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Leveraging your office space to become a workplace asset


By Maurice Benatar

Are you aware that on average, companies in the GTA are spending anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000 per person annually on real estate rental fees? Workspace studies also reveal that employees spend 38% of their time working out of office.

In fact, at any given time, commercial offices within the GTA may find their space only half full. Contributing factors include the inability to find adequate meeting space and remote working alternatives. Mobile technology has changed the way that people work and increasingly, even within the office, collaborative work requirements mean commercial office space is being underutilized or not being used effectively.

Mediascape lounge supports collaboration in comfort

Companies are recognizing these trends and identifying lost revenue opportunities in part due to the inability of their existing space to support the kind of work that their business requires. Remaining competitive and effective requires smart planning and an overall assessment of facility requirements. 

Mayhew, an Ontario based design and workspace solution provider, recognizes how the world of work continues to evolve. Leveraging research and client experience spanning more than 25 years, Mayhew’s interior designers, project managers, ergonomists, procurement specialists and labour services cumulatively provide solutions that boost productivity, facilitate collaboration, enhance work life, build organizational pride and, ultimately, contribute quantifiably to the bottom line.

Hoteling area provides impromptu touchdown zone

In the new world of work, maximizing productivity means leveraging space as an asset. An attractive space that lends itself toward greater collaboration means employees will be better aligned, and dedicated project areas will help foster cross functional effectiveness. The impact of smart design extends to managing an increasingly multi-generational workforce. Millennials, which continue to enter the workforce en masse, typically embrace environments which enable technology and provide flexibility that reflects their lifestyle. Integrating this dexterous generation into the workplace requires accommodation. Well thought out design which factors in these strategic imperatives go beyond aesthetics and functional requirements.   

Understanding and advancing client business objectives requires an approach that factors in these insights; meeting their physical space needs means engagements that offer unique value, both financially and culturally. Leveraging strategic expertise, such as that provided by Mayhew, can be a game changer.

How can companies realize bottom line savings in their facility? “We make it happen by collaborating closely with our clients, deploying proprietary surveys, where appropriate, to determine potential savings and productivity gains, while listening carefully to their needs,” says Nicole Clancy, Senior Workplace Strategist at Mayhew. “Ultimately, we create results that express their aspirations, inspire their workers, and directly contribute to new levels of business efficiency.”

Campfire chat in open area collaboration zone

Whether you are seeing flux in your workforce, workplace inefficiencies, a productivity deficit, or simply looking to control costs, you need an effective workplace strategy.   Real estate experts are also beginning to differentiate design shops from one another. Designers have systematically been viewed as space planners who can be called upon to provide what the industry refers to as 10 cent planning. Some brokerage houses retain a pool of design partners who provide planning services whose costs are at times covered by the landlord where a new lease has been negotiated. Design planning, however, is only one part of the solution where it concerns the long term health of the organization.

Companies are becoming savvier and look toward the long term viability of a space to meet their evolving needs. Doing your homework up front can make a world of difference down the road and that means having a partner who interrupts your thoughts and gets you looking at the long term value of your space. Partnering with clients to identify a suitable space that meets their business objectives is a core objective in the real estate world, while landlords are equally looking to keep them there.

Whether you’re a company looking at move or space efficiency strategies, a brokerage or landlord looking to entice tenants in a competitive market, or a future employee considering what type of environment you want to be working in, you have to consider workplace trends and how space might best serve your needs in the long run.

Maurice Benatar is Vice President, Business Development and Marketing at Mayhew, a Thornhill, Ontario company specializing in workplace design and solutions.

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