign to lure in potential customers. Be sure that your lease allows for you to put up a sign and if so, pay careful attention to any size restrictions.

Understand escalations

Escalations are simply permissible rent increases over a period of time. It’s important to understand how these increases are calculated so that you’re not surprised when your rent goes up substantially.

Understand your renewal options

Depending on the size and age of your business, you may want to negotiate a shorter lease term so that you’re not locked into an agreement for a long period of time. Keep in mind that the shorter the lease, the higher your rent may be.

Ask about exclusivity clauses

An exclusivity clause is a clause that prohibits your landlord from renting an office space to a competitor of yours. Depending on your industry, there may or may not be issues with having one of your competitors in close proximity to your office space.

Contact Morris Southeast Group with questions

If the legal jargon mentioned above is confusing to you, Morris Southeast Group can make it simple. With over 35 years of commercial real estate experience in South Florida, we’re confident that we can help you find an optimal office space to better handle your company’s growth.

Give us a call today at (954) 474-1776 to speak with one of our experienced agents.

Flex Space that has Never Been So Flexible

What goes around comes around. Art imitates life. Or is it life imitates art? Will the circle be unbroken? Roosters come home to roost. Boomerangs.

You can probably see where I am going here – something of significance has returned to Morris Southeast Group: a property.

Not one that we bought or leased for our own purposes. Or won a property management contract. No. We were awarded the marketing and leasing assignment for 700 Sawgrass Corporate Park in Sunrise, Florida.

A jewel of a flex building, with offices, a showroom area, spacious reception, three dock doors and ample, industrial-type space for light assembly all under one 45,430-square-foot roof, 700 Sawgrass was created as a build-to-suit for one of our clients 12 years ago, and we put them in the space on a long-term lease. Now the property has come back to market, and we have it for lease. Download the eBrochure for Sawgrass Corporate Parkway.

Zoned I-1, 700 Sawgrass is suitable for pharmaceutical, electronics, manufacturing, distribution and more.

We originally represented Martin Professional for the build-to-suit. At the time Martin was the leader in intelligent lighting for the club scene, and they were making great strides toward capturing market share with indoor and outdoor architectural lighting (thus the need for showroom space).

For years the company thrived in that space. So much so that Martin was acquired by publicly traded Harman a couple years ago. Harman isn’t exactly a household brand but many of the companies that Harman has acquired through more than 60 years have been responsible for changing the way people experience entertainment (from the world’s first stereo receiver to the first concert hall loudspeaker).

Thus, between the history of 700 Sawgrass and the notion of “creative space” made popular by the San Francisco and Los Angeles office markets, it would not be a stretch to suggest that 700 Sawgrass could be a highly innovative environment for the next occupier.

We’ll see about that.

Meanwhile, the property is offered for lease ($13/NNN + estimated operating expenses of $4 a foot) or for sale, at $6.4 million.

700 Sawgrass Corporate Park is situated on 3.7 beautifully landscaped acres, near many fine restaurants and high-end, business class hotels. All major highways (I-595, I-75 and the Sawgrass Expressway) are nearby and the property is less than a half hour from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Interested occupiers should contact me.

South Florida Commercial Trend: Going Green

Green commercial building is something thatbs catching throughout the country b no surprise considering the fact that more businesses are becoming more aware of the impact that they have on the environment. Green construction is especially prominent in South Florida, where Miami is one of the top cities for green commercial buildings.

According to a recent study conducted by Maastrict University in conjunction with the CBRE Group, Miami ranked ninth in the country for green commercial construction, with an impressive 19.4 percent of its commercial real estate having been certified as green. There are a total of 79 buildings in Miami with a total of 21 million square feet of office space that have either been approved by Energy Star or have received U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification.

Miami has fully committed to green construction, as evidenced by its municipal code, which requires all new private development consisting of more than 50,000 square feed to achieve a LEED silver certification.

As a South Florida business looking for new office space, be sure to look for buildings certified as being green. For more information about office space in the area, be sure to contact us at Morris Southeast today.

Focus on Making Your Company a Happy Environment

One of the most important factors in maintaining a productive office space is creating a happy environment. A happy environment makes for happy employees, which will keep production up. The following are a few tipsB to help make the office environment a happier place:

  • Show support b Be supportive to your employees by taking an interest in their personal lives. Make them aware that you are flexible when it comes to their needs and that you are truly supportive.

  • Provide flexible hours b Many jobs can be completed during varying hours due to the advancement of so much office technology. If an employee asks for different hours, consider granting their request b it could help to increase their productivity.
  • Offer praise and rewards b People like to be praised when they do a good job. If you recognize your employees for their achievements, they are more likely to strive to continue doing a great job. By offering rewards for meeting certain goals, you can make employees happier about their accomplishments as well as increase productivity.

For assistance creating a happier work envriontment and for designing your office in South Florida, be sure to contact us at Morris Southeast today.

Don't Waste Your Office Resources

When it comes to running an office, you want to keep the costs of operations down as much as possible. In order to do this, itbs important that you donbt waste your office resources. The following are a few common ways resources are often wasted around the office:

  • Over-processing b Sometimes printing reports or documents to hand out to employees is a waste of time and paper, especially if it’s something that could simply be read on a computer screen.

  • Too much waiting b One of the biggest waste of resources is waiting b whether itbs waiting for a computer to start up, waiting for specific information to come your way, or waiting for a meeting to start.
  • Too much inventory b Keeping too much stock — from out of date pamphlets to equipment that is never used — is not only a waste of resources, but it also makes it more time-consuming to find what youbre looking for.

Avoiding wasting resources around the office can greatly decrease your costs of operation. For more information about keeping cost down and where to move into new offices, please contact us at Morris Southeast today.

Make Your Office as Stress Free as Possible

Making sure that the employees of your South Florida business are as productive as possible is an important part of your companybs success. One of the biggest things that can deter productivity is stress. Stress causes dips in productivity and can even lead to sickness, which translates to more sick days. The following are ways you can prevent stress:

  • Donbt overwork your employees b If you notice that their workload is causing them to work extra hours, then maybe you need to dial it back a little. The more they work, the more stressed they will become.

  • Communicate b Encourage open lines of communication with your employees. Keep track of their deadlines and provide assistance when they need it. Having a good relationship with your employees goes a long way in reducing stress.
  • Office setup b Make sure the office contributes to a stress-free environment by having a relaxing common area, making sure therebs plenty of natural light, placing plants throughout the office, and more.

Use these tips to help reduce the stress on your employees and improve productivity. If your South Florida business is in need of a new, stress-free office space, then contact us at Morris Southeast today.

Eliminate Unproductive Meetings From Your Business

Nothing wastes more time than holding unproductive meetingsB atB your South Florida business. Not only have you failed to accomplish whatever it was you wanted to accomplish, but youbve wasted valuable work time for everyone in attendance. The following are a few tips to make sure your next meeting is a productive one:

  • Keep your meetings short. The shorter they are – maybe 30 minutes at the most – the less work time you lose. Not to mention, you will be forced to focus the meeting in order to finish on time.

  • Send out any materials you want to go over prior to the meeting. This way you can spend the meeting actually discussing the materials instead of explaining them.
  • Donbt fall into a monologue. Meetings should be about engaging everyone in attendance, not about listening to yourself talk.
  • Avoid tangents and stay on topic. If other topics come up, leave them on the table for another time, or discuss them later via email or social media.

Use these tips to make your meetings more productive. If youbre in need of office space, contact us at Morris Southeast today.

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